Italian hill town obscured by fog

~ Nebbia (Fog) from which the Nebbiolo grape takes its name, rises over Barolo ~

Monforte and Mosconi; the two names are linked.  They both represent sheer and utter power.  Some of Piedmont’s most dramatic wines are born on the slopes of Monforte d’Alba and the Mosconi Barolo from Parusso is no exception.

The history of the Parusso’s begins as far back as 1901.   It was then that the family discovered an old document which overwhelmed them with emotion.  The document was about the property transfer of the Mariondino “plot”, the first vineyard bought by Gaspare Parusso, the current owners Grandfather.  When I caught up with winemaker Marco Parusso, he told me,  “We think that everything that goes forward started at that precise moment in our history.”   And that’s certainly not a bad start.

For what is essentially a young winemaking lineage, the brother and sister team of Tiziana and Marco Parusso farm some of the best vineyard sites in Barolo including Rocche, Mosconi, Bussia, and the aforementioned Mariondino.  In total, 22 hectares provide the fruit for the Parusso’s wines.

Old Italian family in black and white photo

~ The Parusso Family in 1901 ~

The Parussos are highly attentive to quality and reflect that in their production philosophy.  “First of all, we are a family of farmers, and the respect for our territory is fundamental in order for us to build a perfect symbiosis with the vineyards.”  To this end, the family employs green manure methods, avoids chemical fertilizers and allows grasses to grow naturally between vine rows. Harvest is done by hand after severe green harvesting in July that reduces their Nebbiolo yield to about one kilo per plant.

Mosconi sits in the southern part of the Barolo zone, just east of Monforte d’Alba.  The vineyard soil is rich in mineral and tufo and has excellent southwestern exposition.  Barolo from Mosconi is typically fragrant, minerally, and firmly structured for aging.

Map of Barolo wine region

~ Map of the Barolo zone. The Mosconi Vineyard is denoted by the green patch ~

Today we’re discussing one of the latest releases from Mosconi, the 2008.  It’s been almost 4 years since I’ve retrieved one of these from my cellar and the wait has clearly paid off.

Sourced from a vineyard with vines approaching 60 years of age, this Barolo is a deep ruby at its core but gradually fades toward the rim of the bowl.  The aromas lift effortlessly from the glass. Lovely cherry, fennel seed, menthol and mushroom notes combine in harmony.  As pretty as it smells, the “strut” of this wine is on the palate. The core of cherry flavors is punctuated with orange zest and fennel. However it’s the subtle power that you notice. The structure, the lovely tannins laced with powdery minerals, and the balanced acidity that keeps everything fresh and lively.  Still, there’s grip here. Delicious now, we had it paired with braised short ribs, but it can safely cellar if you prefer softer texture in your Barolo. I love this now. 95 points. Great value around $45.

Want to find this wine? Go here: Wine Searcher.


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