Poderi Aldo Conterno, 'Conca Tre Pile' Barbera d'Alba 2016
Aldo Conterno is one of the historic names of Italian wine. The Conterno family has been making wine in Monforte since at least the 1700s. Aldo's grandfather, Giovanni Conterno, founded his own winery in 1908 which was then run by his son, Giacomo. After a stint in the USA in the 1950s, Aldo worked with his older brother Giovanni in this winery until he decided to strike out on his own in 1969. Aldo's three sons now make the wine (Stefano) and run the business (Franco and Giacomo). Over the years, production has been deliberately reduced and the family now produces 80,000 bottles rather than the 200,000 produced in 1998.
The grapes are grown in the Conca Tre Pile vineyard which is situated on a steeply sloping part of the Bussia Soprana hill in Monforte d'Alba. The Barbera vines are up to 45 years old.
After a mild January and start to February, temperatures dropped and there was sufficient rainfall to provide the soil with good reserves of water. This late cold spell lasted all through March and delayed the vegetative cycle of the vines by approximately 10 days. Spring brought a considerable amount of rain but due to low overnight temperatures, disease pressure was minimal. Summer was relatively mild compared to previous years with no peaks above 35°C during the hot period. This allowed the grapes to ripen steadily. Harvest lasted from September 5th-20th.
Maceration and fermentation took place in temperature- controlled, stainless-steel tanks between 26-28°C. The must spent 8 -10 days in contact with the skins. After this, the wine remained in tank for a few months before being transferred to oak barriques for 14 months of ageing.
Deep ruby red in colour, this Barbera is bursting with dark berry perfumes overlaid with spiced dark plum and cherries. On the palate, it is concentrated and full-bodied, with the classic Barbera acidity lifting and accentuating the fruit characters. Blackberries, savoury spice and nutmeg blend with ripe plums and supple tannins. The wine has a long, elegant finish.