Nose: Earthy, mineral, herbal notes with hints of berry fruit
Palate: Earthy and mineral, plum, herbal with firm tannins and acidity
Finish: Clean and refreshing from the acidity, earthy and plumy fruits echo the aromas and flavors
The Mascarello Dolcetto Bricco thoroughly impressed Lisa a few months back and when I saw the bottle in a shop a few weeks ago I had to snap one up. The first time we had this wine it was at the bar at Cru, a great restaurant in New York City that has a deep and high quality wines by the glass menu. Not to mention two enormous wine lists; one each for red and white and each the size of the Bible! Cru is a special place to grab a glass of wine and a cheese plate if in the area or planned out. Dinner is fabulous and one can have dinner about 20 different ways in 3-9 course creations; made to order with as many or little courses as you wish or can eat based on your tastes and preferences (off menu), a seasonal 7 course tasting menu, or create your own prix fixe dinner based on the usual 11 First Courses and 8 Main Courses and 5 deserts. You can also pair with your meal with the premium wines by the glass poured at the bar or maybe talk the sommelier into some 1990 DRC and 82 Mouton! For my 30th birthday Lisa and I dined here and had the 4 course prix fixe (I had 5).
At first I was surprised how dark the wine was. The first time around I guess I did not notice it as the bar area at Cru is pretty dim. The nose had old northern Italian smells of earthiness, minerality and herbal notes with some red berry fruit. The herbal notes were not easy to pick out but I would say sage bay leaf, and maybe some tobacco. On the palate we had plum fruit, with tastes of the herbal notes, leather and lots of minerality and earthiness. It tasted like the wine was made in the large Italian casks and after some research I found out they were raised in large Slovenian oak casks (see picture at right). Highly structured with firm tannin and acid structure, this wine had a lot of stuffing and was excellent. This is not a wine for beginners; those without proper palate appreciation would think this is bitter and tannic. I thought it was a great Dolcetto, even at an uncharacteristically freakish 14.5% alcohol because of the super high tannin and acid content that balanced the high alcohol content. I can still taste the finish, delicious!