2004 Aldo Conterno "Romirasco" Barolo
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There is no need to taste the 2004 Barolo Romirasco, the nose alone is enough to understand that this is magnificent wine. Aromas of tar, roses, menthol, scorched earth and smoke lead to a core of dark red fruit than unfolds onto the palate with uncommon grace and elegance. As it sits in the glass the wine gradually puts on weight, filling out its considerably structured frame with notable class. The last Romirasco was made in 1993. This bottling has typically only been made in vintages where quality is not sufficient for the family to make their top of the line Riserva Granbussia, as was the case in 2004, when the Cicala vineyard was damaged by hail. Conterno told me is so happy with this wine he will probably bottle a small quantity going forward to see how it develops. It will be fascinating to taste future Romirascos next to the Granbussias of the same vintage to evaluate how a single-vineyard wine from what many consider to be one of Bussia’s greatest vineyards compares to the Granbussia blend. Conterno expects to price the Romirasco at the same level or slightly more than the Colonnello. If that turns out to be the case, this will be a superb relative value as well. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2024. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-tinged red, a bit deeper than the Colonnello. Wilder, brooding, youthfully medicinal aromas of dark fruits, basil, licorice and spices. Tight on entry, then focused and firm in the middle, with less obvious sweetness to its berry flavors than the Colonnello. This boasts a very firm tannic spine and will need extending bottle aging. Incidentally, there was no Cicala or Gran Bussia in 04, due to hail.
There's more thickness and extraction here thanks to a sophisticated use of oak. You can taste the wood tones in the form of vanilla, tobacco and spice. Overall, this wine exhibits a bold, immediate style that is immensely seductive and tasty. Drink the wine after 2015 and pair it with important meat dishes.
Plum, ripe berries and hints of chocolate. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and lots of ripe fruit, with spices and hints of raisin. The Conternos decided to make this single-vineyard wine because the crop of the Cicala vineyard was destroyed by hail in 2004. So you won't see Cicala or Granbussia Riserva in 2004. Just this and Colonnello. Best after 2011. (JS)
Vines 45-50 years old and this vineyard is their monopoly. Aged 28-30 months in big Slavonian oak. Sweetly perfumed dark, violet fruit, with sweet oak spice and generous on the palate. Rich with sweet cherry and spice and dried fruit and just starting to show a leathery note. Concentrated and firm but tannins already remarkably velvety. 19/20 points. Drink 2011-2030. (JH)
Also a fan, 95 points Neil Martin: "A brilliant Barolo from Conterno from the splendid 2004 vintage. It is showing a fair bit of oak on the nose although there is plenty of fruit to back it up. But those aromatics are just packed full of well-defined fruit. The palate is beautifully balanced with svelte tannins, so silky smooth, so lithe in the mouth you cannot possibly resist its charms. It just gets better and better in the glass. Tasted November 2011." (Wine Journal, eRobertParker.com)