Giacomo Conterno


In the face of the tidal wave of change to the modern style of Barolo winemaking, the Barolo wines of Giacomo Conterno have remained true to their history and vineyards and are today one of the finest, pure examples of nebbiolo produced in Piemonte. If you want to know what nebbiolo really tastes like just open a bottle of Conterno Barolo.

 Two years ago, Decanter Magazine asked many of thier experts to name the Italian vineyard sites that yield the most outstanding wines. The hands-down winner was Francia in Serralunga d’Alba, the very site where the grapes for our all-time number-one Italian wine are grown. The legendary Barolo Monfortino Riserva made by Giacomo Conterno, now run by the founder’s grandson Roberto, was the clear winner in this poll. Made only in exceptional years, Monfortino is the epitome of everything a great Barolo should be: muscular butrefined; complex and highly seductive. Although many of today’s top Barolo producers embrace both modern and traditional philosophies by using a combination of traditional cask and French barrique, Giacomo Conterno has always been steadfastly traditional. Roberto has continued the family custom of ageing Monfortino for an average of seven years in large barrels – almost unthinkable today, but necessary to tame the wine’s massive tannins.  Known for its trademark liquorice and mint aromas that complement Nebbiolo’s typical floral notes, Monfortino is powerful yet graceful, and needs lengthy cellaring.

Giacomo Conterno is unquestionably the quintessential traditionalist when it comes to Barolo. No concessions are made to modern day tastes. Consequently, his wines are among the most concentrated, as well as the most rustic and tannic.  Conterno is preserving the “traditional” style of Barolo.  However, his winery is more modern and he’s had a telephone for years!  (Giovanni Conterno resisted getting a phone installed in the house…his son Roberto insisted!)  

 Grapes for Conterno’s wines come from the nearby Serralunga Valley.  They used to buy fruit from growers.  In 1974 they purchased the “Cascina Francia” property, a 37 acre parcel planted with Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera and Freisa.  The “normal” bottling of Barolo is “Cascina Francia.”  In some vintages Giovanni would designate a portion of the Barolo as “Monfortino” and it receives additional wood aging.  Check out these great vintages of Giacomo Conterno wines at “reasonable” prices.  Compared to other top producers.Conterno_Giacomo_Old_Monfortino_Bottles

1958 Barolo Monfortino Riserva- $1200.00btl

1961 Barolo Monfortino Riserva- $1100.00btl

1964 Barolo Monfortino Riserva- $1200.00btl

1987 Barolo Casina Francia- $250.00btl

1988 Barolo Monfortino Riserva- $850.00btl

Any takers???

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