TN: 1973 Giacomo Conterno Barolo

With an hour of air this wine put on some weight and was ready for drinking. Faded brick red with a 3mm+ meniscus. Big bouquet of dried roses with a touch of tar and a noticeable undercurrent of yellow curry powder. Smooth, medium-light palate of dried cherry, mushroom, and a touch of earth followed by what I can only describe as spicy but resolved tannins. Long, well balanced finish with good acidity.

And the score?

Bottle doesn’t list any source. Anyone know where the fruit is sourced?

Sorry, I don’t score wines. I’ll leave that to the experts. It wasn’t the best Barolo I’ve had but was good and a fun experience. Went well with the italian food I had with it too (@ Zero Zero in SF for those who know it).

In terms of vineyard source, they started moving to Cascina Francia almost exclusively in the 70s, I know by the end of the 70s it was so. Probably someone like Ken V or Bill know for sure. :wink:

Giacomo Conterno bought the Cascina Francia vineyard in 1974. Before that he purchased grapes - dunno from whom though.

Of course Cascina Francia wasn’t a vineyard in 1974, though it had been. I believe he had sourced most of his fruit from Monforte prior to the vineyard coming into fruit in 1978.

Rare to see a bottle like this one. Even allowing for it’s age. Thanks for the note.

The guys at Grandi Vini in Alba where i got the bottle did say Monforte, for what its worth.

did Conterno plant this ? What year ?

I know the 74 normale was all Cascina Francia, but not labeled as such since they bought it mid-year, and didn’t have the chance to farm it their way, and I know there is a 75 too.

Paul, I am very curious as to how the finish was on this bottle. I was fortunate enough to drink a bottle of the '82 riserva last month, which you can see in my profile picture. To date this is the only bottle of wine I’ve scored 100pts. For me, the finish was nothing short of 2 full minutes.

To my knowledge, all 3 1974 Barolos were made from purchased fruit and no Barolo was made in 1975, 76, or 77. The vineyard was replanted in 1974 and the 1978s were the first to come from Cascina Francia, even though the Barolo was not labeled as such.

Well then that explains the 75 CF I “thought” I had tasted…nice to know how much fake Conterno is out there :frowning:. That sucks. Thanks for the corrected info Ken.

Thanks Ken - appreciate the background.


Sure it wasn’t his cousin Frnk Conterno ?


Nope, it was a Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia with a 1975 neck tag. Worst part, one guy at the table questioned it, saying it didn’t really have all the “Conterno” hallmarks, and everyone kind of blew him off. Whoops! I guess you can drink a label…