MCF Rare Wine

A 'Newbie' with 140 Years of History

It's always easy, with a hallowed appellation like Barolo, to think that everyone's been discovered already - especially the ones who've been producing Barolo since 1880.

But, there you have it..., I'd like to talk about a fantastic producer of delicious, old-school Barolo whose family can trace their roots back for something like 500 years in the village of Cherasco in the NW part of the Barolo zone.  Their monopole of Mantoetto is the source for all of their Barolo fruit.

And they've never been imported into the US!

To learn a lot more about Fracassi and the history of Barolo, listen to Levi Dalton's podcast interview with Umberto here - it's a gem.

 I guess that will also free me up to do what I do best, which is talk about how the wine tastes...

...and how this 2013 Barolo Montoetto  tastes almost presents me with a bit of a dilemma.  What I mean when I say that is because this wine is so elegant, yet simultaneously so friendly at such a young age, I can easily talk my way into a place that will leave you thinking this isn't as serious a wine as it actually is.

I'll put it this way - a wine of this profile (so friendly and generous and seemingly ready for the stage from the get-go) would seem to clash with its style (traditional, elegant, earthy, haunting).

So I guess that's the situation, but don't fool yourself into thinking that isn't a wine for the cellar, because it absolutely is.

When you first pull the cork, were you to pour yourself a glass and judge it on that, you'd probably say to yourself 'what the H is he talking about with the 'friendly' and 'generous'?'

But after some good air time (preferably uncorked for a few hours), the somewhat curmudgeonly nature eases up and the dark, tarry, elegant Nebbiolo fruit comes out of hiding.

2013 is a vintage where, for the most part, you either made a very classic, super restrained wine with a very firm backbone that will take a long time to come around or you made a bigger, denser, more polished wine that will carry the tannin and show well right out of the gate.

This '13 Mantoetto was the outlier, though.  It's a perfectly restrained and classic wine, but it has perhaps the finest tannins of any of the old-school Baroli that I've encountered in 2013 and, consequently, you have (again, with ample air) the showiest traditional wine in the vintage.

The subtle, haunting Barolo nuance glides across your palate like a Langhe fog.  But lurking deeply underneath all of the wistful flavors are those very fine tannins that remind you that you're dealing with a serious wine that will happily take up cellar space for years to come.

Welcome to the USA, Signore Fracassi, I'm glad we've finally met...

Matt Franco

MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street
New York 10011