As of 2016, the Langhe Nebbiolo includes fruit from Monforte d'Alba as well as the traditional source in Serralunga d'Alba. The Cascina I Maschi vineyard lies really close to the border of the Barolo area where the soils are calcareous marls. Starting with the 2018 vintage next year, the blend will also see fruit from a vineyard in Alba on white soils. The Serralunga fruit comes from Massolino's younger Barolo vines--covering approximately 2 hectares. When these vines are old enough they will help produce the Barolo proper.
Like all Massolino Nebbiolo, it is aged in large Slavonian oak casks, although the Langhe only spends 12 months in wood, compared with the Barolo's 24+ months. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the style is like a scaled-down Massolino Barolo, one with more immediate fragrance and finesse and less tannin. It is crafted for early enjoyment. Built on perfume and finesse, it's a suave, fragrant, plum-and-lavender-noted Nebbiolo with the salty, chalky undertow that's so typical of Massolino and Serralunga in general.
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.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Medium to full red colour with a purple tinge. The bouquet is very fresh and floral, rose petals and violets. It's dry and savoury on the tongue, very approachable, and the tannins are mild. There is deeply-buried fruit sweetness here. The finish is dry but not too assertive. An outstanding example of the style. (This is essentially a young-vine Barolo. 100% nebbiolo, from vines in Serralunga and a new parcel in Monforte. Spends one year in large casks)
MONICA LARNER - WINE ADVOCATE
Massolino makes about 60,000 bottles of this wine every year and it sells very well. The 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo should offer that same value. This is an elegant, refined take on Nebbiolo, with bright and tonic fruit that just makes it a fun wine. The grapes used are from a selection of sites located in Monforte d'Alba and Serralunga d'Alba. Starting with the 2018 vintage next year, the blend will also see fruit from a vineyard in Alba with white soils. There's an easy structure to the Langhe Nebbiolo, a freshness and very bright appearance that area easy to love. For this one, see if you can get your hands on some Bra sausage.