2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo "Colonello" (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1131671 96 points James Suckling

 The nose is amazing with roses and minerals, and dark fruits. Also hints of bark and mushrooms. Full-bodied, with super fine tannins and a long tangy finish with polished tannins. Persistent and beautiful. Better in four or five years, but gorgeous now.  (7/ 2012)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Round and supple, with a fleshy profile enveloping pure cherry, raspberry and spice flavors. Ripe and harmonious, with no shortage of structure. A mineral element emerges on the tight finish. Best from 2016 through 2035. 200 cases imported. –BS  (2/ 2013)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Barolo Colonnello is impressive. It shows gorgeous richness and depth in its focused, energetic fruit. Sweet red berries, flowers and spices are woven together beautifully in the 2008 Colonnello. The elegant side of Barolo comes through, but with an extra degree of muscle. The oak, sometimes noticeable in this bottling, is very well-integrated. Floral notes are woven throughout the finish. The Colonnello often gives the impression of being early to mature relative to the estate’s other Baroli, but the 2008 is surprisingly powerful and structured. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033. 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. The Conterno family embodies so ma  (4/ 2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (from vines averaging 40 to 45 years of age): Good red-ruby. Enticing perfume of cassis, black cherry, sage, eucalyptus and pungent minerality. Rich, suave, deep and juicy, in the firm, vibrant style of the year. Youthfully tight, but the long, floral finish suggests that this will be a beauty with several years of bottle aging. From the last piece of Bussia before the village of Barolo. The sandy, manganese-rich soil typically yields a more feminine style. This reminded me a bit of a 2005. 92(+?) points  (10/ 2011)

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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.