MCF Rare Wine

Elio Grasso 2016


Back in January, which I may as well refer to as another time and place, Gianluca Grasso, Elio Grasso's son, was in town for the Festa del Barolo, and stopped by to show me the estate's highly anticipated 2016s.


At the time, we were all worried about the potential for the tariffs to be extended to all European goods, which would've roped Italian wines into the fold, possibly doubling them in price. 


My how our concerns change...


Anyway, what I was struck by while tasting these two Baroli - the Ginestra Casa Mate and the Gavarini Chiniera - was, first and foremost, how delicious they were, but also how seamlessly they combined the intensely-focused structural elements that are so characteristic of Nebbiolo with the otherworldly clarity and elegance that it can achieve as well. 


So far, the hallmark of 2016 is exactly that - the wines are very structured and will be very long-lived, but they also have a sense of transparency and precision that you get only in the rarest vintages.  For me, the closest recent equivalent is probably 2001, and, coming from me, that's as high as praise will get. 


There was also a feisty-ness to both of them at the very edges of the finish, something that endowed them not only with that structure and clarity, but also great energy and life.  I can see both of these wines retaining a beautiful sense of freshness as they age, which will only serve to highlight all the wonderful nuance that's waiting to be unlocked over the coming years. 


In short, I was really psyched about both the Gavarini's chiseled, aromatic and taut sandy/limestone expression and the Casa Maté's broader, richer, more textured clay/limestone feel. 


I knew there'd be tons of enthusiasm for both of them. 


'How much can i get?' I asked. 


'For now, I can offer you X...' answered my Rep. 


'Okay, thanks.' I said, trying to contain my disappointment.  'If anything changes and more becomes available, let me know!' 


So I quickly sold the cases I was offered through a few personal emails. 


Sometime shortly after that, the world flipped upside down. 


Well, just the other day, I heard about 'more'...a lot more, in fact. 


So, here we are, with two of the most celebrated wines from a vintage that, under normal circumstances, would be the hottest thing on the market right now...and they're available IN QUANTITY.


These days, it's not often that I can say to everyone on the list that they can and should go cases-deep on wines of this stature and acclaim and, most importantly, deliciousness...but, you should go as deep as you want...


Since these are wines that would've normally been sold to restaurants, I've decided that a portion of every bottle sold will be donated to the Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation's Covid-19 Relief Fund


So, have at it.  Someday, long in the non-Covid future, you can crack these gorgeous Baroli in remembrance of what we lost, what we accomplished, and...hopefully...what we learned. 



Barolo Gavarini Chiniera 2016

Barolo Casa Maté 2016


$5 from each bottle sold will be donated to RWCF's Covid-19 Relief Fund.


You may order by emailing or calling 212.255.8870.


Matt Franco

MCF Rare Wine, Ltd

249 West 13th Street NYC 10011