Vinous scoring on Aldo Conterno,Vendetta or Reality?

just had a look at the 2013 scores Cicala and Colonnello both came in at 86 points, seems at odds with what other reviewers and CT tasting notes opine.
Anyone here have an opinion on these wines in the more recent vintages

“vendetta” <---- where does that come from?

I am just trying to figure out what is behind the string of extremely low scores that have been given to this winery by Antonio, lets face it 86 points in todays score inflated world barely scrapes in as colored water.
I dont have a lot of past experience with this house, but I presume other berserkers have tasted there in the last few years and could give me a different point of view

But you chose a word that specifically implies a lack of impartiality and ill-intent by AG.

A vendetta would be extremely unlikely. There are generational friendships / bonds in the Langhe that would result in wider repercussions if a critic took to posting malicious opinions about one of them.

Despite having stopped buying their wines for reasons posted a while back, I’d hope this is just an overly pessimistic opinion. It’s a winery that many of us would have embedded respect for and would hate to see encounter problems.

As ever, a score is a score. A TN can say a whole lot more than a number. If you’re not a subscriber, maybe ask a friend who is to send you a pm with the gist of the TNs?

Yes, what do the notes say? Was some specific quality singled out?

And its an Italian word as well which fits rather well with the question asked in the title,
In The preamble to AGs 2014 vintage synopsis he basically states that Aldo Conterno is on a huge downward trend and then scores the wines from 2013 85, 86 and 86. Seems a bit OTT to me

totally boring is the most used descriptor with oaky nondescript flavors and nothing to be gained by cellaring

A broken clock is right twice a day.

That’s quite interesting because Galloni virtually never comments on oakiness, even when it’s very apparent.

Some of their wines in the early 2000s seemed to be quite oaky to a number of us, though they denied aging the Barolo in barriques.

One of the two CT scores on the '13 Cicala sure sounds like a barriqued wine, and taster gave it only 90 – which is pretty low by CT standards, particularly for an expensive wine – even though the tone of the note was positive:

11/28/2017 - FILIPPOSPAT WROTE: 90 Points
Rich Nose, fresh red fruits, cherry, red rose petal, violet,some > cinammon and spices> , graphite and dirt underneath. Medium bodied, yet stricly tannins and med+ acidity. Cherry,> cinnamon, chocolate, cedar, vanilla. > Looks great potential but too young yet. Nice traditional type of Barolo from a famous Traditionalist Winemaker.

Long thread on this on the vinous site quite a while ago (6-12 months). some challenging Antonio’s assessment. Said he just didn’t think the wines were very good, whereas in previous years he liked them. I’ll go back when I have a chance and review for more specifics. I like the wines quite a bit from 99-2004. Gave up because they were more expensive than I wanted to spend, and because I learned I liked a slightly more traditional profile, but I still like the wines that I have. Haven’t tasted the recent ones.

Yeah, it’s tough being a critic. You give someone a bunch of 95’s and everybody complains about score inflation. So then you turn around and award a few 86’s and someone accuses you of deliberately tanking the scores.

Whether you like his style or not, one thing you have to give him credit for is that he’s not afraid to take a stand when he feels the need - he’s basically persona non grata at Giacosa these days because of some of his critical commentary regarding recent vintages. His comments indicate that he doesn’t like the direction the Aldo Conterno wines are headed in - won’t be the first time he has questioned what a winery is doing (Pertimali being another good example).

On the plus side, if you still have the '90 Granbussia in the cellar, he liked that fine [cheers.gif] .

FWIW, he also wasn’t that thrilled with Monprivato (89).

I have the same questions Dean. In today’s climate this appears to be as close to a direct “eff you” to the winery as a reviewer could get. All other major publications appear to be at 94 or above for the Collonello. I’d be curious to try one and see for myself.

I can’t comment on the Aldo Conterno wines, but I get the sense he picks one or two sacrificial lambs each year – e.g., Giacosa – to stake out a reputation as a truth-teller. And then everything else basically gets a zillion points.

That is certainly not the case with the 2014 Barolo article (he gave few wines high points).

It’s a little hard to have a discussion about this if no one has actually had the wines.

Antonio’s reviews of the 2013’s referred to monolithic, tannnic wines, sometimes with a lot of oak, that had no real nebbiolo character, or sense of site. He refers to a marked change from older stellar wines, and his disappointment in what he sees as a downturn at the estate.

I don’t always bond with antonio’s writing style, but his hierarchy amongst his reviews I think is generally very correct. And who here would claim that his call with Giacosa was wrong? And I also think his call on Monprivato is also correct.

I do have to give him credit for being willing to do this. The only other reviewer seemingly willing is John Gilman. Is there some sort of inside thing going on? I doubt it, but I suppose maybe someone needs to try the wines and post what they think.

I just went back and looked at all his scores for the last 10 years. Everything seemed honky dory, all the wines had close to or over 95 in the scores, producer commentary was all glowing and flowery in prose, until the 2011 wines, then it went down hill quick. It is a little odd, not quite sure at a vendetta level, but certainly a really quick u-turn for sure.

Well, I suppose it could be that the wines aren’t as good. there are numerous examples of estates that have temporarily lost their mojo. Again, is there anyone who has actually tried the wines over this time? Without that, we’re all kind of wasting our time, discussing critics reviews of wines we haven’t actually tried.

Well, the other option is buy them yourself and make your own call. Everyone here hates critics anyways, right?!

A group of us tasted the 2012 Colonnello last year and it was universally panned at the table. Even though I’ve never liked Aldo Conterno’s wines, this was extra bad.