Diego Conterno "Ginestra" Barolo 2016
A mega-talent Barolista from a respected family crafts an incredible, seamless Nebbiolo from one of the most epic vineyards in the world: Ginestra.
Diego Conterno, along with his cousins, formed the Canterno-Fanino estate in 1982; he literally grew up around the Ginestra vineyard and now owns some of the most prized parcels of the vineyard. He and his son Stefano established the current iteration of the estate in 2000, and the future has never seemed brighter for this father-and-son operation.
For those in the know, “Ginestra” needs no introduction. It’s a single vineyard in the village of Monforte d’Alba, known as one of the most powerful, long-lived subregions of Barolo. Connoisseurs consistently seek out Ginestra from the mere handful of growers with access; its pedigree, purity of place, and longevity are unequalled in Italy.
Conterno blows it away in this 2016 (an epic vintage, no doubt) with an ethereally perfumed, broad, delicate-yet-powerful Nebbiolo showing deep notes of tea leaf, rosewater, nervy plum and stone fruit pits, sweet tobacco, and warm tilled earth in a cascade of aroma and flavor with tannins that are already smooth and delicate but very much persistent. The comparison to Burgundy is apt here, with a caveat: the minerally grit, nervy acidity, and tightly-wound fruit hint at its power and ability to age gracefully for another two decades, if you can wait that long!
Conterno firmly embraces the natural, “traditional” approach to Barolo in the vineyard and the winery: farming is all organic; the labor is all by hand; the wines are made from indigenous yeast in cement tank, then transferred to large, old oak (botti) to mature before bottling with minimal filtration or sulfur. If “natural” wine in Barolo is a thing, this is as close to the real deal as you will find, period.
At this point, our dear readers have a good sense of our taste and laser-like discernment, and we’re not so much into “scores” or “points,” but should you need further proof look to none other than the respected Antonio Galloni of Vinous, with his 94-point review:
"The 2016 Barolo Ginestra captures all of the breadth and power of this highly regarded Monforte site. Black cherry, orange peel, dark spice, menthol and licorice are all wrapped together. Rich and potent, with firm tannins and a classic sense of structure, the 2016 bristles with real intensity in all of its dimensions. There is real substance and plenty of personality here."
Know that you’re investing in a truly special, limited Barolo in this 2016 Ginestra!