94 Vinous - Dark red cherry, plum, rose petal, lavender and spice notes emerge from the 2015 Barolo Massara. Rich and textured in the glass, with striking resonance, the Massara captures all the best the vintage has to offer in its enveloping, radiant personality. Even with all its obvious richness the 2015 remains vibrant and full of energy. It is also one of the more complete wines I have ever tasted from Castello di Verduno. Underbrush, menthol and dried flowers add the closing shades of nuance. What a gorgeous wine this is.
The Castello di Verduno, owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco, is a beautiful old building at the top of the village of Verduno, on the edge of the Barolo zone. The Castello di Verduno wine label unites two cellars, one under the castle in the Barolo zone and the other near the famous 'cru' Rabajà, in the Barbaresco area. Wines are produced in Barbaresco and bottled and stored in Verduno. All wines are vinified traditionally by Mario Andrion, the talented young enologist who took over the cellar in 2000.
Verduno is one of the least well-known villages in the Barolo zone, but it contains one of the very best vineyards in the whole appellation, Monvigliero. The soil here is called Marne di Sant'Agata, composed of clay and sand with a high proportion of limestone, and the vineyard forms an amphitheater facing south. These qualities give the wine grown here a combination of power and finesse that is the equal of any Barolo, and the fully traditional winemaking technique espoused by Mario and Franco allows the innate quality of this vineyard to fully express itself in wines that are, as Mario says, 'elegant, perfumed and exceptionally long-lived'.
The Massara cru is slightly south of Monvigliero, but it shares the same Marne di Sant'Agata soil that is prominent in Verduno. Mario Andrion says the following of Masarra, “Brilliant ruby red color, broad and savory aroma of fruits and spices: pepper, preserved fruits, cherries, time, geranium, violet. On the palate, the wine shows freshness and fine tannins, and a long finish.”