Robert Parker – 97
The Vignarionda in Serralunga d’Alba is measured at about ten hectares, and eight single-vineyard wines claim this provenance. Massolino counts a quarter of that total, making this estate the biggest landowner in Vignarionda. First produced in 1982, this is the ace in Massolino’s rotation, and the 2013 Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda is a true standout in the appellation. It is finer, more elegant and more compact than its peers, bringing a spicy personality that belies a profound and deep nature. It’s still tense, a little nervous and has some cellar time ahead of it, but this is a beautifully precise wine. This cru site is composed of sedimentary layers of sandy, yellow and ferrous marlstone that absorbs the moisture well. The soils are poor in organic substances, and therefore, the vigor of the plants is naturally reduced, as are yields, resulting in extra concentration and richness. Vignarionda also reaches phenolic maturity earlier than other sites, but that does not necessarily mean that it is the first of the vineyards to be harvested. The wine is aged in very mild oak in order to maintain the purity of the fruit and the robust tannins that come naturally to it. This is a real treasure for your cellar.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2050
Vinous – 95+
The 2013 Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda is a powerhouse. Not surprisingly, Massolino gave the 2013 an extra year in cask to soften the fierce tannins, but that may not have been enough. The 2013 remains potent and explosive in the glass, with searing tannins and tons of intensity. From time to time, Rionda aromatics emerge, but only with great reluctance. Readers will have to be patient with the 2013. I don’t see it being ready to deliver pleasure any time soon. The 2013 was stunning from barrel, and will likely be equally compelling from bottle…one day.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2041