Decanter’s Highest-Scoring Barolo Stole the Show
From history-making kings to captains of the industry to Masters of Wine to your humble correspondent, this perfumed and structured Barolo from the exceptional 2013 vintage earned 96 points at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Out of 17,200 wines tasted by 65 Masters of Wine and 20 Master Sommeliers, it is the highest-scoring Barolo. $50 elsewhere, $39.99 today from Wine Access.
You can’t tell the story of Casa E. di Mirafiore without crediting its founder: the nationalistic, wine-loving King Victor Emmanuel II, who in 1861 became the first king of unified Italy since the 6th century. The king adored native Italian varieties like Nebbiolo and Barbera, and founded his own winery in the Piedmontese commune of Serralunga d’Alba, known for producing some of Italy’s longest-lived wines from its marl and limestone soils. Picking up the mantle in recent years has been Eataly owner Oscar Farinetti, who’s given Casa E. di Mirafiore new life.
Is the marvelous 2013 vintage Casa E. di Mirafiore’s crowning achievement? Time will tell. But the signs are promising. Robert Parker rates 2013 as Barolo’s best vintage since 2010. James Suckling says the 2013 Barolos are more “refined and focused” and “consistent in quality” than even the excellent 2010s, possibly the best vintage since 2008. Antonio Galloni waxed rhapsodic about 2013’s remarkable “finesse and grace” and “sheer thrill factor.” Led by winemaker Danilo Drocco, who previously worked alongside Renzo Cotarella and Albiera Antinori at Prunotto, Mirafiore has reclaimed its former glory. See for yourself what all the fuss is about; join the ranks of the devotees of Casa E. di Mirafiore Barolo in a vintage we’ll remember for a long, long time.
Last year, not only did Wine Access clients snap up our first allocation, I bought six bottles and over the holidays paired it with my favorite dish, Julia Child’s poulet au porto, served after an hour of decanting and enjoyed for another hour as it really opened up. The Mirafiore stole the show; my family demanded I open a second bottle.
Cristaldi has worked in the wine industry for nearly a decade as a professional writer, critic, and educator. His published work has appeared in national print and online outlets including Food & Wine, Los Angeles Magazine, SOMM Journal, and many others.