For more than half a century, the Mascarello family have been tending vines on the hills of Piemonte. The Monprivato vineyard is the pinnacle of their production.
Founded in the late 1800s by Giuseppe Mascarello, the estate is now managed by 4th generation proprietor Mauro Mascarello and his son. Described as an “enlightened traditionalist”, I would tend to agree with the characterization. Though his style is classic and traditional, it isn’t relegated to the sort of dogmatic approach of producers like Bartolo Mascarello. For example, one change Mauro has implemented is reducing maceration times from 60 to 30 days.
The Monprivato vineyard lies in the Commune of Castiglione Falleto and enjoys prime south-west hillside exposition. Today the vineyard extends over 15 acres (6 hectares) and stands at an elevation of approximately 300 meters above sea level. Originally, the Mascarello’s did not own the entire vineyard. However, during the period between 1985 and 1990, the family acquired small plots that belonged to local neighbors. The now own the entire vineyard and its reminiscent of a Burgundian Monopole. The Italian land registry mentions the Monprivato name as early as 1666.
The 2008 G. Mascarello Barolo Monprivato is outstanding! It’s been a little over 4 years since I last tasted this wine and frankly, its evolution has not budged.
I opened, but did not decant the wine about 3 hours before dinner. I tasted it at the time and it was already delicious so I decided not to decant it. I corked it and left it in the cellar.
On the nose, this has boisterous aromas that are nothing less than classic. Crushed berry, mushroom dust, autumn leaves, tobacco, roses and orange peel are harmonious. On the palate, the wine is refined and elegant. Loads of sweet berry fruit are accented by leaf tobacco, powdered soil, mushroom and fennel. I admit, I tried hard to find truffle in this wine, but could not. This is my 3rd of the 4 bottles I purchased back on release. It has been dynamite each time I’ve opened it. A true masterpiece. 98 points. Find this wine. Given the pricing on some of the major Cru Barolo, Monprivato is still a relative value. Current and aged vintages can be found for as little as $150.
Monprivato is aged for 36 months in Slavonian oak and then 12 months in bottle prior to release. If the vintage dictates and the wine is produced, about 14,000-24,000 bottles are made.