Tiny Production Traditional Barolo from a Modernist Master
Barolo lovers know that the incredible interplay of red fruit and floral aromatics, the fine delineation and captivating tension, the ripe black cherries accented by moist tobacco, all create a transcendent experience in these Piedmont beauties. One of our all-time favorites — the 2013 Silvio Grasso Barolo Turnè — is back. We’ve secured another 125 bottles of this tiny production gorgeous Nebbiolo from one of Barolo’s great modernists. The Turnè is a throwback to the way traditional Barolo used to be but rarely is these days. Don’t just take our word for it — James Suckling called this one “full bodied, layered and rich,” in his 95-point review. from an exceptional 2013 vintage in Piedmont. And Vinous’s Antonio Galloni RAVED about the vintage, writing that the 2013s are “thrilling, utterly captivating wines that speak to the pedigree and class that are the signatures of the best Barolo vintages.” None more perfectly captures this than today’s 2013 Turnè. Not to be missed by Barolo enthusiasts.
The Silvio Grasso estate in La Morra dates back to 1927, but when Federico Grasso inherited the winemaking duties from his father in the 1980s, he took the estate in a more modern direction. Grasso became synonymous with shorter macerations in a rotary fermenter, and a more forward-fruit attack, with aging in small and new French barriques to provide structure to his Barolos.
But after many years of this modernist approach, Federico began, in the 1999 vintage, an experiment in returning to the traditional winemaking ways as his grandfather would recognize them. He called it “Turnè,” a turning back to tradition. Fruit from the family estate, perched on southeast-facing hillsides just below the town of La Morra, was combined with the best bunches harvested from pristine single-vineyard sites from Barolo and Monforte d’Alba. Then the pressed grapes were allowed to ferment for 40 days in steel with indigenous yeasts, the caps being pushed down twice a day. Instead of small French barriques, the wine was aged two years in large Slavonian oak casks, then another year in bottle in the cool cellars below the Grassos’ La Morra home before release.
This traditional Barolo from one of Piedmont’s most celebrated modernists reached new heights in 2013, an exceptional vintage in Piedmont, a classic even on par with 2010.
The Grassos took full advantage of a prolonged growing season, with Federico and his son’s, Paolo and Silvio, postponing the call to pick until late October, and not finishing until the first days of November. The latest harvest in recent history made for both high natural-sugar levels and extraordinary acid balance. The tiny-production 2013 Silvio Grasso Barolo Turnè is an exuberant wine, traditionally crafted and remarkably age-worthy, showing abundant aromatics — ripe cherry, sweet spice, and dried rose petal — packed with sweet red fruits, black cherry compote, tobacco, and licorice.
Sharing wines like this is what makes our jobs as wine professionals truly fulfilling. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Editor-in-Chief, Wine Access