June 27, 2020 - On the nose the wine was a bit closed off, but what was there was gorgeous with black cherry fruit, violets, licorice, dark floral tones, and sweet baking spices. On the palate, the texture was soft and inviting with minimal perception of tannin, with plenty of sweet dark red fruit and spices, complemented by a high acidity level. It is a young wine and this showing suggested it is not yet ready for the prime time, and if anything I believe this was a bit more closed off than my last bottle (2018). But I loved the fruit profile of the wine, the sweetness of the fruit on the nose and palate, and the texture which was very elegant with remarkably refined tannins.
June 7, 2020 - Another wonderful bottle. Still quite young and in need of air. Such a complex wine on the palate. Silky elegant with a lengthy finish.
June 7, 2020 - Still just a baby with everything I love about Bartolo going on here. A stellar wine
June 1, 2020 - Striking, cool-toned aromatics include blackberry, tar, rose, and mixed spice. Beautiful, silky dark fruit coats the mouth, full throttle but with little sense of weight, offering excellent persistence. Ripe acidity but still a bit of grip to the tannic structure. While for my tastes Bartolo Mascarello's 2008 is sufficiently open to offer plenty of pleasure today, this should continue to soften for several more years. Excellent.
April 11, 2020 - For my taste, this is open for business but there's certainly no rush, either. Great color, solid ruby, not totally transparent, and no orange or bricking yet. Nose is heavenly from the moment of uncorking to first whiff of decanter and in the glass hours later. Essence of Barolo with the cooler vintage coming through with tons of class. In the glass, I got violets, cool, damp rose, black tar, really high-pitched green notes of mint, eucalyptus, some tobacco, and earthy, soil driven characteristics, touched by a hint of smoke that made me think of embers. Very small hint of VA initially, blew off with air (opened bottle ~2PM slow-o, then decanted ~5PM for 3+ hrs with windows propped open while dinner braised). Palate is silky and almost pinot-like in its seemingly light-weight structure before the great rush of acidity and very fine yet powerful tannins cascade and persist while melting slowly to confirm the nobility of nebbiolo. There is just so much impact in the mouth without much weight. A slight suggestion of iron/blood clamping down on the palate that matched the soil driven aspect of the nose before leading to a ping-pong of red scents and savory salinity. I thought of the phrase 'rose mineral' long after there was no wine in my mouth. Finish was so long and kept glowing in the mouth. A real beauty that made dining inside seem like a meal outside. Absolutely no rush and no doubt will improve, but certainly resolved enough on the nose and palate to not feel like infanticide. This felt more polished and a better showing than the 2004 I had a few months ago. I only gave it a 96+ because it likely needs some headroom to get even better with my imagination reaching higher, but if I were construing solely based on what it provided me tonight during a quarantine dinner--this was already perfect and everything you could expect from a great barolo. Absolutely no regrets opening this during quarantine.
March 25, 2020 - beautiful wine with dark fruit and great length
February 29, 2020 - Too young to consume this beauty, decanted at least 3 hours to drink, ruby color and medium body with complex aroma, with high acidity to be aged longer.
February 16, 2020 - Brilliant. This is what reminds you what nebbiolo is capable of after you have had a run of ones that are too young, too austere, too tight, too tannic, or too expensive. Everythin is in a great position -- sappy red fruit with a streak of balsamic backed by a firm backend structure. The tannins are still there but enhance the acidity rather than detract from the fruit.
I wish B Mascarello was still affordable but if you have the resources to spend $250+ on a wine, this is as good as many grand cru Burgundy and first growth Bordeaux. And I keep looking for the next Mascarello at under $100 and nothing is even close.
January 26, 2020 - Consistent to my previous note. It is difficult to envision a smoother, sappier and more aromatic Barolo than this. Harsh Nebbiolo tannins, not here. Drank this in company with a series of Burgundies and everyone like it a lot. Drinking well now, can age further. Wonderful.
April 14, 2019 - Comparative Tasting of B. Mascarello Barolo and G. Mascarello Barolo Monprivato (Dig Wines, San Francisco): Deepest, most saturated color of the flight. Somber, backward, cooler green profile. Medium weight, fairly fluid entry that is quickly closed down by sneaky acidity, minerality, and a dry, tannic finish. Classic and uncompromising, this needs more time.