Shoulder-to-Shoulder with Serralunga Greats
In 2012, Massolino’s coveted Parafada Vineyard yielded a staggering, majestic, age-worthy Cru Barolo. This tiny parcel of less than 3 acres in the hills of Piedmont’s Serralunga d’Alba region yielded a “sleek and racy,” “detailed and expressive” 100% Nebbiolo that earned 95 points from Wine Spectator.
Close to the famous Lazarito and Vigna Rionda crus, at less than 3 acres, the Parafada Cru is Massolino’s Romanée-Conti. Franco proclaimed it “the greatest of our vineyards” and we’re not going to argue. The vineyard has a perfect southern exposition, and is by far the steepest of the Massolinos’ plots. Planted in 1958, and under the Massolinos’ control since 1990, the vines eke out beautiful, tight-fisted berries, which yield cru Barolos of such profound individuality and immediate approachability they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Serralunga greats like Giacosa, Gaja, and Pio Cesare.
The Massolinos are traditionalists, aging their wine exclusively in old Slavonian oak casks, but Franco always aims to emphasize the beauty of Nebbiolo, and very much views the wines of Burgundy as an inspiration. He’s not afraid of picking his Nebbiolo well into November to achieve maximum fruit intensity — and Exhibit A is this “Parafada.”
If you want to experience this wine in its most perfect setting, enjoy it over the course of a long meal next to several other wines, especially with Champagne to start, as is the Piedmontese custom. The 2012 “Parafada” is a masterpiece — delicious in its youth, but primed for decades in the cellar.