Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia Cicala 2014
94 points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2018
The 2014 Barolo Bussia Cicala comes from a 3.2-hectare parcel, and only 5,400 bottles are made despite the fact that there is the potential for higher volumes. Both the Cicala and the Romirasco sites are relatively steep and therefore enjoy longer sunlight hours each day of summer for ripe and concentrated fruit. Of these new single-vineyard releases from Poderi Aldo Conterno, Cicala is my top choice in 2014. The wine shows a pure and enduring mouthfeel with salty or saline minerality that makes it such a pleasure to drink. The wine boasts a direct and vertical delivery of aromas, with cassis and dried raspberry that burst to the top with brightness. Cicala is a more direct and focused expression next to Colonnello, which tends to be more broad and horizontal instead.
Poderi Aldo Conterno has come a long way since the generational passage sparked by the death of Aldo Conterno in 2012 at 81 years old. The winery is managed today by Aldo's three sons: Franco, Stefano and Giacomo. I spent a long time chatting with Giacomo Conterno during my visit to the Langhe this year, and we had the opportunity to reflect on the legendary status of his father and the current state of the estate. When Aldo Conterno was at his winemaking heights in the 1990s, there were just a handful of estates operating in Monforte d'Alba. Today, we can count up to 70 bottlers and producers. "New estates were coming up like mushrooms and this caused us to reflect," says Giacomo. "During that time, we made a firm decision not to make more than 80,000 bottles per year, even though our potential production could reach 500,000." Selection and low yields are the most appropriate way to honor his father's legacy, Giacomo tells me. With nostalgia, he recalls that when his father handed over the reins, he said only three words: "Fatemi bere bene" (or "let me drink well" in English). Not another word was necessary.
- Monica Larner