Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia Barolo (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
In years of outstanding quality, a selection is made while the Nebbiolo grapes are still on the vines, and the very best are reserved to become Monfortino. The two Barolos are fermented identically, with the exception that no temperature control is employed for Monfortino no matter how high the temperatures may go. The wines are then racked into their respective botti for elevage. The Barolo "Cascina Francia" is bottled after approximately four years in wood, and the Monfortino after approximately seven years.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Barolo Cascina Francia is an explosive wine that faithfully captures all of the promise it showed from barrel. This spectacularly rich, concentrated Barolo possesses striking perfume in its smoke, tar, spiced red fruits, licorice and flowers. The wine offers tremendous length and a finish that lasts forever. This is an especially dense, powerful Cascina Francia with a gorgeous core of perfumed sweet fruit that will require some time to fully emerge but is breathtakingly beautiful even at this early stage."
Giacomo Conterno Winery
For 45 years, until his death in 2004, Giovanni Conterno forged a reputation as the greatest of all Barolo producers, irrespective of style. The wines he made were the quintessence of “traditional” Barolo: rich, powerful, massively structured, and capable of long development in bottle. View all Giacomo Conterno Wines
Notable FactsNot just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.