MCF Rare Wine

Bright, Shiny and Structured - Bovio's 2016 Barolos


Lucky you...


The long-awaited 2016 Baroli are starting to arrive.   


What I mean when I say 'lucky you' is two fold -


One - you're lucky because these are indeed fabulous wines, that are full of classic Barolo character and are endowed with all the elements that will allow them to improve for decades. 


Two - you're lucky because, at least for today, you get to hear me stop pestering you about how much you're missing out on by passing on the '14s and '15s. 


So, all that said, yesterday afternoon, I was excited to receive Matteo Franchi from the Bovio estate, as he poured their imminent 2016 Barolos. 


The wines were everything I expected - elegant and bright (as always), with tremendous clarity and a finely detailed profile. 


In other words, they were classic Bovio, providing one of the greatest demonstrations of the purity that Barolo can achieve, alongside its natural structure, of course. 


Without getting into the weeds regarding how 2016 stacks up versus other great vintages, I'll just say that these 2016s are wonderful, there's no arguing that.  And tasting them alongside two other recent vintages (2013, 2015) did serve to offer an even clearer view of what 2016 has to offer.   


And it has a lot to offer. 


Bovio are regarded by some as 'drink-soon' Baroli, and I definitely understand that take, but as any of you who've bought any of the older vintages I've sold in the last few years (especially from 1998, which was thought of a 'drink-soon' vintage) know that Bovio's wines do just fine over the course of a couple of decades...getting even more lovely and elegant as they go. 


In a vintage like 2016, which is most certainly not considered a vintage that you need to 'drink soon', they'll be more than happy to wait their turn in your cellar...even if it's a rather long wait. 


So, without further ado, the long awaited 2016 Barolo make landfall in the form of these three gorgeous wines from one of my all time 'sleeper' producers. 


BOVIO 2016


Barolo 2016 

The 2016 is another flat-out lovely Normale from Bovio, and is probably the best young example that I can recall.  As usual, it's a perfect 'snapshot' wine, so to speak, as it showcases a very balanced expression of their sites in that perfectly elegant Bovio style.  As much as he likes the single-vineyard wines, Matteo will tell you that he prefers Barolo in the classic sense, where a blend of the different sites produces a more complete expression of the style.  The pillar of structure that's present at the center of this bright beauty is broad and seamless and will power it for nice long time, though my guess for its sweet spot window is sometime around 2028. 


Barolo Gattera

The Gattera, hailing from the clay-soild Cru of the same name in La Morra, is definitely the broader/richer of the two.  There's fantastic texture to the palate here that envelops the muscular profile nicely.  Throughout, though, the Bovio-ness still shines through, with precise aromatics, lovely bright fruits and an overall elegance that balances the structure of the vintage perfectly. 


Barolo Parussi 2016 

With its standout red label, the Parussi is absolutely beautiful.  The Silt/Limestone character of the soil provides the wine with a racy, supple profile and electric aromatics.  The fruit is decidedly bright and red and the wonderful minty/flowery nuance that lurks in every cranny carries it seamlessly toward the very focused, finely mineral backbone.  Like the other two, it's going to be very tempting to tap into in the early years, but I can't wait to see the minty airy-ness to take over in the future.  Beautiful. 





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Matt Franco

MCF Rare Wine, Ltd

249 West 13th Street NYC 10011