Bartolo Mascarello, Vigna San Lorenzo, Barbera d’Alba, ’05
The Man. The Myth. The Legend. The Godfather of Barolo.
One of Italy’s greatest winemakers known for his steadfast philosophy towards crafting one of the greatest wines in the world: Barolo.
He is a traditionalist to the core.
While many of his peers hopped on the single-cru and barrique boats*, Bartolo asserted that the individual crus are not the proper representation of Barolo and that only by blending the various crus could produce a Barolo of sublimity. Coming from a gent who spent his whole life (85 years) making Barolo, this is a strong source of opinion that he took a very strong stance towards in his various diatribes.
Unfortunately, he passed away in 2005. He’s like the guy from Into the Wild, but he died old and awesome.
His daughter is now at the helm and the estate has not missed a beat. Every wine I have ever tasted from them has been breathtakingly awesome (only the Barolos until now).
Turns out, they also make a badass Barbera. Incredible perfumy aromatics of freshly cut flowers, sweet spice, bright blue fruit exalt this wine into that category of ‘it’s hard to drink this wine because the nose is so mesmerizing’. It’s so complex and dynamic yet comes together so harmoniously that individual notes are difficult to discern.
On the palate, it’s classic Barbera- tart fruit and high acid with an underpinning of minerality. It is a classic food wine since they can be a bit too lean on the palate and this one was no different.
Luckily, I recently read where a high-profile somm suggested Barbera with pepperoni pizza and I decided to give it whirl with the addition of mushrooms (Gotta have my shrooms!!).
The pairing was spot on. The weight of the Barbera stood up to the richness of the pizza and the acidity cleaned up the fatty, cured quality of the pepperoni. Both the wine and pizza were enhanced by the combination- Bammin!!
*Producing Barolos from specific crus and aging in new, small French barrels respectively