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The Bartolo Mascarello Collection: 20 Historic, Remarkable Barolo Wines
December 18, 2018
A Note from Sergio

Cru wines like Scavino Rocche dell'Annunziata, Aldo Conterno Cicala, and Bruno Giacosa Riserva Le Rocche del Falletto represent some of the greatest expressions of Barolo. The advent of single-vineyard Barolo bottlings, launched by the likes of Beppe Colla of Prunotto and the Ceretto brothers about forty years ago, has had a profound impact on the wine's landscape, and wine-lovers have a lot of beauty to discover within each vineyard. However, to my thinking, the Holy Grail of Barolo is not a single-vineyard wine labeled Brunate, Cannubi, or Rocche dell'Annunziata. Rather, the pinnacle expression of Barolo is a very traditional cuvée from Bartolo Mascarello.

The grapes for this blended Barolo come from just 12.5 acres planted in the historic Barolo vineyards of Cannubi, Ruè, San Lorenzo, and Rocche di La Morra. From these acres, Giulio, Bartolo, and Maria Teresa Mascarello have protected Barolo's tradition; they never bowed to the new custom of cru wines, let alone the use of barriques. Paterfamilias Giulio may have rejected using négociant grapes and demijohns for fermenting during the mid 20th century, but little has changed since this estate was founded in 1918. Under Mascarello's philosophy, Barolo is a wine of patience, and there are no short cuts.

"No Barrique, No Berlusconi" became Bartolo Mascarello's anthem in the last years of his life. This man of unyielding conviction, who inherited his father's passions for both winemaking and politics, passed away in March 2005, but he raised his daughter, Maria Teresa, to be the future of Barolo's Old School. She has been producing the estate's wine for almost two decades, and every new vintage feels finer, more nuanced; I sense Maria Teresa's skilled hands in her Barolo, even as I can still feel those of her father guiding her. Bartolo Mascarello's door is still open at Via Roma 15, and its traditions are very much alive.

Today's eLetter has what I'm calling the Bartolo Mascarello Collection, twenty traditional, outstanding, enduring and timeless traditional Barolo wines made by Giulio, Bartolo and Maria Teresa Mascarello--it's a family dynasty of wine, and it is extraordinary!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence: The Age-Worthy Magic of Bartolo Mascarello
2. Wine Events: Upcoming December & January Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito
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Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2013 750ml
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2013 750ml
Price: $399.00

Even before its release Bartolo Mascarello’s 2013 Barolo was gaining buzz for its purity, finesse, and sheer, breathtaking beauty--the hype was not wrong. Fistfuls of radiant red berries mingle with licorice, mineral-laden earth, menthol, pressed herbs, violet petals, and kisses of spice and cola. This wine manages to feel dense and ethereal at once, shimmering across the palate with vibrant acidity, studding the cheeks with polished, fine-grained tannins. Finessed and elegant upon release, Mascarello’s ’13 Barolo has the framework to age for decades--time will reveal new intricacies and beauties in this stunning wine! Crafted as a traditional cuvée, Mascarello Barolo derives from just over twelve acres planted in the historic vineyards of Cannubi, Rue, San Lorenzo, and Rocche di Annunziata. This wine sports a very long thirty to fifty day maceration period, and it ages for about thirty months in large, very old botti. One of the great bottlings of the benchmark 2013 vintage, this Barolo is stunning--just transcendent. Just under 1,200 cases made. more info
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2007 750ml
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2007 750ml
Price: $449.00

Bartolo Mascarello is perhaps most aptly summed up with his anthem, “No Barrique, No Berlusconi.” As much as it’s a political cry, it also epitomizes this producer’s fierce adherence to tradition. Since Bartolo’s death in 2005, the estate has been in the hands of his daughter, Maria-Teresa, who continues the old-school traditions of large botti, blending across vineyards, and making Barolo for the ages. A Bartolo Mascarello Barolo is simply classic: feminine in its youth yet growing more massy as it ages, perfumed with roses and violets, extraordinarily finessed and ethereal, and replete with that Barolo magical mix of frutti di bosco, tar, and terroir. The seductive ’07 offers a juiciness that’s unusual for Mascarello, but its linear structure, nuance and extended finish show the skilled, loving hands of its maker. more info
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 1999 750ml
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 1999 750ml
Price: $579.00

This wine is the preservation of Barolo's historic past, which emphasizes the flavors of the local land rather than wood: delicate and enticing bouquet exquisite firm balance and noble structure. more info
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2004 750ml
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2004 750ml
Price: $649.00

All the hallmarks of a Mascarello Barolo unfold in the near perfect 2004 vintage. While the 2001 was about structure, and the 2003 showed approachability, the classic 2004 vintage offers noble structure marked by freshness and finesse. The wine’s expressive notes display delicate red fruit, violets and baking spices. The tannins are supple and the overall character is unmistakably Mascarello Barolo. Expect maturing of the 2004 vintage from 2013-2030. As you await further development, we recommend experiencing Mascarello’s style through some of the region’s purest expressions of Barbera and Dolcetto. more info
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo (Hand Painted Label) 1999 750ml
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo (Hand Painted Label) 1999 750ml
Price: $849.00

1999 was one of the great Barolo vintages of the twentieth century, and this ’99 from Bartolo Mascarello embodies the aromatics, structure and pure, ethereal grace of the year. Translucent Nebbiolo fruit rest on a bed of baking spices, potpourri, warm saddle leather, fresh-cut herbs and mineral-laden earth in this stunning wine. Wrapping the palate in a profusion of fine-grained tannins, this ’99 is an extraordinary effort from the late, great Bartolo, who passed away in 2005. Crafted as a traditional cuvée, Mascarello sources its Nebbiolo from just over twelve acres planted in the historic vineyards of Cannubi, Rué, and San Lorenzo in the commune of Barolo and from Rocche in the commune of La Morra. While Barolos deriving from these areas tend to offer great aromatics and elegance, few also have the structure and longevity of a Mascarello Barolo. Fewer than 1,200 cases crafted a year, and only a fraction are adorned with this special hand-painted “No Barriques, No Berlusconi!” label. more info
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 1968 1.5L
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 1968 1.5L
Price: $2,049.00

Wafting with dried rose petals, tarry earth, worn saddle leather, cigar wrapper, truffles, and pure Nebbiolo fruit, this ’68 Barolo from Cantina Mascarello is a delicate, rare encapsulation of time in a bottle. This fifty-year-old Barolo is ideal for connoisseurs of mature wine--it’s an ethereal, elegant wine that layers its youthful acidity with refined tannins, and complements its sweet inner perfume with tertiary notes of umami and tea. Offered in magnum, this wine’s large format has allowed it to age more gracefully and more slowly, making for an ideal drinking experience. Crafted by the late, great Bartolo Mascarello in tandem with his father, Giulio, this ’68 bottling is traditional Barolo at its best--blended from the estate's Nebbiolo vineyards in Canubbi, San Lorenzo and from Rué in the commune of Barolo--vinfied and aged in old oak botti. more info