From the Nebbiolo grape, garnet red with violet and rose aromas. Aged in oak, it has smooth tannins and developed savoury fruit flavours.
A wine ruby red in appearance with cherry reflections. Elegantly scented with pleasant notes of cherry and sour cherry. Very rich extractions on the palate, persistent but simultaneously soft.
A powerful, concentrated, complex and commanding nose. The palate is full and structured but surprisingly well rounded with black fruit, liquorice and mocha flavours, hints of rose petal and a defiant finish.
Mouthwatering acid structure and agreeably soft in texture. Displays lovely cherry, berry and floral flavours, with an earthy, barnyard note. Ready to drink.
Awarded 94 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 review of Barolo (see blue link below).
Conterno Fantino stands at the summit of 21st century Barolo, both literally and figuratively. From its stunning winery atop the Monforte d’Alba hill, this alliance of the Fantino and Conterno families produces a range of wines that are both unmistakably modern in approach, and also utterly respectful of the region’s wine-growing heritage. Established by Guido Fantino and brothers Diego and Claudio Conterno, the business now also includes Guido’s son, Fabio, ensuring the involvement of a second generation in a winery that has already accumulated a sizeable heritage. That heritage is centred on vineyards that balance the need for Nebbiolo with plantings of Barbera, Dolcetto, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The 23 hectares have developed from Ginestra, one of the oldest named vineyards in this part of the world. The use of short maceration and French barriques places Conterno Fantino in the vanguard of Barolo modernism, with power and backbone to support the trademark texture, elegance and freshness. Meanwhile, Monprà’s blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera and a pinch of Cabernet Sauvignon takes Langhe Rosso to new levels.
This Barolo comes from the famous cru of the same name in Monteforte, an historic vineyard that is considered one of the finest for growing Nebbiolo. An attractive nose of roses, tar and ripe black fruits. This Barolo is of a more elegant, refined style with very fine tannins resulting in a silky texture.
The Vigna La Rosa Barolo is harmonious, well-rounded and elegant in taste; its very fine and delicate bouquet is reminiscent of faded roses and, with the ageing process, tends to acquire a pronounced earthy style but with a velvety sort of taste.
The historic estate of Fontanafredda conceals one or two little secrets – not least the hunting lodge to which its origins can be traced back to 1878. The property of the first King of Italy, it was not only a base for his hunting of the local game, but also for more, shall we say, earthy pursuits. The king’s mistress, stationed at Fontanafredda, gave birth to a son and, while not officially recognised as royal progeny, he was granted the lodge when the King died. The development of Fontanafredda as we know it today ensued – until a bank took it over in lieu of unpaid gambling debts. Today, thanks to a law prohibiting Italian banks from owning agricultural assets, the estate has passed into the sympathetic hands of Oscar Farinetti, founder of the Eataly chain of Slow Food restaurants and a native of nearby Alba. It’s a winery that combines this great history – Fontanafredda used to have its own bakery and school, and still preserves a great sense of community – with thoroughly modern production facilities for everything from Asti to Barolo.
It is a deep rustic red in colour with an aromatic, spicy nose of red fruits and damsons. Medium bodied and soft, with balancing structure to the blackberry and morello cherry flavours, finishing rounded and supple with a hint of liquorice.
This wine is excellent with pasta, particularly with a cheese based sauce, or meaty pizzas and pan fried or barbecued red meat.
The Fontanafredda estate was bought by King Vittorio Emanuele II as a gift to his mistress Rosa Vercellana, also known as "La bela Rosin". Later, it was handed down to their children, Maria Vittoria and Emanuele Alberto, Count of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda.
Only grapes of “controlled” origin are used at Fontanafredda. The estate vineyards, managed directly by their own technicians, cover a total of about 100 hectares (247 acres), cultivated mainly with Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, and Moscato: the typical varieties of the Langhe. This production only satisfies 20% of the business’s yearly needs. Therefore, each year, during harvest, over four hundred local vine growers deliver their own grapes to Fontanafredda, respecting generations-old fiduciary relationships. These grapes are also grown according to the firm guidelines of Vino Libero which guarantee zero chemical residues. Thanks to these additional grapes, the company annually crushes about 6 million kilograms of grapes.
Once picked the grapes used in "Marne Brune" undergo fermentation with maceration for 10-12 days at a temperature of 28° C. It is then aged in barriques (oak from Allier) for 12 months followed by a period of 6-7 months in the bottle.
Nebbiolo "Marne Brune" stands out for its fragrance, which is already evident in its ruby-red colour of varying intensity depending on the vintage, and is confirmed on the nose by bouquets of flowers and wild fruit, and on the palate by its strong personality and dry taste.
Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).
Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Deember 2016 edition review of the Barolo 2012 vintage (see blue link below).
Vajra's own tasting note and technical note on this vintage:
Aldo Vaira's wines are characterised by pristine flavours and clearly defined perfumes. These characters are attributable to the position of his vineyards at about 400 metres above sea level in the village of Vergne in the commune of Barolo. G.D. Vajra was established in 1972 and named after Aldo's father, Giuseppe Domenico. Aldo has been gradually increasing the area under vine to 60 hectares, of which 10 are Nebbiolo for Barolo, located in such strategic spots as Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne. A traditionalist, Aldo adheres to old-style winemaking methods, though blends these with new techniques, such as temperature controlled fermentation, to produce such superbly elegant wines.
The 'Bricco delle Viole' vineyard is located at altitudes of 380-470 metres above sea level in the commune of Barolo and covers 4.79 hectares. One part of the vineyard is planted with vines which are now over 60 years old. Its high altitude and long ripening season gives the wine an aromatic complexity and richness that is lacking in lower vineyards.
Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures up to 31°C and lasted four weeks, with regular pumping over. The wine was then matured for 42-48 months in Slavonian oak barrels.
This wine is a brilliant ruby red colour with notes of cherries, brandied cherries, dark berries, violets and dried roses which recall nuances of citrus fruits and mint. On the palate noble and silky tannins. Very balanced with a long finish of fresh, delicate spices.