MCF Rare Wine

Walter Massa - The Master of Monferrato
In the pantheon of wacky, lovable and brilliant winemakers, Walter Massa occupies a space of his own.

Based off his wild, showman personality, you may think that you're about to taste a funky, quirky set of wines, but the truth is the exact opposite.

He's a character, but his wines are benchmarks...period...

I've told the story of my visit with Massa multiple times in this newsletter, but if you'd like to revisit it, CLICK HERE.

In the Monferrato, he is the most highly regarded producer and, once you've tried mature examples of his wines, it's very obvious why...

...not just because they're such good drinks, but because he does things with Barbera, Croatina and (most especially) Timorasso that many never thought was possible, or at least worth pursuing.

Boy, did he prove them wrong.  In fact, I think it's completely fair to hang the uptick in adoration for Timorasso over the last 20 years squarely on his handiwork.  Were it not for Massa, and his flat out brilliant expressions of this most singular grape, Timo would probably still be languishing in obscurity.

If you're the one reading this and saying to yourself, 'What the H is Timorasso?', then you are in for a treat.

Today we have his flagship Derthona Bianco 2022, and his utterly mind-bending single vineyard Derthona Montecitorio 2021, both of which are 100% Timorasso, 100% delicious, and 100% Massa.

The baseline Derthona offers all of the waxy, oily, citric, mineral, cheese-y brilliance you can ask for, with Massa's signature richly-textured profile, and this beauty will age gracefully for 3-5 years easy.

The Derthona Montecitorio will blow your mind.  Not sure how else to say it...

...and that's while it's in this glorious, fresh, youthful state right now.  

Having had bottles of this wine that were up to 20 years old, I can tell you that, if the young version will blow your mind, tasting a mature one will make your brain go supernova.

It gets all wooly, nutty, spicy and waxy, yet the mineral, floral, high-toned electricity ratchets up further, as well.  This is about as good as aged white wine gets.

Then we, of course, have his Barbera Monleale in two already-maturing vintages - 2015 and 2011.  His Monleale is a big, rich, powerful expression of Barbera, decidedly less edgy and focused than one from the Langhe.

As it ages, however, this insane depth of flavor and nuance continues to emerge.

And, when I say 'continues', I mean it...

...the 1978 Monleale might be the greatest Barbera I've ever tasted...

So, yeah, if you have another 35 years to let this 2015 continue to chill out in your cellar, you might be able to have that same experience.

I don't know what else there is to say, other than you must buy these wines.

So... them...

Derthona Bianco 2022
Derthona Montecitorio 2021
Barbera Monleale 2015
Barbera Monleale 2011

You may order by calling 212.255.8870.

Matt Franco
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011

Looking for a wine you loved from a past newsletter or a favorite you can't find anywhere?  Email Raphael at, and we'll do our best to find it for you!