2004 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo: Rebel Yell!

Posted by CrushWine

Barolo's Rebel Yell!
2004 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo
The Greatest Bartolo Barolo since (gulp!) the 1978?
Lowest Price in the Nation

"This is the best young Barolo I have tasted here in many years. Fans of traditional Barolo won’t want to miss this superb effort." - Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate

The short story is that in this glorious, powerful vintage, Mascarello has come up with something special.

The 2004 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo is, in turns, explosive, concentrated and provocatively mouth-watering with juicy cherry and raspberry, shrieking flowers and spices dashed with minerals, yet for all this muscle, the wine is also nimble, agile...even soaring.

Antonio Galloni of the Wine Advocate nails it: This is "a weightless, ethereal Barolo."

That's the beauty of the more traditional Barolos. Instead of a plush, enveloping hold of soft sweet fruit, Mascarello's 2004 is angular and even lean, yet so intense, so vivid and piercing. In youth the tannic bite is fierce, and though time will temper this patience is required.

In a "color-by-numbers" sort of world, you could call this the greatest Barolo the estate has produced since the 1989 or even, gulp, the 1978. Bartolo's daughter, Maria Theresa, remains as staunch an advocate of all things traditional as her father and there's no denying that the wines she has made at the estate are devastatingly pure and beautiful.

Today, we offer a small parcel of this old-school Piedmont treasure at the lowest price in the nation and encourage those passionate about great Barolo to reply to this email quickly.

As the whims of fashion slowly swing back to favoring more traditonal producers, it's worth remembering that the Bartolo Mascarello estate weathered the storm of the 1990s and the rise of the modernists. As the other estates brought barriques into their cellars (and other things!), Bartolo remained steadfast, making wine as his father before him did with long macerations and old casks.

Their grandest statement, however, is likely their choice *not* to bottle separate, single-vineyard Barolos. Instead, year in and year out, this estate bottles one single Barolo, a blend of four exceptional Crus: Cannubi, San Lorenzo, Rue and Torriglione. If this goes against the current vogue of focusing on the vineyard, there is also a logic here. Blending, though perhaps less sexy, is one of winemaking's greatest tools in forming a "complete" wine - what one vineyard, lacks the other can provide.

It's old wisdom, based on that adage "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts."

You do not, however, have to have an opinion one way or another - this wine speaks for itself. Yes, it is a testament to the wisdom of blending, to the knowledge of forefathers, but it's also one of the strongest efforts of this legendary estate in a long time. Though the wine has that juicy gregariousness of many 2004s, it should have 5+ years of cellar rest to really be at its peak. From there, it will continue to develop in the cellar for another decade and more.

To order, reply to this email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Buyers
Crush Wine & Spirits

2004 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo

Special Email Price: $92.44
Compare at up to $100 - $125

Special Email 4-Pack Price: $355.12 ($88.78/btl)

Wine Advocate: "'2004 is the first normal vintage I can remember in a while,' says Maria Theresa Mascarello. 'We were finished with our Nebbiolo harvest on the 12th of October.' Her pure, finessed 2004 Barolo offers a compelling array of perfumed violets, dark cherries and baking spices with superb clarity and delineation. A weightless, ethereal Barolo, it reveals notable freshness and supple tannins on the long, finessed finish. Although I have tasted this wine many times from cask, I first encountered it from bottle at a blind tasting where it was immediately recognizable for its style, purity and class. This is the best young Barolo I have tasted here in many a year. Fans of traditional Barolo won’t want to miss this superb effort."

Tanzer's IWC: Good brilliant full red with a hint of amber. Distinctly more primary aromas than the 2003: fresh cherry, raspberry, menthol, dried flowers and an exotic suggestion of orange zest that contributes to the impression of lift. Fresh and gripping, though quite closed, even a bit pinched, after the bottling. Thick with extract but quite light on its feet, thanks to bright acidity and lively mineral and minty elements. This boasts terrific inner-mouth energy and impeccable balance. The tannins are quite firm but not hard, and the finish shows superb persistence. I would expect this classic wine to merit a higher score with bottle aging. "Everything about this vintage was normal," said Mascarello. "The summer was normal, the mid-October harvest was normal, we made a normal quantity of wine, and the technical numbers were perfect." She told me the young wine was very much like the estate's 1998.