Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio, Barolo Santo Stefano di Perno, 2010

Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio, Barolo Santo Stefano di Perno, 2010

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2010

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    Italy

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    14%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Nebbiolo 100%

Vineyard: Vigna Santo Stefano of Perno, in the commune of Monforte d’Alba Grape

Harvest: Towards the middle of October.

Wine-making process: Estate-grown bunches, thinned during the summer, undergo traditional-style, floating cap fermentation for 15/20 days. The wine is then matured in medium-sized Slavonian oak barrels for around 30 months.

Expected cellar life: 25 years

Bottling: After four years following the vintage

Colour: garnet red with orange-coloured highlights; Nose: complex, very fruity, elegant, intense Taste: excellent body with power and stuffing, full, well-balanced.

About Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio

Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio is a prestigious Barolo producer in Piemonte, northwest Italy. The company has been closely associated with the Monprivato vineyard, one of the so-called Barolo crus, since the 1920s, and the single vineyard Monprivato Barolo has become Giuseppe Mascarello's flagship wine since the 1920s.

The eponymous Giuseppe Mascarello tended vineyards in the Langhe before buying his own in 1881. In 1904, his son purchased a part of the Monprivato vineyard and began to make wines there. Fourth-generation Mauro Mascarello took over the running of the estate in 1967, and began making a single-vineyard Monprivato wine in 1970. The famous six-hectare (15-acre) cru became a monopole of Giuseppe Mascarello in 1990.

The Monprivato vineyard's south-westerly aspect and limestone-rich soils has made it one of Barolo's most coveted properties, considered ideal for the Nebbiolo grape variety. In the 1980s, a clone of Nebbiolo called Michét was planted in a small part of the vineyard as an experiment which became the estate's highly regarded Monprivato Cà d'Morisso cuvee. This, alongside the regular Monprivato, is only made in outstanding vintages. The estate prefers traditional winemaking methods, with long fermentations and wines aged in large Slavonian oak casks known as botti. There is little intervention in the vineyard and grapes are harvested by hand.

Giuseppe Mascarello makes several other single-vineyard Barolos, including those from the Santo Stefano di Perno and Villero vineyards. The estate also makes several single-vineyard Barbera d'Alba wines, and a Dolcetto d'Alba.

Grape variety
Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is an Italian red wine grape variety predominantly associated with its native Piedmont region, where it makes the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Gattinara, Carema and Ghemme. Nebbiolo is thought to derive its name from the Italian nebbia or Piedmontese nebia, meaning "fog". During harvest, which generally takes place late in October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region where many Nebbiolo vineyards are located. Alternative explanations refers to the fog-like glaucous veil that forms over the berries as they reach maturity, or that perhaps the name is derived instead from the Italian word nobile, meaning noble. Nebbiolo produces lightly-coloured red wines which can be highly tannic in youth with scents of tar and roses. As they age, the wines take on a characteristic brick-orange hue at the rim of the glass and mature to reveal other aromas and flavours such as violets, tar, wild herbs, cherries, raspberries, truffles, tobacco, and prunes. Nebbiolo wines can require years of aging to balance the tannins with other characteristics.

In the most notable expression of Nebbiolo, the wines of Barolo, there is division between what is considered a "traditional" approach to Nebbiolo and a "modernist" approach. The roots of both styles can trace their history to the early "pre-technology" production of Nebbiolo. Prior to the advent of temperature-controlled fermentation, the late harvest dates for Nebbiolo meant that the wines began fermentation when the weather turned cold. These cool temperatures would delay fermentation for several days, extending the maceration period and extraction of phenolic compounds such as tannins. When fermentation did begin, temperatures would reach excessive levels of 95-100 °F (35-38 °C), which would drastically reduce potential aromas and flavours. With the high levels of tannins, these early Barolos would require five years or more of aging in oak barrels to soften some of the astringency. Lack of understanding of proper hygiene led to less sanitary conditions than what both traditional and modernist producers maintain today. Those conditions led to the development of bacterial infection of cement fermentation tanks and old wood barrels, which contributed to the development of off flavours and potential wine faults that would require at least 24 hours decanting to alleviate.

Today's winemaking for both traditionalists and modernists include strict hygiene controls and the use of some modern winemaking equipment. Rather than fall into one hard-line camp or the other, many producers take a middle ground approach that utilizes some modernist techniques along with traditional winemaking. In general, the traditional approach to Nebbiolo involves long maceration periods of 20 to 30 days and the use of older large botti size barrels. The modern approach to Nebbiolo utilizes shorter maceration periods of 7 to 10 days and cooler fermentation temperatures between 82 and 86 °F (28 and 30 °C) that preserve fruit flavours and aromas. Towards the end of the fermentation period, the cellars are often heated to encourage the start of malolactic fermentation which softens some of Nebbiolo's harsh acidity. Modern winemakers tend to favour smaller barrels of new oak that need only a couple years to soften the tannic grip of the wines. As new oak imparts notes of vanilla, it has the potential to cover up the characteristic rose notes of Nebbiolo.

Alternative Names: Spanna, Picoutener, Chiavennasca

About Barolo

Barolo is a traditional hillside village in the rolling hills of Piedmont, north-western Italy. The vineyards and cantine (wineries) there have long been famous for producing some of Italy's very finest red wines – predominantly from the region's signature grape variety, Nebbiolo. Fragrant, tannic Barolo wine is so revered that it was one of just three wines awarded DOCG status on the day that the classification was introduced in July 1980 (the other two were Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano).

The Barolo vineyard zone covers the parishes of Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and Barolo itself, and also spreads over into parts of Monforte d'Alba, Novello, La Morra, Verduno, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d'Alba, Cherasco and Roddi. The soils and mesoclimates vary slightly between these communes, creating subtle differences between the wines produced from their vineyards (although it must be remembered that the skills and preferences of the individual winemakers also has significant influence over these differences).

In La Morra and Barolo the soil contains a high concentration of limestone-rich Tortonian marl. The more aromatic, fruitier styles of Barolo typically come from these soil types; La Morra is considered to produce the most perfumed and graceful Barolos, while those from Barolo tend to be a little more complex, and broader-textured.

In Castiglione-Falleto, Serralunga d'Alba and Monforte, the vineyards are planted on looser and less fertile, Helvetian soils, which include both sandstone and limestone. This leads to a brick-coloured wine which is more intense, bigger in structure and requires a longer time to age. Serralunga d'Alba is well structured, long lived and the most tannic of the five, while Castiglione-Falleto is renowned for its full-bodied, rich nature and good balance and aromas. Monforte d'Alba offers rich, concentrated characteristics and a serious intensity.

Despite the differences between the wines from these various terroirs, they all retain the key qualities which define the classic Barolo style; the famous "tar and roses" aroma, a bright ruby colour (which fades to garnet over time), firm tannins, elevated acidity, and relatively high alcohol.

To earn the name Barolo, the wines must undergo at least 38 months' aging prior to commercial release, of which 18 must be spent in barrel (the remainder in bottle). For the added designation of riserva, the total aging time increases to 62 months. As the tannins soften over time, the complexity shows through with hints of earth, truffles and dark chocolate.

Classic Barolos have traditionally required at least 10 years cellaring to tame their tannins. Today, however, some producers are moving towards more "international" styles, with reduced fermentation times (meaning less extraction of colour or tannin from the must), and the use of new French barriques in place of the traditional large wooden casks. This has resulted in a fruitier and more accessible style which is approachable at a much earlier stage in its life. Many believe this modernisation detracts too severely from the classic character of Barolo. Some go so far as to say it makes the wines unrecognisable as Barolo. The ongoing debate between Barolo's modernists and traditionalist has become known as the "Barolo wars".

There are various Barolo vineyards which have achieved a sort of informal "cru" status, based on the official, structured model used in Burgundy. Esteemed winemaker Renato Ratti played a significant role in this, and created a map outlining the various crus: Cannubi, Sarmazza, Brunate, Cerequio, Rocche, Monprivato, Villero, Lazzarito, Vigna Rionda, Bussia, Ginestra and Santo Stefano di Perno.

To the northeast of Barolo, just the other side of Alba, are the vineyards which produce another stellar Nebbiolo wine, Barbaresco.

Regular price $1,088.00

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