2005 Aldo Conterno Barolo (Elsewhere $59)

SKU #1113565 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Barolo offers up gorgeous aromas that literally fill the room with intense perfume. This finessed, mid-weight wine reveals superb purity to its primary, fresh fruit in an ethereal style. Finessed tannins round out this complete Barolo. The wine clamped up quickly in the glass, but it should be beautiful in another year or so. Beginning with the 2004, Conterno’s Barolo contains 20% fruit from Barolo in addition to the Bussia fruit that made up the wine in previous vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.  (4/ 2009)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Moderately saturated medium red. Scented nose of strawberry and dried flowers. Very fresh and nicely delineated, with harmonious acidity framing the flavors of red fruits, flowers, licorice and spices. Not especially deep or fleshy but attractive, brisk and youthful. Finishes with dusty tannins and lingering spiciness.  (12/ 2009)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Dried berry on the nose, with coffee bean, new leather and flowers. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long, caressing finish. Subtle and classy. Builds on the palate.  (8/ 2009)

K&L Notes

"Aldo Conterno is back," writes Wine Advocate's Antonio Galloni. "After a period of inconsistent wines ...Conterno once again takes its place among the region's top producers. Today the estate is run by Aldo Conterno's three sons Giacomo, Franco and Stefano Conterno who look after vineyards, marketing, and winemaking respectively. Based on the wines I have tasted recently this venerable property looks to be in great hands for the future...The 2005 Barolos represent a new point of arrival after the estate embarked on a major rethinking of its work in the vineyards in the late 1990s, which involved among other things shorter winter pruning (designed to lower yields naturally) and a greater amount of attention to canopy management...These gorgeous, uplifting 2005 Barolos firmed up quite a bit in the glass, suggesting they are headed for a slumber that hopefully won't last too long, as the wines are truly special. Stylistically the wines are made in the medium-bodied style that is characteristic of the 2005 Barolos, but offer terrific harmony and drinkability." (04/2009)

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Price: $49.99

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By: Jim Barr |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 10/30/2012  | Send Email
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For X amount of years, Greg St.Clair has tried to convince me that one of the greatest wines to have in your cellar is Barolo. I think of all the cases of wine (300+) that I have aging, I have six bottles, maybe, of Barolo that Greg turned me onto eight years ago. From a personal standpoint, I find Barolo way too tannic and way too thin to spare any space for them in my collection. Then along comes these Conternos (2005, 2006, and 2007), and I have to admit, they are going into my collection, particularly this 2005, as well as the 2007. This 2005 (as well as the other two) has richness, depth, complexity, structure, wonderful aromatics, tons of character and a long, huge finish that can only be found in the First and Super Second Growths from Bordeaux. With a few hours of airing, after decanting, this beauty can be consumed, near-term. But, airing is mandatory! According to a stunned Rusty, these Gems will be in our stocking stuffers for the Holidays for everyone that we like, including ourselves. 14.5 ABV
Drink from 2012 to 2025

By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 10/11/2012  | Send Email
This very fresh, yet weighty and tannic wine was a huge pleasure to drink and a valuable "lesson in a bottle" for me. We had this in our Italian staff tasting, and I bought a bottle to take home and try with some food. Immediately I was impressed by what a great bottle it was, and what an incredible value for $39.99. Greg St. Clair and Shaun Green were discussing how in Piemonte, Barolo is often paired with very simple pasta dishes, which runs contrary to my ideas about wine and food matching. Normally, I think that tannic reds (and this is a TANNIC red!) are only good with red meat. Cinnamon and I tried the experiment and had the Conterno with a ricotta, porcini and white truffle ravioli from the Santa Cruz Pasta factory. The synergy between the Barolo and this pasta were undeniable, and came from the intensely savory flavors of both. The great thing is that this Conterno also managed to have wonderful sweet fruit and fresh acidity to balance out its abundant tannin and weighty alcoholic strength. This is modernly made Barolo, a style that I did not think I cared for, but it is so well executed here I have to give it my highest recommendation. It is full of new leather, spice, and sweet black fruit. It finishes long, tannic and fresh. Take advantage of the great price!
Top Value! Drink from 2012 to 2035

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Nebbiolo

- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Piedmont

- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
Specific Appellation:

Barolo

- Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, these wines take their name from the village of Barolo. A maximum of 205,000 cases per year can be made from 3081 acres of land divided between 11 communes and more than 1200 growers. La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte and Serralunga are the most important communes and produce most of the exported wine. Barolo is a powerhouse wine in some communes but also more delicate in others (La Morra is the most delicate and Serralunga the most powerful). Recent technological and viticultural advances are remaking Barolo into a wine that is more consistent balanced. Producers here do not want to change the flavor or feel of their wines, only improve and eliminate poor winemaking technique. A wine of great perfume, body and size the classic nose of "tar and roses". Barolo is best served with roast meats the Piemontese classic would be "Stracotto del Barolo or pot roast cooked with a Barolo, game birds or powerful cheese.