Poderi Aldo Conterno, Barolo `Cicala` 2015
Barolo, Piemonte, Italy
Grape Variety 100% Nebbiolo
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.
Owned by the Conterno family, the Cicala vineyard faces south/south-west and is approximately 50 years old. Its soils are calcareous clay, and are rich in chalk and iron. The vineyard is planted with Nebbiolo, primarily with the principal sub-variety Lampia, on Rupestris du Lot rootstock.
The 2015 vintage began with a wet winter, which provided the soil with an excellent supply of water. From February, mild spring temperatures brought forward the vegetative cycle meaning budbreak was earlier than usual. Flowering then began in the middle of May. This was followed by an excellent berry set. Despite a wet start to June, the second half of the month was dry and hot. This weather continued through July with temperatures peaking around 40°C and averages typically above 30°C. Fortunately, the vineyards were not stressed by the heat, thanks to the plentiful water supplies accumulated during the early months of the year. Harvest began ten days earlier than the previous vintage.
The grapes were fermented in stainless-steel tanks at temperatures of up to 32°C. Maceration lasted 30 days. The wine remained in stainless steel for a few months before being transferred to oak casks where it remained for 28 months before bottling.
The nose opens with notes of dry leaves, red flowers, cherries and subtle forest floor aromas. Full-bodied, the Cicala has a smooth yet firm palate with silky tannins and a long, complex and perfumed finish.