Robert Parker 95
The 2005 Barolo is super-delicate and finessed. This is a decidedly restrained, feminine style of Barolo laced with roses, raspberries, jasmine and berries. It will be fascinating to see which direction the 2005 takes from here. At times the wine appears to be putting on additional weight, but it nevertheless retains an element of frailty that is actually quite attractive. I rate the 2005 just behind the 2004, 2006 and 2007, but it is a gorgeous wine, and easily one of the very finest wines of the vintage. Bartolo Mascarello was a true icon in Piedmont. Although Mascarello was famous for his wines, he was at least as well known for his outspoken views on everything from winemaking to politics. Mascarello’s best wines were legendary, but the quality of what was in the bottle didn’t always live up to all of the hype. Against this backdrop, it must have been very difficult for Maria-Theresa Mascarello to take over the family winery after her father passed away a few years ago. Not only has Maria-Theresa Mascarello suceeded in living up to her father’s legacy, she has taken the wines to a new level entirely. The Baroli in particular have been nothing less than stunning here over the last few years. The rebirth of Bartolo Mascarello (the winery) is one of the great, unheralded success stories in Piedmont over the last few years. I urge readers to do whatever they can to taste these great wines. Those who have an interest should make a point to visit the winery and taste from barrel. I also include notes on the 2005 and 2006 Baroli for readers who are curious to see how the wines are developing. The only wine that is disappointing this year is the 2008 Freisa Monrobiolo. The Freisa undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle and the summer of 2009 did not provide consistently warm enough temperatures for that to happen. The Mascarello Freisa is a staunchly traditional wine and often requires an especially forgiving palate, as is the case with the 2008. Importer: Robert Chadderdon Selections, New York, NY; tel. (212) 332-4999
Beautiful cherry nose with hints of camphor and earth, and beginning to show some age. Transparent and juicy palate with a hint of leather. Succulent, yet tannic finish. Long with almost exotic, mouth-filling aromas. (WS)
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027
Powerful and laser-like in its focus, the 2005 Barolo captures the personality of this often-overlooked vintage in spades. Bright red stone fruit and bright, mineral-laced overtones infuse a powerful, tightly wound Barolo that is still on the ascent. This is a terrific bottle.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031