Mission Codename Conter-YES!
Best Barolo WIA!
Love us a good Barolo around here. It’s an expensive obsession, as they can cost dearly…
As Vinous says, “Diego and Stefano Conterno have put their small estate on the map in a relatively short amount of time, these beautifully translucent, traditionally made Barolos have so much to offer.” And Galloni continues… “I would start by exploring the entry-level Barolos, as they do a wonderful job of conveying the house style and the personality of Monforte, while also being relatively approachable.”
All the grandeur and beauty you can hope for at 40% OFF ending up in the mid $30s??!!
And don’t let that “entry-level” bit fool you. It’s a blend of three celebrated Crus of Monforte d’Alba. Places most Piemontese winemakers dream of getting fruit from: Ginestra, San Giovanni, and Bricco San Pietro. In the hands of a master, the sum becomes greater than the parts, nonetheless.
Operatives who’ve been us over the years will recall our days with back-to-back sellouts from Conterno-Fantino, which is Diego’s old stomping grounds. In Barolo, the pendulum swings wide, advocates of traditionalism on one side with minimal intervention via a lighter hand, and those on the very opposite, modernists who ripen Nebbiolo to optimal levels, then expose it to 100+ percent new oak to smooth things out over time. While Conterno-Fantino was a textbook modernist, when Diego broke out to own his own domain, he reset himself as a traditionalist.
This wine though, we must say, for a vintage Vinous describes as “light in structure, body and overall intensity” is incredibly rich and concentrated, even from a traditionalist’s standpoint. We agree with Vinous, not touching it for a couple of years is wise, as the open bottle took days to shed those iron-clad telltale tannins, and what emerged was BREATHTAKING. And the good news? If you have the patience or can open it WAY early, it just gets better and better!
Inky ruby, with a brilliant crimson edge. As it aerates, layers upon layers leap out of the glass, with the best of pure red fruits, plum sauce, candied orange peel, and incense. The mouthfeel is luxurious and equally layered, like a skyscraper, given a backbone of tall acidity and many colorful facades alternating between berries, spices, herbs, savory, saline, as well as mineral notes. Almost too much going on as the finish crescendos through the clouds, authoritatively, decidedly pleading for the richest, creamiest dishes that are concealed behind layers of freshly shaved white truffles.
Should you splurge on the precious ingredients this deserves to be served alongside, trust us, the best value on that table will be the wine itself, thanks to the tremendous deal this is. We scooped up every bottle of it there was, now it’s your turn for one last round.
94 Points – Decanter
“Diego Conterno is an ex-partner of Conterno Fantino and founded his own estate in 2003. He manages 7.5 hectares in Monforte d’Alba. Bright ruby in colour - no garnet - this has complex layers on the nose of dried cherry and darker cranberry, with vibrant rose petal, tar and camphor, the nose has layers and complexity. Firm and austere on the palate, it has bracing acidity in a tight-knit structure, with an assertive blood orange flavour and an austere finish with the acidity remerging to add refreshment. Built to age. Drink 2021-2040.”
Pure red fruit, plum sauce, candied orange peel, spices
Inky ruby, with a brilliant crimson edge
Pure red fruits, plum sauce, candied orange peel, incense
Berries, spices, herbs, as well as savory, saline, mineral notes
Almost too much going on as it crescendos through the clouds
Pleading for the richest, creamiest dishes with white truffles
What the Winery Says
- Diego & Stefano Conterno
- 100% Nebbiolo
- Monforte d’Alba
- Ginestra, San Giovanni, Bricco San Pietro
- Clay with limestone and marl
- 960-1,140 feet above sea level
- Age of vines
- 10-30 years
- 30 months
- Stockinger 50HL oak botti and cement tank