Legions of wine lovers consider this tiny cantina in the middle of the town of Barolo a must-see and a privilege. And Maria-Teresa Mascarello, despite having virtually no more wine to sell anyone, gives everyone the same hospitality.
Maria-Teresa Mascarello has effectively been the winemaker here since the late 90’s, as her father began to lose his mobility, to be eventually confined to a wheelchair. Some critics think under her care, that a very few minor improvements (or changes, anyway) have resulted in even fresher and more vibrant reds, but they essentially are the same simply made, yet stunningly authentic and expressive versions of Dolcetto, Barbera, a lively traditional (slightly spritzy) Freisa and the one Barolo. With each of these, Mascarello defy so much of what goes on around them. The Freisa, Dolcetto and Barbera vines stay planted in vineyards, which for most other producers would have been turned over to the production of the much more lucrative Nebbiolo. The vinification is all concrete tanks, long fermentations on skins and aging in large old oak. The famous Barolo itself, is still just called Barolo and is a blend of four crus, three in Barolo commune and one in La Morra commune.
Despite their world-wide demand, prices stay remarkably moderate and Maria-Teresa has no interest in buying new vineyards. There is no website and no email. The wines, gentle and persistent, reflect their maker. No one who visits this tranquil little haven of tradition goes away wondering what all the fuss is about.
Winemaker: Maria-Teresa Mascarello