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2004 Aldo Conterno Barbera d'Alba Conca Tre Pile
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   91(+?)
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91(+?) Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2007

($50; these vines are now 35 to 40 years old) Medium red-ruby. Very ripe nose combines an almost medicinal quality with notes of chocolate liqueur, violet, truffle and oak. Juicy, saline and powerful on the palate, with a flavor of cherry-and-chocolate truffle. Conveys an impression of sappy energy and really scrapes the palate clean. Firmly structured and very long and fresh on the aftertaste. This very pure but youthfully austere wine needs to be served with fatty meat-or cellared for another couple of years. Franco describes this as "a real Piemonte style in its body and acidity, and not necessarily for international tastes. Some people preferred the more open 2003."

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About Italy

Italy, like France, offers a world of wine styles within a single country: dry Italian white wines ranging from lively and minerally to powerful and full-bodied; cheap and cheerful Italian red wines in both a cooler, northern style and a richer, warmer southern style; structured, powerful reds capable of long aging in bottle; sparkling wines; sweet wines and dessert wines.
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Barbera

Piedmont may be famous for its Nebbiolo-based wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, but the inhabitants of this region in Northwest Italy don't drink these big, tannic wines on an everyday basis. When it comes to a weekday dinner's accompaniment, they usually turn to Barbera (when not drinking the other everyday wine of the region, Dolcetto.) With this in mind, it's no surprise that...
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