Bussia, a little township just east of Barolo but more closely associated with Monforte d’Alba, is a sweet spot for supple, pungent Barolo. Nobody renders the perfume of Bussia better than the Conternos: “It has a quiet confidence that is missing in many of the 2014 Barolos. On the palate, the turbocharger kicks in. The wine's impressive tannic power leaves most of the competition behind it, but there's real finesse at the long finish. Drink after 2020.” – James Suckling
The late Aldo Conterno, a legend of Piedmont’s Langhe region, could have very easily made his mark somewhere altogether different. Aldo immigrated to the United States in 1954, and once planned to start a winery with his uncle in the Napa Valley. Uncle Sam came knocking, however, and Aldo served honorably in South Korea for two years as a Specialist in the U.S. Army. Upon his discharge he returned to San Francisco and, finding that his uncle had abandoned the winery venture, Aldo returned to Piedmont. The seeds of a great domaine were thus sown, in the little township of Bussia. Aldo’s time in America awakened an entrepreneurial fire in him, and just over 10 years after his return, he left his father Giacomo Conterno’s cantina, purchased the Favot farm, and founded Podere Aldo Conterno in 1969. Sadly, Aldo passed away in 2012, and today the farm and winery in Bussia township, Monforte d’Alba is run by his three sons: Franco, Stefano and Giacomo. Neither resolutely traditional nor excessively modern, these are expressive, vivid, concentrated wines that will reward long cellaring. Quite simply, these wines demonstrate just how good Barolo—and thus Italian wine—can get. They are indispensable to the serious connoisseur’s cellar.
Poderi Aldo Conterno's 2014 Barolo Bussia is a transparent wine, and I don't mean to use that word to describe the wine's appearance or its light color saturation. This Barolo is transparent in terms of its elegance and fragility. The wine offers a silky, fine texture that acts as a springboard to aromas of dried blueberry, cassis, menthol, herb and dried ginger. These aromas are ethereal and fleeting. This Barolo sees 26 months in oak and completes its final stage of integration in stainless steel before bottling. This vintage saw longer maceration times, up to six weeks in the case of this Barolo. That extended time on the skins is meant to protect the wine against the fragile nature of the vintage. A fresh and fruit-filled mouthfeel makes for an open and immediate wine.
On the nose this may not be a dramatic wine, but it's fresh and floral. It has a quiet confidence that is missing in many of the 2014 Barolos. On the palate, the turbocharger kicks in. The wine's impressive tannic power leaves most of the competition behind it, but there's real finesse at the long finish. Drink after 2020.