Barolo, Cascina Francia, 2006

  Giacomo Conterno

"The 2006 Barolo Cascina Francia is a deep, muscular wine endowed with superb richness, inner perfume and structure. From cask this has always been an intense, inward Barolo and now that it is in bottle, those qualities seem even more prominent. Over time, the classic Cascina Francia bouquet of roses, tar, herbs and licorice comes forward, but only reluctantly. A massive wall of tannins prevents the fruit from emerging, but every now and then the wine shows hints of its ultimate potential. The finish alone is breathtakingly beautiful for its balance and inner sense of harmony. The 2006 is not as showy young as other recent great vintages such as 2001 or 2004, so I will not be surprised if it is overlooked, but it is a magnificent Barolo that only needs time, and lots of it. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2046. 96+ points" - Antonio Galloni,

Contains Sulphites.

About Giacomo Conterno

Giacomo Conterno is a Barolo estate that commands great respect, not only amongst wine lovers worldwide, but equally with the Barolo producers themselves. This bastion of traditional Barolo, passed down from father to son over 3 generations, is now in the hands of the highly talented Roberto Conterno who has arguably taken the wines on to even greater heights since taking full control of winemaking in 2003. Though the cellars are located in Monforte, the vineyards are in Serralunga. From the Cascina Francia Roberto makes an eponymous Barolo of wide renown, in addition to a pure and fine Barbera. In particularly special years Roberto separates out the finest Nebbiolo grapes from the Cascina Francia vineyard and makes the much lauded Monfortino Riserva Barolo. The vineyard practice is as organic and respectful to nature as possible, the approach in the winery is hands off. The wines are fermented in tank gently over a long period, up to 20 days for Barbera and 35 days for Nebbiolo before ageing in large oak Botti for up to 2 years for Barbera, 4 for Barolo and 7 for the Riserva. These are high-toned, intense, and as pure as Barolo can be.

Generally a classicist, Roberto prefers the cooler vintages, though one can’t help feeling he has more of a soft spot for 2011 than other warmer years "they are a little like the 2007s but with more tannin and with fresher acidities, they are less tannic and big than the 2009, however. There is a good balance.” 2011 was, crucially, a longer season than 2009, although it was hot during September nights were cooler. This allowed perfect ripening of tannins. So whilst this has added structure to the wines, they are extremely smooth and suave.

Appellation: Barolo

Barolo is greatest, most intense and expressive display of the Northern Italian grape variety Nebbiolo. The name is given to bottles from the Piedmont area, made exclusively from Nebbiolo, and coming from the five core towns of Barolo, La Morra, Serralunga d'Alba, Castiglione Falletto and Monforte d'Alba, along with certain other peripherary villages. The wines offer power, aromatics and longevity that is almost unmatched elsewhere in Italy, perhaps the world. Top, forward thinking producers have pushed huge changes in the winemaking culture of the area, and as a result finer, purer Barolo is being produced than ever before.