The King of Wines … From the Winery of a King
In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II, the King of Sardinia, boldly assumed the seat of King of Italy — a title which hadn’t been used since the 6th century. His hunger for power was matched by a thirst also marked by a nationalistic bent: He was a passionate adorer of wines made from native varieties like Nebbiolo and Barbera. He even founded his own winery, naming it after his mistress.
That winery, Casa E. di Mirafiore, thrived under his illegitimate son, becoming one of the region’s best known wineries throughout Europe. In the 1930s, it fell into bankruptcy. Only in the last decade, thanks to an acquisition by entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti, owner of Eataly, has Casa E. di Mirafiore reappeared on the world stage and begun to reclaim its former glory.
The winery is situated in Barolo’s famed Serralunga d’Alba, a region rich in limestone and grey marl soil known for producing some of Italy’s most age-worthy wines. There, winemaker Danilo Drocco hews closely to traditional Piedmontese vinification traditions, embracing long maceration and aging in large oak casks.
2012 saw a temperamental spring, with rain and cool weather beginning in April. May continued where April left off, making for an irregular fruit set. The sun really broke through in June, ushering in a month and a half of fine weather, accelerating the maturation cycle. Temperatures climbed through July and August, spiking as high as 100 degrees. Loose Nebbiolo clusters soaked in the sun, ripening at a gentle pace until being harvested in early October, yielding some of the plushest, most pliant Barolos in recent memory.
Wine Spectator didn’t miss a beat, pouring on a glowing 93 points and recommending aging this Piedmontese powerhouse for up to TWO decades.
Ruby-purple in hue, showing heady aromas of tar, blackberry cassis, and tobacco. Round fruit on the palate is beautifully bracketed by racy acidity, and buttressed by the smooth and persistent tannins so characteristic of Serralunga Nebbiolo. Drink now for its lively black fruit profile or lay this Burgundy-esque beauty down until 2034.
This wine should be going for a king’s ransom. Instead, WineAccess loyalists are getting it for a song. 93 points. $45 on release. A KILLER $34.99 … while it lasts. Shipping included on 4.