A wiry, diminutive woman with her father's protruding Roman nose, thin lips, and strong jaw, Maria Teresa Mascarello projects confidence and could probably get pretty scrappy in a fistfight. In the early 2000s, Maria Teresa decided that she needed to learn winemaking from her father in order to run the family estate. She's brought that resolve to her winemaking, and the results have been beautiful. Since taking over the Mascarello estate in 2005, Maria Teresa has run it with unwavering adherence to her father's iconoclastic traditionalism, and every vintage the wines grow better and better.
Today, I'm very happy to present the 2011 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo. It's a gorgeous wine, complex and strong and nuanced--a lot like Maria Teresa herself. The past handful of years, I've tasted each new Mascarello vintage and I've thought, "This is the best one yet." And then the next one somehow surpasses it. Maria Teresa's delicate touch makes great wines in hot vintages, and 2011 threw a lot of heat at Piemonte. While other winemakers were challenged to make wines that felt fresh and alive, this Mascarello '11 Barolo dances like a ballerina. It's simply extraordinary, and I can't wait to see what Maria Teresa does next.
Two more exciting wines round out today's offer. First, there are perfect, pristine magnums of Conti Costanti 1997 Brunello Riserva. 1997 was a benchmark warm year--a lot like 2007, if that comparison helps--and this wine takes you on a rollercoaster ride between its sweet fruits and its brooding, dark, savory notes. If that's your thing, you'll love this Brunello. Second, Chablis is the ultimate summertime wine, and William Fèvre makes masterful Chablis. This 2013 Chablis Vaulorent will put a classic, cool touch on your 2016 summer fun.