Italian Wine Merchants : Home > Offers > March 12, 2014
2006 Granbussia Debut! Christian Mouiex's California Dominus and 30-Year-Old Rioja!
March 12, 2014
A Note from Sergio

In Barolo, everyone's vines look exactly the same. This is not the norm. In most of the world, it's easy to distinguish good producers from bad because their plots of land are visibly different. A bad producer lets his vines grow tall and wild, so he doesn't have to bend while picking them or tend to them often. But not in Barolo. Here, the vast differences in the taste of the fruit derive from the dramatically diverse microclimates. Each rolling hill possesses its own microclimate--in some spots, you can walk 20 yards down a hill and feel the temperature drop 10 degrees; the soil composition changes with each foot. All winemakers in Barolo understand their land intimately, and each yields great fruit from it. Some choose to tamper with this beauty because they feel the world could never understand it. Others, like Aldo Conterno, choose to illuminate it.

There are always fads in winemaking, just as there are in fashion. The current pendulum in Barolo has swung toward modernist producers, though it seems to be swinging back toward traditionalists. Some modernists exaggerated their techniques to the point that they erased Barolo's identity to make their wines understandable to the whole world, and many traditionalists have trouble making wines that inexperienced palates can appreciate. However, the estate of Aldo Conterno strikes a balance. Although Aldo Conterno passed away in 2012, the estate still employs the techniques he did, winemaking that uses modern protocol while making certain to maintain Nebbiolo's character to craft an elusive happy medium that tempers the traditional with the modern--and it makes some of the best wines in the world.

Today, I'm proud to debut Aldo Conterno 2006 Barolo Granbussia. In 2005, Aldo Conterno reduced its production of Granbussia by two thirds, making this already highly collectable and fervently sought-after wine even more precious, as well as even more intense, complex, and otherworldly. In any vintage, Barolo Granbussia is a prized wine, but the 2006 is special even for Granbussia. It is, simply put, an apotheosis of wine.

Partnered with this bottle, I'm proud to offer two very special wines, one Californian and one Rioja. Dominus 2011 may come from Napa Valley's historic Napanook vineyard, but it's imbued with the soul of Bordeaux. Owned by Christian Mouiex, the man behind La Fleur Pétrus and Trontanoy, Dominus adheres to the strictest standards of Bordeaux's grape growing and winemaking, and this 2011 looks to be fantastic. Finally, I'm very happy to present a nearly 30-year-old Rioja from traditional winemaker López de Heredia. It's the ideal complement for Granbussia--like it, this '85 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva conveys its terrior, reflects its heritage, and has extraordinary longevity. It's one of the most Barolo-like Riojas I've ever experienced, ethereal and nuanced and very, very good.


Today's Featured Sections Include: 


1. Spotlight on Excellence: Debuting 2006 Aldo Conterno Barolo Granbussia
2. Time Sensitive Offer: Dominus 2011, Bordeaux's Best in Napa Valley
3. Our Experts Suggest: Two White Burgundies to Celebrate La Paulée
4. Only At IWM: Rioja's Answer to Bartolo Mascarello and Bruno Giacosa
5. Wine Events: Barbaresco and Burgundy  

My Best, 



Sergio Esposito