Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Ginestra cru of Monforte d'Alba with Conterno Fantino Barolo

As I'm studying region by region for my Italian wine certification program through NASA I'm sharing some wines I've recently had within that region that I enjoyed. This week I'm continuing the focus on Piedmont with a Barolo, Gattinara and Gavi starting with a Barolo from Conterno Fantino.

The "King of Italy"
If you love Tuscany and have never been to Piedmont I strongly recommend a visit. Great wines, great good, great people and a beautiful landscape. Barolo is not only the name of a wine that is considered the “king wine of Italy”, but it's also the name of the town. This area can be known as the “Burgundy of Italy” because the way that the land is structured. Each specific parcel of land is considered a “cru” and because of each parcel of land providing a different style of Barolo due to it's exposure to the sun, slope, soil, climate, etc. the "cru" becomes the focus in selecting a wine rather than just the brand name of the winery.

The comunes and cru of Barolo
The wine I'm sharing today is from one of the top comunes of the 11 in the Barolo area, Monforte d'Alba. Monforte d'Alba is part of the Langhe region in southern Piedmont where the majority of the wines of the region are produced. Due to the cru system each particular comune has it's own characteristics for the styles of Barolo that are produced off the land. As with all Barolo DOCG wines they are made with 100% of the nebbiolo grape. Barolo's that are from the Monforte d'Alba area typically have the most concentration with an intense nose. Monforte d'Alba is the specific comune, but within Monforte are specific crus and within Monforte d'Alba there are Ginestra, Bussia and Santo Stefano di Perno. The wine today originates from the Ginestra cru. 
Monforte d'Alba Piedmont
Monforte d'Alba
About Conterno Fantino
The winery, Conterno Fantino, was established in 1982 by two friends Guido Fantino and Claudio Conterno. They grew up in families that were also involved in the wine world and now continue the tradition teaching and involving their own children. Conterno Fantino can be considered more “modernists” when it comes to Barolo production. 

The Barolo Wars
This week I was just reading about the so called “Barolo Wars” comparing the “traditionalists” and the “modernists” of Barolo production. The reason Conterno Fantino is considered more as a “modernists” is because they use a shorter maceration of the grapes at about 7-10 days, where the traditional ways are up to 3 weeks. Conterno Fantino also ages their wines for 2 years in French oak barrels where the traditional ways are to use large wooden casks. It produces a different style of wine and it's all personal preference.
wine touring through piedmont, italy
2003 Conterno Fantino Barolo Sori Ginestra
Today I share with you the 2003 Barolo Conterno Fantino Sori Ginestra DOCG from Monforte d'Alba. It was garnet with some slight brick color around the rim. The wine had a broad complexity on the nose of maraschino cherry, raspberry jam, cinnamon and licorice. Dry on the palate and tannic, it was a full bodied wine with very intense fruit of earthy flavors and spice. The wine had a persistent finish and was a harmonious wine. A beautiful wine indeed!