Minimum purchase 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 or more & $6/bottle for 6.
Our tasting impressions
This is Sergio's masterpiece. A gorgeous nose with deep, dark, mineral-inflected fruit. Angular, generous, round, rich chewy and intense. The tannins are present but not intrusive. Firm and tight on the finish with lots of substance. Even better than the excellent 2011. It manages to be big and elegant with emerging finesse on the finish. Enjoyable now with air but there is incredible potential for the future. Stunning wine! Introduced by noted Italian wine expert Gregory Dal Piaz.
About this wine
Sergio makes this wine only in the best vintages. He uses only his best grapes from Bricco Rocca, from highest on the slope and that get the most sun exposure. His techniques are the same as his grandfathers: small tank fermentation for the Nebbiolo, but with a production level of just about 900 bottles, there is no other option here. Punch-downs are by hand with no temperature control. It’s a very simple process and one that yields a remarkably pure and unfettered example of Barolo. The wine is aged for 2 years in steam bent barriques, to prevent the addition of toasty oak flavors and aromas.
He named it Fico (fig) for the single fig tree that sits in the vineyard . His parents kept the tree because it provides shade to maintain some water in the vineyard in the summer. Most of the vines are almost 70 years old with others added in 1975 and 2000.
About the grape
Nebbiolo, the name believed to be derived from nebbia, Italian for fog, is a grape with one of the most protracted maturation cycles. It buds in early spring and ripens late fall (when the winter nebbia from the Alps reaches the vineyards).
Nebbiolo vines tend to grow upwardly with abandon, so management is essential to limit grape production and channel energy to them. They also are very particular about where they will thrive, which is why Nebbiolo is seldom found outside of Piedmont. Even there, it only is successful when planted on south facing slopes (much sun is needed for ripening), at elevations between 250 and 450 meters (lower there is too much frost exposure, higher the grapes won’t ripen).
Wines from Nebbiolo usually are pale-colored, high in acidity and very tannic. Common flavor descriptors are rose and tar. They tend to be highly aromatic.
About the vintage
Heavy rain in the winter and spring delayed fruit development and ultimately resulted in late October harvests - at least 2 weeks later than typical. The vintage was more than redeemed by a summer of very hot days but cool nights. This is an excellent, classic vintage with sweet, rich-fruited wines.
On your table
I would wait to enjoy this but if you want to take a bottle for a test run sooner rather than later, this would be perfect for classic osso buco with risotto alla Milanese.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
Sergio Molino is a highly respected consulting enologist in Piedmont and throughout Italy. This success emboldened him to resurrect his own family's farm and to produce wine from his own vines. The picturesque vineyard sits just below the church of Annunziata.
The Molino family vineyards, bottled under the Ernesto Molino label, as homage to Sergio’s father, lies within the Barolo commune of La Morra, at the base of the hill that leads up to town, just across the border from Castiglione Falletto. Locations such as these, low down on a slope, were considered less desirable but with global warming, the cool air that settles here at night now helps to moderate the heat and add freshness to the wines. Being lower down on a slope also helps alleviate hydric stress (when plants release more water than they absorb) - part of the double whammy climate change is inflicting on Piedmont.
Sergio has a delicate touch in the cellar, preferring to allow the vineyards to speak for themselves. With only a single Barolo vineyard, and a total of just 2.5 hectares under vine, his is a true micro-winery. His wines are distinct, traditional expressions of Piedmont’s grapes, produced with a technical precision honed over decades of consulting work. His tiny quantities of unique wines are an insider’s secret because Sergio is too busy to promote his own wines and is careful not to outshine his clients.