Nine times out of ten, Margheria is the Serralunga cru that seduces best when young. This is no exception. Just stunning. On the one hand it's a classic Margheria - those wild florals on the nose and the strawberry/red-fruited brightness and finesse on the palate. Yet it is also clearly a deeper, more powerful rendition with a long, bloody, violet-noted close. Extraordinarily delicious now, it will also cellar very well.
The Margheria vineyard is one of Serralunga's most important and illustrious sites. The Massolino family bought their first parcel here in 1964 and the rest throughout the '70s. They currently hold 1.5 hectares. Sitting at 340 metres above sea level, Margheria is a very chalky vineyard with a good percentage of sand, which brings elegance and spicy, mineral characters to the natural depth of Serralunga.
Traditional Barolo with fermentation and maceration lasting about 15-20 days at temperatures which vary from 31 to 33° C; the wine is aged in large oak barrels for about 30 months and is left to mature in bottles placed in special dark, cool cellars for at least a year.
Founded in 1896, Massolino Winery, is based in and around the town of Serralunga, one of the prime sub-zones of the Barolo DOC. The Massolino family’s greatest asset is of course their 23 hectares of (mostly) Serralunga vineyards, including choice parcels of such famous sites as; Margheria, Parafada and the legendary Vigna Rionda. We say ‘mostly’ as the Massolino clan recently purchased a slice of the Parussi cru in Castiglione Falletto. Serrralunga, on the eastern edge of the Barolo DOCG, produces some of most profound and long lived Barolo. It is the home of great names such as Giacomo Conterno and Bruno Giacosa’s Falletto vineyard. The wines often have an extra stuffing of intense Nebbiolo fruit as well as a remarkable minerality that plays on both the freshness of the tannins and gives the wines a certain ferrous edge when young. It is fair to say that Massolino holds the most remarkable collection of vineyards in Serralunga, amongst the smaller, quality focused producers anyway. The quality strides at this estate over the last 10-15 years have been remarkable with significant advances made, particularly in the vineyards. Certainly there has also been refinements in the cellars, firstly by Franco Massolino and then by current winemaker Giovanni Angeli (ex Vajra) who has been working with Franco since the 2005 harvest. As always however, it has been the work in the vineyards and the search for expressive and perfectly ripe fruit that has driven the rise in quality at this estate. The resultant improvement here has been very good news for both the commune and Barolo in general. Today the wines of Massolino sit comfortably among the finest of the region – they are wines of wonderful purity and elegance. They are exclusively aged in large casks, so they are ‘traditional’ and yet they offer the best of the “old” and “new” worlds: pure, aromatic, textural, deeply flavoured wines that are at the same time precise, vibrant and distinctly regional. These are wines that score extremely highly on our deliciousness scale. Equally important, these wines are remarkably well priced when compared to the other top producers of the area.
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
Red fruits, spice, rosy florals, some liquorice root – great thing to smell. Bright, elegant, fresh ripe orange, dusty persistent tannin, new leather and tea, lovely energy and very good length. Aftertaste contains a gustatory nip of campari bitterness. Young now. Great potential.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Medium-depth red colour with a slight purple tint. The bouquet is very fragrant, the most aromatic of the three single-vineyard Barolos: flowers, red fruits, roses, violets. It opens with searing acidity and is tight, crisp and very lively, with a nervy vitality. Not big, but tight, medium to full-bodied, with impressively taut, nervy structure and length. (Altitude 340 metres in Serralunga. Chalk and sand. Spends 30 months in botti.)
MONICA LARNER - WINE ADVOCATE
The 2015 Barolo Margheria is the first single-vinyard Barolo I tasted from Massolino in a lineup that started with the most delicate wine and ended with the most powerful expression. Considering that we are talking about Serralunga d'Alba (the township known for the most powerful Baroli overall), the word "delicate" should be taken with a grain of salt. The vines here are 37 years old, and the soils are slightly looser and sandier in nature. This wine is just slightly more accessible than the other cru expressions with elegant mineral notes that frame dark fruit, spice and pressed violets. This could be a good pairing opportunity with Florentine tripe in a tomato sauce.
ANTONIO GALLONI MW - VINOUS
Massolino's 2015 Barolo Margheria is a powerful, driven wine that shows the sinewy muscles of Serralunga off to great effect. Dark red cherry, plum, iron, sage, smoke, white pepper and rose petal open up in the glass, but the Margheria is a wine of structure, power and depth, its mid-weight feel notwithstanding. As is often the case, the Margheria is a beguiling wine that shows the flavor and textural complexity Nebbiolo can reach in Piedmont's top sites.
Aromas of plums, cherries and flowers. Sandalwood, too. Medium-to full-bodied with firm and silky tannins that are chewy. Tannic finish, yet finesse and refinement at the end. Try in 2022.
WALTER SPELLER - JANCISROBINSON.COM
Beautiful lustrous mid ruby. Savoury, deep, complex nose that is still a little closed. Gorgeous freshness and crunchy red fruit with lots of firm chewy tannins on the palate. The fruit is long, concentrated and elegant. 17++ / 20 Points.