lunedì 14 novembre 2011
With the never calming argument of traditionalism vs modernism in the land of Barolo it is easy for one to make a prejudgment on the wines of the Conterno brothers. Giacomo Conterno making the classic traditional wines, while Aldo Conterno after traveling to California separated from his familys label to make his own wines in 1970 with a more modern approach. Last week I was sipping 2006 Nebbiolo from Cantina dei Produttori Nebbiolo di Carema. What an amazing value and a beautiful expression of traditional Nebbiolo. A few minutes later I was given a pour of 2003 A. Conterno Il Favot which at the time I thought was barriqued. The 2003 vintage however is the one exception as Aldo didn't produce any Barolo and declassified everything to the Il Favot label. While tasting it later he realized his mistake and its potential as becoming a beautiful Barolo and refused to put it in barriques as it normally would have traveled to. The 2003 didnt settle with me so well though and maybe it was the short maceration period that gave it an uneasy modern drinking style. Being very concentrated and rich, I dumped the glass and reached back for the Carema.
Two nights ago we were able to uncork an A. Conterno Barolo Granbussia 1971. I didnt have a great knowledge of Aldo Conterno wines and spent most of my energy in the past learning about Giacomo Conterno wines as I usually side with the traditionalists... so the hell with the modernists right? But Granbussia is an excellent display of Nebbiolo and is bottled only in the best years. From 1970 up until 1985 the grapes were sourced from the Colonnello and Cicala vineyards in Monforte d'Alba. After 1985 the grapes are coming 70% from the Romirasco vineyard. Granbussia has a relatively long maceration period of 2-3 weeks depending on the vintage and is always aged in large Slavonian oak barrels.
The 71 is the first commercial bottling of the Granbussia. How glorious it always is to unwrap and uncork the dirty moldy top of old Nebbiolo! At first whiff this wine had crazy aromas of asian spice, ginger and peperoncino. On the palate it was long and delicate showing off nice terroir and notes of roses, fig, truffles and dark chocolate while having a touch of silkiness and elegance to it. Yes at first choice I would drink Giacomo Conterno, but this old Granbussia was intriguing and a wine worth pondering over.
For an interesting post on 1937 Aldo Conterno Barolo coming originally from 12.5 liter quarto di brenta check out Rarewinoco.com