The wines of Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio
Amazing Piedmont wines from this Barolo traditionalist

Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio di Mauro Mascarello & Co Azienda Agricola, Stada del Grosso, 1-12060 Castiglione Faletto (Cuneo), Italy
Tel: +39 (0)173 792126 Fax: +39 (0)173 792124

Mascarello is one of the leading names in Barolo. It’s a small-ish family firm run by Mauro Mascarello, who has a reputation for making complex wine in a more traditional style: you won’t find any barriques here. Rather than try to make deep-coloured, oaky wines in a sort of international style, Mauro allows Nebbiolo to do what only Nebbiolo can, producing pale coloured yet intensely structured wines with a complex sweet and sour character that is quite beguiling.

The jewel in the crown here is the 6 hectare monopole vineyard Monprivato, and there are also single vineyard wines from Villero, Santa Stefano and Bricco. In addition, a Riserva from a plot in Monprivato called Ca d'Morisso is sometimes produced. As well as the Barolos, Mascarello's other wines are also serious and worth seeking out; they're also a bit more affordable. Maturation is in large Slavonian casks.

The notes below are from a number of tastings: the most recent is from January 2014, but there are also notes from 2004 and


Dolcetta d'Alba 'Bricca Mirasole' 2011
Lovely dense, pure, vivid smooth cherry and plum fruit. Quite primary with good balance and nice savoury, spicy structure. Such purity here. 92/100

Barbera d'Alba 'Scudetto' 2009
Lovely leather and herb edge to the liqueur-like black cherry and plum nose. The palate has lovely ripe, sleek, sweet fruit. Sweet and seductive yet still fresh, and utterly delicious. 93/100

Langhe Nebbiolo 2011
Floral, fresh cherry fruit nose. The palate is smooth with lovely red cherries and some plums. There's nice structure here with a hint of vanilla sweetness. Lovely purity. 93/100

Barolo 'Monprivato' 2009
Pale-ish cherry red colour. Sweetly perfumed, pure nose of elegant red cherry fruit. The palate is silky, elegant and quite fresh but has nice ripe cherry fruit and fine grained tannins, as well as a touch of spice. No rough edges here: so pure and elegant. 95/100

Tasted Jan 2014 

Notes from May 2004:

Fresia ‘Toetto’ 2001 Castiglione Falletto
0.68 hectares of vines purchased in 1987, planted in 1989. Clay/chalk. Lovely open fruit here: it’s savoury, but with a ripe liquoricey edge to the berry fruit with savoury, fine-grained spicy tannins. Fine, spicy finish. Very good+ 89/100 (£9.15)

Dolcetto Bricco 2001 Castiglione Falletto
0.63 hectares purchased in 1987, clay/limestone. Vivid purple colour. Open nose of bright fruits with a savoury, spicy, minerally edge. The palate shows lovely vivid spicy fruit with firm tannins and a lovely savoury character. Minerally, delicious and savoury. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£8.90)

Barbera Scudetto 2001 Monforte d’Alba
1.88 hectares, purchased 1991, planted 1998. Clay/sand. Quite an intense savoury nose with bold, minerally cherry fruit. The palate is earthy and tannic with a caramel-like edge and high acidity. Interesting stuff in a traditional style. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£12.25)

Nebbiolo Langhe 2001
Declassified Barolo. Slightly lighter colour. Earthy, spicy nose is savoury and a little old fashioned. The palate is open and expressive with lovely ripe, rounded earthy minerally fruit with fine-grained, firm tannins. Drinking brilliantly now. Really earthy; not fruit driven. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£11.25)

Barolo Villero 1998 Castiglione Falletto
Purchased 1985, planted 1988. Limestone, clay, sand. Intense yet refined nose with some sweet spices and earthiness, with slightly cherryish fruit. The palate has a lovely roundness with spice, herbs, hints of tar and some earthiness. Quite intense. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£27.50)

Barolo Monptivato 1999
First parcel of the Monprivato vineyard was purchased in 1904 by Mascarello; they now own 95% of it, with holdings of 6.13 hectares. Limestone/clay soil with Southwest exposure. The nose shows some lovely open sweet, earthy fruit: savoury, intense and perfumed. The palate is concentrated with spicy earthiness to the fruit. Very bold and rich: a powerful yet expressive style. Quite minerally and full. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£33.60)

Barolo Monprivato Ca d’Morissio Riserva 1995
This special release has been made in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2001. Complex, spicy earthy evolved nose with great savoury intensity. There’s a lovely perfumed earthy character. The palate is tannic and dense with lots of structure. Bold and mouthfilling, this is a massive wine that needs time. Very good/excellent 94/100 (£82)

Barolo Monprivato 1988
Lovely expressive complex nose is earthy and intense with a nice spiciness. The palate is open, broad with lovely spicy fruit and more of this distinctive earthiness. Very open with good acidity. Drinking very well now. Very good/excellent 93/100

Barolo Monprivato 1982
Tarry, spicy, open earthy nose is very fine and complex, showing good evolution. The palate is open and spicy with firm, drying, mouthcoating tannins. A bold, rich style that’s full and expressive. Drinking brilliantly now. Very good/excellent 94/100

Notes from 2002

Mascarello Barolo ‘Villero’ 1998
Pale coloured. Striking spicy nose with some herby character. Full, concentrated palate is quite challenging with a leathery complexity and high acidity. Brilliant but quite challenging. Very good+ (£30)

Mascarello Barolo ‘Villero’ 1997
Pale coloured. Complex herby, leathery, spicy nose. The palate is youthful and quite challenging with savoury spicy tannins. Good concentration. Very good+ (£35)

Mascarello Barolo ‘Monprivato’ 1998
Pale coloured. Complex herby nose displays notes of leather, undergrowth and spice. Leathery herby palate has firm tannic structure. Traditional and very appealing. Very good/excellent (£38.50)

Mascarello Barolo ‘Monprivato’ 1997
Pale coloured. Remarkably sweet herbal nose is seamless. The palate is complex and herbal with sweet rich fruit but in a delicate savoury style. Firm tannins and high acidity on the finish. A striking wine. Very good/excellent (£45)

Mascarello Barbera d'Alba 'Scudetto' 2000
Spicy, herby and slightly medicinal, this is a savoury wine with high acidity. Unusual and quite challenging. Very good+ (£14)

UK agent: Winetraders

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