2015 Massolino Barolo

SKU #1411479 93 points James Suckling

 Very fresh and attractive Barolo with abundant red cherries and a wealth of sweet, rose-petal aromas, too. The palate has a very plush, fleshy and juicy core of fruit in the red-cherry zone. The tannins are velvety and long. One of the more approachable 2015s.  (1/2019)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is the bread-and-butter wine for the folks at Massolino, and great care is taken to make sure they get it right year after year. The 2015 Barolo is almost all fruit from Serralunga d'Alba (this township makes up 99% of the blend), with a tiny part from Castiglione Falletto. Fruit comes from five vineyard sites, including Briccolina, Collaretto, Broglio and Le Turne, all in Serralunga d'Alba. The tiny part of Castiglione Falletto fruit comes from the Parussi cru. The complex nature of the blend represents old-school Barolo tradition, and it works beautifully in a warm vintage such as this. (That Serralunga d'Alba's rich marlstone soil keeps the moisture of the vintage locked within.) This is a full and exuberant expression with a well-defined profile of spice, rusty nail, potting soil and truffle. Overall, this vintage is accessible, soft and delicious from the start. (ML)  (6/2019)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Editors’ Choice: This opens with a lovely fragrance of rose petal, red berry and baking spice. Bright and juicy, the polished palate offers crushed raspberry, cinnamon and star anise alongside taut, refined tannins. Drink 2021-2027.  (8/2019)

91 points Vinous

 The 2015 Barolo is bright and beautifully focused, with lovely red berry, orange peel and floral character. Medium in body, translucent and gracious, Massolino's straight Barolo is fabulous in 2015. This is a very pretty, classy wine that readers will be able to enjoy with minimal cellaring. Even so, the straight Barolo has a track record of aging gracefully. Vineyard sites are Briccolina, Collareto, Broglio, Le Turne, all in Serralunga, plus a bit of fruit from Parussi, which is in Castiglione Falletto. (AG)  (2/2019)


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Price: $39.99

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By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/10/2019 | Send Email
There are multiple generations of the Massolino family working together at the winery and they manage to maintain an impressive consistency from vintage to vintage. Their 2014 Barolo exceeded expectation in a very difficult vintage and was one of our very favorites. That being said, their 2015 is sublime. It melds rich, ripe fruit from a warm year with fresh acidity and tannins which makes it not only ideal for drinking now but also a candidate for the cellar. Another classic from Massolino.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/7/2019 | Send Email
Another outstanding wine from Massolino and for certain a great rendition of the 2015 vintage. Perhaps the warm confiture of cherry fruit gives away the vintage but the structure and impeccable balance keep it all focused. This is a wine that will certainly cellar for years if not decades but the appeal is almost immediate. Absolutely gorgeous and also for a price that will keep even a modest collector such as myself certain to squirrel away a few bottles.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/7/2019 | Send Email
Unlike the rather warm 2000 vintage, I find that the 2015 vintage produced complex and structured wines that retain an element of freshness and lift that make these wines surprisingly approachable in their youth. The Massolino Barolo is no exception. It possesses all the tell-tale aromatics and flavors you desire from Barolo; red cherries, licorice, red flowers; while remaining rather lively on the palate. There’s enough primary fruit to make it delicious now (decanting will help) but lord knows it has years of life ahead of it. This is superb pedigree for a mere $40. I give this a strong “buy” recommendation.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/7/2019 | Send Email
One of the real Hallmarks of the 2015 vintage is drinkability and wineries such as Massolino whose Serralunga roots usually predict an undrinkable period, long cellaring and then glorious results have produced a wine that can do both. The nose is ultra-inviting with warm, open fruit, layers of cherries intermingled with smoke, earth and umami depth. On the palate is where the real shock is, this Barolo is supple, round and smooth, a drinkable Barolo from Massolino at this stage is almost unthinkable, yet this wine delivers. There might be comparisons to the very approachable 2000 vintage but 2015 is a much more structured vintage with real holding power. The wine has a tannic border, but those tannins are sweet and act as a frame rather than a cage holding the wine in. The finish is long, balanced and shows lots of expressive fruit now, but I do envision a period of Adolescence for this wine while it develops. An extraordinary deal for one of Barolo’s great producers.

By: Cameron Hoppas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/6/2019 | Send Email
Drinking Barolo is always a tough game of delayed gratification, waiting for its tannins to soften. It's a bit like staring at the pot waiting for the proverbial water to boil. But perhaps one effect of more frequent warm growing seasons in Piemonte is giving producers like Massolino an opportunity to capture the sun and deliver wines with classic Barolo punch, but in a riper and sexier package. Best of all, this wine is drinking well NOW. It has powerful fruit, candied rose petals and round tannins with the lingering finish of black licorice and tar that is so typical of the Serralunga Commune. Pop and pour with rich meat dishes, mushrooms and umami forward flavors. Delay gratification no more!

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/6/2019 | Send Email
For an estate with such traditional roots, this is amazingly accessible and will be a great addition for any fan of Barolo. Pure, juicy red fruits and floral notes on the nose follow through to bright, refreshing flavors of crunchy strawberry and cherry. A mouthwatering finish leads to fine grain tannins that are not too tight or imposing even at this early stage. This is easygoing and well-made Barolo from a forward vintage and will deliver a ton of value over the coming decade-plus.

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Nebbiolo

- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.
Sub-Region:

Piedmont

- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
Specific Appellation:

Barolo

- Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, these wines take their name from the village of Barolo. A maximum of 205,000 cases per year can be made from 3081 acres of land divided between 11 communes and more than 1200 growers. La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte and Serralunga are the most important communes and produce most of the exported wine. Barolo is a powerhouse wine in some communes but also more delicate in others (La Morra is the most delicate and Serralunga the most powerful). Recent technological and viticultural advances are remaking Barolo into a wine that is more consistent balanced. Producers here do not want to change the flavor or feel of their wines, only improve and eliminate poor winemaking technique. A wine of great perfume, body and size the classic nose of "tar and roses". Barolo is best served with roast meats the Piemontese classic would be "Stracotto del Barolo or pot roast cooked with a Barolo, game birds or powerful cheese.