The 2016 Barolo (magnum) is obviously a very, very young wine and yet its inclusion in this flight is essential, both for getting a glimpse of the wine at this early stage and also for understanding its place among recent vintages. Supremely elegant and classically austere in bearing, the 2016 is sublime. The vibrancy of the flavors is captivating, as is the wine’s energy. All the 2016 needs is time.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2056
Robert Parker 100
This is the stuff of dreams. Tasted so young, I did a lot of coaxing to nudge the wine along, thanks to a double decant and a few extra hours in an open bottle. I tasted both samples I had over the course of a few weeks. Those efforts served well, but the wine remains packed tight and full of nervous energy regardless, indicating that its true potential won’t be seen for another 10 or 20 years, or likely more. The Bartolo Mascarello 2016 Barolo is a true icon of the vintage. The approach is elongated and silky, like lifting honey from a jar. The aromas are chiseled and focused with wild berry, licorice, candied orange peel, campfire ash, rusted iron, crushed graphite and pencil shaving. The wine’s personality is downplayed, elegant and demure in one tasting but exuberant and expressive in the next. The tannins show snap and crunch, indicating they will drive the wine forward over many years of cellar age. This is one of those rare wines that is poised to improve with each increment of time. Structurally, it is perfect. If we were to create a template for an aspirational Barolo, this would be it.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2060
Bottled in August 2019. Lustrous mid ruby. Great purity, lift and focus with cherry and raspberry fruit. Great freshness. Compact raspberry fruit with energetic, long tannins and a build-up of perfumed red fruit on the finish. (WS)
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2028