Parafada, Franco told me, was the first cru associated with Massolino, purchased by the family in 1955. Today the Massolino vines there are close to 60 years old. Parafada is located in Serralunga, in between the Lazzarito and Gabutti vineyards. Alessandro Masnaghetti, in his writing about Serralunga, has said that Parafada shares a lot of characteristics with its neighbor Gabutti, from altitude, to exposure, to soil type. There was a sturdiness to the Massolino Parafada 2006 that reminded me of some releases of Gabutti, and also of the Parafada from Palladino.
I asked if any Castiglione fruit might now make it into Barolo normale from Massolino, but Franco told me no, it would continue to be sourced only from Serralunga. A sample of the 2008 Barolo normale showed some of the compact structure that 2008 is known for. We also tried a 2007 Margheria from Massolino, from vines around 35 years of age. The wine expressed the soft red fruit and open knit tannins that you might expect from Margheria in a warm vintage like 2007.
Rionda, the famous vineyard in Serralunga. Massolino owns a sizeable portion of Rionda, with two parcels there and a sum of 2.3 hectares. Franco told me that while the vineyard is mostly calcareous, the orange tint that peaks through patches of the soil at Rionda is caused by iron in the soil, something that he feels lends backbone to wines from Rionda.
I inquired about the 2012 harvest, and Franco said it had been a short crop. A lot of the fruit had been lost at flowering, and where they usually do a lot of green harvesting at Massolino, less was necessary in 2012. He said that it was the opposite of an abundant vintage like 2004.
Until next time, Salute.