Gianluca Grasso calls the vineyards Gavarini and Ginestra his “brothers”. Even though these vineyards are within a stones throw of each other, Gianluca’s “brothers” are far from twins. They are incredibly different and every year manage to show off the entire spectrum of complexity and flavors possible in Barolo. In my tasting experience, 2016 is Gianluca’s finest.
The only way to get a sense of these Grand Crus is to lace up your hiking boots. It’s a million dollar view from the top of Gavarini, The medieval castle of Castiglione Falletto to the left, Conterno’s Cascina Francia to the right and the ever present Alps always in the distance. One handful of Gavarini’s chalky sand speaks volumes about the incredible tension and crackling minerality in the finished wine. A quick walk through Ginestraloads your boots up with the calcareous clay the lend power and length that wine has become famous for.
The 2016 Grasso Baroli perfectly balance the fine line between fleshy, layered fruit and mineral, stony structure that will allow these wines to age gracefully for decades. 2016 was just about as perfect growing season as any Piemontese can remember, early bud break, a long, even growing season which extended maturation well into November. These are wildly complex, aromatic wines, with intense fruit and perfectly resolved tannins that give the prodigious length these wines will become legendary for. The critics agree showering Gianluca with giant scores that will just about guarantee these wines will disappear from the marketplace in a flash. Don’t miss them.
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96+ points, Antonio Galloni- Vinous
The 2016 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is a vibrant, massively tannic, austere wine, the likes of which I have never tasted here before. Vertical and explosive in the glass with tons of pure power, the 2016 Gavarini Chiniera is a gorgeous Barolo that is going to need a number of years to be at its best. Swaths of tannin wrap around a core of sweet red cherry fruit. White pepper, mint, orange peel and floral notes develop a bit later, but the 2016 remains reticent and inward, with brilliant acids and tannins that dominate today. The 2016 is a striking wine, but it is going to require considerable patience.