A late April frost in 2017 was followed by drought conditions from June until harvest, cutting yields at Massolino and, in the case of Parafada, reducing production from the usual 7,000 bottles to less than 5,000. Grab some of those bottles if you can. The 2017 Parafada is one of the wines of the vintage, its red-cherry flavors perfectly ripe, the acidity fresh and taut, the tannins firm and polished. There’s no trace of dried or overripe fruit here, the 55-year-old vines reaching into Parafada’s limestone soils to find water reserves from the abundant snows of the previous winter. Since the 2016 vintage, Franco Massolino has fermented his Barolos in large Garbellotto casks rather than in cement, allowing for longer and slower fermentations at lower temperatures to retain the delicate aromas of bright cherry and fresh florals that are expressed so beautifully in this wine. This is well worth seeking out, even more so because Massolino will not produce any of his single-cru Barolos in the 2018 vintage, choosing instead to blend all of that fruit into his Barolo classico. This wine was part of the consistently strong showing by Massolino in our tastings over the past twelve months, earning them a spot in our Wineries to Watch list for the coming year.
Imported by Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
This story appears in the print issue of December 2021.
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