Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello 2015


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Italy2015Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello

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Italy2015Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello

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Tasting Notes

This gorgeous wine has heady aromas of violet, rose, baking spice and ripe, red berry. On the smooth, juicy palate, taut, polished tannins support succulent red cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and wild herbs. It’s already delicious and accessible but will also age well for years to come. Drink through 2035.

Score: 98Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, January 2020

A positively stunning wine, Maria Teresa Mascarello's 2015 Barolo is very clearly one of the wines of the year. This is the first vintage to incorporate fruit from a parcel in Bussia next to Mascarello's Dolcetto and Freisa that takes the place of San Lorenzo, which was recently replanted. Rich and soaring in the glass, with stunning textural intensity, the 2015 dazzles from the very first taste. Silky tannins give the wine tremendous near term appeal, but the 2015 also has the depth and pedigree to drink well for many years and decades to come. Orange peel, mint, crushed rose petal and anise add classic shades of Nebbiolo nuance to this striking, deeply expressive Barolo. 2025-2055

Score: 97Antonio Galloni,, February 2019

Until 2014 the blend was made from grapes grown in the crus of Cannubi, San Lorenzo, Ruè and Rocche dell’Annunziata, but this vintage sees the exclusion of San Lorenzo due to the fact that the 60-year-old vines of the vineyard were extirpated because of uneconomically low yields. It was left fallow, and only sown with pulses to fertilise and regulate the soil structure and to allow the vineyard to rest. Twenty old vines were saved by digging them out, keeping them in pots and replanting in the vineyard after two years. Only half of them survived. To compensate for the temporary loss of volume they used Nebbiolo grapes from a tiny 0.24-ha (0.6-acre) plot in the Monrobiolo di Bussia cru. Bartolo Mascarello also has a holding here, but one that is planted with Dolcetto and Barbera only. The adjacent tiny plot planted to Nebbiolo was offered for rent by its owner for a period of 20 years. ‘I tried to buy it, but it proved impossible.’ 35 days on the skins. Lustrous mid ruby. Precise, concentrated cherry nose with great depth. The same precision and concentration on the palate and with a succulent finish with plenty of polished, long-lasting, clayey, sweet tannins. (WS) (Drink between 2020-2032)

Score: 17.5Walter Speller,, November 2018

Maria Teresa Mascarello remembers the 2015 summer as being very hot, so hot it was hard to get restful sleep at night without air conditioning, especially from the end of June to the first week of August. Temperatures dropped at the end of the season in time to maintain lively freshness and acidity. That interchange between hot and cool contributed to a very successful vintage and steady fruit ripening. Her 2015 Barolo is a tad more accessible overall, with dark and luscious fruit that emerges beautifully from the bouquet. Only the Rue vineyard, one of the blending components for this wine, saw a decrease in yields because of powdery mildew, which can be a problem at that site instead of downy mildew (which is avoided because this vineyard benefits from more winds and breezes). This is also the first vintage in which the San Lorenzo vineyard is not included in the blend. That site went offline in 2015 because the old vines were removed, the earth was left to rest for two years and the site was replanted in 2017. These young Nebbiolo vines may go to a Langhe Nebbiolo wine in the near term, although a final decision has not been made yet. So, to recap, the vineyards used to make this edition are Canubbi (this estate prefers this traditional spelling rather than "Cannubi"), Rue, Rocche dell'Annunziata and Bussia (Monrobiolo). A tiny part of fruit from a site in the Barolo township called Nelso is also added (otherwise planted to Dolcetto and Freisa). The wine is put together with amazing precision to offer beautiful fullness, freshness and balance from this textbook growing season.

Score: 95Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (243), June 2019

The 2015 Barolo is outrageously beautiful. Best of all, it will drink well with minimal cellaring. Rich, sumptuous and super-expressive, the 2015 is such a showy and expressive wine. Bright red cherry, red plum, blood orange, mint, star anise and dried flowers are all given an extra kick of textural richness in this flashy, exceptionally ripe Barolo. I loved it. 2025-2055

Score: 97Antonio Galloni,, February 2020

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