Conterno – Barbera d’Alba 2005

The Conterno Barolo is the Kelly bag of wine.  Classic, elegant, and incredibly expensive.  It smells really good, too.

I don’t necessarily think of myself as a Wine Snob.  Though I do appreciate a unpronounceable châteaux or two from time to time, this sommelier will also happily guzzle an honest box of Merlot – in fact, I’m considering purchasing one these babies:

With no offense to the beautiful Princess Grace, I’m going to call this bag my very own “Kellie”.

My curiosity was piqued when I saw a bottle of Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba 2005 sitting on a high shelf at my favorite enoteca for Euro 28, next to it’s more expensive and famous cousins, the Barbaresco and of course, the King, Barolo.  I surprised myself when I scoffed and secretly thought,  “Meh, a Conterno Barbera? Probably overpriced and over-oaked.  Why not indulge in a name-less organic Nerello Mascherese from Sicily for the same amount.”

Wait.  Woah, since when did I become a I’m-so-over-mainstream-wine snob? Ergk, so I stand corrected.  So humbly corrected.

Embracing my inner a classic-is-a-classic-for-a-reason, we decided on the Barbera d’Alba with a plate of cheeses.  The first pour.  Mamma mia.  What an explosion of emotions and aromas!  Black current, prune, gorgeous bouquet.  Velvety and jammy, but not overbearing.  A perfect, perfect nose-palate harmony.  Simply Kelly-like and elegant beyond words.   My friends and I sat in silence, an occasional moan escaping from our lips with quiet orgasmic bursts of “oishiiii!”

If this wine were a woman, she’d be a mid-forties classic interior designer turned organic fruit farmer and author, happily married with grown children, and his-and-hers Jack Russel terriers named Dolly and Philip II.  She’d have a closet full of Chanel suits, but prefer to don  a vestaglia while churning a pot-ful of fruit into sweet, sensual jam.  She’d have a soft British drawl and smell of lavender, I think.

Conterno Giacomo

Azienda Vitivinicola Giacomo Conterno di Giovanni Conterno


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