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An old friend in Italy has decided to part with some of their collection of Bartolo Mascarello Barolo, represented here with some older vintages, and especially with a remarkable group of large bottles, purchased over the years (and years ago) from Mascarello.
Recently the part of the Mascarello cellar used for storing old wine was refurbished, and what was a rather jumbled assortment (such that no one really knew what was there) has been rationalized. It’s now even easier to go mooning around over the beautiful old bottles, which (if they’re not behind bars) are guarded by warnings to not touch.
None of the old wines are for sale; certainly by the time I first went there in 2003 nothing was on offer, but Maria Teresa Mascarello has a soft heart and I know some people who, bolder than I, were able to come away with a magnificent souvenir or two (most memorably a friend who somehow talked his way into a 1.92 liter of 1964). Now that things are really organized and it's a lot easier to see how modest the quantities left are, I can't imagine that anything will persuade them to part with another old bottle.
I don’t know the history of the 1.92 liter or the 1.88 liter-size bottle, but next time I’m in Piedmont I’ll ask around. I think that Mascarello last used them in the early 1970s – I remember seeing the 1978 in standard 1.5 liter magnum size, (there’s a handy photo of the ’78 and many other bottles on Ken Vastola’s FineWineGeek). I like to think of the larger bottles as a magnum, plus bonus wine! Jamie Wolff
PLEASE NOTE: some of these wines are still in our warehouse, so they will be available for delivery or pick-up from next Monday, 11/20.