In 1982 friends Guido Fantino and Claudio Conterno formed Conterno-Fantino to follow in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents who worked vineyards for generations. Over time, these generations forged a reputation for quality, from the vineyard dirt up.  Today, Claudio presides over the vineyards with a keen eye for details and Guido manages the winemaking and cellar.  
Together they farm just about 57 acres in Monforte d’Alba and produce a range of wines from some of Piedmont’s finest Cru vineyards.   Today, we look back.
Barolo Then…..
This Barolo from Conterno-Fantino is from the “slopes” of their Ginestra vineyard and is a dark blackish red. There’s a slight fade to cherry at the rim. The nose is very spicy, with pepper, baking spices and cherry dominating. In the mouth, there’s a large core of cherry fruit, that is slightly tart. There’s lots of spice here; cinnamon, clove, vanilla bean and a large surround of substantial tannins. This wine spends 24 months in barrique followed by a year in bottle and it shows. The spiciness from the oak is slightly out of balance at this point. Despite the fruit backing it up, I’m not sure if this will be tamed with cellaring. Well made, but not my style of Barolo. 90 points
Barolo Now….
One of the things I love about buying wine is acquiring several bottles of a given label in order to track its evolution over time.   While the “genes” of this Barolo are clearly evident, a 15 months in the bottle since the last tasting has mellowed this Cru noticeably. 
This Nebbiolo is still a deep garnet red with nary a lightening toward the rim of the bowl.  While the nose is still redolent with spices; white pepper, cinnamon, and clove,  the fruit seems to have amplified since the last tasting.  On the palate, the wine is more “together” than it was a year ago. The core of crushed cherry fruit is still clearly punctuated with oak infused flavors, but not to the slanted effect that it was.  Noticeable are some earthy notes that makes the overall experience more interesting as well.  However, at the end of the day, I’m left thinking “meh”…  While this may flesh out more over time,  this is not my preferred style of Barolo and though it showed some improvement, at the end of the day I’m left with nothing more than a feeling of “meh”……   90 Points, about $42.  

~ 2008 Conterno Fantino Sori Ginestra Barolo ~

E vero!

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