2012 Paolo Conterno, Barolo “Riva del Bric” Piedmonte, Italy.
These 2012 Barolo wines didn’t get much hype and now we are hearing about how good the 2013 vintage is, but they are really lovely wines and this Paolo Conterno 2012 Riva del Bric is a beauty that can be drunk young and fresh, though it has enough structure and class to age well too, it’s a pure and joyous Nebbiolo and a solid value. While the 2013 certainly has a bigger form and earthy depth with heightened tannins, this 2012 feels more delicate in comparison, but really fills out nicely on the palate and has more juicy/fruity openness with decedent red fruits, smooth/satiny mouth feel and lingering detail. The Paolo Conterno founded in 1888 in Monforte d’Alba above the famed Ginestra Cru, one of Barolo’s best sites set on calcareous and clay soils with near perfect slope and exposure, they are clear and persistent wines with an old school feel, the two main wines include an old vine top Ginestra, as well as this sub site Riva del Bric that comes from a small parcel in the Ginestra Cru, which usually considered their basic or entry level Barolo, though always a wine worth searching for especially in fine years. The 2012 Riva del Bric starts with a mix of dried and fresh rose petals, amaro/herb, balsamic dipped strawberry, dark cherries, plum and brisk currant along with saline, anise, backing spices, earthy/stony notes and kirsch/liqueur. This is pretty stuff, if you are looking for a solid under $50 Barolo this one would not be a bad choice, maybe just behind the 2012 offerings from Giovanni Rosso, Oddero and G.V. Varja, but within a point or two and it does not disappoint, drink over the next 3 to 5 years.
($49 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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