Red, Ready, but will keep

2012 Barbera d'Alba, Scudetto, Giuseppe Mascarello

2012 Barbera d'Alba, Scudetto, Giuseppe Mascarello

Red | Ready, but will keep | Giuseppe Mascarello e Figli | Code:  39782 | 2012 | Italy > Piedmont > Dolcetto d'Alba | Barbera | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Giuseppe Mascarello e Figli

Giuseppe Mascarello e Figli

Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio surely ranks as one of Barolo’s finest producers. The family business dates back to 1881 & to Monforte d’Alba. Maurizio (Morissio) bought the Castiglione Falletto Monprivato vineyard in 1904, planting it with the Nebbiolo Michèt clone, before relocating the winery to Monchiero in 1919.

Son Giuseppe took over the business in 1923, abandoning the other family business of building materials to concentrate on wine. His son Mauro has been fine-tuning the estate since 1967, notably by lowering the yields, introducing a sorting table to ensure perfect bunches, and by releasing Monprivato as a single vineyard wine from 1970. Since 1996 he has been joined by his son Giuseppe, a wine technician. Mauro’s wife Maria Teresa looks after the books.

While the 12ha estate is dominated by vineyards in the commune of Castigilione Falletto, notably Monprivato at 6.20ha, in 1989 Mauro bought Santo Stefano, a single iron-rich vineyard in the Perno hamlet of Monforte d’Alba. All the wines are traditionally made using a combination of epoxy-lined cement & stainless-steel cuves, before being aged in large slavonian botte; capturing the vineyards' full expression

The Grape

Barbera

Barbera

Barbera is planted extensively in Piedmont and south-west Lombardy and accounts for over 50% of the wine produced in the region. The majority is sold simply as Barbera del Piemonte, but the best wines are the DOCs, Barbera d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti. It ripens late (after Dolcetto but before Nebbiolo).

The wines are usually ruby red in colour with notably low levels of tannins. They have a pronounced acidity that can be accentuated by overproduction. Barbera wines range from light, tart mouthwashers through to powerful, intensely flavoured wines that require extended cellaring.

The Region

Dolcetto d'Alba

Dolcetto d'Alba is a DOC zone producing wines exclusively from the Dolcetto grape. D'Alba is one of the seven Dolcetto zones in Piedmont, the others being Acqui, Asti, Diano d' Alba, Ovada and Dogliani, as well as the less significant Langhe Monregalesi. D'Alba is regarded as the finest-quality zone of all for Dolcetto.

Dolcetto is an important Piedmontese grape, and the antithesis of Nebbiolo. It ripens a month earlier and produces wines that are low in acid yet high in tannins. Planted on the sites spurned by Nebbiolo and Barbera, Dolcetto is most suited to the light, white, sandy, calcareous tufa soils that are common in and around Barbaresco. It is generally made in an unoaked style to accentuate its natural violet perfume and juicy, bitter cherry and almond fruit. Dolcetto d’Alba is the grape’s most highly-regarded incarnation and makes the perfect antipasti wine.

Recommended producers: Diano, Dogliani

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