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03.15.2005

No Barrique, No Berlusconi, No Bartolo

I read today about the passing of Italy's Bartolo Mascarello, often referred to as the patriarch of Barolo. I actually don't know anything about this guy, and I've never had any of his wines, but as I was reading his remembrance, I found myself wishing I had. He was definitely one of the old guard, staunchly defending the old ways of making wine, but also doing it with a sense of humor. Apparently in his later years he began hand painting his own labels, one of the most famous of which was emblazoned with the words "No Barrique, No Berlusconi" capturing perfectly his aversion to the new French oak barrels that are more and more common in the region, as well as his distaste for Berlusconi's politics. When I read that, I realized I gotta go out and find some of his wine.

The world doesn't have enough iconoclasts like this who also have a sense of humor. Ciao Bartolo.

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