The 2003 Barolo Monprivato is made in an atypically big, powerful style loaded with ripe fruit supported by plenty of structure. It boasts an enticing palate presence and a uniquely intense personality. The classic Monprivato notes of ripe cherries, roses, minerals, flowers and herbs are present, but they don’t have the clarity and precision of the finest vintages. In 2003 Mascarello was more severe than normal in his green harvesting of the vineyard as he wanted to lighten the load on his plants to reduce their stress. He was also helped considerably by the compact, moisture-retentive soils. Readers who prefer more classically-styled versions of Monprivato may want to revisit the 1999 and 2001 although Mascarello told me he prefers the 2003 to the 2001. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2023. (AG)
Mascarello's 2003 Barolo Monprivato blossoms beautifully in the glass with gorgeous volume, polished tannins and lovely overall balance. Red cherries, plums, spices, tobacco and crushed flowers all open up in an effortless Monprivato with plenty of near-term appeal. Here, too, the heat of the vintage is evident, but it is the structure that gives the wine its sense of proportion. (AG)
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