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Over many years, certain vineyard sites in Barolo country have consistently stood out for their ability to produce superior wines. While soils in the Langhe hills are fairly consistent, with variations of marl, the crucial determinant here is exposure, as proper ripening depends on abundant sunshine during the growing season. The steep Ravera cru of Monforte d’Alba faces south and southeast, ideal for capturing maximum rays throughout the day. From an early age Massimo Benevelli helped his father, Piero, farm these vineyards, and he has now fully taken the reins of the family estate. He follows traditional practices, aging the wine in large casks to make deep, powerful Barolos built to age. This 2013 comes from a classic, balanced vintage in which bright acidity and tightly knit tannins provide a firm structure while a floral, spicy, fresh-raspberry perfume seems to soar from the glass.
|Vineyard:||Planted in 1960, 2 ha|
|Soil:||Grey and white marl|
|Aging:||Aged in second-passage barriques for one year, then in 10-year-old oak botti (40 hL, 20 hL, and 15 hL) for 15 months, aged 8-10 months in bottle before release|
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch