Overview of the Wine
Two brothers, Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino, run this family estate in Monforte d’Alba. Alessandro managed the vineyards and served as the enologist at Cantina Bartolo Mascarello for 20 years, from 1978 to 1997. Since 1998, he has dedicated himself to running his family estate alongside his brother full-time.
The brothers farm eight hectares in the heart of the historic Bussia cru north of Monforte, one of Barolo’s most famous areas for producing wines of great longevity and finesse. The Fantino holdings are concentrated exclusively in the “Dardi” section of Bussia, a hillside with perfect southern and southeastern exposure in the geographic center of Bussia. This gives them their “Cascina Dardi” brand name on the label of their Barbera and Baroli (for those already familiar with these wines, they were formerly labeled as Vigna dei Dardi, before the brothers registered the Cascina Dardi trademark).
Barolos from Bussia tend to have deep color and rich fruit and while they don’t lack the classic tannic structure of Nebbiolo from this part of the world, they are not nearly as hard as the Barolos from the southside of Monforte or from Serralunga. This fact does not preclude the Fantino Baroli from aging but makes them delightfully approachable relatively young. The Fantinos are also blessed with some of the oldest vines in the entire Barolo zone, thanks to the fastidious care given to them by Alessandro and Gian Natale. Planted in 1946 and 1947 and pruned in an old style that is very labor intensive, they produce grapes that would be the envy of any Barolista.
The Fantino brothers produce an amazing Barbera d’Alba from these ancient vines in Dardi, and a “Rosso dei Dardi” from younger vine Nebbiolo planted on a west-facing slope. The Barbera is loaded with lush fruit and smooth, silky texture, and a ravishing perfume. The Rosso is playful, fruit-driven, fresh, and aromatic. They are also specialists with several traditional Piemontese wines that are mostly disappearing: Nebbiolo Passito and Barolo Chinato.
• Aged in large, Slavonian oak barrels for 4 years
• After aging, fortified and blended with the family’s recipe of spices: China Calissaio, Bergamotto, Arancio, Mandrino, Vanilia, Cannella, Genziana, Chiudi di Garofano, Cardomomo, Assenzio (absinthe)
• Then aged in stainless steel tanks for 6 months
• Aged in bottle for 3 months before release
Production: 3,800 cases
Grape / Blend
Appellation: Barolo Chinato
91 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The NV Barolo Chinato is a sweet, deeply spiced version of this traditional Piedmontese after-dinner wine. Fantino’s Chinato is rich and generous on the palate, with gorgeous notes of sweet medicinal herbs and impeccable balance. Barolo Chinato is a difficult wine to review, as it is a non-vintage declared wine but readers should not hesitate to pick up this delicious version, which is identified by the Lot number 08145. The base wine for this lot is 2003 Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019.
Product size: 500ml