2005 Aldo Conterno "Romirasco" Barolo (Elsewhere $142)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Barolo Romirasco is a regal, aristocratic wine that embodies everything a great Barolo should be. The wine reveals awesome density and richness in layers of deeply spiced, mentholated dark fruit, flowers and minerals that continue to emerge from the glass in a never-ending display of sheer elegance and class. This is one of the few truly complete, multi-dimensional wines of the vintage. Today the wine comes across as exceedingly young, and some bottle age is essential in order to enjoy the wine at its very finest. This is a gem from Aldo Conterno. Based on the well-deserved success of the 2004 the estate has decided to bottle a small amount of the Romirasco in each vintage, something Barolo lovers should be thrilled about. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good deep, dark red. Spicy aromas of black fruits, fresh herbs, licorice and minerals. Large-scaled, broad and rich, with superb depth of flavor and sweetness leavened by terrific energy. Impressively concentrated wine with atypical density and primary fruit character for the year. Finishes powerful and gripping but perfumed, with tongue-saturating tannins and terrific lift. The other 2005 Barolos were bottled in the summer of 2008 but this got an extra three months in used 25- to-70-hectoliter barrels. There will also be a small quantity of 2005 Gran Bussia but that wine will not be released for at least two more years.
Blackberry and blueberry aromas, with light vanilla and floral character, lead to a full-bodied palate, with very sweet fruit and chewy tannins. Turns to a real mouthful. A beautiful single-vineyard wine. Best after 2011.
"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)