You are probably now well aware that the 2016 Barolo vintage is one of the best ever from this captivating region with fantastic wines to be found across virtually every village and price point. Today we are thrilled to introduce a brand new rising star to our portfolio from one of the greatest iconoclasts of Piedmont, Armando Parusso. The 2016 vintage is unquestionable proof that his tireless efforts have led to some spectacular results, including earning the top spot amongst the Bussia Crus with a brilliant 96+ Points from Galloni, who asserts that it, “brings together all the best elements of his style and year in a wine that is simply brilliant. Sweet floral notes, dark red fruit, mint, blood orange and spice infuse the 2016 with myriad layers of complexity.” This is a wine that will endlessly delight over the next several decades, which is why we are delighted to able to offer it today for the price of £360 per case of 6 IB.
Parusso is thought to have been one of the pioneers of the movement towards “micro-zoning soils” based on the individual nuances not only of each single vineyard but also within each individual plot in order to allow every characteristic of the terroir to shine through. While each of their three single vineyard sites were outstanding in 2016, the Bussia was our unanimous favourite for its purity and endless depth of flavour and aromatics. Winemaker Marco Parusso is well known for his constant pursuit of excellence and the somewhat radical methods he has pioneered in order to coax the very best juice possible out of the fickle Nebbiolo grape. Antonio Galloni of Vinous underlines the enormous potential still waiting to be discovered here, “Parusso continues to make deeply personal Barolos that are among the most intriguing wines in the region.” In 2016 he has crafted wines with superb concentration and finesse such as with their 2016 Barolo, a harmonious blend of their three single vineyard sites in Mariondino, Mosconi and Bussia. Of this excellent introductory cuvee, Galloni proclaims, “The 2016 Barolo is a terrific example of the year,” awarding it an exemplary 92+ Points, as well as receiving 94 Points from James Suckling who highlighted its, “ripe and decadent red with so much depth and richness”. Today we are privileged to be able to offer it to you at the release price of £175 per case of six.
History of Parusso
The evidence of the birth of the Parusso estate can be witnessed in a still existing contract outlining the purchase of a parcel of “Mariondino” by Gaspare Parusso in 1901, which he then planted with the Nebbiolo grape to sell to friends and local cooperatives. In 1971, Gaspare’s son Armando began to recognise the potential in these Monforte d’Alba vineyards and so he began bottling his own namesake wines, which the estate stays faithful to today. Armando eventually passed along the reins to his son Marco in the 1990s which is when the true innovating began at Parusso.
Marco Parusso “A Barolo Iconoclast”
Marco began by eliminating conventional chemicals in the vineyard and dramatically reducing the production yields as well as modernising the winery and cellars. He chooses to harvest as late as possible before allowing the fruit to rest for several days in a ventilated room at ambient temperature before being crushed. This was apparently the technique employed by the Romans in order to allow the grapes to “relax,” softening the tannins significantly. All of his single vineyard Barolos are fermented with wild yeasts and 100% whole bunches, which although is becoming more and more commonplace in Burgundy once again, is still considered very unusual in Barolo. A maceration of up to 50 days follows before being pressed and moved into new oak barriques with the addition of sedimentary lees, an essential technique which he feels balances any potential oxidising effect of the barriques.
Marco cites pioneers of Barolo such as Domenico Clerico, Alfredo Roagna and Aldo Conterno as his inspiration and today it is apparent that they in turn welcome him into their esteemed ranks as a fellow peer. His Monforte neighbour Giacomo Conterno, winemaker today at Aldo Conterno, has previously stated in the Wine Spectator’s profile of Parusso, “Marco’s techniques are very unusual but smart […] In this moment, many Barolo producers are saying that the tannic structure and aromas of Nebbiolo could be more complex. And people are looking more and more to the experiments of people like Marco.”