Paolo Conterno

Giorgio Conterno of Paolo Conterno blew our minds with his brilliant, classically styled expressions of the Ginestra cru of Monforte d'Alba, which is considered by many to be one the finest vineyards in the entire Barolo appellation. Its relatively high elevation of 300-350 meters above sea level combine with the dense, clay-heavy Helvetian soil to create masterpiece wines with dark colors, brooding tannins and incredible aromatics. Paolo's neighbors are well known to our market – Clerico, Conterno-Fantino, Elio Grasso--but now it's time for this Conterno to step onto the stage.

Like most MSW estates, Conterno is a family operation with a long history of great winemaking. Paolo Conterno founded Casa della Ginestra in 1886 and was one of the first growers to sell barrels of wine directly to consumers from the cellar. By the time negociants were dominating the market in the mid-20th century, Paolo already had a loyal following of connoisseurs demanding his wines.

The estate has always preferred classically styled wines--there are barriques on property, but are only used when there's too much wine to fill his 35 hectoliter casks. We first heard about this estate through Marc de Grazia: one of Domenico Clerico's trusted disciples, Massimo Conterno (no relation), had moved there in 2004 to give Giorgio Conterno a hand in winemaking. The results are what's in stock today: classically-styled examples of Ginestra's excellence with laser pure perfumes, great balance, approachability AND long potential for aging.

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Paolo Conterno 'Riva del Bric' Barolo 2013
93  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 93 "A muscular style, but not rustic, offering cherry, leather, eucalyptus and cigar box aromas and flavors. Balanced and expressive, with a fluid profile punctuated by dusty, well-integrated tannins. Best from 2022 through 2038. 1,500 cases made –BS"  " From slightly younger

Paolo Conterno 'Riva del Bric' Barolo 2012
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95  James Suckling 
James Suckling 95 "Extremely perfumed and polished with cherry, mineral, shell and raspberry character. Full body ultra-fine tannins and a long, crisp finish. Burnt lemon aftertaste to the fruit. Drink in 2020."  Info: From vines in the best exposed area of Ginestra, the Riva Del Bric bottling

Paolo Conterno 'Ginestra' Barolo 2010
94  James Suckling 
Wine Advocate 94 "The 2010 Barolo Ginestra is a territory-driven wine that reflects all of the characteristics associated with the Ginestra cru. It shows elegant mineral and floral aromas backed by an extremely soft and supple tannic quality. This single-vineyard often shows silky tannins that set

Paolo Conterno 'Riva del Bric' Barolo 2011
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97  James Suckling 
James Suckling 97 "This is fabulous Barolo with burnt orange, blackberry, meat, earth, and fresh herb. Full-bodied, round and velvety. So flavorful and crazy. Drink now. Why wait? But it will age wonderfully."  Wine Spectator 92 "A fluid, spicy version, with cherry, strawberry, licorice, black

Paolo Conterno 'Ginestra' Barolo 2007
94  Vinous Media 
Wine Advocate 94 "“The 2007 Barolo Ginestra is soft, plush and incredibly inviting. It shows plenty of textural richness and finesse to balance the firm Ginestra tannins. Dark cherries, plums, mint and flowers wrap around the sensual yet substantial finish. This is always my favorite wine at

Paolo Conterno 'Ginestra' Barolo 2006
95  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 95 "Though intense, this is elegant and vibrant, exhibiting pure cherry, raspberry and tobacco aromas and flavors. Its tannins are very well-integrated. The lingering aftertaste evokes coffee and mineral. Best from 2013 through 2032. 300 cases imported. –BS"  Wine Advocate 93

Paolo Conterno 'Riva del Bric' Barolo 2009
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93  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 93 "The 2009 Barolo Riva del Bric delivers latitude and grip with impeccable precision and long, polished tannins that help fuel persistency. Dried mint, ginger, rose petal, underbrush and wild berries add to the overall elegance and complexity of this truly outstanding Barolo. The

Paolo Conterno 'Riva del Bric' Barolo 2007
94  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 94 "Cherry and raspberry fruit are augmented by licorice and tobacco notes in this supple, yet firmly structured, red. This is balanced and lingers with floral and mineral accents. Very long and stretched taut.  "From slightly younger vines in the best exposed area of Ginestra,