Poderi Aldo Conterno Colonnello 2004

By , 13 April 2013



The business.

The business.

A recent review of M. Marengo Barolo Brunate 2008 generated much debate about what constituted good Barolo (see here). I thought it all a bit brutish but admittedly don’t drink enough of the stuff to argue my position with any conviction.

Yesterday, however, Constantia producer Steenberg presented its second annual Nebbiolo workshop and included two Barolos, the 2004 and Colonnello 2004 from producer Poderi Aldo Conterno in the line-up. In a word, much more of what I like when it comes to Barolo.

Poderi Aldo Conterno 2004
Price: R1 095
Red fruit and some tea leaf on the nose. Medium bodied with bright acidity and very fine tannins. Elegant and well balanced. Already drinking rather well.

Score: 93/100

Poderi Aldo Conterno Colonnello 2004
Price: R1 305
From a single vineyard, some 40 years old. Wonderfully complex nose showing red and black fruit, tea leaves,  and only a hint of tar. Layers and layers of flavour on the palate. Weightless intensity and fantastic structure – the tannins are undoubtedly present but are not at all aggressive.  Some oak in evidence but totally suited to the wine.

Score: 96/100


6 comment(s)

  • Hennie @ Batonage13 April 2013

    Something that has become apparent, the more I taste these Italian wines are that price really plays a big part. Quality is sadly directly proportional to price – not something that is necessarily the case with South African wine.

  • David Clarke13 April 2013

    Hi Hennie,

    I have to disagree with you when you say that quality is directly linked to price. I believe reputation has much more to do with it, deserved or not. There is fantastic value to be had in the Italian wine sector. I don’t think these wines are making their way into RSA as yet. It is still a relatively juvenile market place for Italian wines and importers/retailers have to rely on 3rd party endorsements (WA, WS, Decanter) to sell their product. I am thinking of wines from La Marche, Sardinia, Sicily, Friuli, etc.

    I do however concede that Barolo, as a world famous region, is in a bit of a different situation, but no more than, say, Burgundy. There are still some fantastic value wines from Barolo and Barbaresco. But to tar the entire production of one of the greatest wine countries with that brush is inaccurate in my opinion.

    Cheers, D

    • Hennie @ Batonage dot com13 April 2013

      Hi David

      My comment is probably a tad general, and I will be the first to admit my Italian credentials are at best very limited. We are unfortunately not that exposed to good Italian wine in SA (unless the budget is big) and that comment has been made purely from the perspective of the Italian stuff (mostly Piedmonte and Tuscan) that I have tasted. More often than not I’ve found the wines rough and overly astringent – normally in the R150 – R250 price range. The Marengo wines of last week were a definite step up but were also R500 a bottle. Yesterday’s wines were again a big jump in quality but were quite expensive in comparison. Here’s to hoping I get proven wrong over and over as my budget doesn’t extend to that kind of imbibing regularly!


  • David Clarke13 April 2013

    Hi Hennie,

    Fair enough, one can only go on one’s own experience. If importers continue to rely heavily on WA, WS, Decanter etc then I don’t think your exposure will increase all that much in stylistic terms.

    Try the Terre Nere wines from Sicily. I know they come in.


    • Kwispedoor14 April 2013

      I also like those, David. (Vanaf R140 @ Wine Cellar, Hennie!) Really interesting, balanced, individual stuff. I thought it was a steal at the price.

  • Dieter14 April 2013

    I agree with David, there’s some fantastic value in Barolo and Barbaresco, and more so in the Roero, if you look beyond the most visible names. Incidently, the Piemonte is one of the few fine wine regions left where cellar door prices are substantially lower than retail, so to see the Produttori non-riserva Barbaresco going for R395 cause a shiver or two. (The Produttori single vineyard riservas go for less retail in Europe). The thing to remember about Italian wines in general though is that they are food wines and often the ‘rougher’ bottom end stuff shine at the dinner table when they are not suited to casual quaffing.

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