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September 2015

Barolo Italy Tasting Notes

Bartolo Mascarello 2001

September 1, 2015


I passed!  Time to celebrate!!!!

As you may have seen from the About Me page, I recently received my final passing mark for my last WSET Diploma class. The Diploma level is definitely a serious commitment, and I put in a ton of time and effort over the past two years into passing the 6 units. I am still waiting for the final confirmation from the WSET of my completion of all the requirements, but I would like to think that barring any serious issue I am done. And that is why the day I received my grade, it was time to celebrate.

Normally people like to celebrate a momentous occasion with Champagne, but on this day I was conflicted. Certainly the idea of popping open a nice bottle of bubbly crossed my mind when I was thinking of how to rejoice in my accomplishment. And I would bet that many WSET Diploma students choose beer or whiskey over wine since they have certainly had a lot of the latter while they were studying for the Diploma. But I chose to go a completely different route. Rather than going for the bubbles or beer, I went for a legend.

It wasn’t my intention to buy the Bartolo Mascarello 2001 Barolo when I walked into Berkeley Wine Company after getting home from work. But after talking to the owner, Dave, about both the Diploma and my new project, he steered me to the Bartolo. I wanted a wine that had some age to it since I was going to be opening the bottle later that night, so the 2001 was a nice fit. And I wanted a bottle that leaned more towards the traditional side of Barolo. As part of this project, I needed a reference point for how Barolo had been made for years and years (and decades and decades). With the Bartolo Mascarello, I was firmly in the traditional winemaking camp. I walked out of the store with a smile on my face, and a head full of excitement and expectation.

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