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This is very bright on the nose with acid-driven notes of sour red fruits over sweet graham cracker tones and a plodding, almost vanilla-laced crea... Read more
This is another open and giving nose full of hot iron, candied herbs, big sweet black cherry fruit that is a bit liquory, and ever-so-slightly herb... Read more
Deep and intense on the nose with strong anise and tar tinged sweet dark fruits. Real complexity here with layered notes of medicinal herbs, leathe... Read more
Food Pairings for Giacomo Conterno Barolo
Editorial Reviews for Giacomo Conterno Barolo
This is very bright on the nose with acid-driven notes of sour red fruits over sweet graham cracker tones and a plodding, almost vanilla-laced creaminess. On the palate this is big and a touch alcoholic with a disjointed feel and lots of tannin bouncing all over the palace. The wine has certain hollowness to it, revealing some heat on the palate, but it does gain focus with air. The fruit, while red and bright, takes on a subtle candied tone and remains very simple and sweet through to the modest finish. This was most likely caught at an awkward moment and should improve with time but was underwhelming from this bottle. 89pts
This is another open and giving nose full of hot iron, candied herbs, big sweet black cherry fruit that is a bit liquory, and ever-so-slightly herbal edges. On the palate it doesn’t quite deliver the intensity and depth that the nose suggests, though there is a lot to like here. The fruit is ripe yet remains transparent with very aromatic notes of licorice and tar in the mouth. The finish shows dark fruit, more in the black raspberry end of the spectrum, and while all the structural elements are very well integrated, the wine lacks just a little follow through. Perhaps with time this will come, though there is nothing wrong with enjoying this today for it all offers. 92pts
Deep and intense on the nose with strong anise and tar tinged sweet dark fruits. Real complexity here with layered notes of medicinal herbs, leather, prosciutto, and spice notes over that core of precise fruit. In the mouth the fine round tannins are young yet silky giving the wine unusual elegance. Though the intense frutti di bosco and seared red cherry notes are deep and rich the intense inner mouth note of drying roses offer great lift. Mineral and smoky tones add complexity and length on the finale which is a bit bracing and belies the generally strict character of this wine. The tannins are just a bit austere; a good thing for me, but the fruit buffers it perfectly. Very complete and while excellent this is youthful and will benefit from additional cellaring 2008-2025 93pts.
similar to the Cascina Francia if a shade lighter – exoticly spicy on the nose, confiture note, wood smoke, cherry jam, cedary, strawberry, mace, more obviously fruity but also more complex than the CF, a complex curry like spice, more like cardamom and fenugreek with a bit of café latte – sweet entry, good acidity, tannins well buffered in the plush fruit but boy there are some tannins, tarry, leathery attack, tannins quickly build adding a nutty note before they clamp down on the finish which is very black spiced, tar and licorice, with a black cherry confiture core, a hint of porcini in the spiciness, long savory finish last for a minute easily after 3 hours in the decanter very light nettle on the nose, quite dried rose, a bit of heat, spicy plums, almost saline, a bit of walnutty oak, smoky charcoal note, this has shur down since opening – very well integrated entry, a bit of bright yet monolithic cherry/strawberry fruit, long layered finish, quite an overlay of tannin, bit of walnutty oak leads into med-length finish. Put this away for 12-15 years at least, seems to be more in the vein of the 1985 and 1990 Monfortini so should be approachable if not enjoyable at that point. 93pts
This is textbook Barolo, a nose redolent of limestone, antiseptic medicinal tones, cherries in alcohol, a touch of angelica root, and subtle insinuation of herb in a very focused and driven aromatic display. On the palate this is superbly precise with abundant tannins that are so finely textured they are already showing signs of a textural silkiness. The fruit here is extremely fresh with notes of strawberry and cherry all driven by the superbly vibrant acidity. This is exquisitely balanced and already shows uncommon elegance for a Barolo of this size. It’s another legend in the making, combining power with a certain transparency and weightlessness. Having said all of that, this remains a wine of potential that will need another 5-8 years to fully reveal itself. 96pts
Tight and youthful on the nose with huge notes of candied herbs, sweet herbs, and licorice. This is surprisingly savory with nutty tones and autumnal earthy notes giving this a medicinal and black mineral note. On the palate this is moderately big and rich and packed with ripe tannins, dark savory fruit, and great acidity. The front is definitely leaning towards the dark earthy end of the spectrum but the crisp, hard, black raspberry-toned fruit pops on the back end with the rush of ripe tannins driving the fruit through the long, medicinal finish, which ends with a drying note of black tea. 91pts
The nose was big and inviting with black cherry, anise and a hint of cinnamon. Drinking beautifully now with a fine structure and almost pinot like feel in the mouth. It’s a very pretty wine that flows across the palate with sweet cranberry and roses leaving you feeling, almost… refreshed. This was one of the most open wines of the evening.
Bold and full yet silky smooth.
The 1997 came across and a flawed bottle or possibly better explained as a dirty wine. The nose showed a lot of earthy chalk and potato skin. On the palate the performance was good but lacking, likely due to the aromatics being so out of whack. The palate showed ripe dark red fruit, tar and was a bit chunky.
Floral nose with roses up front, followed by cherry with beef broth, tar. The palate showed lots of cherry fruit, pipe tobacco and earth but all kept in check by a fine structure with streamlined acidity. I can see this wine being a classic as it leaves you lusting to taste it in a more mature state. The finish is refined and reminiscent of the roses on the nose. My number two of the evening, God what a gorgeous Barolo.
I find a lot of ‘95’s to be just entering their drinking windows and this was a perfect example. On the nose I found strawberry, rose and with a little probing, sage with a bit of beefy broth. The palate showed more strawberry with sweet tobacco and mineral, earthiness.
Menthol and tar hit you first on the nose with a bit of cherry fruit. On the palate this showed round and juicy red fruit but it turned very drying through the finish.
Conterno is possibly my favorite producer, but this was a disappointing experience. In previous tastings, others have found it to be much more evolved, not on this night. This was my first experience with this particular wine. I really never got much of a sense for this wine; it was completely shutdown and didnt budge despite 4+ hrs of decanting
External Reviews for Giacomo Conterno Barolo
Giacomo Conterno's wines are considered amongst the best in Barolo. The estate uses extremely traditional methods: long maceration on the skins to extract tannins, and aging in old oak barrels. The wines require time in the bottle to show their best.
The recently-bottled 2005 Barolo Cascina Francia is, as expected, somewhat closed down at this stage from an aromatic perspective. That said, it is impossible to ignore the wine's richness and depth, both of which are impressive. With time in the glass hints of sweet roses, cherries, spices and tar emerge, all framed by impeccably silky tannins. As always, readers should taste this wine as soon as possible, as it will almost certainly head for a slumber during which it will be impossible to evaluate with any accuracy. Today, this mid-weight, graceful Barolo Cascina Francia looks to be accessible relatively early, which means around age 10-12 give or take. It is another superb Barolo from Giacomo Conterno. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2030. Elegant aromas of redcurrant, strawberry, cedar, truffle, dried flowers and minerals, all lifted by a topnote of orange peel. Juicy, sweet and quite firmly built, with lovely inner-mouth rose petal perfume perking up the flavors of red fruits, tobacco and mint. The silky texture is leavened by nicely integrated acidity. Still a bit stunted by the bottling, but the wine's long, scented aftertaste suggests it will age gracefully-and quite possibly merit a higher score five or six years down the road.
A Nebbiolo wine from Piedmont in Italy. 1998 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 750ml
Decadent and ripe, with wonderfully seductive aromas of white truffle, plum and leather. Full-bodied, with supersoft tannins and amazing fruit and Christmas cake character. All in finesse and beauty. All in place. Drink now. 825 cases made. -JS Wine Spectator. A Nebbiolo wine from Piedmont in Italy. 1998 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 750ml
A Nebbiolo wine from Piedmont in Italy. 1995 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 750ml
A Nebbiolo wine from Piedmont in Italy. 1990 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 750ml
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