Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On Bartolo Mascarello Barolo and wanting to like stuff

Until quite recently, I had never tried a wine from Bartolo Mascarello. An egregious omission in anyone's drinking experience, it was recently corrected when I happened across a bottle of 2005 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo for a very decent price at work. Looking forward to finally having the opportunity to taste this Barolo, I also began to question my ability to objectively drink it. In other words, this has the potential of being one of those "I really should like this wine" type of wines.

These days I feel sufficiently independent and experienced to determine a wine's quality most of the time, and more to to the point to determine whether or not I like a wine. In this case, though, I think that I wanted to like the wine because of the elaboration itself: long skin maceration, ageing in very well used botti, nothing more than natural temperature control, a slow and patient, old-fashioned elevage. These are things that I have learned I often like in wines.

Away from method, and the reassuring feeling of validating one's taste, the most important lesson I took home here is that 2005 Bartolo Mascarello is a delicious wine. Generous, soft for a young Barolo, and really expressive with tiny berry fruits and minerals which shift place in prominence on day 2 (i.e., minerals followed by tiny berry fruits). I imagine the 05 Mascarello will be very tasty for another decade, during which time I want to drink a lot more of this and find out for myself.


Steven Alexander said...

Hey Joe- Glad you had a chance to check out some BM. I think the 05' is a great introduction vintage too: while they are "lighter" than other vintages, 05' tends to be very forward and drinking well right out of the gate in Barolo. Bartolo Mascarello wines are often a bit closed aromatically out of the bottle, which is why I recommend around 2 hours of decanting and then they turn into a whole different animal. In fact, you can throw as much oxygen as you like at BM and the wines only get better. It's not so much the tannin issue here (the wines are rather supple and generous), but rather fruit and aromatic development.
P.S.- Love the blog and congrats on your engagement!

Joe Manekin said...


Thanks for reading, for the kind words and the comments. Good points on both vintage and the fact that Mascarello wines really do respond well to the oxygen. I look forward to drinking more of these.

Hope things are well with you.