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The 1997 Barolo Sori Ginestra exhibits a deep ruby/purple color in addition to complex aromas of tobacco smoke and gloriously sweet, jammy cherry liqueur. Ripe, opulent, and full-bodied, with huge amounts of glycerin and extract, yet high tannin in the finish, this 1997 needs 4-5 years of cellaring, and should keep for 20+ years. This is a super-impressive Barolo.Robert Parker | 92 RPDark ruby-garnet. Plum, prune and vanilla bean on the nose. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, caressing, textured finish. Delicious already.--1997 Italian blind retrospective. Drink now through 2015.Wine Spectator | 92 WSGood deep red, with a hint of amber at the rim. Exotic aromas of black raspberry, roast coffee, and smoky, charred oak; shows a pronounced torrefaction aspect. Less dense and less primary than the ’98; seems a bit soft in the middle, almost too ripe, with its texture suppressed by the recent bottling. But this is already wonderfully aromatic in the mouth and impressively concentrated and long. Finishes with very ripe but substantial tannins. A bit tricky to taste today.Vinous Media | 91+ VM
The 2003 Barolo Vigna del Gris has aged nicely. Signature floral and spice notes meld into a core of bright red fruit. This south-east facing site tends to produce a fresher more aromatic style of wine vis-à-vis Sorì Ginestra. This mid-weight Barolo should drink well for at least a handful of years.Antonio Galloni | 92 AGOffers rich aromas of plum, berry and raw meat. Full-bodied, with soft, round tannins and a long, caressing finish. Very pretty and rich. All in harmony. Best after 2010. 695 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe 2003 Barolo Vigna del Gris reveals super-ripe aromatics followed by perfumed, sweet red fruits. Medium in body, this floral, delicate Barolo possesses outstanding length although it did shut down a little on the finish. Another year or two should help the tannins better integrate into the wine. Vigna del Gris is made from the lower portion of the Ginestra vineyard and shows more of the ripeness and sweetness of the vintage than Sori Ginestra. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2015.Things haven’t changed much at Conterno-Fantino, at least not yet. The estate continues to make sleek, modern-styled Barolos aged in 100% new French oak. Guido Fantino tells me his son Fabio has begun aging a few lots of his own wine in mid-size casks, so it will be interesting to see the direction the new generation takes. The estate has a new Barolo from the Mosconi vineyard that will make its debut with the 2004 vintage. My early impressions from cask of this and the estate’s other 2004 Barolos are positive.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RP
Conterno-Fantino’s 2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris offers an enticing array of floral aromatics that lead to sensations of candied cherries, small red fruits, spices and marzipan. With air, this sensual, feminine Barolo opens to reveal notable inner perfume and superb length. As is usually the case, the wine doesn’t quite have the stuffing to balance its tannins and it does dry out just a bit on the finish, but it is nevertheless a gorgeous, gorgeous wine. In 2004 Vigna del Gris contains fruit from both old vines and a recently re-planted section of the vineyard. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019.I have long enjoyed the Conterno-Fantino Barolos but in recent years Claudio Conterno and Guido Fantino have taken their wines to an entirely new level. These Barolos can often be massively structured and difficult to evaluate at an early stage yet the 2004s have incredibly sweet, ripe tannins that makes them a pure joy to taste. Simply put, this is a superb collection of 2004 Barolos. -We harvested most of our fruit on October 5 and 6,- says Guido Fantino. -We did 6-8 days of fermentation after which the wines went into French oak (100% new). The malos were very long and weren’t completely finished until January.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThe 2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris is gorgeous. Sweet tobacco, autumn leaves, truffles, cedar, leather and spices all meld together in a super-expressive Barolo that is at the early part of its tertiary stage. Dark cherry, plum and spice-cake notes abound as the 2004 continues to open up in the glass. Today, the 2004 is peaking, but it should continue to drink well for another 5-10 years.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGRose petal, lavender and ripe fruit aromas follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a medium finish. Has slightly austere tannins, but very good ripe fruit. Best after 2011. 1,245 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS
The 2006 Barolo Vigna del Gris is exceptional in this vintage; in fact the 2006 is one of the finest versions of this wine ever made. The bouquet alone is superb, yet the wine reveals a level of power and richness on the palate that has seldom – if ever – been achieved in this bottling. The fruit remains massive and primary while the oak is beautifully balanced. Floral notes add a final touch of finesse. Elegance and power; it’s all here. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026.Guido Fantino describes 2006 as warm, especially during the summer. A spell of rain in mid-September refreshed the vines and set the stage for a Nebbiolo harvest that took place in early October, finishing on the 10th. The estate’s 2006 Barolos are massive, powerful wines, yet possess beautiful overall balance. Vinification remains very much reflective of the modern school, which is to say relatively short fermentations in rotary tanks, followed by malolactic fermentation and aging in 100% new oak. While the wood is clearly felt in these wines, in top vintages these Barolos come together beautifully in bottle, which I expect to be the case here as well. I also had a chance to taste the estate’s 2007 and 2008 Barolos from barrel. For now, let me just say that there is no shortage of great wines maturing in these cellars.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThe 2006 Barolo Vigna del Gris is exceptional in this vintage; in fact the 2006 is one of the finest versions of this wine ever made. The bouquet alone is superb, yet on the palate the wine reveals a level of power and richness that has seldom – if ever – been achieved in this bottling. The fruit remains massive and primary while the oak is beautifully balanced. Floral notes add a final touch of finesse. Elegance and power; it’s all here.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGStarting out with sweet cherry, rhubarb and cranberry notes that quickly give way to stiff, astringent tannins, this is in a slimmer, more delicate style. Give this the benefit of the doubt. Best from 2014 through 2030. 1,147 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WSSilky and very attractive red that takes you to a subtle and pretty world, with flowers, berries and cherries through out. Spend some time with it and enjoy. Better after 2013.James Suckling | 91 JS
Fascinating aromas of dried red chili, strawberry, red berry and cedar follow through to a full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Reserved. Better in 2019.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2012 Barolo Ginestra Vigna del Gris is a warm-climate Barolo that offers dark fruit, spice, licorice and cherry cola in generous supply. The wine is very generous in terms of mouthfeel, thanks to its volume and the fruity succulence it offers with such abundance in this warm vintage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPThe 2012 Barolo Vigna del Gris is lifted, perfumed and refined. Sweet floral notes meld into a core of red-fleshed fruit, tobacco, mint and spices, with attractive citrus-infused overtones that add brightness. This is an especially mid-weight, gracious Barolo from Conterno-Fantino. There is a lot to like in the wine’s precision and overall nuance. This sandy site tends to produce refined, perfumed aromatic Barolos, which is exactly what readers will find here.Antonio Galloni | 92 AGVigna del Gris is a southeastern-facing plot in Monforte d’Alba’s Ginestra cru, with a high proportion of sand in its soils, yielding a wine with floral scents and concentrated red berry flavors. It shows notes of caramel and plenty of oak tannins picked up during two years in French oak barriques, but the fruit flavors are lively and fresh, lifted by notes of menthol and an orange zest acidity. Hold this for a few years to diminish the oak influences and allow the rosy red flavors to sing.Wine & Spirits | 92 W&S
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