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Silvio Grasso Barolo 2014

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    750ML / 0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    100% Nebbiolo grown in calcareous clay soils in La Morra. Fermentation lasts 10 days in stainless steel. The wine is then aged in 30-40% new French oak barriques for 24 months, followed by 12 months in bottle before release.

    Garnet red color. Very intense, elegant and fruity nose. On the palate, this Barolo is dry, austere, warm, tannic, fresh and intense -- showing good persistence.

    Pairs well with red meat, cheese and game.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Silvio Grasso

    Silvio Grasso

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    Silvio Grasso, Italy
    The Grasso family has been producing wine since 1927, but Federico Grasso only started bottling in 1980, and has "produced a bevy of sensational efforts over recent vintages" (Parker). His sophisticated, modern Barolos are particularly notable for avoiding excessive wood aromas; to this end, Grasso prefers to use large barrels rather than barriques for maturation, and uses less than 30% new wood even on his single-vineyard bottlings. The "Bricco Luciani", which is located just above Molino’s "Gancia" vineyard, is soft, generous, classic La Morra, while the "Ciabot Manzoni" was described as "Godzilla-like" by Parker, "multidimensional, compelling/prodigious... gigantic in scope and stature"; this wine was given 95 points for the 2004 by the Wine Spectator. In fact, all of Grasso's 2004 Baroli were awarded scores between 92-95 points. Dolcetto and Barbera also exhibit exceptional lushness and ripeness, with superb purity of flavors and aromas, and the "Peirass" (first released last year) is an elegant, ripe Nebbiolo without extended wood aging.
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    The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hills, is full of history and romance centered on the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

    There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

    On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.

    The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

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    Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

    In the Glass

    Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

    Perfect Pairings

    Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to Nebbiolo.

    Sommelier Secret

    If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

    RAE131002_2014 Item# 517123