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Massolino Barolo Vigna Rionda Riserva 2017  - First Bottle


98 Vinous -
The 2017 Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda is flat out stunning. All the purest essence of Rionda comes through in a captivating Barolo that dazzles. Sweet red cherry fruit, kirsch, rose petal, licorice and blood orange are some of the many aromas and flavors that lift from the glass. Exotic and racy, the 2017 is a flat-out stunner. Now, for the million dollar question. Is it better than the 2016? Right now, I give an edge to the 2017 for its greater finesse and total sense of exotic beauty. But time will be the judge. I do look forward to tasting the 2016 and 2017 side by side!
98 Falstaff -
Bright ruby red, with a shimmering core. Elegant nose, red apples, a bit of peach, then raspberries, cranberries, a touch of oak and sealing wax. Tense on the palate, lovely structure, with compact tannins and clear notes of fruit, extremely deep, salty and juicy on the finish, wonderfully long.
97 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
This is a gorgeous wine, and although it could stand more years of aging, you're not wrong to enjoy it in the near or medium term either. The 2017 Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda is packed tight with dark fruit, but it also shows a delicately savory edge with black licorice and rusty metal. The wine's intensity and the mouthfeel are sublime. Aging sees it go into botte for 36 months followed by another 36 months in bottle before its release.
96 Decanter -
A traditional style with long fermentation and maceration in oak vats at a temperature of around 30°C, then aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for up to 42 months, followed by a further 24 months in the bottle. The nose is impressively fresh and vibrant, with a mix of white pepper, watermelon, wild strawberry and mint leaf. Less restrained than usual, on the palate the attack is firm, still young, and chewy, with brilliant long acidity and a cherry kernel finish. It deserves time to develop more complexity.
95 James Suckling -
Notes of wild strawberries and sour cherries with dried flowers and chocolate orange undertones. Medium- to full-bodied, very polished and fine-grained, showcasing subtle notes of red fruit with a mineral backbone. Even and balanced with a textural finish. Great to drink after 2025 but will age further.
95 Kerin O'Keefe -
The 2017 Vigna Rionda from Massolino impresses with aromas of forest floor, leather, camphor, wild berry and a whiff of blue flower. It’s brooding and firm, featuring dried cherry, crushed mint, cake spice and tangy mineral framed in tightly-knit, fine-grained tannins. Surprisingly fresh acidity keeps it lifted.It’s a phenomenal showing for what was such a dry, scorching vintage.

Technical Details

  • CountryItaly
  • RegionBarolo
  • Sub-RegionSerralunga d'Alba
  • AppellationBarolo
  • VineyardVigna Rionda
  • OakSlavonian oak
  • Aging/Cooperage66 months total (42 months in oak and 24 months in bottle)
  • Alcohol14.5%

Massolino Barolo Vigna Rionda Riserva 2017

Nebbiolo  |  Italy
VN98, FS98, WA97, DC96, JS95, KO95

41% off retail!

Coming from one of the most desirable crus in Serralunga d’Alba, this captivating, 98-point Barolo from the Massolino family covers all the characteristics you could ever desire in a quintessential sultry nebbiolo. With a pronounced structure, pure essence, and exotic tannins, it has aged beautifully already ready to drink magnificently well at the moment, with room to develop even greater nuances with additional cellar time. After one sip ourselves, we’ll forgive you should you give into temptation and open one immediately!

Giovanni Massolino – the first person to bring electricity to the village of Serralunga d’Alba – founded his family estate in 1896. His son, Giuseppe, following in his father’s tenacious footsteps, built their first wine cellar, as well as extended the estate’s holdings to the area’s best soils, and founded the Consortium for the Defence of Barolo and Barbaresco in 1934. Three more generations after continued the family legacy and purchased three additional jewels of cru vineyards to add to the Massolinos’ holdings. The core of the family’s winemaking mentality is honoring the deeply profound connection between the hills, vines, and winegrowers who tend to them, and preserving the characteristics of their native grape varieties. It’s this connection that grows deeper with each year passing and each generation that steps in to continue the estate’s purpose.

“We have always believed in Barolo and its austere uniqueness. We care for it in keeping with the philosophy that inspires our approach to wine – minimal intervention, to capture all the qualities that our soils and grapes can create in the glass.” – the Massolino family

This wine comes from Vigna Rionda, a much-sought-after vineyard on a rounded hill in Serralunga with soils rich in limestone with some clayey marl and sand. The Massolinos profess that they “accompany the fruit from vineyard to glass, without forcing it. Elevating, without adding.” Made in the traditional Barolo style following classic vinification standards, the wine comes from vines averaging an age of 50 years old and undergoes long fermentation and maceration in oak vats, aging in large Slavonian oak barrels for 36 months with an additional 36 months in the bottle.

One of the wines the Massolino family is most proud of, the Vigna Rionda Riserva offers something tremendously unique. It’s no wonder it’s attracted such high applause, ranging 97 and 98 points from top critics – this wine drips with complexity, longevity, and unmatchable elegance. Dazzling fruits open on the nose, the likes of bursting red cherries, ripe strawberries, and notes of chocolate-dipped orange slices for something wildly sensual and explosive. The addition of rose blooms, black licorice, and a firm iron edge add layers of captivation, while a mineral spine carries the finish through to something delightfully long-lasting. A Barolo with classic, caressing characteristics from a fervently involved and historically significant family to the area – whatever you do, fans of this style need not miss out on this one. Our supplies are quite limited and won’t be around for long!

PAIRING IDEAS: Sultry meat dishes are heaven-sent next to fine Barolos – and I’m opting for this roast beef tenderloin with garlic, rosemary, and horseradish. Mouth. Watering.

About the Producer

The history of the Massolinos and their wine became entwined with the history of Serralunga d’Alba in 1896, when Giovanni founded the Estate. Giovanni was the very first person to bring the electric current to the village. An enterprising, tenacious and creative man, progenitor of a family that has made the combination of inspiration and tradition something to be proud of.