Perman Wine Selections Newsletter – 8/30/10

Massolino Barolo Pre-Sell

Why this e-mail bright and early on a Monday morning? It’s simple, for those that love the great wines of Barolo you are going to want to take advantage of this pre-sell on the outstanding 2006 vintage Barolo’s from Massolino!

As you may know, I spent a full week in the Barolo region in June. I visited the top estates of the region, and tried many of the upcoming releases.

Without question one of the highlights of my visits was the half-day spent with Franco Massolino of Massolino in Serralunga d’Alba.

We spent our time together tasting wines and visiting the vineyards. This was an eye opening experience.

The estate traces its roots to Serralunga, where it was founded in 1896. The estate as we know it began in the 1950’s when the family expanded the vineyards and purchased the now famous sites of Margheria, Parafada, and Vigna Rionda.

What I discovered on my trip was that despite every hill in the region seemingly covered by vines, the amount of truly “Grand Cru” sites are rare. There is an overwhelming sense of humbled privilege by those that own land in the best of the best sites. Franco Massolino understands the responsibility of owning some of the greatest vineyards in all of Barolo.

Part of the reason I chose to visit Barolo this year was that I knew I would taste through a string of recent excellent vintages. The 2006 vintage is arguably one of the best vintages in the last decade. This is a vintage that offers the best of all worlds, it tastes great young, and will also reward aging.
Included in this offer is the new release of the epic 2004 “Vigna Rionda” Riserva. This is without a doubt one of the best Barolo’s made. The site is truly special, and every year the Massolino “Vigna Rionda” is released (only in special vintages), I alert the most serious of Barolo enthusiasts!

Normally I would save this type of news for a Friday Feature, but unfortunately the distributor gave me very short notice on this pre-sell. To secure your order at these prices I must have them by Friday, September 3rd. The wines will arrive in late October and payment won’t be due till arrival.

I urge you to take advantage of this pre-arrival offer, because buying on pre-sell will save you at least 10-20% off the bottle price. Some of these are also very limited and will sell out before they even arrive to the United States!

Please let me know if you need any advice or have questions about any of these.



This comes from a seven hectare parcel of land in the commune of Serralunga d’Alba. The vine age ranges from 10 to 45 years. Traditional vinification with 15 days skin maceration, and age in large oak barrel for around 30 months.

He makes about 38,000 bottles of this Barolo.

Great value Barolo (anything under $50) rarely comes from this pedigree of vines, not to mention rarely from one commune of the quality of Serraluna d’Alba. Dollar for dollar it is one of the handful of best values in Barolo – do not miss this!

“The estate’s 2006 Barolo makes a positive first impression, as a burst of fresh fruit informs the open, expressive bouquet. Gorgeous and finessed throughout, this relatively feminine, delicate Barolo impresses for the elegance of its perfumed fruit and its surprising accessibility at this stage. It will be hard to resist right out of the gate, as the wine is simply perfectly balanced at its level. As is often the case, the quality of a vintage can be deduced from the entry-level wines, and here that level is very high. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. 90+ Points, Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate. ”
$44.99 BTL. / $539.88 CASE


One of the special “Grand Cru’s” of Massolino. Parafada sits on the prime Western Slope of Serralunga at 330 meters above sea level. The terroir is a marly lime soil. Massolino’s vines in this 1.13 hectare vineyard have an average age of a whopping 55 years!

From this vineyard he makes a miniscule 4500 bottles!

“The 2006 Barolo Parafada is another gorgeous wine from Massolino in this important vintage. Here, too, the fruit is incredibly primary but in the Parafada the French oak has added a dimension of explosiveness and volume that is captivating. Hints of spices and flowers hint at the inner sweetness that should develop in bottle. The percentage of French oak (35%) has come way down in this bottling, which gives the fruit a better chance to shine. I loved this powerful, dense Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. 93 Points, Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate.”
$76.99 BTL. / $923.88 CASE


Another of the special “Grand Cru” sites situated on the Western Slope of Serralunga at 340 meters above sea level. The vineyard is 1.5 hectares, and the average vine age for Massolino is 35 years old. The terroir is calcareous with a good percentage of sand.

Another tiny production wine at 5500 bottles produced!

“The 2006 Barolo Margheria shows lovely density and richness in a mid-weight style. This is a refined expression of Serralunga. Bright red fruits, spices and violets are some of the nuances that emerge from the glass, followed by darker cherries, flowers and minerals that develop with air. The finish is elegant and long, while the tannins reveal considerable finesse. All in all, this is a winner from Massolino. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031. 94 Points, Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate.”
$76.99 BTL. / $923.88 CASE


This is one of Barolo’s greatest wines. It is a vineyard that produces Nebbiolo grapes which demand long aging. That is why Franco Massolino makes this into a Riserva, which denotes a wine that has undergone a longer aging period in oak. The vineyard is 2.3 hectares and consists of a marly lime soil. The vine age ranges from 25 to 45 years. The production is a mere 8500 bottles.

Barolo expert Alessandro Masnaghetti tells you all you need to know about how special this vineyard is. “Though there is no desire on my part to ignore or diminish the importance of the other crus of this township, Vigna Rionda, in the collective imagination of many wine lovers, has become synonymous with the Barolo of Serralunga d’Alba, even if, to tell the truth, the style of its wines is one which differs the most from the cannons of the township. To put it in a different way, the Barolo which is produced here can be termed – even more than a Barolo of Serralunga – a Barolo of Vigna Rionda, such is the imprint of the cru on the wine.”

“The 2004 Barolo Riserva “Vigna Rionda” reveals superb complexity and nuance in a never-ending display of aromas and flavors that saturate the palate. Tobacco, truffles, spices, licorice and dark fruit swirl around in the glass as the wine continues to gain volume and depth with air. The tannins are massive yet beautifully balanced and the stage seems set for the 2004 to develop into one of the finest “Vigna Riondas” crafted here. Constantly changing in the glass, the wine captures that characteristic “Rionda” elusiveness that invites a second taste and then a third. In sum, it is a Barolo that will provide endless fascination for many years to come. Incredibly, it tastes almost as youthful as it did from barrel a few years ago! Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031. 96 Points, Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate.”

I couldn’t recommend this enough to the most serious of collectors. It is one of the best Barolo produced in the 2006 vintage!
$119.99 BTL. / $1439.88 CASE

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