Aldo Conterno Bussiador Chardonnay 2009
Aldo Conterno, famed for his Barolos, split from the Giacomo Conterno estate to pursue a more modernist take on the wine. Though I would not put Aldo Conterno in the camp of producers like Pio Cesare and Paolo Scavino, the winery is decidedly more forward looking than the highly traditionalist G. Conterno. This Chardonnay is a perfect example: an international grape planted in the hallowed terroirs of Barolo. Some might ask, for what purpose and to what effect?
It was, in fact, a five year stint in America that inspired Aldo to break away from his brother and start his own winery. Perhaps it was the exposure to American exceptionalism and experimentation that inspired Aldo’s experimental approach. While his children now run the estate, it seems that this spirit has survived.
This is a distinctive Chardonnay made extremely well. It carries a unique combination of aroma, liveliness and freshness, coupled with quite a dense and powerful body. It does not have the elegance and regality of Puligny and Chassagne, but it also isn’t a fat, sexy New World style like Kistler or Kongsgaard. Ultimately, it lies somewhere in the middle but has a character all its own. It is excellent with food and surely has the guts to age. This 100% barrique fermented wine is ultimately quite impressive, and a reasonable price given the quality. However, those seeking lean and mineral driven Chardonnay should stay away.
I would also note that this wine is not representative of Piedmont or what Aldo Conterno is doing with his Barolos, so do not take it to mean anything beyond its immediate pleasure. Rather, the Bussiador is just a very well made Chardonnay with a distinctive character at a fair price for the quality. It is the QPR (in BC) that makes this stand out.
$65 at BCLDB ($50 USD)