Neb Vinous Cantina Bartolo Mascarello Barolo Dinner
@ Hearth, East Village, NYC, 8/22/2016

This group was started by Tony Kim through the discussion forum on Antonio Galloni's Vinous. We've been meeting semi-regularly to drink Nebbiolo for close to two years now. The goal here was to put together a wide range of the Barolos of Cantina Bartolo Mascarello. We accomplished that. The first two were mostly made by Bartolo's father Giulio. The last four were made entirely by his daughter, Maria-Teresa after his death in 2005.

For more background on this legendary winery, check out the FWG's page on Cantina Bartolo Mascarello and the FWG's July 2016 visit to the winery.

We met at Hearth, 403 East 12th St. (at 1st Avenue) in the East Village at 6:30.

Click on any photo with a border for a larger view of that photo. Some larger photos contain more image as well as much higher resolution and are typically 3-4 MB.

In rushing around, I did not get any photos of the semi-private room where we had dinner.
Here are a couple from the Twitter feed of the restaurant:
The table by the window is where we ate.

The other table is where we had our wines set up:

The wines close up:

The menu:

Delicious bread and butter:


Flight 1
Warm Summer Vegetables in Bagna Cauda with Potato and Basil.
This might have gone OK with the Champagne, but with the Barolos, it was a salty, gooey mess.

The Story of This Bottle of 1955 Cantina Mascarello Barolo Riserva

There is the sweet story as to how this bottle of 1955 Cantina Mascarello Barolo Riserva came into my possession. In September 1990, my friend Ezio [the distinguished Italian professor who got me into Nebbiolo long ago] arranged a visit to the Gaja winery through his friend Gianfranco. (A few photos of that visit.) Even then this was not an easy visit to get, but Ezio said that Gianfranco knew Angelo Gaja, so we got this visit. Then while we were standing in the courtyard of the winery at the end of our tour, I found out that Angelo was going to take us to lunch and was thrilled. While we were waiting, a little girl rang the doorbell to the winery and was buzzed in. I was surprised to see Gianfranco run behind the door, come up behind the little girl, and tickle her. She was surprised, but when she saw that it was Gianfranco, she gleefully jumped into his arms. I turned to Ezio, "Gianfranco KNOWS Gaja?" Oh, he smiled, "Didn't I tell you that Gianfranco and his wife babysit Angelo's children?" The little girl was Angelo's younger daughter Rossana, who was about 6 at the time.

Now, all these years later, on the night I arrive in Turin in July 2016, my friend Ezio plans a special meal (his wife is a great cook). He invites Gianfranco and opens 1990 Giacosa Asili Riserva, 1961 Monfortino, and 1983 d'Yquem. On top of all this, Gianfranco gives me this bottle of 1955 Cantina Mascarello AND apologizes that it is not my birth year (1954). To add to all the connections with this bottle, a few days before this dinner, Gianfranco and his wife had been at Rossana Gaja's wedding!

You can see the details of this fantastic dinner at Ezio's, as well as Gianfranco's presentation to me, here. You can see the details of the visit Ezio and I had with Rossana's sister Gaia Gaja two days later here.

This bottle was a nice way to start this tasting of Barolos made by 3 generations of the Mascarello family, since Gianfranco told me that the case this bottle came from was handed to him by Giulio Mascarello at the winery. At the time (1958 or so), Giulio confided to Gianfranco that his son Bartolo was making good progress and might some day be a good winemaker. This bottle sat untouched in Gianfranco's cellar all these years until he gave it to me.

Here are more photos of the 1955 Barolo Riserva including the tissue paper in which it was stored all these years:

The cork from the 1955:

Flight 2
Maiale Tonnato [Vitello Tonnato made with Pork] with Celery, Parsley, and Capers.

Flight 3
Tagliatelle with Sage, Butter, and "Parm".

Flight 4
Spatchock Chicken Cacciatore with Olives, Peppers, and Polenta.

Robiola cheese with Market Berries and Pine Nuts.


The consistently outstanding quality of this wine over 6 decades and three winemakers certainly confirms its standing as one of the great historic wineries of the world. It is also the epitome of the elegant natural style of winemaking practiced at this estate since 1919: Grow healthy grapes, select carefully, let the wine make itself.

My tasting notes posted from CellarTracker.

Eric Guido's notes on this dinner are here and here.

Mark Scudiery notes on this dinner are here.

Vinous thread on this dinner is here. [Subscription required.]



All original content © Ken Vastola