What We Say 2001 Barolo Massara DOCG
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If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Castelo di Verduno.
Mission Codename: The Hills of Langhe
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Get on the trail of Agent Baco Noir, and find some great wines along the way.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Castelo di Verduno
Wine Subject: 2001 Barolo Massara DOCG
Barolo, from the Langhe region of the Piedmonte of north-west Italy is considered among Italy’s greatest wines. Barolo is made from the bold and tangy Nebbiolo varietal. Unfortunately, most people don’t give these wines enough time to mature and as such people find the younger versions a little hot and poorly integrated. But when cellared correctly, Barolo is the most expressive wine made from the Nebbiolo grape with heavenly layer upon layer of tangy fruit, spice, floral scents and more.
The Barolo DOCG is located around the city of Langhe with the best Barolos coming from single named vineyards (like this one – Massara). These wines are meant to age for upwards of 25 years and shouldn’t even be drunk at an age of less than 7 to 8 years. This particular Barolo is just starting to reach its maturity. Expect a bold powerful wine at while young growing in finesse and elegance as they age.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Clear dark ruby red and garnet hues, brick-orange edges with slow thick legs and a slightly viscous appearance.
Smell – Bold and tangy, 100% Nebbiolo in character, with tangy fruit including raspberries and blackberries, spicy pepper, toasted cedar with hints of licorice, tobacco and leather.
Feel – Initially smooth the bold dry and firm tannins kick in, this full-bodied wine is deep, tart and tangy in the mouth. Decante this wine and the tannins mellow, but the bold and tangy flavors continue to live strong.
Taste – Complex layers of tart raspberries and tangy sour cherry, spicy white pepper, with hints of tobacco, licorice and leather that emerge only after the bold fruit dissipates. Again, after some time, this wine mellows.
Finish – Long and clean with a crisp acidity that lingers with fruit, toasted cedar and hints of tobacco.
Conclusion – If you love big, bold and tangy Italian wines, then this one belongs in your collection. Attack this wine right after your open it and it hits you in the mouth like Mafia thug, but if you give it some time, it will sweet talk you like only an Italian lover can. At seven years old, this wine is just starting to show its potential, if you have the patience to cellar this wine, put a bottle or two away, of course, I can’t wait to pop-open my next bottle!
Agent Baco Noir had long since gone A.W.O.L. Various reports had been coming it that she had been spotted in the The Hills of Langhe, but most of these reports proved to be unsubstantiated. It was extremely discouraging to our Ops Center s many of the greatest Italian wines we’ve run were initially sleuthed by Baco.
Being relatively familiar with the area, I decided to make a trip out. Through back channels, I put the word out that I’d be in the area and I wanted to arrange a meeting with Baco. Hoping that a mutual friend might pass the word on.
A long day of flying into Milan, then a train to Torino and car to Alba. Upon my arrival into Alba I stopped into the Retrogusto Wine Cafe’ Di Canaparo Andrea where Giuseppe, one of my local contacts handed me a large manila envelope and quickly scuttled away. Once I had some privacy, I opened the envelope only to find a selection of grainy black-and-white photographs of Baco enjoying wine at various cafes and wineries throughout the area.
At least we had some leads. The first lead took me to Castello di Verduno. One of the photos showed Baco in her signature high-heels and dark glasses talking to the winemaker. I visited the winery, they had little information on Baco’s whereabouts, but did confirm that she had stopped by. Even going as far as to say, that I’d probably also stop by and ask for information and that I should try the Tre Bicchieri 2001 Barolo Massara DOCG.
The wine was great, this wine was just starting to hit its stride, and while I’m not always fond of Agent Baco Noir’s antics, she’s got a knack for finding great wines.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Castelo di Verduno can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Castello di Verduno
Awards & Accolades:
Tre Bicchieri sulla Guida dei vini d’Italia del Gambero Rosso 2007
About This Wine:
Red shining ruby from the complex perfume of leather, yields mature and tobacco. Being able in elegant mouth and severe with soft tannins and wrapping for a long final version and persisting.
The large structure and solidarity of the ground produce in the wine a elegant fullness of characters.
About The Vineyard:
The vineyard Massara venne gained in 1910 from the Cavalier G. B. Burlotto directly from Home Savoy. The vineyard, in an of the zones to high wine-growing vocation of Verduno, is situated to 265 m. s. l. m. on a surface of 1,22 hectares entirely cultivated to Nebbiolo. The ground constituted from white land with prevailing calcareous composition-clayey, the happy exhibition East-Southeast and a conscientious selection of the grapes allow to obtain a wine in a position of to astonish for longevity and power.
About The Winery:
After fifteen years spent in Eritrea, in 1950 the Commander Giovanni Baptist Burlotto, rientrò to Verduno. Simply being fortunate, to comparison of the too persons marked from the war, the situation is not of the rosiest: the vineyards and the Castle, that its grandfather had gained all’ beginning of the century, were reduced in a state of entire abandonment.
To the Commander Burlotto was lacking almost all but not l’ initiative: to make to return live l’ complex whole thought to create a point d’ meeting enogastronomico with the possibility of stay, so in 1953, after an attentive restoration, accolse the fifteen firsts hosts that became twenty l’ following year…
Now the three daughters of the Commander and the respective families dedicate, with passion, their time to what is now the Castle: hotel, restaurant, cellar and farm holiday.
About The Vintage:
Year 2001 winter and the spring, with rain and above average temperatures seasonal workers, favored the early germogliamento of the lives, in part then damaged from the late hard frosts of the month of April. And’ followed a’ summer with little hastes and an August and especially warm beginning of September and sultry. Some rains in the half of the month slowed down the maturing without to compromise the quality of the grapes. Vineyard The vineyard Massara, is situated to 265 m. s. l. m. in the commune of Verduno, to the sheet of Map X°, particle n. 137p. (Established part in 1988 and then in 1992). The surface vitata is of 1.22,49 hectares, entirely cultivated to Nebbiolo. The ground is constituted from white land, to prevailing calcareous composition-clayey, with exhibition that looks at to Southeast. It harvests and maceration The collection of the grapes happened 10 of October 2001. The maceration, carried out in vats of wood with frequent rimontaggi and traditional fencing of the hat, lasted 25 days.
Maturing and refinement The maturing was of 41 months in large bangs of oak and 4 months in baths of steel, for then to continue in bottle lain down for at least 14 months before to be place in commerce.
Bottling The wine went in bottle, without filtration, July 22 2005 with the lot L05-203. The production 2001 was of 6,388 bottles Albeisa from 0.75 l., 198 from 0.375 l, 89 from 1.50 l., 23 from 3 l.
Alcohol: 14% Vol.
Total acidity: 5.8 g/l