Benevelli of Monforte
by Dixon Brooke
Massimo Benevelli is a member of Barolo’s “young” generation, which I would like to think means I could be included in the group if I were a winegrower in Barolo. He took over from his father Piero much earlier than he should have had to, and since then he has carved a worthy place for himself in the pantheon of Barolo traditionalists in the only way possible—hard work and lots of it.
Massimo’s Dolcetto is grown on a steep hillside right alongside his family home in Monforte d’Alba. His Dolcetto—an almost black wine with an intensely chalky backbone and meaty tannin—emphasizes structure above all else. It is as comfortable with the main dish as with the pasta course.
Traditionally, Massimo has aged his Langhe Nebbiolo exclusively in stainless steel tank, but beginning with the 2021 vintage he has begun to give it a few months in large oak cask as well to soften its edges a bit before release. Vintage 2021 is fresh, bright, and vertical, a beautiful expression of young Nebbiolo that can be enjoyed immediately.
The newest addition to Benevelli’s Barolo repertoire, Mosconi is one of the southernmost vineyards of the Barolo zone in Monforte d’Alba, surrounded by Ginestra, Le Coste, and Ravera di Monforte. Massimo crafts his most tender Barolo here, which to my palate recalls the cru of Bussia to the northwest. It is a pleasant reminder that there are many sides to the kaleidoscopic Nebbiolo grape, even within one small subzone and one cellar—the differences lie hidden underground and only reveal themselves through wine!