The Mascarello family have produced wine in the Langhe since 1881. That makes them elder statesmen in the Piemontese winemaking fraternity and they bring much-needed constancy to a region obsessed with the latest fashions. New French oak and rotary fermenters may be all the rage but the Mascarellos prefer to stick with the traditional vinification that has stood them in good stead for more than a century. These are wines that are made in the vineyard. Manual weeding, rigorous crop thinning and an exceptionally late harvest all combine to create raw material of the very highest quality. I visited the estate during the 2004 harvest and was struck by the scrupulous care taken during the harvest. Each bunch was carefully placed in a series of stacking trays that brought the grapes to the winery in pristine condition; they looked better than most table grapes! The skins were hard and covered with a healthy bloom and were wondrously sweet. It seemed a shame to ferment them.