Aldo Conterno

Vinitaly. Day #1, Thursday April, 7, 2011 at 16:12. In the same booth, Poderi Aldo Conterno from Monforte d’Alba is back to back with Renato Ratti from La Morra. It’s like dying and going to Barolo heaven. Did I mention Elio Grasso in the neighboring booth? Or Paolo Scavino a cork’s throw away? There’s no shortage of premium wine here, I tell you. 

Barolo is arguably the finest wine-producing area in Italy and thus also one of the best districts in the world. There are so many high-end Piemontese wine producers at Vinitaly you really have to make a tough selection to able to try a handful or two of them. Of course, the Nebbiolo grape reigns here, but there are also nice wines made from Barbera and the oft-overlooked Dolcetto.

Aldo Conterno is one of the best producers in Monforte d’Alba. Located in Bussia, Conterno holds 25 hectares.

First out is the amazing 2008 Conca Tre Pile Barbera d’Alba. 100% Barbera with notes of butter, oak and black cherries. The taste is long and full of minerals and tobacco. This one is oaky in the best sense. Very drinkable.

Next up is the 2008 Il Favot Langhe Nebbiolo. 100% Nebbiolo. This has seen an additional 6 months of oak as compared to the CTP which has been stored in oak for 12 months. Still, there is no barrique sensation in the Il Favot. Sloe, asphalt and tar. Slightly chewy and tannic with a long finish. Could use some calming down in bottle.

Then comes the 2007 Barolo matured on Slavonian oak barrels for 26-28 months. Roses, asphalt and minerals on the nose. Sweet, surprisingly soft taste of cherries and tobacco. A truly amazing wine. Long, round and silky texture. Extremely pleasant. Buy it if you get the chance. The 2005 is 579 SEK at Systembolaget.

Finally, the 2007 Cicala Barolo is tasted. This is one of the finest wines of Monforte and perhaps the whole Barolo appellation. But man is it young. Hazelnuts, tar and tobacco. Jeeeesus, this one is austere. If the Il Favot was slightly chewy, you could use a knife and fork to consume the Cicala. Or perhaps a hammer and a mortise chisel. I have my tounge slip over the inside of my teeth to make sure they’re still there. This power house of a brew will most likely stand up for at least another 20 years. I will certainly buy a couple of bottles when it shows up at Systembolaget. Nevertheless, this is still a tannic monster. There is no other way to put it. This year, the 2006s are out and this will not hit the market until next year.

I think it will be fantastic in time.

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