The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Vietti and Aldo Conterno

Posted on | February 10, 2015 | Written by Robin Kelley OConnor | 2 Comments

Robin_D_8.6.14_72dpiTwo of my favorite estates in Barolo, two of my favorite wine families of Piemonte, two of my favorite wines not just from Italy but from anywhere in the world: Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2010 and Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Riserva Granbussia 2006. The names Vietti and Aldo Conterno resonate long and far in the world of superlative wine. Two of the forces behind these great properties, Luca Currado and Franco Conterno, who are themselves scions of Barolo legends Alfredo Currado and Aldo Conterno, were in new York over the weekend to present and speak about their wines at La Festa del Barolo, a two-day event organized and curated by wine critic and Barolo lover, Antonio Galloni.

The history of the Vietti winery traces its roots back to the nineteenth century. Mario Vietti, Luca’s grandfather made the first Vietti wine in 1919. Today Luca makes six different Barolo cuvées, all in very tiny quantities. In about the same era that Mario started Vietti, Franco Conterno’s grandfather Giacomo took assumed control of the family estate from his father Giovanni. In the late 1960s, Franco’s father Aldo went out on his own, founded Poderi Aldo Conterno, and today Franco and his two brothers make five exceptional Barolos.

Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2010 $199.00

One of the stars of the 2010 vintage, Vietti’s Lazzarito is a single vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba with a surface area just slightly over 4 acres, by any account miniscule in size. Offering calcareous-clay soils and vines that average 38 years, Lazzarito is one of the most famous “crus” of Barolo; the most modern interpretation of Vietti’s six different Barolos, the wine is aged 8 months in French oak barrels and 24 months in large Slovenian oak casks. This ’10 Lazzarito has deep red garnet color with an intense, complex nose of dark fruits, dried plums, figs, exotic spice, hints of fresh herbs and smoke. On the attack, this full-bodied wine shows great power with very youthful fruit flavors, lots of oakiness, strong tannins. This Barolo is a wine that is begging to be cellared with decades of life ahead of it.

Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Riserva Granbussia 2006 $399.00

Poderi Aldo Conterno produces its Granbussia Barolo Riserva only in the very best years and in very small quantities. A monumental achievement, it is simply one of the world’s great wine treasures. Deriving from the oldest vines in the Cicala, Colonnello and Romirasco vineyards, this wine goes through an immense maceration in large Slavonia oak, remaining in contact with the skins of the grapes for 60 days, during which the alcoholic fermentation takes place; then the wine ages in large Slavonia oak for 32 months. This Granbussia remains a total of eight years in the Aldo Conterno cellars before release, spending additional months in cask above and beyond the normal 32 months. The color of this ’06 typifies the chameleon nature of the Nebbiolo grape—brick, and garnet with hints of red orange. Its nose is a true expression of terroir, a stunning masterpiece of ripe cherries, herbs, Asiatic tea, and roses. This ’06 Riserva Barolo enters the palette full throttle scattering layers of red fruits, spice, dried herbs, bold tannins; it’s incredible vigorous and finessed, complex and concentrated. This is a wine built for the ages with over three to four decades of life ahead of it, a veritable collector’s item par excellence.


2 Responses to “Expert Picks: Vietti and Aldo Conterno”

  1. William Di Nunzio
    February 10th, 2015 @ 3:56 pm

    We had the 2006 Granbussia with Franco Conterno Friday night at the Festa del Barolo – what a great wine! It has many years to go and will be even more incredible later on…a must for any Barolo lover!

  2. Robin Kelley O'Connor
    February 10th, 2015 @ 5:44 pm

    The 2006 Also Conterno Granbussia is a monumental wine. La Festa del Barolo at the Four Seasons Restaurant would be the perfect venue to enjoy such a great wine and to drink it with none other then Franco Conterno himself must have been special.

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