Why is this Wine so Yummy?
The name ‘Ginestra’ is reserved for the top wines, and the oldest vines in the best sites. Paolo Conterno’s Barolo Ginestra has come a ways from the bottlings of the early 00’s as Giorgio Conterno loosened his firm grasp on ultra traditional winemaking, meaning this cuvee is now more approachable while still showing the powerful potential of this site. It’s certainly one of the more traditionally Barolo wines you will find, with a deliberately long maceration period and extended elevage in large oak. The 2016 bottling iss indicative of a truly magical time for Barolo, where tradition is meeting approachability beautifully.
100% Nebbiolo from 30+y/o vines on the Ginestra vineyard, Monforte d’Alba, Barolo, calcerous-clay over blue marl, 300m ASL, 30 days maceration in large oak, ageing in 35HL French and Slavonian oak botti for 36 months, unfined and unfiltered, cork.
Readers will find much to admire in these current releases from Paolo Conterno. Proprietor Giorgio Conterno bottles three Barolos from his estate vineyards in Ginestra. The Riva del Bric is made from an east-facing slope and sees a shorter amount of time on the skins, typically 15-18 days, a choice made to facilitate a bit more early approachability. The Ginestra and the Riserva see 30-40 days on the skins and are naturally more structured Barolos. Aging is done in cask, all Allier oak.
About Paolo Conterno
Paolo Conterno founded Casa della Ginestra in 1886, not long after the birth of Barolo as we know it. He was one of the very first growers in the Langhe to sell barrels of wine directly to consumers from the cellar, eschewing the well-established négociants of the time. He developed a loyal following of connoisseurs demanding his wines, and the independent estate has prospered over now five generations.
The unassuming Casa della Ginestra, at the top of the Ginestra hill was one of the pioneering producers in Barolo. Paolo Conterno had the foresight to predict a market for fine, single vineyard wines, and from as early as 1886 he began to sub-divide his vineyard by variety and exposure. You’ll find 19th century bottles in the cellar bearing the name ‘Ginestra’ even with the omission of ‘Barolo’. Although this is not the most famous Barolo producer bearing the Conterno name, it is the original, pre-dating even the (neighboring) Giacomo Conterno estate by around 20 years
Today Giorgio Conterno is at the helm of winery, which produces brilliant, classically styled expressions from the Ginestra cru, renown for wines with dark colors, brooding tannins and incredible aromatics, hallmarks of its dense, clay-heavy Helvetian soil and relatively high elevation. The estate’s style is rooted in tradition: extended macerations and long aging in large casks, with the resulting wines perfectly reflecting Ginestra’s excellence: laser pure perfumes, great balance, approachability and long potential for aging.
If you have a little Italian under the belt this ones worth a squizz.
In the Vineyard
Ten hectares or so of calcareous-clayey loam. However, as luck would have it, this land is favourably situated at an altitude of between 300 and 350 metres, arranged on slopes of up to 38%, prevalently exposed to the south and in part to the south east.
The Ginestra Cru is one of the most important vineyards of Barolo, the valley of the long-lived and full-bodied Barolos, a unique terroir the summits of which are favoured by climate monitoring and constant high luminosity, enabling the foliage to work with great precociousness, achieving an ideal level of phenolic maturation.
It is not easy to cultivate vineyards situated on slopes of up to 38%. It requires a special kind of experience that only those who have known these lands metre by metre since their childhood can have. Nor is it easy to thin out plants if you have not seen them grow. It is not easy if you don’t have clearly in your mind the idea of a task begun centuries before. It is for this reason that we take care of everything in person.
In the Winery
30-40 days maceration in large oak according to the vintage, ageing in 35HL French and Slavonian oak botti for 36 months, unfined and unfiltered.
Where in the world is Paolo Conterno?
The Ginestra Cru of Monforte is home to Paolo Conterno.
If you have a Barolo MGA 360º subscription check out the Ginestra Cru broken down by producer. Paolo Conterno is surrounded by Diego Conterno, Conterno-Fantino and Elio Grasso.
This 3D flyover is Epic covering each of the communes you can see just how varied and extreme the aspect of each vineyard is and how in the space of a few metres just how dramatically the change.