Aldo Conterno Conca Tre Pile Barbera d'Alba 2013
The story of Poderi Aldo Conterno, one of the elite, historic Barolo producers, is a tale of great passion for winemaking that winds back across generations and crosses international borders. While the Langhe Rosso, Chardonnay “Bussiador”, Barbera d’Alba “Conca Tre Pile” and Nebbiolo “Favot” represent a nod to modern winemaking techniques, the Barolo wines remain firmly in the traditionalist camp, aged in large Slavonian-oak botte before bottling. Only indigenous yeasts and traditional fermenting techniques are used. These are clean, polished and ethereal wines of great elegance that are guaranteed to offer years of sublime drinking while being terrific collector’s items.
Over the past decade, the estate has worked hard to ensure their place among the pantheon of hallowed Barolo producers, decreasing production by well over 50% through extreme triage in the vineyards: their harvest teams threatened mutiny at first over bunches that would normally have been harvested but that Conterno knew would be better to cut early to favor optimal development in the remaining bunches. The results of this rigorous approach have already been noticed and highly praised by the international press. The wines are remarkably approachable, characterized by particularly sweet fruit in their youth, as well as spice and vanilla notes. These are clean, polished and ethereal wines of great elegance that are guaranteed to offer years of sublime drinking while being terrific collector’s items. lity.
In a sense, “Alba” is a catch-all phrase, and includes the declassified Nebbiolo wines made in Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the Nebbiolo grown just outside of these regions’ borders. In fact, Nebbiolo d’Alba is a softer, less tannic and more fruit-forward wine ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling. It is a great place to start if you want to begin to understand the grape. Likewise, the even broader category of Langhe Nebbiolo offers approachable and value-driven options as well.
Barbera, planted alongside Nebbiolo in the surrounding hills, and referred to as Barbera d’Alba, takes on a more powerful and concentrated personality compared to its counterparts in Asti.
Dolcetto is ubiquitous here and, known as Dolcetto d'Alba, can be found casually served alongside antipasti on the tables of Alba’s cafes and wine bars.
Not surprisingly, given its location, Alba is recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations and is the home of the fall truffle fair, which attracts visitors from worldwide every year.
Friendly and approachable, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from youthful, fresh and fruity to serious, structured and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera; those from Asti and Alba garner the most praise. Barbera actually can adapt to many climates and enjoys success in some New World regions. Somm Secret—In the past it wasn’t common or even accepted to age Barbera in oak but today both styles—oaked and unoaked—abound and in fact most Piedmontese producers today produce both styles.