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2009 Barolo Cascina Francia

Giacomo Conterno

96Average Score
flagNorthern Italy / Italy
Red

Because Monfortino was not produced this vintage, the 2009 Barolo Cascina Francia benefits from the extra fruit that would have otherwise gone toward the world's most celebrated Barolo Riserva. I tasted the 2009 Barolo Cascina Francia in barrel two years ago and am delighted by its steady evolution. This is a wine of sophisticated intensity and persuasion. The bouquet peels back to reveal dark fruit, licorice, tar and dried rose. The vintage was warm, resulting in extra plumpness and roundness in terms of mouthfeel. The style is slightly more immediate, but this is a great aging wine nonetheless. ||I was very disappointed not to be able to taste from barrel this year at Roberto Conterno's historic estate in Monforte d'Alba. Due to construction work at the winery, Roberto was not receiving visitors during my two-week residency in the area. I was however very excited to review the excellent 2012 Barbera d'Alba Francia and the 2009 Barolo Cascina Francia (that I had previously tasted in barrel). He did not produce his Barolo Riserva Monfortino in 2009. The big news from the estate this year is Roberto's purchase of the 9-hectare Arione cru from neighbor Gigi Rosso in Serralunga d'Alba. The acquisition was ripe with controversy stemming from irresponsible reporting in local Italian media that suggested both buyer and seller were motivated by anti-American sentiment. A U.S. based retail group had originally made a bid for the property before Roberto successfully nabbed it. Historically speaking, vineyard land in the Langhe has overwhelmingly stayed in Piedmontese hands unlike Tuscany that sees a great number of foreign investors from around the world. Those unfounded conspiracy theories went up in smoke when Roberto Conterno revealed that he had simply followed Italian legal protocol that allows him (a direct neighbor as owner of the adjacent Francia cru) the right of first refusal. But the acquisition remains controversial for a second, more significant reason. Roberto paid an enormous sum for the celebrated cru (I was told that figure reached 7 million euros) thus raising the collective psychological bar on property prices in the Langhe. Many fear that a buying and selling frenzy with sky-high prices is on the horizon. Giacomo Conterno will reportedly begin to produce a Barolo Arione with the 2015 vintage and Gigi Rosso will release his last Barolo Arione in 2014. eRobertParker.com.June, 2015

Monica Larner, Wine Advocate    Score: 96/100

Mags-0 Immediate | 2 Marketplace£300.00
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