1996 Massolino, Barolo Riserva, Rionda (RT96+) I’ve followed this wine with great interest since its release, having bought a case and a half at the time of release. It has never been a forward, easy to drink bottling. Rather, as it approaches 20 years of age it remains shy, compact and hard to get it to wriggle out of its structured shell. This was SO’d for half a day before sampling the first glass, where it revealed a lean and hard wine. Recorked and kept standing in the cellar, on day two it began to show its potential revealing a masculine, massively endowed, darkly fruited expression of Serralunga Barolo. It took until its third day to unfurl its inner magic, when it spiraled from the glass showing notes of black cherry, menthol, balsam and a ferrous quality I often associate with Rionda and other nearby Crus.  The balance is superb, while maintaining its’ distinctly 1996 character with high acidity, firm but velvety tannins, and a near weightless mouthfeel. If you’re opening this now and over the coming five years I highly recommend a double decant prior to serving, as this is a wine that needs ample oxygen to show its potential. Drink now-2040+