Friday Feature 7/5/13: The Legendary Estate of Bartolo Mascarello

Hello and Happy Friday! 

How does one gain “legendary” status?


If you play professional basketball, you win six NBA championships like Michael Jordan.  If you are an actor like Robert De Niro, the public goes to the movies to seeyou, not to mention you win a couple Oscars.


So what about in the wine world?  Just like Jordan and De Niro, you have to show consistency by doing great work year to year.  You also become a legend in the wineworld by making a wine that everyone who loves that style seeks out with a cultish fervor.


In the world of Piedmont, Italy, and the hallowed vineyards of Barolo, there is a shortlist of legendary producers, and on that list are the wines of Cantina Bartolo Mascarello.


Small production and high demand have always made the wines of Bartolo Mascarello among the most difficultwines to access.  One other deterrent in the past was the previous importer of Bartolo Mascarello who made it nearly impossible to get the wines for various reasons.


The good news for all Perman Wine clients is that a new importer has taken over and while the wines are still very limited in quantities, we can expect to see small allocations on a yearly basis.


The wines will arrive in my store this coming Tuesday, July 9th.  I expect that they will sell out via the newsletter before they arrive to the store.  Fans of the great Dolcetto, Barbera and Barolo of Piedmont – email your order today!




The store is open this Saturday, July 6th from 11 am till 7 pm.


The store will close early this Wednesday, July 10th, store hours will be from Noon – till 4 pm.




Have a great weekend,

Craig & Sheb

Friday Feature 
Cantina Bartolo Mascarello

The late Bartolo Mascarello crafted long-lived, complex winesbased on certain ideals that were learned from his father and grandfather, as well as a life time of his own learning.  His daughter Maria Teresa has continued with the same mind frame, continued quality and attention to detail.


The basics of understanding the wines of Cantina Bartolo Mascarello start with knowing the terroir.  The small winery is located in the village of Barolo, and 4 of their 5 vineyard holdings are in this commune: Cannubi, Rué, San Lorenzo and Montrobiolo di Bussola.  The other vineyard, Rocche, is located in the commune of La Morra.  In total there are 5 hectares of vineyards, 4 of which are planted to Nebbiolo and the other for Barbera, Dolcetto and Freisa.


To really understand the wines is to understand the philosophies of Bartolo which have been continued by Maria Teresa.  Bartolo Mascarello was a firm believer in the blending of vineyards, as was customary in Barolo, but is less common today with the rise of single vineyard wines.


As the late ’80’s and 90’s saw an increase in more “modern” styles of Barolo with softer tannins and aging in French oak, Mascarello became increasingly outspoke, eschewing the usage of Barrique in Barolo and becoming famous for the celebrated statement “No barrique, Nor Berlusconi.”


While impossible to condense a lifetime of work into an introductory paragraph, it is important for anyone that loves the great wines of Barolo to try a Bartolo Macarello wine.  Those that already have will surely be placing their orders as we speak.


For more information on Cantina Bartolo Mascarello you can read about it on the importers website here.



2010 Bartolo Mascarello Dolcetto d’Alba


Dolcetto is sourced from Monrobiolo di Bussola and Rué, both in the commune of Barolo.  Grapes are hand-harvested, and damaged fruit is sorted out in the vineyard.  The two vineyards are fermented together in a large concrete vat for 8-12 days before transfer to untoasted, neutral Slavonian oak botti (between 2,500-5,000 liters).  The wine is aged in botti for around 8-9 months.


A gorgeous Dolcetto, with the bright cherry, floral and spice aromas.  Very juicy and high-toned, a Dolcetto for those who enjoy the varietal as a high-acid red to complement meats and meat-based pasta sauces.





 2010 Bartolo Mascarello Barbera d’Alba


The Barbera is sourced from San Lorenzo in the commune of Barolo.  Like the Dolcetto it too is hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyard.  The fermentation is also in concrete vat and lasts around 10 to 12 days.  Maria Teresa uses the same size barrels for the Barbera as the Dolcetto.


This is really pure, and delicious Barbera.  With a little time in a decanter the aromas show off lovely pure red berry notes of wild strawberry and raspberry.  The fruit is rich on the palate, but with really bright acidity.  Another wine for the table, if you have the patience to give it a couple years in the cellar you will be well-rewarded.





2008 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo


The legend – Bartolo Macarello Barolo is composed of Nebbiolo from 4 different vineyards: San Lorenzo, Rué, and Cannubi in Barolo and Rocche dell’Annunziata in La Morra.


All the grapes are co-fermented in concrete and left to macerate (with the cap of skins held submerged) after fermentation for 30-50 days.  The wine is then aged for 30 months in large botti.


Most wine folk like to discuss vintage quality.  Bartolo Mascarello Barolo is a produced in a style to highlight those “differences” in a vintage.  Here the debate isn’t about whether ’08 is more “classic” than ’07.  It’s about embracing each vintage as its own and enjoying it for what it has to offer.


The 2008 has a lot to offer.  It is a very well balanced wineboth in terms of ripeness and acidity, yet it also has the structure to last for a very long time.


I’m all for decanting and trying one now, but make sure you have some extra as it will drink best from 2018-2028.


One of Italy’s greatest red wines!




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