Franco Conterno Barbera d'Alba Superiore "Cascina Sciulun" 2016
The Conternos' "Cascina Sciulun" estate is located in Monforte d'Alba, the historic epicenter of Piemontese power; they've farmed vineyards in this area for generations, including the historic Bussia vineyard, recognized worldwide as one of the finest vineyards anywhere, period. Franco Conterno is the third generation to head the estate, crafting balanced, powerful, and long-lived wines of grace and elegance. Conterno wisely converted to 100% organic practices in the vineyard and winery, eschewing any use of synthetic chemicals, fertilizers, or yeasts out of respect for the abundant biodiversity and purity of the land he stewards.
The wine is deep blue-black in the glass, with a nose redolent of black cherry liqueur, licorice, spice, and crushed herbs such as oregano and thyme. It's a wine of power without being cloying or overproof. It continues on the palate with bright cherry, blackberry, soft earth, and elegant tannins that refresh, leaving one begging for another sip. The name of the game here is power and elegance, not over-extraction or heavy use of oak.
"Superiore" on the label here indicates the wine is aged for a minimum one year in large barrel before bottling; it is further refined in bottle before release. We scooped up as much of this wonderful wine as we could; needless to say it was not much, so take advantage while you can. A premium, historically significant red with immediate drinking pleasure for any night of the week or to tuck away into the cellar for another 3-5 years, no doubt.