2016 Mario Marengo Barolo Bricco delle Viole (750ml)

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy

B-21 Top Recommendation
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This is the kind of unbridled juice I cannot get enough of. Unquestionably of the utmost historical importance, the Marengo family's generations of winemaking in Barolo have been handed down – proudly documented – since 1899. That was the first year a Marengo Barolo was bottled in the family cellars in La Morra, and annual production numbers remain virtually unchanged. Now solely managed by Marco Marengo since the passing of his father, this estate is most accurately described as the finest garagiste in Piedmonte; low yields, from pristine, small holdings, never quite enough wine to satisfy the overwhelming demand from a global clientele. A manic attention to detail runs through every bottling which bears Marco's signature, including and especially into his personally prized bottling of Bricco delle Viole. Vintage in, vintage out, this bottling is sought out by Barolo enthusiasts who know the Marengo style and who doubly appreciate the insane level of value this particular Cru can offer. Brunate, with its muscular and dense concentration balances on a fine line of precision unequalled in Barolo. Mario Marengo has just over 3 acres and makes 5,000 bottles per vintage. Let's say that Marengo is intimate with Brunate. Marco Marengo has dedicated himself to fulfilling the potential of his Brunate plot since his father Mario's passing a decade back. 2016 is classic expression for great Barolo sites like Brunate.


Speaking from the heart, this is probably my favorite wine from M. Marengo. The 2016 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is a wine that always stands out in my tastings thanks to its very special bouquet. I am reminded of flowers, with hints of rose hip, lavender and, of course, violets, after which this cru site is named. Fruit comes from a one-hectare plot in the comune of Barolo at about 420 meters above sea level (a slightly higher and cooler site). You can almost taste the cool, calcareous soils here thanks to those delicate and fragile aromas. This 2016 vintage offers a bit more power and density, and that floral signature is slightly downplayed in favor of red fruit and wild berries. This vintage offers just a tad more concentration and darkness, with the textural tightness that beckons for many more years of cellar aging. With time, those beautiful fruit flavors will become more relaxed and polished. There's that hint of crushed white pepper again, which we saw in the classic Barolo. It pops up in this wine like a little sparkle at the very end. Some 6,100 bottles were made.

96 points, Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Jul 2020)

Wow. Fantastic purity of fruit and ripeness with sweet strawberries, white pepper, limestone and dried flowers both on the nose and palate. Full-bodied with layers of fruit and firm, chewy tannins. Very transparent wine. Needs two or three years to soften. Try after 2023.

96 points, James Suckling (Sep 2020)

11 bottles in stock. Ships in 1 to 2 business days.

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