Tag Archives: Giacomo Conterno

Three days in Barolo + Barbaresco.

Well we have had three fantastic days today we head to Calabria and Sicily. As well as seeing all our producers we represent in Australia via Mondo Imports, we had some great tasting at some of the best producers in the Langhe.

The highlights included a tour and tasting with Roberto Conterno from Giacomo Conterno (trying the 2010 Monfortino out of barrel) and dinner last night with Gaia Gaja over a bottle of 78 Barbaresco.



An il vino da tavola dinner: Serralunga d’alba and its Crus – Thursday 20th February 2014

Serralunga (Barolo)
Serralunga (Barolo)

Serralunga d’Alba and its Crus

There are 29 recognized crus in the Serralunga Alba zone. We can only mention some of the most famous here. Coming from Alba, on the left, on the border with the Diano dʼAlba township is La Rosa, 9 hectares on asteep slope with excellent exposure, producing an elegant Barolo. Driving towards the town we come to Baudana and Cerretta, then Prapò, 7 hectares of perfect exposure that give tannic, structured wines.

Right after Prapò is a hill where the most interesting and well-known vineyards of Serralunga are found: Gabutti, Parafada, Delizia and Lazzarito. Historically, the quality of these grapes has always brought a higher than average price. Near the town center, to the west, Marenca and Margheria are both extraordinarily beautiful and in excellent positions. Nearby, the town at your back, on the right is Vigna Rionda, an historic vineyard of over 10 hectares, mostly facing south. Its wines are noted for their grand structure, sustained tannins and marked longevity. Continuing on the road to Roddino, we find Briccolina, Ornato and Falletto. Further, almost at the edge of the Serralungazone, facing Ginestra di Monforte, is Francia with almost 10 hectares. Rionda, or Giacosa and Collina Rionda, made until 1993, or Vietti and Lazzarito, Ceretto and Prapò, Brovia and Ca’ Mia, Conterno and both Cascina Francia and Monfortino. 

serralunga map

Serralunga has compact, sandstone-based soil dating from the Helvetian epoch, high in sand, limestone, iron, phosphorus and potassium, its makeup varying widely from vineyard to vineyard. The soil of Serralunga tends to produce intense, structured wines that need more time to mature. Wines from here differ from all other Barolos, except for some from Monforte, because they are, above all, tannic, austere, and some cases even rough. “The reason for such an evident tannic presence is, I think, tied to what’s under our feet as well as what’s above,” says Gianpiero Romana, an agronomist. “The soil of Serralunga is very eroded and shallow, with a percentage of active limestone that’s much higher than elsewhere in the Barolo zone. The percentage of clay is low, that of sand is high. Nebbiolo has roots that, by their nature, need soil to explore. Here they don’t find much nourishment, and so plant vegetation is limited. If the plant has trouble finding what it needs underground, its leaves look for radiant energy above ground. The result is a very high tannin content in the grapes, with the tannins maturing slowly and gradually. That has to occur in the bottle after the right vinification and aging.”

Noted Wineries in Serralunga


Augusto Cappellano is the fifth generation of the family to produce wine from vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba.  His great-grandfather, Filippo, acquired substantial acreage there and, in 1870 established the azienda.  At his death, his son, Giovanni, an oenologue, continued his father’s work, selling their wine to clients from Liguria through Piedmont.  Giovanni’s brother, Giuseppe, was a pharmacist who created the family formula for their famous (then and again now) Barolo Chinato, the Barolo infused with a variety of “medicines”.  Giovanni died in 1912 from a tropical fever contracted in Tunisia, perhaps while he was looking for vines that were not susceptible to phylloxera.  Giuseppe then retired from his pharmaceutical chores to run the estate and he decided to sell his grapes to the Gancia company, one of the major wine producers in the Langhe. To continue the story, Giuseppe passed away in 1955.  Shortly thereafter, Augusto’s father, Teobaldo, who was born and raised in Eritrea, returned to Serralunga to revive the azienda.  He rebuilt the cantina and the image of Cappellano as well – this time much smaller in size (four hectares) but far more grand in quality.  In his turn, he also produced once again the extraordinary Barolo Chinato using the ancient family recipe, all the while becoming one of the most admired and respected figures in the Barolo district.  Augusto now takes the reins and will now place his special mark on the wines of this estate.  We are very pleased to begin our collaboration with Augusto Cappellano.

The four hectares of vineyards owned by the Cappellano family are principally in Serralunga d’Alba and are supplemented by a small parcel in the neighboring village of Novello from which Cappellano produces his Nebiolo d’Alba.  The vineyards in Serralunga are situated in the Gabutti cru which is on the western slopes of Serralunga at approximately 300 meters altitude. The land is farmed according to organic principles and the production of the wine is accomplished following the credo of “Vini Veri”: indigenous yeasts are relied upon, the use of sulfur is strictly limited, vinification is traditional (long fermentation, extended aging in large, old botte) and the wine is not filtered prior to bottling.  The Barolo Chinato is produced by following the family recipe handed down generation to generation.  The “medicinal” herbs and spices are ground using a stone mortar and pestle.  Both the recipe and the process are family secrets.

Giacomo Conterno

Though most histories of the famed Giacomo Conterno estate begin with its namesake, the estate was founded by his father, Giovanni Conterno, in 1908. Giovanni placed emphasis on making premium quality Barolo only in great vintages using long fermentation and aging periods to create the best aging potential. Giovanni taught his son, Giacomo, well, and when he returned from serving in WW I, Giacomo had a vision to make a Barolo that would age for decades.

Previous to Giacomo Conterno, winemakers made and sold Barolo in cask or demijohn. It was a wine intended for early drinking. In the 1920s, Giacomo realized his vision through extending the grapes’ maceration time and aging the wine in large, old wooden botti. The estate managed to stay afloat and even prosper over the years thanks to the Italian tradition of giving Barolo as a prestigious Christmas gift; like just a few other producers, they had substantial orders from companies such as Fiat and Pirelli to feed their success. In the early ‘60s, Giacomo decided to pass the winery to his sons, Giovanni and Aldo, passing on his credo: “Only premium quality can bring prestige to the Langhe.” Giovanni and Aldo worked together until 1969, when Aldo branched off and founded his own estate, the Poderi Aldo Conterno. Giovanni brought his son, Roberto, to work with him in 1988, and Roberto took control of the estate upon his father’s passing in 2004.

Until the 1970s, Poderi Giacomo Conterno owned no vineyards; the estate made its wines from select old-vine grapes that it purchased from farmers. But as farmers increasingly began bottling their own wine, the estate felt the need to purchase its own land; in 1974, the estate purchased the densely planted 17-acre Francia vineyard, one of Piemonte’s great monopole sites. Boasting southwest exposure and sitting about 400 meters above sea level, Francia’s grapes offer deep tannins, creating ideal cellaring wines–in fact, the estate bottles its renowned Monfortino from the very best grapes grown in the same vineyard. Giacomo Conterno hews close to tradition in crafting its wines, and the estate makes its Barolos with natural yeasts, temperature controlled fermentation and a lengthy maceration; after this, the wine is aged in large Slavonian botti and aged in bottle for four years

Known for its superb long-lived wines, this estate recently narrowed its focus strictly to Nebbiolo and Barbera. Giacomo Conterno uses only the highest quality grapes from Cascina Francia in Serralunga d’Alba for their two famed Barolos: the ‘Cascina Francia’ and the legendary ‘Monfortino’ Riserva. The densely planted Francia vineyard has southwest exposure and is about 400 meters above sea level. Grapes gathered here offer deep tannins, creating ideal cellaring wines. Recently, the estate has added a third Barolo, Cerretta, from a Serralunga vineyard that it bought in 2008.


Great-grandfather Giovanni Massolino created the winery in 1896 and all the generations since have continued his work. Over the years, the family has bought the best pieces of land in Serralunga d’Alba, and now there are four important crus: Vigna Rionda (3 hectares), Margheria, Parafada and Corda della Briccolina. Single-vineyard Barolos come from the first three. “Our first purchase was in Parafada, in 1955,” says Roberto Massolino. “Then in 1959, my father exchanged two giornate, an old Piedmontese land measure, in a less desirable zone for a giornata in Vigna Rionda. Margheria was in 1978. Little by little we got to our current 26 hectares.” The style of their wine is basically traditional, above all their vinification. Maceration is long, from 15-25 days depending on the vintage year. The wine is held for 42 months in 50 hectoliter French and Slovenian barrels for Vigna Rionda, 24 months for Margheria. Parafada, up to 2007, underwent briefer maceration, under 10 days, and aged in barrique for 18 months. “We decided to change our vinification of Parafada, which now will be like our other wines. After a long period of pondering the question, we decided that since ours is an historic winery and we love a certain kind of wine, it didn’t make sense to produce something so distant from what we feel we are. We needed to choose which side we were on. We believe deeply in the potential of this cru and its capacity to express itself better through a traditional vinification.”

Vigna Rionda-Massolino

Serralunga d’Alba

tel. 0173613138



Luigi Pira established the estate in the 1950s and until the 1990s its business consisted of selling grapes and wine to local entrepreneurs. Then when Giampaolo and his brother Romolo came into the winery, things changed. “When my brother and I started working here,” said Giampaolo Pira, “we wanted to truly exploit the potential of our vineyards, producing and bottling ourselves. Many people came to the same conclusions in those years.” They own about ten hectares of vineyard subdivided into various crus, among the most important of which, bottled separately, are Vigna Rionda (1 hectare), Marenca (2.30 hectares), and Margheria (1.30 hectares). The estate produces about 50,000 bottles of Barolo of which half is the basic wine. “Vinification is the same for all our Barolos, with maceration lasting from 10-12 days at controller temperatures. Maceration in wood differs, taking place in large barrels for the base wine and Margheria, and in small barrels for Marenca and Vigna Rionda. You can definitely describe ours as a modern style, but without excess or extremes.”

Luigi Pira

Serralunga d’Alba

tel. 0173613106


Right from the start Fontanafredda was a large estate,well over 100 hectares. Victor Emanuel II, the king of Sardinia bought it in 1858 when Piedmont was a land with many tiny subsistence-level farms. It became productive only 20 years later when his son, Emanuele Guerrieri, count of Mirafiori, decided to devote himself to growing grapes in way way that was extremely modern for its time. “That was a glorious time for Fontanafredda,” says Giovanni Minetti, who heads the estate now. “The wines were even exported. Then, when the estate passed to the next generation, Fontanafredda was sold to a bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena.” During the 20th century, the estate preserved its original atmosphere and facilities, but the last decade of the century brought about change and a significant attention to quality. Fontanafredda began to fill the role that history and its potential demanded. It now turns out 450,000 bottles, including a basic Serralunga and three crus, two in Serralunga, Vigna La Rosa from a 9- hectare vineyard and Vigna La Delizia – over 8 hectares, and one in the Barolo municipality, Vigna La Villa, over 3 hectares. “Our objective is to produce classic wines that can express the unique territory of the Langhe. So we use long maceration – the only way to typicity! and 2-3 year old barrels, so that their fragrances don’t overwhelm the characteristics of the grape.”


Serralunga d’Alba

tel. 0173626111


Ca’ Rome’

Romano Marengo founded Ca’ Rome’ in 1980, and though he was only 46 years old at the time, this warm, wonderful man already had three decades of professional experience in the wine world behind him. The Ca’ Rome’ philosophy starts with the name. Ca’ is short for casa, or home, and for the Marengos the winery is their home and their family.

Romano is flanked by his wife, Olimpia, and their enologist son Giuseppe, who assists him in styling the range, and daughters Paola, who is in charge of PR and Marketing, and Maria. The first impression of Ca’ Rome’, is a quiet, country-home air, made for leisure and family life. It is easy to see Romano grew his children and his wines with the same sterling discipline, the same sense of excellence and impeccable standards. Ca’ Rome’ is a home to classic red wine-making, and to the very finest quality in life, as in wines. The cornerstones of the Ca’ Rome’ philosophy are the most rigorous grape selection, state-of-the-art vinification, and attentive élevage in oak, both 25-hectoliter Slavonian barrels, and French barriques. The family’s focus on simplicity, sincerity, and kindness is exuded in everything they do, from crafting the wines to entertaining visitors at the winery.

Today Ca’ Rome’ covers 17 acres under vine, five of the acres are rented and run by the Marengos as Piedmontese vineyard space is notoriously hard to come by. The vineyards are partly located at Barbaresco, partly atSerralunga d’Alba, in Barolo territory. There are three crus: the Rabajà cru, the Rio Sordo cru, famous for Barbarescos of great finesse, and, in Barolo territory: the Serralunga cru, renowned for structure and magnitude.

BAROLO “RAPET” DOCG: This is a single-vineyard (planted in 1972 and covering 1 hectare, 2.4

acres) from the Serralunga cru, renowned for its structure. Altitude is 310-371 m. a.s.l. (1,017-1,217 feet), exposure is southerly and the clones are Nebbiolo Michet and Lampia. Density is 5,000 vines per hectare (2,023 per acre), with a very low crop yield of 1.3 kilos, 2.8 pounds, per vine. Ageing is 2 years in oak barrels and barriques, then 1 year in bottle. The resulting wine is a textbook Barolo: intense crimson color, ample, elegant bouquet showing ethereal aromas and classic dried rose petals with underlying brushwood notes, full body with perfectly balanced components, fruit, tannis and acidity in ideal synergy, and a consistent, lingering finish. Can be cellared for up to 15-25 years

My brief impressions on the Wines on the night:


Bracket One

Luigi Pira Barbera d’ Alba 2011: high in alcohol which stands out on the palate. Needs time to loose it’s puppy fat and even then will be an each way bet.

Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba 2011: also high in alcohol but balanced. Lovely wine, high in acid but balanced. Could drink this young or old.

Bracket Two

Cappellano Barbera d’Alba 2000: oxidised

Cappellano Gabutti Barbera d’Alba 2009: good, touch of brett masking some of the fruit. Well balanced.


Bracket Three

Ca’ Rome Rapet Barolo 1990: Looking good, quite broad but fruit, acid and tannins all in great nick. Still got some years left in it.

Fontanafredda Vigna La Rosa Barolo 1990: Looking great, lovely wine, tannin and impressive. Awesome.

Bracket Four

Cappellano Otin Fiorin Gabutti Barolo 1996: Beautiful nose, traditional and still quite tannic. Lovely.

Massolino Viogna Rionda Parafada Barolo 1996: Youthful, still quite closed, needs time to open up but fantastic wine.

Bracket Five

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia Barolo 2000: awesome, in the grove. Still a few years to go before hittings it’s prime. Will be long lived.

Fontanafredda Vigna La Rosa Barolo 2000: commercial style, opposite in style to the 1990. Lacks depth and complexity.

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia Barolo 2005: just starting to open up. More like a three year old wine than nine. Can’t wait to see it in another ten years.

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia Barolo 2007: closed but riper fruit. Not my favourite vintage and it shows even with this magical producer.

Bracket Six

Luigi Pira Margheria Barolo 2008: high toned, still young but not my style of Barolo.

Massolino Margheria Barolo 2008: beautiful wine, in the groove even from a young age. It needs time but will be a classic.

Cappellano Otin Fiorin Pie Rupestris 2008: just at the start of it’s journey and will develop like the 1996 Cappellano. Great wine and great producer.

Cappellano Barolo Chinato: The doctor, the original and the best. Love Chinato to finish the meal.

Two brothers tale of Barbera & Barolo: Aldo and Giacomo Conterno @ Scopri Thursday 18th October

On Thursday the 18th of October at Scopri Food and Wine, I will be running the second of a series of dinners’ looking at the best winemakers and best wines of Italy. 

This dinner is a comparison of two great brothers who started off at their family winery together before Aldo went his own way. This dinner is sold out, but if you would like to get on the waiting list for this dinner or are interested in future dinners email me at anthdanna@gmail.com

Their father was the acclaimed Barolista Giacomo Conterno, one of the denomination’s twentieth century pioneers who in 1920 began bottling the family’s Barolo Riserva, so heralding the birth of Monfortino, arguably Barolo’s most iconic wine.

 In 1961, Conterno and his brother Giovanni inherited the Giacomo Conterno winery; the two brothers went their separate ways in 1969 and Aldo created his own estate, Poderi Aldo Conterno, in Bussia in Monforte d’Alba.

 ‘Aldo Conterno was really a great man. He made Barolo history over the last fifty years by continuing to take the reputation of this unique wine to its highest level,’ said Pietro Ratti, a Barolo producer and president of the Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Roero.

One of the secrets of Conterno’s success, besides owning prime vineyards, was his open-mindedness, a quality few other Barolo producers from his generation possessed, and a trait which perhaps originated when Conterno moved to California in the 1950s to help his uncle establish a winery.

 Soon after arriving however, Aldo opted to complete his mandatory Italian military service in the US Army and served during the Korean War. By the time he got out, his uncle had abandoned the winery venture and Conterno returned to Piedmont.

 Aldo became known for balancing tradition with new techniques. By the 1970s, in an effort to reduce Barolo’s massive tannins, he had reduced customary fermentation times and abandoned the submerged cap method in favor of pumping over – all radical decisions at the time.

 Although he allowed his sons Franco, Stefano and Giacomo to use barriques for the firm’s other wines, he insisted on large Slavonian casks for Barolo.

‘Vanilla, toast, spice and sweet tannins don’t belong in Barolo,’ he said. Aldo Conterno’s celebrated Barolos include Granbussia Riserva and single vineyard bottlings Romirasco, Cicala and Colonnello. Decanter

Aldo Conterno Conca Tre Pile Bussia 2009 Barbera Alba


VINEYARD: Conca Tre Pile in Bussia (Monforte d’Alba).

HARVEST: manual, with grapes selection in the vineyard.

TIME OF HARVEST: first week of October.

VINIFICATION: red, with skin soaking inside stainless steel vats.

VINIFICATION TIME: the must stays on contact with the skins for about 8 to 10 days and it is further drawn off wine ; finally, the alcoholic VINIFICATION gets complete. 
VINIFICATION TEMPERATURES: from 26 to 28 degrees centigrades.

CELLAR REFINING: the new wine spends a few months inside stainless steel vats, it is transferred several times, and, consequently, it is poured onto barrels (“barriques”) where it remains for 12 months; finally, it will be bottled.

NOTES: the “Conca Tre Pile” is a hilly area in Bussia Soprana whose main vines are Barbera’s with vineyards having a maximum age of 45 years. The barrels (“barriques”) are 100% made of new wood.

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 2009 Barbera d’Alba

The 2009 Barbera d’Alba Cascina Francia is at first quite a bit more floral and ethereal than the Cerretta, but with time in the glass the wine finds its center. The Cascina Francia dazzles with its combination of expressive, generous fruit and insistent minerality. Sweet herbs, roses, spices, anise, licorice and leather add complexity to a core of radiant fruit. This is a regal, aristocratic Barbera of the highest level. The 2009 has the openness of vintages such as 2007, but with the medium-bodied structure and finesse of silkier vintages such as 2004, which is a very appealing combination. This is a very complete, harmonious wine from Roberto Conterno. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2029. 93 points Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate 197, October 2011

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 2010 Barbera d’Alba –Monforte

The 2010 Barbera d’Alba Cascina Francia is bigger, richer and broader than the Cerretta. Rose petals, sweet herbs, plums and dark cherries wrap around the palate in this striking, intensely satisfying Barbera. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030 (92-94) points Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate 200, October 2012

The late and great Aldo Conterno

 Aldo Conterno Grand Bussia Barolo 1997

VINIFICATION: in wood with maceration of the skins in large Slavonia oak casks.

PECIES OF VINE: Nebbiolo, Michet and Lampia varieties.

VINEYARD: Romirasco, Cicala and Colonnelo vineyards (Bussia – Monforte d’Alba).

HARVEST: manual, with grapes selection in the vineyard.

TIME OF HARVEST: mid-October.

VINIFICATION TIME: the must remains in contact with the skins for 60 days, during which the alcoholic fermentation is fully completed.

VINIFICATION TEMPERATURES: variable with maximum peaks of 32 degrees centigrade.

CELLAR REFINING: once removed the new wine remains in large Slavonia oak casks where it ages and refines for 32 montha.

NOTES: the Barolo Reserve Granbussia is produced by blending grapes from the oldest vines, from the Romirasco, Cicala, and Colonnello, before fermentation starts, in the following percentages respectively: 70% – 15% – 15%. Naturally these optimal values may vary depending on the year.

The Granbussia remains in the cellar for at least 7 years before commercialization. It  is produced exclusively in the best years and in limited quantities.

Granbussia, the Barolo Riserva of the house, is made principally from the grapes of the Romirasco vineyard, the estate’s highest, and the altitude was obviously of real assistance in the unusually hot year of 1997. The 1997 Barolo Riserva Granbussia, quite fresh for the vintage, features a sweet, ripe, floral and tarry nose, fine cherry and plum fruit on the rich and full-bodied palate along with minerals, herbs, licorice, and asphalt. Though always a long-lived wine, it generally comes around earlier than Vigna Cicala, and I would choose to drink the wine between 2005 and 2020. 92 points, Daniel Thomases, Wine Advocate #149 Oct 2003

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 1997 Barolo Monforte

1997 Barolo Cascina Francia—Dark ruby. Incredibly beautiful nose of dried flowers and sweet fruit. The 1997 is dense and lush on the palate, showing very ripe dark cherry fruit, with notable extract and glycerin. Another wine that is just singing today, the alluring and irresistible 1997 offers superb drinking now. 92+ points Antonio Galloni In the Cellar Jul 2005


Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 1998 Barolo Monforte

The 1998 Barolo Cascina Francia from Giacomo Conterno is delicate, layered and perfumed, showing gorgeous finesse and lovely inner tension in its fruit. Overall this is a soft, accessible Cascina Francia that is drinking beautifully today and should last for at least another decade. Both bottles I tasted from the property were truly sublime but I should point out that I, and others, have had decidedly different experiences with bottles purchased in the US, which have often come across as more austere for reasons that admittedly remain somewhat of a mystery. For those who are curious, I didn’t included a note on the 1998 Monfortino as it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that the wine is much too young to deliver any real pleasure at this stage, no matter how thrilling the wine might be to taste! Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019. 93 points Antonio Galloni In the Cellar Mar 2009

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 1999 Barolo Monforte

1999 Barolo Cascina Francia—Dark lively red. The exceptional and outrageously decadent 1999 exemplifies the very best qualities of traditional Barolo. A wine of great length and persistence, it offers a multidimensional nose of sweet fruit, minerals and tar and a dense, layered personality bursting with flavors of dark ripe fruit, tar, roses and mint. Of these first four wines, the 1999 is clearly in a league of its own. 94 points/drink after 2009, tasted 05/05 Antonio Galloni In the Cellar Jul 2005

Conterno makes two Barolos both from the Cascina Francia vineyard, one of the great monopole sites in Piedmont. The vineyard was purchased by Giovanni Conterno in 1974 and measures six hectares. Cascina Francia is made in a traditional style, with natural yeasts and temperature-controlled fermentation and maceration lasting 3-4 weeks. The wines are aged in large Slavonian oak casks and are bottled in the summer of the fourth year following the harvest. In great vintages a special selection of the best fruit is made in the vineyard and that fruit becomes the Barolo Riserva Monfortino, perhaps the single most iconic wine in all of Piedmont. Monfortino is also made with natural yeasts, although fermentation/maceration time is longer, lasting 4-5 weeks, and is carried out without the aid of temperature control. Current vintages are aged seven years in cask, but past vintages have seen as much as 10 years of cask aging before being released. Monfortino is legendary for its extraordinary longevity, which is usually measured in decades. Antonio Galloni In the Cellar Jul 2005

Aldo Conterno Bussia Colonnello 2000 Barolo Monforte

SPECIES OF VINE: Nebbiolo, Michet and Lampia varieties.

VINEYARD: “Colonnello” vineyard, in Bussia (Monforte d’Alba).

HARVEST: manual, with grapes selection in the vineyard.

TIME OF HARVEST: mid-October.

VINIFICATION: red, with skin soaking inside stainless steel vats.

VINIFICATION TIME: the must stays on contact with the skins for 30 days: during this time the alcoholic VINIFICATION  gets fully complete, and the wine is then drawn off. VINIFICATION TEMPERATURES: changeable, with highest peaks of 32 degrees centigrades.

CELLAR REFINING: The new wine is racked several times before transfer to large Slavonia oak casks where it is aged and refined for 28 months.

NOTES: the vineyard “Colonnello” is about 40-45 years old and, to maintain it, its vines are replanted from time to time. The main variety of Nebbiolo is Michet and its rootstock is 420 A.

The 2000 Barolo Colonnello reveals a pretty bouquet with early stages of tertiary development. Tobacco, licorice and sweet spices emerge from the Burgundian bouquet. The Colonnello has aged evenly and gracefully. The tannins have melted away while the fruit is soft and expressive. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018. 91 points, Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate #195 Jun 2011

Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala 2000 Magnum 1,5 lt. Barolo Monforte

 SPECIES OF VINE: Nebbiolo, Michet and Lampia varieties.

VINEYARD: “Cicala” vineyard, in Bussia (Monforte d’Alba).

HARVEST: manual, with grapes selection in the vineyard.

TIME OF HARVEST: mid-October.

VINIFICATION: red, with skin soaking inside stainless steel vats.

VINIFICATION TIME: the must stays on contact with the skins for 30 days: during this time the alcoholic

VINIFICATION gets fully complete, and the wine is then drawn off.

VINIFICATION TEMPERATURES: changeable, with highest peaks of 32 degrees centigrades.

CELLAR REFINING: The new wine is racked several times before transfer to large Slavonia oak casks where it is aged and refined for 28 months.

NOTES: the vineyard “Cicala” [meaning: balm-cricket] is about 40-45 years old and its vines are replanted from time to time. The main variety of Nebbiolo is Lampia and its rootstock is Rupestris du Lot.

The 2000 Barolo Cicala opens with gorgeous notes of crushed berries. The 2000 is a relatively small-scaled, lithe Cicala that shows excellent freshness all the way through to the long finish. The wine gains energy and focus in the glass, with suggestions of menthol and pine that add lift. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. 93 points, Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate #195 Jun 2011


Five Decades of Barolo & Barbaresco Dinner: Friday 9th March 2012

Late last year I was approached to organize an Italian dinner featuring some old and great bottles of Barolo and Barbaresco from decades past. Getting the wine was not a problem, as in Italy, there are still many cellars with access to these great bottles. However, buying old bottles does not always guarantee success and it is as much about the cork as it is about vintages, producers, etc.

However on Friday night. The goddess of Italian wine was definitely shining on us, with some of the best examples of aged Barolo and Barbaresco I have drunk in my lifetime. Also Scopri as always did a fantastic job with the food.

Here are my thoughts on the wine:

Zeppole Al Formaggio

Ca’ Del Bosco Franciacorta ‘Anna Maria Clementi’ 2001

Lovely well rounded palate. Someone made the comment of lemon sherbet and it is probably the perfect description for the wine. Also fennel/anice, bright acidity and fantastic length. Years ahead of it.

Quaglia Arrostita con fichi in pancetta

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 1941

An old wine, just a shell of it’s past but still distinctly Nebbiolo. Fantastic nose, still vibrant and alive.

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 1952

Lovely wine, still amazing, still living, breathtaking palate that ticks all the boxes when it comes to Barolo. Roses, violets, vibrant acidity. Incredible.

Spiedini di cervo con marmelata di cipolla rossa

Borgogno Barolo Riserva 1955

Again still alive, lovely fragrance and length. Amazing acidity.

Borgogno Barolo Riserva 1962

Great length, amazing palate. Wow!! Still so young an vibrant. Colour still scream Nebbiolo.

Risotto al radicchio, vino rosso e provola

Mario Minuto fu Giovanni Barbaresco Riserva ‘Fascetto’ 1964

Lovely feminine wine. Still some primary fruit with fantastic texture and length.

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Canale 1967 (released for Alba Truffle Festival 1976

Hints of caramel, mocha, acidity. It is old in age but still plenty of years left in it.

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva ‘Rabaya’ 1967

Perfumed and fragrant, the palate still has amazing length and character.

Tagliatelle al ragu leggero di vitello

Produttori del Barbaresco Riserva Ovello 1970

First bottle corked, second bottle not as complex as previous bottles. Balanced but without any drive or complexity.

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco 1976

Initially amazing, so balanced and complete. Layers upon layers of fruit. However, within 5-10 minutes this wine really died in the glass to leave just a shell. Drink quickly!!

Brasato di agnello al Barolo

Borgogono Barolo Riserva 1976

Dirty wine, milky and unpolished. Almost like the fruit and tannins have been melted together. However a wine a like. Love richness of fruit.

Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo Brunate 1986

Sound wine, but not my style. Old school, a touch simple and outclassed in tonight’s’ line up.

Testun di Barolo

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 1974


Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 1974 (Jeroboam)

Awesome, still years ahead of it. Deep colour, vibrant palate, in the prim of it’s life. This is why I love Produttori so much.

Crostatina ai frutti di bosco

Paolo Saracco Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2011 (Magnum)

This has really settled down in the last few months. Intense, not overly rich but it has amazing drive through the palate. Great way to finish the night.

Overall it was an amazing night and I was so happy with the way the wines look. A dozen great bottles drunk with a dozen fantastic people at one of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants. Pretty hard to beat.

Some amazing old Barolo’s & Barbaresco’s lined up for a dinner next year…..

It is not everyday that you drink 1941 and 1952 Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, but next year I will be hosting one of the greatest collections of old Barolo and Barbaresco served in one sitting in Australia. More details will come out later in the year but my mouth is already watering…

As with all wines, the biggest issue is the cork. If half the wines live up to their reputation it will be an amazing night. For dessert we will be finishing with a 1974 3lt Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco.

The dinner will be held at Scopri and I can’t think of a better restaurant in Melbourne to feature such amazing wines.