Focus on: Bartolo Mascarello, Barolo

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-03-14


2007 £1,300 per 6 WO Score 96

2010 £2,100 per 6 WO Score 100

Bartolo Mascarello Bottle

Bartolo Mascarello is one of the true legends of Barolo, think Rousseau or Roumier in Burgundy terms, in case you’re not familiar with the ‘Knights of Nebbiolo’. And if that’s still confusing, think Liverpool (Football Club), but I would say that, wouldn’t I? In fact, to be drawn against Juve tomorrow morning could easily inspire a trip to Piedmont, with a bit more than hazelnuts to look forward to! I digress…

Maria-Teresa Mascarello took over from Bartolo, her father, in 1993, the estate having been founded in 1918. Beautifully simple in its creation, the wine is a blend of four of the top crus, or vineyards and has been consistently and spectacularly successful for decades.

Market price versus score

In the charts above and below we have compared various well-regarded vintages of a similar era. These vintages are very good and very scarce, two of the most important factors for investors as they are squirreled away by the canniest collectors and prices have been rising. They are still a fraction of their Burgundian cousins however and we have no issue with recommending a buy, particularly the ’07 and the ’10, the cheapest relative value bets here:

Barolo Relative value score

Tasting notes, courtesy of Vinous Media:

2007: Mascarello’s 2007 Barolo shows just how compelling this vintage can be, even now. Sensual, layered and totally voluptuous in the glass, the 2007 shows the more flamboyant side of Barolo. I find the wine’s voluptuous, engaging personality impossible to resist. Sure, 2007 is not a classic vintage, but when a wine is this good, I say: Who cares?

2010: The 2010 Barolo is one of the most striking, hauntingly beautiful wines I have ever tasted here. Mysterious and slow to show its cards, the 2010 impresses for its inner perfume, sweetness and exceptional overall balance. Today the striking fruit and classic, austere elements of the vintage take turns in dominating the wine's balance. The 2010 was always magnificent in barrel. It is equally spectacular from bottle. Readers who can find the 2010 should not hesitate. Ideally I wouldn't dream of touching a bottle until age 15 or so, although I doubt I will personally have the discipline to follow my own advice!

The 2007 is the cheaper option from a classic vintage and the 2010 is the turbo charge version from the all-conquering 2010 vintage. Both are recommended.


Monfortino event with A. Galloni and R. Conterno.

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-05-16


What was truly historic about this tasting was that every wine served was from magnum. Since Monfortino was not bottled in magnums every vintage (Roberto's father shied away from larger formats because they had to be hand-bottled) this tasting was of EVERY Monfortino vintage EVER bottled in mags.

The magnums all came from a collector in Italy, known to Roberto, and acquired by Antonio some time ago. Theoretically, because the wines have been stored in exactly the same conditions since release, what you were therefore tasting is the vintage differences, with the exception of the 1970 which was made from bought-in grapes as was the custom of the time. Cascina Francia was bought by Roberto's father in 1974.

The flights were arranged thematically. This was an inspired choice, with warmer vintages grouped together, cooler shades, modern day classics etc.

The magnums were decanted 4 hours in advance of the start of the dinner.

The wines were poured in advance of each course arriving, so that the wines could be tasted alone and with matched dishes.

Monfortino

Flight 1: To Start

Served with crispy chicken thighs and charred lettuce.

1988

Ripe, expressive nose, sweet and pronounced pepperiness. Pale brick rim, limpid ruby core. Really thick glycerol. Grippy and bright, with a persistent citric thread. Mouthwatering finish with tertiary leafy notes.

An hour later a bit loose-knit.

1993

Cool nose. Pure creamy fruit, subdued pepper, orange brick rim with a deeply coloured core. Fresh, intense fruit, orange zesty, progressive cedar notes. A little closed on the mid-palate then blooms into a very long finish.

An hour later rich, confit, firm and excellent.

Wine of the flight.

1995

Sweet nose, elegant, fruity and floral. Pale pink rim with orange tinge. Fluid, integrated palate, crystalline and precise.

An hour later, very complete. Grippy, heady fruit, masculine.

Flight 2: The warm vintages

Served with a layered Foie gras terine, pomegranate, sauternes gel.

1990

Warm pepper nose, powerful and spirity. Translucent rim. So young on the palate, with an amazing entry that is grippy with thrilling acidity. So young.

An hour later less grippy but still super-fresh and exciting. Another decade?

1997

Very overt nose; subtle blueberry notes followed by macerated cherries and summer pudding. Blueberries on the entry, texturally dense with a lifted mid-palate, mouthwatering. Vivid fluid palate and finish. Very expressive yet fine.

An hour later, nose has calmed down beautifully, stunningly layered palate with floral notes. Wine of the flight.

1998

Creamy nose, white pepper, liqueur. Pale orange rim, shining ruby core. Warm entry, a little less precision than the preceding wine, softly spiced fruit, confit aftertaste and a vibrant, fabulously driven finish.

2000

Rye bread nose, spirity, herbal and fresh, with pinot-like undertones. Pink-tinged, strawberry-coloured core. Supremely elegant palate, soft yet dry. Aside from the nose, you would never guess this was the product of warm vintage.

Flight 3: cooler shades

Served with beef Fillet Tataki, pickled onion and something called Wakame.

1987

Rich, heady nose, deep colour, pink tinged rim. Energetic and intense, dramatic yet elegant. Floral mid palate, powerfully and progressively builds to an endless finish. Perfect balance.

Wine of the flight (head)

1996

Not a good bottle sadly. Oxidative Bovril nose, fresh and mouthwatering , sherbet finish, short and un-knit. This was the better of the 2 bottles opened apparently, the first being corked (not served).

2002

Sweet, perfectly poised nose of red and soft fruits. Reminiscent of pinot within the strawberry flavor spectrum. Sweet, gentle pastille fruit. Very long. Beautiful and one for burgundy lovers. Adorable.

Wine of the flight (heart)

2005

Macerated fruit nose. Savoury notes with grippy cool tannins then dark brooding fruit with a sour twist to the mid-palate, before pushing on to an enduringly deep but firm finish.

An hour later, perfectly resolved.

Flight 4: the epic vintages

Served with cannon of lamb and lamb belly, cauliflower pureé and lentils - a masterpiece.

1970

Very alluring savoury nose. Surprisingly deep colour. Slightly gamey, intense and powerful, complex and perfectly poised. Flavours contained by the evident structure of the wine. The wine sings properly with the lamb.

Wine of the flight.

1982

Saline nose, faintly oxidative before it blows off then pure sweet fruit. Slightly volatile, very bright sexy fruit, very intense confit character lifted by a powerful freshness.

1995

Darkly fruited nose, very pure. Translucent scarlet colour. Such a lovely balance. Grainy palate. Elegant, deeply veined fruit.

1999

Primary nose of pure fruit, edgeless. Primary colour with the merest hint of a maturing rim. Stuningly defined, intense but balanced fruit. So refreshing. The ultimate food wine and a future monument for 10-20 years hence.

Future icon of the night.

Flight 5: modern day classics

Served with cheese.

2001

White pepper nose, pure and pale rimmed, limpid ruby, pretty medium weight.

2004

Ripe, fleshy and overtly fruity nose. Deep colour, purple-rimmed. Structured, powerful, grainy palate.

2006

Peppery, fruity, fresh cool nose. Classic form. Very pretty ruby colour. Glycerol drenches the side of the glass. Stunningly pure, linear fruit

Wine of the flight.

Monfortino


2 records

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