As we end this tour of Piedmont we come to my two favorite producers. First we arrive at Guiseppe Mascarello, a traditionalist who might even be doing something that are perhaps considered technically incorrect, and whose wines can be among the most deceptive, reticent, and frankly disappointing during periods in their youth but given time these wines explode with complexity and richness. These are terroir wines, very much of their place, and in the case of Monprivato are made from one of the few grand Cru vineyards in the Langhe. The track record established by Monprivato is an enviable one and the fact that the wine is produced in relatively large quantities, for the region,means that this world class wine remains affordable. I can't stress enough how fantastic these wines are and how they remain great values. Other vineyards also have produced some amazing wines, though with less consistency. The 2008 Santa Stefano is a knockout, as was the 2006 Villero.
2008 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Villero - Castiglione Falletto
Freshly opened bottle
Tight and clay driven on the nose, which also features aromas of rosehips, hot tar, fennel and wild strawberry. This is a pretty powerful wine, deep round and balsamic with very clear, lovely minerality, balsamic and floral highlights to the rusty red fruit all coming together in a light tight finish. There’s a beautiful ripeness to the tannins here with a little baking spice on the moderately long finish. This is decisive and elegant. 93pts
2008 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Santo Stefano – Monforte
Freshly opened bottle
25 to 27 days on the skins, aged in 30HL to 35HL botte depending on quantities.
Dark slightly minty and slightly herbal carob tinged wild raspberry fruit greets the nose followed by deep rosepetals and a little thistle. Powerful and dry on entry with superb acidity supporting raspberry fruit with a hint of red plum, pomegranate , and some rust notes on the transparent mid-palate. The finish is long, powerful and austere with a nice herb tinged spiciness to it. There might be a touch of alcohol showing on the finish but this is exceptionally well balanced and complete. 94pts
2008 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato - Castiglione Falletto
From a bottle open for 24 hours
Gorgeous nose filled with small strawberry and lingonberry fruit topped with intense rose petal aromatics, a little almost cinnamon sweetness, a hint of hazelnut nutella and a nice dusting of talc. Bright and decisive on entry with soft tannins gently supporting almost sweet wild strawberry fruit. There are accent notes of rust, macerated flowers, and a hint of spice here all presented in a clear and tense style built upon lovely acidity. This exhibits length, purity and elegance, with such such clarity on the palate. It is a classic in the making. 94pts
2004 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Riserva Monprivato Ca d'Morissio - Castiglione Falletto
Herb stem notes and limestone greet the nose followed by tart fruits, watermelon rind, salami, hanging game, and an incipient truffle note. This is tense in the mouth and showing a bit of density but remains wildly transparent. Elegant and with the sneaky power of Mascarello, this is a tough stage to be trying this as it’s chewy and long with tons of tightly packed sweet fine grained tannins leading to a long mineral laced and woodsmoked topped finish. This is just beautiful, but it does need 20 years. 95pts
2003 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Riserva Monprivato Ca d'Morissio - Castiglione Falletto
Big fruit on the nose but it's fresh, lightly smoky, broad, and sweet with dried orange rind notes, and hints of earth and rosewater. Very front loaded in the mouth with a round feel and nice mineral cut leading to a mid-palate that shows acids that seem a touch low. This is fairly classic with good complexity but this shows a little simple today, though with excellent freshness and power through the rich, tannic finish. This still has a lot in reserve. 93pts