2016 Conterno Fantino ‘Castelletto Vigna Pressenda’ Barolo

Region: Barolo, Piedmont, Italy

Viticulture: Organic

Winemaker: Fabio  Fantino

Established Date: 1982

Castelletto is their newest Barolo that made its debut with the 2013 vintage. In the commune of Monforte, Castelletto faces the town of Serralunga. The vineyard, planted in 1969 and 1986, is 1.2 hectares and the best and central part of the cru is known as Pressenda. The upper portion of Castelletto gives a more fresh style of wine and the lower portion more tannic and powerful. At the heart of this cru is Vigna Pressenda, long considered the best parcel that shows the freshness and energy of Castelletto balanced with fruit and structure.  The Barolo Castelletto Vigna Pressenda is  gorgeous  with red berry fruit, orange peel and exotoc spices. They are beautifully layered in this expressive Barolo.  Soft, fine tannin extend the finish while a real feeling of energy throughout. The balance of purity and structure is perfect.

Sommelier’s Recommendation

Like being slapped with a velvet glove. Finesse and Power perfectly in balance. I have always loved Conterno Fantino but they have become even better recently with Fabio Fantino taking total control of winemaking and decreasing the usage of new French Oak. Since 2013 you can really see the quality of the grapes shine through whilst being supported by fine oak tannins and flavours. More approachable at a younger age whilst still having the capability to ages for many decades to come. This is  very special bottle that could do with a long decant and large wine glasses to drink it out of.

Founded in 1982, Conterno Fantino testifies to the talent and vision of viticulturist Claudio Conterno and his partner, oenologist Guido Fantino. These great wines start in exceptional vineyard sites in Monforte d’Alba and are lovingly nurtured in their state of the art winery at Bricco Bastia. This location is scenically set, overlooking the most ancient part of Monforte with a sweeping view of the majestic Alps. Conterno Fantino’s historical nucleus is Ginestra, one of Monforte’s historical crus documented as far back as the 1800’s.

Over the last few years Fabio has been reducing the percentage of new oak in the baroli and the four wines are made in a very similar way. Fourteen days on skins followed by malolactic fermentation in barrique, one third new. At the conclusion of malo, the wines are racked and returned to barriques until the following September when about half of each wine is moved into 25hL casks for one year. Calculating the percentage of new wood, something the industry has become a little too obsessed with, is complicated.