2016 Mario Marengo Barolo Brunate (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.


The 2016 Barolo Brunate is the most Nebbiologgiante of these new releases from Marco Marengo. As you would expect of a wine from the Brunate cru, the wine opens to a dark, sultry and beautifully saturated color with red brick or crimson highlights. The bouquet follows the Nebbiolo playlist faithfully with bright aromas of dried cherry, dark fruits, plums, moist earth, licorice and savory tobacco. Whereas Marengo's other two Barolo releases (the Barolo classico and the Bricco delle Viole) offer a stronger floral signature with hints of white pepper, this Barolo from a one-hectare plot (with limestone calcareous soils at 350 meters above sea level) is focused on dark fruit, spice and leather. It also shows a significant tannic structure and dense fiber that arguably makes this a more important or full-bodied alternative. In short, there is considerably more power and strength in this beautiful wine, and it should hold in your cellar for 20 years or more. Only 5,000 bottles were made.

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

This is really something for the appellation this year with blue fruit, minerals, stones and oyster-shell undertones. Fresh rose petals, too. Full-bodied with a compact palate and chewy, powerful tannins that are tight and impressive. One for the cellar. Try after 2024.

97 points, James Suckling (Dec 2020)

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

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