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Every wine region has its Serena Willams, Derek Jeter, or Lebron equivalent. DRC in Burgundy, Chave in the Rhône, Petrus of Pomerol, and without question the wines of Giacomo Conterno in Barolo have equal notoriety. Today the winery is run by the third generation winemaker— Roberto Conterno. He’s continued the tradition of making Italy’s most collectible wine, Monfortino, while also expanding the winery with new Barolo single- vineyards as well as a project outside of the Barolo zone in Gattinara, where he utilizes the same grape, nebbiolo. The style of Conterno is the epitome of balance in wine: they are never oaky nor rustic. They are pale in color, but have a perfume and taste that linger infinitely.
The first release of Arione from Conterno was in 2015. This vineyard extends itself off of the historic vineyard Cascina Francia. Since the 2015 release of the special Monfortino bottling, it will be included. Its subtle change in exposure to the sun produces a wine with a touch more richness in comparison. Like the single- vineyards of Burgundy, it’s a subtle mark of identity.
The 2017 is a vintage that is ready to drink now.
Cerretta has been a single vineyard of Conterno’s since 2008. Compared to the historic Cascina Francia vineyard, Cerretta has more fertile clay-based soils making a wine that leans on the big and bold side of Barolos’ potential. There’s a small amount of barbera produced here too.
Cascina Francia is the main character in the history of Giacomo Conterno’s Barolo. For decades the family purchased grapes, until in 1974 they bought a hay field called Cascina Francia. In the final hours of negotiations, Giovanni Conterno said that the seller tried to increase the price. His wife insisted he get the deal done and not to return home until he did. He made it back for dinner, and from that point on the wine world has had a star. Here, the nebbiolo grape is both light and elegant as well as infinitely age-worthy. Up until 2015, this was the base of Monfortino. The difference between the two is that the normal Barolo Cascina Francia bottling is not aged in oak as long, making it a subtly more delicate version of a nearly identical wine. The best vintages of Cascina Francia are 1978, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2016.
2017 Francia is a dark and juicy style compared to the 2016s. It’s a wine worthy of aging but can also be enjoyed now.
1997 is a Monfortino vintage. The Cascina Franca bottling of that year is ready to drink now. It has flavors of tea, strawberry jam, and truffle.