Showing a light ruby shine that radiates from the glass, the Bartolo Mascarello 2017 Barolo proves once again that elegance can be achieved, despite the many challenges of an extreme vintage, when worked by the right hands. In this case, the hands are those of Bartolo's daughter, the legendary Maria Teresa Mascarello. This celebrated Barolo boasts a silky sheen and glossy character that transcends bouquet and mouthfeel. Wild cherry, lilac, iron ore and candied orange peel are revealed softly on the bouquet. The wine takes a few minutes to open before all those pretty little details come into view. Acidity is an important component of this graceful Barolo, as it ties together the fruit and heightens that sense of electricity and liveliness. This is a collectors' bottle to keep safely in your cellar. ML
A light-bodied, fluid style, offering steeped cherry, licorice, earth and menthol flavors. This is approachable now, courtesy of the lithe tannins and softer structure, yet there's intensity as well. Shows fine harmony overall. Drink now through 2033. 1,400 cases made. — BS
The 2017 Barolo is gracious, perfumed and very nicely lifted. An effusive, floral bouquet opens first, followed by a rush of red berry fruit. Nervous, a bit wiry at this stage, the 2017 is going to need at least a few years to fully open, but all the elements are in place to allow that to happen. Maria Teresa Mascarello's Barolo is one of the most elegant and restrained wines of the year. It's not an immediately impressive or captivating wine at this stage. The purity of the flavors is just striking, though. Give it a few years to blossom.
In 2015, Maria-Teresa Mascarello uprooted the estate's San Lorenzo vines, which no longer feature in this impressive blend. The 2017, as with the exceptional 2016, instead includes grapes from Monrobiolo di Bussia. Harvest was completed on 23 September, more or less two weeks earlier than average. In the winery, the maceration was reduced from the usual 40-50 days to 20. Subdued rose and tar notes are joined by a leafy lightness, then a crystalline definition of red berries in both aroma and flavour. Velvety tannins and assertive acidity hold the wine in tension and balance, powered by orange savouriness. It's more delicate and less extracted than 2016, but with similar ageing potential. Released in September 2021. Drinking Window: 2021 - 2040
Tasted by: Aldo Fiordelli (at Alba, Hotel I Castelli, 29 Mar 2021)
Part of Barolo 2017 vintage report: 120 wines tasted
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