The Azienda Agricola Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio, named for Mauro’s great grandfather who started the firm in 1881, produces wine in typical Piedmontese style, which is to say that there is a complete line-up of wines that range from basic bottlings of all the main local varieties, as well as single vineyard examples.
The undisputed star here, and one of the greatest wines of Piedmont, is the Barolo from the Monprivato vineyard, which was originally purchased by Mauro’s grandfather. This is classic Barolo; it's slow to mature, incredibly coy in its youth, often looking far too pale and seeming far too frail to amount to much.
Mauro is always striving to improve on his wine, whether by slowly adjusting maceration times for the wine, or painstakingly selecting the best genetic material to replant the vineyard, the efforts have always been and continue to be focused on producing the purest example of each varietal without leaving too much of a winemaker's mark.
These are all wines that speak as much about their vineyards as they do about the grapes used to make them. The truth is that that hands off approach taken by Mauro, and increasingly by Giuseppe as he slowly takes over more responsibility in the winery, is not without risks, but they are risks worth taking. They seem to have resulted in a long line of exceptional wines, though every now and then a wine fails to meet the lofty expectations the Mascarellos have created for themselves.
This year’s line-up had a few misses among the wines, but the greatest wines of Giuseppe Mascarello continue to be among the best in the world. While prices have been creeping up for these bottles, and in particular for the Reserva Ca d’Morissio, the Barolo Monprivato continues to be one of the world’s greatest wine values.
Read the wine reviews, after the jump.