It was his grandfather Saverio who reminded Mario of the merits of producing Barolo with one's own Nebbiolo fruit, rather than buying from those around. Mario took this lesson to heart, building on Saverio's legacy. He's gone a step further in 2011, introducing a battery of cement tanks in which to marry the wine – a blend of fruit from Castiglione Falletto and La Morra – prior to bottling. This has definitely given the 2011 Barolo a more relaxed, harmonious feel: dark strawberry-garnet, the nose charms with joyful summer fruit, of raspberry and strawberry, along with a hint of quinine and orange peel. It's very relaxed and civil, like Mario, yet with a more serious kernel of intensity, a tea-leaf and bergamot fragrance, a sense of purpose, of profoundness, sapid and long.
Sixth-generation Barolo producer Mario Fontana set out on his own in 1995, and since then has been refining his Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo wines with each year that passes. This Barolo is arguably the most Burgundian of the range, with delicacy and gentleness that comes from reasonable yields, traditional vinification, maturation in large Slavonian oak for 24 months and having one’s feet on the ground. Another hectare has been planted in the village of Sinio, taking the total to five hectares.
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