Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Maté 2011
Full-bodied and intense, this delicious wine opens with aromas of woodland berry, star anise, chopped herbs, underbrush and a whiff of light oak. The firm palate doles out ripe black cherry, licorice, sage and chopped mint alongside big, velvety tannins and fresh acidity.
The 2011 Barolo Ginestra Casa Matè sees a fresher quality of fruit compared to the Barolo Gavarini Chiniera. Vines are picked at slightly lower altitudes and harvest starts a few days earlier in this vineyard. The wine reveals an elegant and streamlined bouquet with lively tones of wild berry, spice, white truffle and balsam herb. The complexity here is very enticing indeed. I also appreciated the quality of tannins. They are silky and structured without feeling harsh or astringent.
The 2011 Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Matè has retained greater freshness than the Gavarini. At the same time, the flavors are dark, bold and intense throughout, with gorgeous balsamic-inflected overtones that add nuance. In 2011, with sugars mounting, Gianluca Grasso chose to pick the Ginestra before the Gavarini, which is not the norm here. As a result, the tannins are a bit dry and austere by today's standards, although in prior decades plenty of Barolos were made with tannins that weren't fully ripe. However, the flavors retain gorgeous brightness, tension and energy throughout, all of which makes me think the 2011 will come together over time.
This is packed with sweet cherry, plum, tobacco, tea and spice flavors. The ample tannins come into play as this unfolds, remaining balanced and refined. Approachable now, but should be better in two to three years. Best from 2018 through 2030. 1,800 cases made, 400 cases imported.