The Massolino clan purchased a 1.3-hectare plot of this cru in 2007; it is the only Barolo vineyard that they own outside of Serralunga. Though Parussi is in fact situated close to the Serralunga border, in Castiglione Falletto.
The commune of Castiglione lies closer to the geographical centre of Barolo and generally generates a more masculine wine with tannins that can be more prominent when young. Parussi's silty soils show through in an inkier and more robust profile than the Serralunga wines.
The iron-rich, 'blue clay' soils here are a little lighter, more oxygenated, with more silt and less clay than Serralunga. This makes for more vigour in the vines and a completely different style of wine. The Massolino family were attracted by the excellent south-easterly and south-westerly exposure of the vines, the vineyard's situation at 300 metres above sea level on the crest of the hill, and the 45-year-old vines. Today, they are the only Barolo producer to bottle a single vineyard wine from this cru.
A traditional Barolo, 15-20 days of fermentation and maceration at 31-33°C; aged in oak barrels for about 30 months and left to mature in bottles placed in special dark, cool cellars for about a year.
The 2015 Parussi is bursting with lovely juicy, wild forest fruit and grenadine notes underpinned by an intense, mineral freshness and fresh walnut-like tannins. A beautiful Barolo that closes with a super long, mint-and-lavender-and-cherry-scented finish.
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.
Dark-berry, spice and dried-flower aromas that follow through to a full body, tight and integrated tannins and a long and vivid finish. Very compact and polished. One of the best Parussi I have tasted from here.
MONICA LARNER - WINE ADVOCATE
This wine was not made in 2014, when this vineyard site in Castiglione Falletto was hit by not one but two violent hailstorms. Thankfully, the 2015 Barolo Parussi comes from a trouble-free growing season and has resulted in one of the best expressions of the cru made by Massolino thus far, with the first vintage produced in 2007. This site sees a unique soil profile, with sand that is much richer in organic materials compared to the estate's historic vineyard sites. The terrain enjoys two exposures because the vines are planted over the crest of a hill. Harvest comes later here, as well, because the growing cycle is slower and Parussi is one of the last parcels to show beautiful leaf color in the autumn. Thanks to all those extra variables, the winemaking team has a little more to play with in order to achieve complexity and integration. In our progression from least to most powerful single-vineyard wines tasted, this was the third wine in the lineup. Indeed, this wine offers more "grasso" or body weight and volume. Dark mineral tones make for an elegant finish. However, the tannins are very young and need more time to soften. This is your proverbial cellar wine.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Deep-coloured with slight purple tints, this wine has a lot of ironstone mineral notes as well as floral and both dark and red fruit aromas. It's a very full-bodied, densely-packed, powerful Barolo with masses of tannin, very firm and very long in the mouth. A massive wine of great potential. (45 year-old vines in Castiglione Falletto. Altitude 300 metres. Iron-rich, silty 'blue' clay soils on a vigorous site.)
ANTONIO GALLONI MW - VINOUS
The 2015 Barolo Parussi is the most powerful and immediate of the Massolino 2015 Barolos. Dark cherry, plum, lavender, menthol, spice, tar and licorice fill out the wine's ample frame effortlessly. In this range, the Parussi is also the Barolo that most clearly shows the natural richness of the year, and it does so to great effect. Plush, sensual and inviting, the 2015 will drink well with minimal cellaring, although time in bottle will only help.
WALTER SPELLER - JANCISROBINSON.COM
Castiglione Falletto. The 1.5-ha (3.7-acre) vineyard was initially rented in 2006 with the first vintage being the 2007; it was acquired in 2010. Franco Massolino is considering shorter maceration on the skins to get more elegant tannins in the final wine. 'Are you afraid to make a Serralunga in Castiglione', I ask? ‘Perhaps’. Youthful mid ruby. Savoury, almost rich fruit nose. Juicy acidity and supple fruit and gritty, long tannins on the palate. Very different from their Serralunga Barolos. 17+ / 20 Points.