1996 Massolino, Barolo Riserva, Rionda (RT97) Bought on release, this was a very difficult wine to source at the time, nearly impossible to find in the stateside market. I stumbled onto a supply and bought everything they had, all 18 bottles worth. This has been a very tight, shy wine until the last couple years, when it has slowly emerged from its long, deep sleep. Undoubtedly the finest bottle I’ve yet opened, the 1996 Rionda Riserva is one of the outstanding wines of the vintage, showing well from the first pour. Followed over the course of three days, the fruit is pure power, showing a deeply ripe, perfectly delineated profile built on sweet, red cherry, balsam and a classic ferrous Serralunga note. The palate moves toward seamlessness with extraordinary balance and a finish that goes on forever. A stunning bottle that is still on the upward climb! Highly recommended. Drink now–2036+