Serendipity, well Twitter actually, delivered a new friend to my iPad. We share the common passions of Filthy Good Vino and Barolo. A tweet soon followed that included a link that took me to a Documentary on the Langhe. The Langhe is a region of spectacular beauty in Piedmont, Northern Italy. It is home to some of the great Artisans of the culinary world. Think unctuous cheeses, white truffles, in addition to being home to the Founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini. These are not producers of product by recipe on mass. They are custodians of land, animal and vine pursuing excellence in their chosen field.
The link took me to footage of one such custodian, Maria Teresa of Bartolo Mascarello, who shared her philosophy on the production of Barolo. Made only from Nebbiolo grapes, Barolo at its best, is without question, one of the worlds most unique and greatest wines. Befitting wine of such calibre it is also one of the most challenging wines to produce. Bartolo Mascarello hold some of the most prized lands of the Langhe. Maria Teresa’s dedication, her sense of obligation, of duty to preserve the essence of these lands is clear.
Four sites within the sub-region Barolo and one in La Morra contribute to this epic blend. Cannubi, San Lorenzo, Rue, & Rocche del Annunziata (La Morra) amongst them.
Archival footage of her late father demonstrated wisdom that can only be earned by the passage of time and was marked by a head covered with silvery grey hair. His clarity of thought and wry humour in pursuit of an authentic expression of his vines was unclouded by new winemaking technologies that have often confused the wines of others choosing to employ them in Barolo. It is interesting that so many of the great winemakers of the world reflect that it is just as critical to understand what not to do, as what to do, as you guide a grape from the vineyard to the bottle.
Five peeps who live and breathe for the wines of Barolo, peeps, who combined have visited the Langhe on an enviable number of occasions, had only unanimous praise for the craft of Maria Teresa and the exceptional expression of her wines. I can’t wait to try them!
Now I stand with them having the good fortune to devour a vertical of Mascarello’s Barolo and perhaps a dozen more bottles over the last few years.
It is one of the truly great wines of the world.
If you enjoyed this snapshot of a Barolo custodian, check out the Langhe Doc for other stories of Langhe Artisans.