Exclusive offer: 11/25/2022 — Black Friday Barbaresco and Legendary Barolo!

OFFER EXTENDED TO TUESDAY 11/29 due to the Thanksgiving holiday! First come, first served on all wines.

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Hi everyone –

Happy Black Friday 2022! We wanted to do something extra special for today’s offer, so we have an incredible range of Barolo and Barbaresco, including gems from Bel Colle, Marchesi di Gresy, Massolino, and one the greatest and rarest of them all: Bartolo Mascarello!

Why this week’s offer is unique and special

There are three reasons.

First, we’re covering a huge range of prices and availability. From “Welcome to Barbaresco” style and pricing (Bel Colle), all the way through to one of the rarest and greatest of them all, Mascarello. There is something here for everyone.

Second, these are all traditionalist producers, and some of the best to be found. “Traditionalists” in Barbaresco means less (or no) use of new oak barrels, longer skin maceration, higher tannins in general, and longer age-worthiness (though better winemaking techniques of the last twenty years allows almost all of these wines to be enjoyed sooner rather than later).

Third, I’m so happy to have wines from Massolino back in the marketplace and available in this offer. As you’ll read, this is a pretty important winery to me.

New(ish) to Barolo and Barbaresco? Watch this!

Here is one of the best little bits of wine education ever produced and put on the web. It’s from the Guild of Sommeliers, and it does a better job of explaining these regions than any other video out there. Many thanks to the Guild for putting it together.

Welcome to Barbaresco: Bel Colle

I have to admit I know very little about this producer. Their website is relatively vague and full of the normal “founded a long time ago by families that care” kinda verbiage. I’m sure they are awesome people, but I don’t have a personal connection to them. I obtained a bottle of this from the local distributor based entirely on price, for this is one of most affordable Barbaresco on the market right now.

And it was LOVELY!

Obviously traditional in style (dried tea leaves, rose petals, dried fruit, leather) in the aroma but with a super gentle and awesome mouthfeel. This is, dare I say it, GLUPABLE Barbaresco! And with a normal price of $50 a bottle, a steal in the category.

A personal favorite: Marchesi di Gresy Martinenga Barbaresco

Fate and personal connections have brought me to Marchesi di Gresy more than any other winery in Piedmont. It’s a spectacular place, with a top-level winery at the foot of the legendary Martinenga property (which is a monopole, wholly owned and controlled by Marchesi di Gresy).

Alberto di Gresy is the patriarch of the business, and someone I’ve spent a lot of time with. We first met at a trade event in Minneapolis in 2002. During a visit to Piedmont in 2012 he took me touring in the hills of Barbaresco in his Porsche convertible and we bonded over a mutual love of the music of Genesis in the early 1970s. He told me during that trip of his conviction that it’s important to stay the course, keep consistent (in wine style and in life), live well, and laugh often. Later in the evening, enjoying a truffle-filled al fresco dinner under the bell tower of Barbaresco, his laughter could be heard a block away.

This wine is, for me, the standard-bearer of Barbaresco. Mint and star anise abound, along with dried raspberry and exotic spices in the aroma. This is a beauty, and like the Bel Colle it has an immediate approachability though it will age gracefully for the next ten years. I love this wine!

Note: only 9 bottles are available.

The famed Martinegna Vineyard in Barbaresco, flanked by the legendary Asili and Rabaja Vineyards. This amounts to the trifecta of the greatest vineyards of Barbaresco.
Alberto di Gresy.
Me and Alberto, June 2012.

Rare and wonderful: welcome back Massolino!

My first trip to Piedmont, in May of 2003, was a turning point for me. Being there, meeting the families, tasting in the cellars, enjoying the foods … it all led to a lifetime of fascination about the region.

And during that trip we had some amazing visits to incredible wineries. One of the most impactful was Massolino.

Massolino, like Mascarello below, is a hyper-traditionalist, making wines that are true expressions of a place with little “hand of man” involved other than to move grapes and juice from one vessel to another.

They are located in Serraluna d’Alba, one of the cutest little hilltop towns of all of Piedmont, where the family established the winery ahead of WWII.

Giovanni Massolino. I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with the legend and his family.
Puppies at Massolino!
You might recognize my travel companion on this trip, Mike Thomas of Thomas Liquors in St. Paul!

From the importer’s website:

The first wine cellar was built by Giuseppe, son of the founder Giovanni, who, together with his sister Angela, extended his estate into the best soils. Giuseppe was also one of the founders of the Consortium for the Defence of Barolo and Barbaresco in 1934. At that time, Giuseppe had six children. Three of them, Giovanni, Camilla, and Renato, followed in their father’s footsteps, expanding the estate with the purchase of cru vineyards, which are authentic jewels: Margheria, Parafada, and Vigna Rionda. In the 1990s, Franco and Roberto, both oenologists, joined the family estate. Their work condenses the experience of an entire family and the ambition of a new generation, determined to make an important contribution to the innovation of oenological and agronomical techniques and to the image of the estate in Italy and abroad.


Massolino Barolo “Serralunga” 2018

48 bottles available.

This is the go-to wine for the winery, the standard-bearer. Serralunga is the charming town the family is based out of, and this wine is a blend from their many sources in the area. In fact, in 2018 the winery didn’t make ANY of their single-vineyard offerings, instead pouring all the fruit from their legendary holdings into this wine. THIS IS PHENOMENAL.

It’s also the wine, in the 2016 vintage, that was #7 in the world from Wine Spectator!

96 points Wine Enthusiast:

“In 2018 the estate didn’t make its cru-specific bottlings so the best grapes are in this straight Barolo. And it shows. It opens with heady scents of eucalyptus, pine forest, hay, new leather and lilac. Extremely elegant, the savory, vibrant palate exhibits red cherry, juniper berry and star anise set against taut, refined tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2024–2033.”

94 points James Suckling:

“Pure, yet savory, with a stony, mineral punch to the orange peel, strawberries and dried herbs. I love the clarity and the tautness on the palate, with elegant but gutsy flavors of minerals and fruit, together with firm tannins that show Barolo etherealness and power at the same time. Already approachable. Drink now or hold.”

Massolino Barolo “Margheria” 2017

Only 6 bottles available.

The Margheria Cru (in Piedmont, single vineyards are called “Cru”) is located in Serralunga d’Alba, which is well known for making the most powerful wines of Barolo. However, this particular Cru is on sandy soil (a rarity in the sub-region) resulting in an interesting phenomena: the most elegant wines of the most powerful sub-region. The vines are 38 years old, adding to the depth and complexity. This is great stuff.

96 points from Wine Enthusiast, Decanter, and Wine & Spirits.

95 points from Wine Spectator and Vinous.

“The 2017 Barolo Margheria is a compelling, multi-faceted Barolo loaded with personality. Sage, mint, lavender, spice, iron and red/purplish berry fruit grace this firm, classically built Barolo. This translucent, taut Barolo has so much to offer, but it also needs time to soften. Readers will find a terrific example of Margheria.”


Massolino Barolo “Parafada” 2017

Only 8 bottles available.

The Parafada Cru has more calcareous soil than Margheria, making for more structured and muscular wines. The 1.13ha plot of Massolino is over 55 years old and revered by the whole region.

When your neighbors are Rocche and Lazzarito, you know you’re in a good spot. This is the highest concentration of top-level vineyards to be found in Barolo. Image from La Dolce Vita Wine Tours.

97 points Wine & Spirits:

“…The 2017 Parafada is one of the wines of the vintage, its red-cherry flavors perfectly ripe, the acidity fresh and taut, the tannins firm and polished. There’s no trace of dried or overripe fruit here, the 55-year-old vines reaching into Parafada’s limestone soils to find water reserves from the adundant snows of the previous winter. Since the 2016 vintage, Franco Massolino has fermented his Barolos in large Garbellotto casks rather than in cement, allowing for longer and slower fermentations at lower tempatures to retain the delicate aromas of bright cherry and fresh florals that are expressed so beautifully in this wine. This is well worth seeking out, even more so beautifully Massolino will not produce any of his single-cru Barolos in the 2018 vintage, choosing instead to blend all of that fruit into his Barolo classico.”


Massolino Barolo “Parussi” 2017

Only 8 bottles available.

The Parussi Cru is located in Castiglione Falletto, the neighboring village to Serralunga and well known for powerful wines with loads of black fruit and licorice. It’s one of my favorite spots in all of Piedmont, right below the terrace at Vietti winery (where I always like to stop for a glass or three).

The Massolino holdings are just over 1.5ha in size, and what’s interesting is they have vineyards on both sides of the spine of the hill, as seen in this photo from their website:

95 points Decanter and Vinous. 96 points Wine Advocate, Wine & Spirits, and Wine Enthusiast.

“With fruit from Castiglione Falletto, the Massolino 2017 Barolo Parussi is a standout in this portfolio of wines mainly from Serralunga d’Alba. Thanks to its protective positioning at the center of the appellation where it draws upon the soils and exposures of the surrounding areas, Castiglione Falletto performs very nicely in a vintage that saw extreme weather with frost and drought. What the Parussi brings to the table is more focus and sharpness, with red fruits, crushed rose, cooling limestone mineral and some dried mint.”


The legend: Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2018

Only 5 bottles available. That’s the full allocation for Solo Vino.

The background on Mascarello is perfectly explained by the importer, The Rare Wine Company:

In 1990, Italy’s Noble Red Wines author Sheldon Wasserman called Bartolo Mascarello’s hand-crafted Barolo “the single finest Barolo made.” And in the years before his death, Bartolo was still considered a giant among barolisti—his wine a touchstone for those who prize the beauty of traditionally made Barolo.

For more than half a century, Bartolo Mascarello was a towering figure in the Langhe. From just after World War II until his death in March, 2005, he made consistently monumental Baroli—rich, supple, intensely aromatic and deeply colored—that have stood the test to time.

But Bartolo’s greatness as a barolista extended beyond making majestic Barolo. He was also the fiercest defender of the traditions responsible for creating some of the most profound and revered wines ever made.

Today, it is the wine world’s great fortune that Bartolo’s daughter Maria Teresa—who took over Cantina Bartolo Mascarello in 2005—makes wine just as her father did. In fact—while every bit as committed to her family’s methods and traditions as Bartolo was—she may have brought even greater elegance and consistency to the wines through her own subtle refinements.

Maria Teresa. Photo from Polaner Selections.

In the world of wine there are few brands like Mascarello, where the people and the history and the stories come together into a perfect fabric of perfection and reverence. Chateau Musar, Lopez de Herredia, Chateau Petrus, and Domaine Romanee-Conti comes to mind. And not many others.

This is extremely special wine, and many thanks to Solo Vino for letting us offer it here.

97+ points Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate:

 “This is a superbly delicate and carefully finessed wine that interprets the growing season with its alternating cold and hot intervals in an impeccable manner. The Bartolo Mascarello 2018 Barolo puts Nebbiolo and the vintage seamlessly together like lock and key. It opens to a beautiful drinking experience. The bouquet shows detail and finely tuned aromas of redcurrant, violet, rusty nail and blood orange. On the palate, this Barolo is so shiny and polished that it feels like silk. Without a doubt, this is one of the top wines of 2018. 97+ Points (ML)”



Producer’s website: https://www.mascarello1881.com/en/ (as old school as their wines!)

The Taste Edit: https://thetasteedit.com/legendary-barolo-producer-bartolo-mascarello/

Buying advice

This is obviously a pretty special offer. And the prices reflect that.

For great straightforward Barbaresco for drinking anytime in the next ten years, both of the Barbarescos offered will make you VERY happy. They are spectacular examples.

The Massolino Serralunga Barolo is a particularly great buy considering they didn’t make any Cru Barolo in 2018. All that great fruit went into this wine.

The single Cru Massolino are incredibly rare and very young and powerful. Plan ahead and don’t pop them until at least 2032.

And the Mascarello, it goes without saying, is simply legendary liquid that I hope everyone gets to experience at least once in their lifetime.

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education

Offer is open Friday at 3:00pm central until Sunday at 3:00pm central, or as inventory lasts.

This offer is closed. Thank you for your interest.

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