Massolino Barolo Margheria 2017
1 or more bottles$200.00
The Margheria vineyard is one of Serralunga’s most important and illustrious sites. The Massolino family bought their first parcel here in 1964, and the remainder came online during the ’70s. The current holding is 1.5 hectares. Sitting at 340 metres above sea level, Margheria is a very chalky vineyard with a good percentage of sand (which brings elegance), while the high calcium carbonate content brings vibrant, mineral energy to the natural depth of Serralunga.
As with all three 2017 Crus, the Margheria was fermented in large, conical oak fermenters and had around 30 days on skins. It was then aged in botti for 30 months before bottling and then remained in bottle for a further year before release. Margheria is usually one of Massolino’s later-picked Cru vineyards—not so in 2017, when it was the first. Giovanni explains that with less white marl in this vineyard—a soil type that retains water—Massolino wanted to get the fruit off nice and early. As you can see from the reviews below the ends justified the means. This is a benchmark release for this wine—a superb, powerful and incredibly mineral Margheria.
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- Red Meat
Critic Scores & reviews
"“Margheria has the ability to combine sternness with elegance, here with a stunning intensity. Pomegranate fruit peeps out on the nose, while there's a crystalline floral character of Parma violets, dried cherry and liquorice, with some earthy tones. The attack is also austere, with firm tannins that are muscular and powerful and a velvety, refined texture. Firm acidity leads to a lifted finish.”"
"“Massolino's classic 2017 Barolo sees most of its fruit come from Serralunga d'Alba, although a small percentage of the blend comes from Castiglione Falletto. Compared to its peers from this hot and dry growing season, this wine is delicate and almost fragile. It softly reveals cassis, red berries and exotic plum. A second wave of aromas introduces spice, red earth and rusty notes. These results achieve very good balance overall.”"
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Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.
The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.
Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) is probably the finest wine region in all of Italy, and has laid claim to this since Roman times. It has a continental climate influenced by the surrounding Alps and Ligurian Apennines, and is located in the north-west of Italy, bordering both France and Switzerland.
Piedmont has only 1% of the total vineyards of Bordeaux and 15% that of Burgundy. So while a top Chateaux may produce upwards of 35,000 cases a year, leading Barolo producers will often make only 800 cases. More than half of its vineyards are registered with DOC designations and many are in the Apennine or Alpine foothills, from 300-600m above sea level. Most of the wines are produced by smaller family estates rather than larger holdings.
Piedmont has 46 different DOC and four DOCG regions, and produces the largest number of well known, world-recognized, prize-winning wines. The most famous would have to be Barolo or Barbaresco, whose power comes from the Nebbiolo grape variety. The most widely planted red variety is Barbera although Dolcetto, Muscat, Shiraz and Bonarda are also produced.
The white variety most well known is Moscato, which is often made into frizzante (bubbly) wines known as Asti. Cortese is made into the popular Gavi wines, and smaller amounts of Chardonnay and high quality Sparkling are also produced in the far north of Piedmont.
Located in the North-West rolling hills of Piedmont, Italy just south of Alba 'Barolo' is an appellation steeped in tradition and history. The now DOCG status region is renowned for producing some of Italy's finest red wines from 100% Nebbiolo.
The wines made are typically fragrant and tannic with a depth of flavour and finesse like no other earning them the coveted title of ‘the King of Wines’ for centuries. Winemaking practices vary within the defined methods that the DOCG allows but there is a distinct modern and traditional divide in preferred styles.
The region has two major soil types - a sandy Tortonian marl producing a softer wine and a Helvetian sandstone clay that is known for a more robust style. The continental climate, with a long summer and late autumn, enables the fickle grape to reach the perfect ripeness to create these stunning wines.
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About the brand Massolino
Massolino wines are the result of a privileged relationship with the vineyard, interpreting all its peculiarities and nuances. A relationship built up day by day thanks to personally supervising every moment in the production chain in all twenty-three hectares of the estate. The Classic Barolo is made with Nebbiolo grapes cultivated in vineyards situated in the area of Serralunga d’Alba at an altitude of 320 – 360 m above sea level, with a total surface area of 7 hectares. The soil is mainly calcareous with sometimes consistent variations from zone to zone.
The different subzones where the grapes originate give them a broad and variable spectrum of perfumes, ranging from the classic spicy notes to those of a sweeter, floral and fruity nature. Look out for wine from their Margheria, Parafada and Vigna Rionda vineyards. They constitute some of Serralunga’s most important and famous cru vineyards.