2009 Elio Grasso "Ginestra - Casa Matè" Barolo

SKU #1456210 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Mate come from 35-year-old vines planted at 350 meters above sea level on mixed sand and clay soils. Gianluca says this is always the first vineyard to flower each year. This expression is without a doubt the more masculine of the two, with bold lines filled tight with black fruit, plum, licorice, tobacco and leather. However, the wine is not all muscle and brawn. It, too, offers a beautiful floral note of pressed red rose that lingers long on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035. (ML)  (6/2013)

93 points Vinous

 Grasso's 2009 Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Matè is a bit, richer, deeper and darker than the Gavarini, but the differences between the wines aren't as marked as they usually are. That is the essence 2009. Dark cherries, plums, menthol and spices flesh out on the broad, richly textured finish. As good as this is – and the Ginestra is quite good – in 2009 the expression of site is more muted than is typically the case. (AG)  (11/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator

 A dense red, bordering on muscular, with cherry notes and a rich texture offsetting the tannins. This is balanced, featuring a long finish of fruit and spice. Just needs time. Best from 2016 through 2030. (BS)  (4/2014)

92 points James Suckling

 This shows a beautiful depth of fruit with fine tannins. There are hints of hazelnut character as well. Full and delicious with a long, long finish. The clay soil gives more structure and richness to this wine than Gavarini Vigna Chiniera. Better in 2015.  (1/2014)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (from clay and limestone soil; picked seven to ten days later than the Gavarini Chiniera, according to Gianluca Grasso): Good medium red. Deep, brooding nose offers currant, cherry and spices. Plush, broad and sweet on the palate but less open to inspection today than the Gavarini. With aeration, flavors of redcurrant, tobacco and mocha emerged. Big but nicely distributed tannins arrive late, giving the finish excellent length. The Grassos do about 25 days of total maceration, including two weeks with a submerged cap, but keep the fermentation temperature below 28 degrees C (and usually no higher than 26) in order to make more elegant wines. (ST)  (11/2013)

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Price: $89.99
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- 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.


- 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.


- 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:


- 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.