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Location is crucial in the Langhe, as vineyard site is the first and foremost determinant to a grower’s ability to produce fine Barolo. Brothers Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino are blessed in this respect: proud proprietors of several hectares in a south-facing section of Monforte d’Alba’s fabled Bussia cru known as Dardi, named for the family’s old farmhouse, they have the terroir essentials to craft a grandiose Nebbiolo for the ages.
And yet, this is only part of the equation. Traditional treatment in the cellar—fermentation with native yeast and long aging in Slavonian oak casks, or botti grandi—ensures the beautiful fruit from Dardi is not altered or masked. Minimizing filtration and added sulfur at bottling preserves a velvetiness that makes the wines texturally seductive from release and through the years.
As a result, the Fantinos’ Baroli come loaded with rich, generous Nebbiolo fruit, flaunting a plushness that beckons. In a year like 2011 especially, the wine is ripe, deep, and almost extravagant in its breadth of aroma and flavor, while a dense, tightly knit core of firm acidity and fine-grained tannins make up a rigid spine. Power, finesse, classic Barolo aromatics—it’s all there in this 2011 from the Fantinos. Piemonte lovers will not want to miss it.
|Producer:||A. & G. Fantino|
|Winemaker:||Alessandro & Gian Natale Fantino|
|Aging:||Aged in large oak barrels for 4 years, aged in bottle for 6 months before release|
Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.
Inspiring Thirst, page 236