Back in 2005, during my first trip to Italy, I spotted a bottle of Aldo Conterno on the list of fine restaurant in Turin, just to the north of Barolo. As the cork was pulled an insane aroma released that was easily sensed across the table.
From that point I was hooked. Over the following years I’ve devoured bottles across decades. The elegance and finesse of these wines is spectacular. When you see comments of flavours lingering for minutes, they are no exaggeration!
Poderi Aldo Conterno is one of the great estates.
The wine point system has some major flaws, when you see 2 perfect scores of 100 in a lineup, something has to be heading in the right directions!
“Like tasting young Romanée-Conti” James Suckling on the 2005 Granbussia (available in magnum)
Poderi Aldo Conterno is steeped in the history of Barolo. Giacomo Conterno, producer of the famed Barolo Riserva, Monfortino, and, Barolo Cascina Francia, was run by Giacomo’s son’s, Giovani and Aldo, until 1969 when Aldo went his own way, founding Poderi Aldo Conterno.Whilst having differing winemaking philosophies was at the root of the move. They share a commonality, in the desire to make wines that are a great expression of the vineyard, without the interference of small new oak. Aldo Conterno stated, “Vanilla, toast, spice and sweet tannins don’t belong in Barolo”.
The two brothers, Barolista to the core, have undoubtedly gone on to build to of the greatest estates in Barolo.
Aldo Conterno’s wines balance, age in large old oak, Botti, and, stainless to bring poised wines to lovers of great Barolo.
Aldo’s son, Giacomo, speaks to their continued drive to raise the bar. The estate has gone from 200,000 bottles in the 1980’s to around 80,000 today from the same, 25 hectares of vineyard. Combined with this skin contact has increased to 5-6 weeks. This for me ais a sign that the depth of fruit has increased, enabling or perhaps requiring the extended skin contact to tame it and further enhance the mouthfeel of the tannins. Romirasco perhaps the most ageable in Giacomo’s opinion.
Technique aside, Aldo Conterno’s wines are truly wines of incredible beauty.
SPECIES OF VINE: Nebbiolo, Michet and Lampia varieties.
HARVEST: manual, with grapes selection in the vineyard.
TIME OF HARVEST: mid-October.
VINIFICATION: red, with skin contact inside stainless steel vats.
VINIFICATION TIME: the must stays on contact with the skins for 4-5 weeks: during this time the alcoholic fermentation gets fully complete.
VINIFICATION TEMPERATURES: changeable, with highest peaks of 32 degrees centigrades.
CELLAR REFINING: The new wine is decanted several times before transfer to oak casks where it is aged and refined.
Poderi Aldo Conterno’s Holdings
Aldo Conterno’s holdings rest in Bussia, a vein that runs vertically up the centre of the Barolo commune Monforte d’Alba.
His three great vineyards, Cicala, Colonello and Romirasco (sometimes referred to as Rominasco) are clustered together in the very north of Monforte.
Clockwise from left: Romirasco, Colonello, Cicala
In Giacomo’s opinion, his Romirasco perhaps the most ageable in Giacomo’s opinion.
It is these three Cru’s that are bottle separately. The name Granbussia was created by Aldo for his Riserva, a blend of the best parcels of his three Cru’s. It’s typically a blend of 70% Romirasco, 15% Cicala and 15% Colenello.
Around 600 cases of Granbussia are produced, and, only in years deemed to be of outstanding quality.
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