The Mascarellos are Barolo royalty, and fittingly, they have a most impressive monopole in their domaine. The great cru of Monprivato sits just below the town of Castiglione Falleto, facing southwest and filled with blue and grey marl. Since 1970, from this site Mauro Mascarello has produced one of the most coveted wines in Piedmont. Now working along with his son Giuseppe, Mauro remains the last of the great luminary traditionalists that included Giovanni Conterno and Bartolo Mascarello. He has dedicated his life to producing the greatest possible expression of the Monprivato vineyard and it is always a privilege to offer such a noble wine- alas, we have but very little in the way of quantity to offer.
Although 2017 was a hot and dry vintage, you can hardly tell that by tasting the Monprivato. Unsurprisingly it has a strong candidacy for being one of the wines of the vintage. It is fresh and supple, with plenty of pretty red fruits on the nose. The palate meanwhile has beautiful midpalate sweetness, refined chalky earthiness and tannins that are long and powdery. The acidity likewise is refreshing and well-integrated. This is a Monprivato that can be approached astonishingly early and still offer a great deal of pleasure.
The estate Giuseppe Mascarello also has the fine reputation of producing some of the most lovely 'little wines' in Piedmont. Their 'Freisa Toetto' for example is an established classic for those who revere that varietal. Their Langhe Nebbiolo is a reliable overperformer, and best many a single cru wine in terms of perfume. The 2019 has delicate raspberry and cherry notes along with some alpine herbal qualities. The palate is lithe and very linear, with focused acidity and very fine tannins. From a blend of sites in Perno and Castiglione Falletto, this is not a bottling to miss for easy access to this eminent domain's style.
2017 'Monprivato': Lustrous mid ruby. Concentrated sour cherry with savoury, minerally notes. This opens up beautifully on the nose. Great concentration but also purity. Elegant palate weight and truly long, finely ground tannins that go on forever, but never dominate the fruit while the ripe supple acidity builds a real unity. Walter Speller, Jancis Robinson Purple Pages
The 2019 Langhe Nebbiolo is a wine well worth seeking out. Perhaps this 2019 vintage offers less obvious fruit compared to recent past editions, but it does show extreme finesse and linearity instead. Most of the grapes come from Castiglione Falletto, and some of these sites are registered to only produce Langhe Nebbiolo wines. With just 3,000 bottles made, this bottle reveals light berry nuances with ash, rusty nail and a pretty hint of blue flower that is noticeable in all the Nebbiolo-based wines made by the Mascarello family. - Monica Larner, Robert Parker Wine Advocate