In the commune of Barolo: San Lorenzo (0.25ha), Rue (0.5 ha), Canubbi (1.0ha) In the commune of La Morra: Rocche di Annunziata (1.2ha)
San Lorenzo: Southwest; Rue: Southeast; Canubbi: South-Southeast (bowl); Rocche: Southeast
Barolo commune Vineyards: Clay with some Tufa and varying amounts of Sand. La Morra commune Vineyard: Clay with significant inter-fingerings of Sand
Traditional, conventional. Rows are spaced at 2.5 meters and plants at 90-100 cms. Average age of vines is about 25 years, ranging from 60-70 years old in the San Lorenzo to newly replanted plots in Cannubi. We do not use chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Composted cow manure is used for fertilization and mechanical mowing is used to keep cover plants under control. Sulfur and copper are used during the season to combat oidium and peronospora. Vines are unirrigated (by DOCG laws).
The four vineyards’ production is co-fermented in 3-4 large concrete tanks. The tank does not have an internal temperature control system but fermentation temperatures are monitored daily and the must is cooled with a cold-water heat exchanger if it exceeds 31C. We do not keep each vineyard’s grapes separate during the fermentation; they are mixed together as they arrive at the cantina. No single-vineyard “cru” Barolo is made. The fermentation typically occurs from indigenous yeasts, but we will add yeast if necessary. Pump-overs are performed twice a day. Once fermentation is complete (typically 15-18 days), the wine is left to macerate on the skins (submerged cap) for an additional few weeks. The total length of maceration (including the fermentation time) is from 30 to 50 days, and is generally the only variable in the winemaking for the Barolo on a year-to-year basis and is based entirely on the qualitative character of the vintage. The cantina uses a gentle hydraulic basket press.
The Barolo is stored in large botti (casks) of Slavonian Oak for about 30 months in a natural ageing cellar. The wine is racked once each year, then bottled in late July three years after the vintage. Malolactic fermentation is not forced and occurs in the botti. The botti range from 25 to 50 hectoliters and average 10-12 years of age. The bottles are held for an additional year until the following September when the wine is released in the fourth year after the vintage.
The Mascarello 1958 Barolo from the big bottle is not exactly the kind of wine one runs across every day. Over the years, time has softened some of the visceral intensity the 1958 showed when it was younger, while the aromatics have acquired striking complexity. Star anise, autumn leaves, sweet dried cherries and tobacco all give the 1958 its haunting, beguiling complexity. I would prefer to drink the 1958 sooner rather than later. At this point, the reality is that the wine’s longevity will be determined by the resistance of the cork rather than the quality of the wine itself. It would be a shame to miss the 1958 at this glorious peak of maturity.
Field Publication Computed: