Barolo Monprivato 1989, G. Mascarello
Intens ruby farge med mørk kjerne og vandig kant. Henger på glasset, tung og intens nese av sorte, mørke og fullmodne kirsebær. Det som slår deg er den gode konsentrasjonen, en enorm superlang 60 sekunders + ettersmak. Dyp nese som utvikler seg fantastisk i glasset, solmoden cassis, nesten bordeaux`s i snittet med elegante solide og integrerte tanniner. Tror denne vinen har drukket bra fra dag en og vil drikke fabelaktig i 20 år til. Etter 20 minutter i glasset utvikler den mere klassiske nebbearomaer, fra cassis til nype, rose og fjærlette strøk av tjærebåt. Men etter 10 minutter igjen lukter det Cote Rotie, Napa og Bordeaux ! For en vin ! En universell vin, en vin fra alle verdens hjørner, her kommer kvalitet framfor terroir. Dette er den beste vinen jeg ha smakt fra Piemonte, slår den beste Bruno og den beste Giacomo ! 97-99 poeng
Even though the Mascarello winery went through a period of obscurity, I always find it fascinating that the current generation of younger producers often speaks with great respect and reverence about Giuseppe Mascarello, the man and winemaker. Pricing has moved slightly over the years such that until very recently Monprivato was arguably the most undervalued Barolo among the region’s cellar worthy, iconic wines.
The first Barolo Mauro Mascarello made at his family’s winery was the 1967, another wine that is legendary. Mascarello crafted the 1967 Barolo just as his father had done before him, blending fruit sourced from three vineyards; Monprivato, Villero and Bussia Soprana. The conventional wisdom at the time held that the most complete and complex Barolos were those that combined elements from various sites. Some vineyards were known for their aromatics, others for their fruit and yet other plots were highly regarded for the structural elements they imparted on the wines. But Mascarello yearned for something more. He wanted to make a single-vineyard Barolo, and he thought his Monprivato vineyard was that rare site that could express all of the facets of Nebbiolo on its own.
It took a few years of convincing, but Giuseppe Mascarello finally relented and let his son Mauro make a single-vineyard Barolo in 1970. He also gave Mauro a very valuable piece of advice in directing him to the very best fruit in the Monprivato vineyard. If Mauro was hell-bent on making this wine, Mascarello senior reasoned, he might as well use the parcel in the heart of the vineyard planted with the rare Michet clone, which was known to yield wines of extraordinary power, richness and longevity.
Michet, believed by some observers to be a diseased strain of the more common Lampia clone, is naturally low-yielding and late to ripen, because of the genetic mutations it carries. Mauro Mascarello’s grandfather, Maurizio, planted the first Michet clones in his Monprivato vineyard in 1922. A second parcel of Michet was planted by Giuseppe Mascarello in 1963 using the best-performing plants from the original plot, a process known as selezione massale. Mauro Mascarello himself planted the third and fourth selections later, in 1988 and 1994 respectively.
Neither Mascarello could have ever predicted how successful Mauro would be. The 1970 Barolo Monprivato turned out to be the archetype for two wines; the modern-day single-vineyard Barolo Monprivato as well as the 100% Michet Barolo Monprivato Riserva Cà d’Morissio, a wine Mascarello finally produced in 1993 after 23 years of research that in reality dates back to vines his grandfather first planted more than 70 years before. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, after 1970 the Michet-only Monprivato was not made again until 1993. This tasting covered all of the Michet Monprivatos plus a number of other reference-point Barolos, just to round out the line-up.
Today, Mascarello typically harvests his Nebbiolo in the second half of October. Fermentation and maceration are carried out with indigenous yeasts and last about three weeks. The wines are aged in cask for roughly three and half years (for the Monprivato) to four and half years (for the Cà d’Morissio). Mascarello only makes the Cà d’Morissio when he feels the wine is sufficiently different from his Monprivato to warrant a separate selection, a decision he typically takes just prior to preparing the wines for bottling. So far five vintages of Cà d’Morissio have been released; 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2001. The 2003 will be released in 2010, followed by the 2004. There will be no 2005 Cà d’Morissio.
Mascarello’s 1989 Barolo Monprivato is one of the all-time legendary wines from Piedmont. It is easy to see the linkage between 1989 and 1996, two of the greatest vintages ever to grace the region. The 1989 Barolo Monprivato is simply captivating as layers of sweet roses, minerals, spices, licorice and flowers come together in the glass. The wine is ultimately about balance; elegance and power, structure and accessibility – they are all on full display in this magical Barolo. 97/Drinking window: 2009-2029.