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Conterno Fantino Barolo Sori Ginestra 2014

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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Winemaker Notes

Deep garnet red with ruby highlights, with a rich, fruity and persistent bouquet of rose petals, brushwood and blackberries and a full-bodied, luscious, and austere palate.

A wonderful pairing with meat, pasta and aged cheese.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Impressive complexity and fruit presence on the nose with ripe, spiced red plums, cherries and fresh cedary oak, leading to a palate with some handy weight. Good flow of fruit and tannins that carry the finish long. Try from 2022.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Enticing flavors of sweet cherry and strawberry are accented by leather, licorice and tar details in this solidly built yet supple red. Notes of wild herb, menthol, mineral and underbrush add interest as this plays out on the finish.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Barolo Ginestra Vigna Sorì Ginestra is an amped up expression of Nebbiolo with excellent structure and lasting intensity. I am told that this vineyard site performs best in the cool vintages such as 2014. The wine plays its best cards in the mouth, thanks to the structure and the grounded firmness on offer here. Fabio Fantino tells me: "You can drive a car in the sunshine, in the rain and in the fog." I just love this quote because it so perfectly sums up the difficult 2014 vintage. As long as the driver knows where he or she is headed, the outside conditions can be navigated nevertheless.
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Fruit for Sorì Ginestra comes from some of Conterno Fantino’s oldest vines, some up to 40 years of age, and those vines performed beautifully in the cool, wet 2014 vintage. The wine leads off with scents of green cardamom, mint and anise that follow through into cool herbal flavors. Notes of dark berries and sweet plums unfold as the wine opens, the fruit held taut by zippy acidity and vigorous tannins that need time to soften.
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Conterno Fantino

Conterno Fantino

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Conterno Fantino, Italy
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This classic Langhe winery, founded in 1982, testifies to the talent and vision of Claudio Conterno and his friend and partner, Guido Fantino, who styles the wines. French oak barriques and new wood marry Piedmont’s own, blockbuster structure, opulent, tightly knit texture, magnificent tannins and rich, layered flavors. Today, the property comprises 57 acres under vine. Soil composition is sand, silt, clay; gradient of slopes 20-35%, and vine age is 15-40 years. Conterno Fantino's initial nucleus is cru Ginestra: a historical one for Barolo, documented as far back as the 1800s. In 1989, Guido and Claudio acquired terrain from the nearby area of Bricco Bastia, within the commune of Monforte d'Alba, where they eventually built a state-of-the-art new winery inaugurated in 1994. This location is scenically set, dominating the most ancient section of Monforte and overlooked by the majestic sweep of the Alps. Conterno Fantino exclusively employs geothermal energy: less CO2, more respect for the environment.
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The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hills, is full of history and romance centered on the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

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Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape and needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

WWH149689_2014 Item# 431108