Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo / 2021 / 375mL
Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo just gets better and better. Early vintages of the Nebbiolo were sourced exclusively from Massolino’s younger vines in Serralunga—a declassified Barolo if you like. Today there are two more parcels in play: Monforte’s Cascina I Maschi vineyard lies at altitude right on the border of the Barolo area, where the soils are rich in chalk (Massolino credits this cool site with the resultant vibrant perfume and ripe acidity); then there’s a parcel in Alba on lighter, sandy clay soils, which brings power and fruit concentration.
The blend is roughly one-third from each terroir, and there’s little doubt the sum of these three sites has bought even more brightness and early drinking appeal to what was already an outstanding Langhe Nebbiolo. Like all Massolino Nebbiolo, it was aged in large Slavonian oak casks (although the Langhe only spends 15 months in wood, compared to 24-plus months for the Barolo wines).
From a much-hyped year for Nebbiolo, 2020 is a classically suave, pure and red-fruited noted Nebbiolo with the savoury, chalky minerality that’s so typical of this grower. It draws you in with an alluring bouquet of red fruits, flowers and anise before blowing you over with the elegant succulence of fleshy red fruits, supple tannins and energising acidity. The textbook finish is engagingly vivid and balanced with a long-lasting close. In a word: knockout.
“Mineral on the nose with strawberries, red berries and some haw fruit. Juicy and very tight with firm tannins, but nothing too demanding or austere here. Transparent, showing focus and balance. An overachiever of this category.” 92 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
“Massolino envisages its Langhe Nebbiolo as a 'baby Barolo'. The winemaking is no different, other than a shorter maceration and ageing (just 12 months in Slavonian oak). Restrained and complex, the moderate temperature of fermentation seems to jump out of the glass with a peachy aroma enhanced by a strawberry vibrancy and savoury liquorice in depth. This Nebbiolo is focused on delicacy, showing ripe tannins with a dusty finish and refreshing, integrated acidity. Incredibly precise and signature definition, with a moderate length.” 92 points, Aldo Fiordelli, Decanter