Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bottle check: Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Nebiolo 2010

Recently I got a chance to try this Bartolo Langhe Nebiolo stateside, with some Peking duck (thanks, Raj!). This was an interesting bottle for me, because this was the wine that was held back at Bartolo and released after an additional year of ageing in wooden botte. The malolactic conversion had taken an unusually long time with this wine, and at Bartolo they don't force the malo one way or the other, either to start or to stop. So they waited and released the wine later, on the following September 1st when they next bottled their annual releases.

So what did the wine taste like? Well, quite good. I love 2010 for Nebbiolo in general, and I think 2010 may be the most exciting Piemonte vintage since 2001. At least to my palate. 2010s have layered depth and complexity, but also have a freshness that pulls everything together nicely and brings you back. This wine wasn't just lifted by the vintage, however. This was also a Langhe Nebiolo with Barolo character and weave. And some forward motion of maturity. I suspect that the extra year in wood, breathing through the staves, may have brought this wine along a bit more quickly than if it had been stored in bottle during that time. Certainly it tasted more resolved than when I had it at the winery, shortly after bottling. It really is true that sometimes I prefer the "little" wines that have evolved and which in a way my palate can see through, to the impenetrability of young "great" wines. At least I prefer them for drinking with food, which was what we were up to.

Perhaps a wine to track down if you get a chance. This particular bottle was a hand carry, but congratulations are in order to The Rare Wine Co. for recently being named the national importer of Bartolo Mascarello.

1 comment:

Giacomo said...

"I prefer the "little" wines that have evolved and which in a way my palate can see through, to the impenetrability of young "great" wines. "

So true. Couldn't agree more.