2005 Aldo Conterno Barolo "Granbussia" Riserva (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1131675 100 points James Suckling

 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.  (7/ 2012)

96 points 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  (10/ 2011)

95 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.  (4/ 2012)

95 points Wine Spectator

 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  (4/ 2012)

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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.