2005 Aldo Conterno Barolo "Granbussia" Riserva (Pre-Arrival)
Like tasting a young Romanee Conti. This is so sexy and titillating. It just begs you to drink it. Fabulous aromas of roses, rose water, light vanilla bean, ripe strawberries, and flowers. Very, very complex. Full body. It's starts off slowly on the palate and then builds and goes on for minutes with balsamic and fruit. It is really the synthesis of Bussia. It is savory too. The grapes that go into this are selected vine by vine. They come from the oldest and most beautiful vines from Conterno's three vineyards in Bussia of Cicala, Colonello and Rominasco. Production has been reduced to a third of the quantity in the past, or about 3,000 bottles. Available in the market in October.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(the first vintage of Gran Bussia made with what Giacomo Conterno described as the estate's "new philosophy" on more serious green harvesting and longer skin contact; aged for four years in two 25-hectoliter barrels and slated to be released in 2012 with the 2008 crus): Medium red. Perfumed, high-toned aromas of redcurrant, licorice, marzipan, graphite, menthol and fresh herbs. Suave and vibrant on entry, leaner than the 2007 Cicala that preceded it in my tasting but showing superb cut and energy. Compellingly dense and silky in the middle, with a terrific light touch and a strong savory quality to its red fruit, graphite and menthol flavors. An essence of Barolo in its restrained sweetness, outstanding intensity and tactile, juicy finish. According to Giacomo Conterno, Gran Bussia is from fruit picked at the very beginning of the harvest, 70% Romirasco old vines and 15% each Cicala and Colonello. Incidentally, there's no 2007 Romirasco or Gran Bussia owing to hail. 96(+?) points
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
95+ The 2005 Barolo Riserva Granbussia is shaping up to be one of the great wines of the vintage. The bouquet is classic Barolo to the core – pure rose petals, tar, licorice, orange peel and leather. The 2005 is a wine of contrasts. It is at once powerful yet delicate, rich yet weightless. In other words, it captures all of the elements that make Nebbiolo such a fascinating grape. Both bottles I tasted were spectacular. Within the context of Granbussia, the 2005 isn’t likely to be one of the longer-lived vintages, but it is stunning right now. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025.My tasting at Aldo Conterno was one of the highlights of my recent trip to Piemonte. The 2008s are super-classic wines that will thrill Barolo lovers. The harvest took place at the end of October, quite late by modern-day standards. The Conterno brothers continue to lengthen macerations. In 2008 the Granbussia saw 40-45 days of skin contact, the longest ever. Speaking of Granbussia, Conterno has cut production on their flagship wine by a whopping two-thirds in order to bottle only the best juice under their top label. This also frees up juice for the Romirasco bottling, which is now a permanent part of the lineup, rather than a wine that is only made when there is no Granbussia, which was the case until just a few years ago. The unexpected success of the Romirasco bottling is one of the many positive things that have taken place at Aldo Conterno recently.
Cherry, eucalyptus, coconut, Bourbon and tobacco aromas and flavors herald this international-style red, which is fresh and complex, with concentration and power. There are still some tannins to shed, but overall this is balanced and long, with a mineral aftertaste. Best from 2015 through 2030. 250 cases imported. –BS