|~ Giuseppe Mascarello ~|
Monprivato. To lovers of Italian wine, there is nothing more to say once you’ve uttered the word. It means so many things. Pride, devotion, tradition, heritage and the utmost pinnacle of quality.
Since the late 1800’s – more than a century and a half, the Mascarello family have been growing Nebbiolo vines in the hills of Piemonte. They are fortunate to farm parcels of land which reside in some of the most amazing terroir, not just for Nebbiolo, but for grapes in general and when the vintage conditions meet their stringent quality measures and merit the creation of the Cru Monprivato, the results are sublime.
As Mauro Mascarello says, “Only the memory of the past, can open the way to the future.” It’s in that vein that he has never forgotten the lessons taught to him by his father Giuseppe: Ideal growing conditions, perfectly sound grape bunches and big concentration of the grapes constituent elements.
|~ The Monprivato Vineyard in Autumnal Nebbia (Fog) ~|
The Monprivato vineyard sits in the Commune of Castiglione Falleto and enjoys prime south west facing hillside exposition. Today the vineyard extends over 15 acres (6 hectares) and stands at an elevation of approximately 300 meters above sea level. Italian land registry data mentions the Monprivato name as early as 1666. The Barolo from Monprivato is only produced in the highest quality vintages. If the Mascarello’s criteria are not met, the wine is declassified into their normal Barolo. 2008 fit the bill.
|~ The location of Monprivato in the Barolo zone ~|
We first reported on Monprivato a little over 3 years ago. At the time, I subjected the wine to what I called “extreme decanting”. Although my instincts were to let this wine cellar undisturbed, I simply adore great Barolo and have been itching to check in on this wine again. And so it goes……
The 2008 Barolo Monprivato continues to impress. Despite it’s relative youth, the wine has not appeared to be “closed” to me at any point in its evolution. This time, I only decanted the wine for about 60 minutes; and mostly to remove a fine silt like sediment that is forming.
In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby color with a faint fade to autumn sunset orange at the rim of the bowl. The aromas rise from the glass. I mean, this is Monprivato. Delicate floral notes mix with tobacco leaf, mushroom, crushed wild cherry, dried fennel seed, and orange zest. While it doesn’t present itself seamlessly, it’s no matter. The orchestration is somehow accomplished.
In the mouth, the wine attacks your palate with a brooding core of ripe cherry fruit that is punctuated by subtle porcini mushroom, dried fennel, cured meat, and roasted chestnut. The tannins are assertive and provide ample structure to the wine along with its fresh core of acidity, so while there is no doubt in my mind that this Barolo will continue to soften with age, it’s drop dead gorgeous right now with an appropriate meal. We paired it with a “Grigliata Misto” of Porterhouse steak and Cervalata Sausage and could not have been happier. A benchmark. 99 points. About $90 upon release. Pricing on this and more recent vintages averages $100-$135.
|~ Monprivato is fermented for 30 days on the skins before being racked to medium sized Slavonian oak barrels for 36 months. 12 months bottle age follows before release ~|
August 31, 2016