Conterno’s 2016 Barolo Francia is effusive, with a real sense of expansiveness that gives the wine breadth. Sage, mint, cedar, tobacco and strong mineral accents complement a core of dark fruit in a Barolo of real gravitas. Just bottled a few months ago, the 2016 is going through a very rare period of approachability (in relative terms). It will almost certainly shut down within the next few months. Readers who are curious will want to taste it before that happens. In 2016, Roberto Conterno did not bottle his flagship Monfortino, all the casks were blended for the Barolo Francia.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2056
Robert Parker 96
Roberto Conterno did not make his flagship wine, Monfortino, in 2016 or 2017, leaving all Francia fruit headed to his single-vineyard bottling instead. The Giacomo Conterno 2016 Barolo Francia is a rich and tightly knit wine with harder edges (certainly compared to the 2017) and a compact inner core of blackcurrant, licorice, smoky tar, violet and rusty nail. In fact, those pretty mineral nuances are very developed in this bottling and already show with clarity at this early stage in the wine’s evolution. They add etched concentration and a sense of austerity to this very elegant and age-worthy vintage. This wine should not be opened before the 10-year mark, at a minimum.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2053