Giuseppe Mascarello Tasting
Author: David Berry Green
5th generation Giuseppe Mascarello was in town to promote their Monforte d’Alba single vineyard wine Santo Stefano di Perno to BBR staff. As way of comparison the wine was tasted alongside their Castiglione Falletto vineyard wine Monprivato.
From elevated, deep, ancient iron rich clay & sandstone soils, the Santo Stefano is a more classic Barolo with brooding sage, tar & roses aromatics & dense, succulent, balsamic & strawberry flavours. The warmer, lighter, younger white calcareous soils of Monprivato dispayed more floral raspberry notes; Gevrey-Chambertin plays Chambolle-Musigny if you like.
Both wines were made in the same traditional way, albeit cement for Santo Stefano vs stainless-steel for Monprivato, with relatively long cuvaisons & 40 months in large slavonian barrels/’botte’.
The 2003s (bottled late 07) showed impressive freshness from earlier picking as well as the juiciest of strawberry ripple palates, held minerally tight by fine structures.
The 2000s, a hot vintage at the time (day & night) seemed positively cool by comparison; the Santo Stefano denser than the high-tone Monprivato. Both 10-15 yrs off their best
As way of finale Giuseppe brought along a 1996 Santo Stefano di Perno: unbelievably concentrated & youthful, with strident acidity & assertive tannins…still 10 yrs off its best.
Since graduating from Alba’s Enological College in 94, Giuseppe has worked with his father Mauro to implement more green harvesting (to one bunch per shoot or approx 33 hl/ha) & more emphasis on physiological over simply polyphenol ripening to give finer, ethereal wines; a trend witnessed across the Alps in Burgundy.
In the big picture, Giuseppe Mascarello’s wines continue to reflect their top terroirs while encapsulating the purest, raciest expression of the Nebbiolo grape.