The Vine” N° 196 – May 2001 Clive Coates M.W.
This is one of my favourite Barolo producers, and Mauro Mascarello one of my favourite people. At a blind tasting some 15 years ago I gave his 1978 Monprivato 20 out of 20, and I have always considered this vineyard, together perhaps with La Morra’s Carequio, the premier grand cru of the appellation. Traditional methods. Exceptional wines.
Barolo, Santo Stefano di Perno, 1998 Still a little austere on the nose. But ripe, medium bodied and with very good depth on the palate. No hard edges. Very good petits fruits rouges. Very good indeed. It will evolve quite soon. From 2003.
Barolo, Villero, 1998 Fuller, fatter and richer than the above. More complete. More depth. This has very lovely balanced fruit. Long. discreet and multi-dimensional. Essentially a soft-centred but very intense wine. Lovely. From 2003/2004.
Barolo, Bricco, 1998 Slightly more colour. Just a little more fat and rather more richness than the Villero. Medium-full body. Very harmonious. Chocolate and mocha. Splendid acidity. Very lovely. Very, very long. From 2004.
Barolo, Monprivato, 1998 Slightly more austere on the nose. Really very splendid concentrated, multi-dimensional fruit here. Heaps of concentration on the palate. Very fine grip. This is beautifully mannered. Complete. Seductive. Very complex indeed. A great wine in potential. Quite marvellous. From 2005.
Barolo, Santo Stefano di Perno, 1997 Like the 1998 the flavours here are more leathery, leaner than the other wines. Yet the vines are by no means young. On the palate the fruit is there but it is a little simple, a little diffuse. Again it will evolve soon. From 2003. Barolo, Villero, 1997 Quite a difference from the Santo Stefano. Rich and ample and very seductive on the nose. Fresh. Good substance and depth. Good grip. Complex, long and fine. Very lovely soft fruit. But good backbone nevertheless, especially for a 1997. Fine. From 2003.
Barolo, Bricco, 1997 Very good colour. Yet richer and more ample than the Villero. This is still young – none of these 1997s yet bottled. Vigorous, fullish, very complex, balanced fruit. Just more to it all round. Fine plus. From 2004.
Barolo, Monprivato, 1997 Fine colour, Very lovely nose. Multi-dimensional fruit. Still very youthful. A wine of real depth and vigour and intensity. Heaps of fruit and all sorts of other complex flavours. Very fine grip. This is very long and very lovely. From 200512006.
Barolo, Monprivato, “Cà D’Morissio” Riserva 1997 Fine colour. Just a touch of oxidation. But this is a brut sample. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a long-term problem. Splendidly rich and intense underneath. A real coulis of fruit. Very ripe. Quite high alcohol, I would have thought. Fullish body. Quite structured. This I am sure is excellent. From 2006/2007.
Barolo, Santo Stefano di Perno, 1996 This has a very lovely fresh flowery nose, rather better than the lean, slightly attenuated way the 1998 and 1997 present themselves today. Medium body. Slightly lacking fat at the end but fresh, à point and with a good follow-through. From 2002.
Barolo, Villero, 1996 Rather a better colour. Ripe and rich and with some slight chestnut spice on the nose. On the palate this is cool and elegant. Medium to medium-full body. There is a slightly astringency on the attack but not on the finish. Getting there. Long and complex. Fine. From 2003.
Barolo, Bricco, 1996 Very fine colour. Fresh cassis nose. On the palate a little too over-ripe. Medium-full body. It lacks a bit of grip. Disappointing after the 1997. May get attenuated. May recover. An old style wine for the vintage. Slightly attenuated at the end. I prefer the 1997. From 2002/2003.
Barolo, Monprivato, 1996 Good colour. Marvellous nose and palate. Very, very rich and complex. This is quite brilliant. Excellent harmony and fruit. Ripe but subtle. Full, tannic and backward. This has real depth. Very long. Very lovely. Potentially great. From 2004/2005.
Barolo, Monprivato, “Cà D’Morissio” Riserva, 1996 This is not yet in bottle. Now we can see that this is just a little different, but not today, as above, quite on form. Older vines and lower harvest. This is a marvellously long. Rich, expansive palate. Really very fine indeed. Excellent grip. Super concentration and super acidity and class. Very, very long. Really excellent. From 2008.
Barolo, Bricco, 1995 Fine colour. Very lovely nose. Ripe, plump and very well put together. Medium-full body. This is an excellent example. Vigorous, fullish and profound and very, very lovely. From 2003/2004.
Barolo, Monprivato, 1995 Good colour. Rich and full and flamboyant. Very good ripe tannins. Good energy. Lovely long, lingering finish. Fine. From 2004.
Barolo, Monprivato, “Cà D’Morissio” Riserva, 1995 Fullish, very concentrated wine. Lovely ripe fruit. No hard edges. Fullish, concentrated and complex. This has real harmony. Really excellent. Grand vin. Very fine. But the 1996s are better. From 2004/2005.
Barolo, Monprivato, “Cà D’Morissio” Riserva, 1993 Attractive fruit but not a lot of substance underneath. This has medium body and very fine laid-back fruit. The finish is almost sweet. Very seductive. It doesn’t have the depth of the 1995 but it is ready, ample and very delicious.