The 2012 Barolo Francia is wonderfully expressive today. Much more open than the Barolo Cerretta tasted alongside it, the Francia bristles with energy. Floral and mineral overtones add to an impression of brightness, yet there is plenty of underlying tannin and overall structure. In 2012, Roberto Conterno did not bottle his flagship Barolo Monfortino. Instead, the cask that would have been destined for Monfortino was blended into the Francia. Historically, that decision has often resulted in a ‘super Francia.’ It will be interesting to see if the 2012 gains volume and depth in aging. I have to say, the wine is surprisingly accessible in the early going, although it has just been bottled and is likely to close down at some point. All the promise the 2012 showed in cask comes through loud and clear.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2044
Robert Parker 95
Since the 2010 vintage, this wine is named Francia (not Cascina Francia) to keep with the new Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive (or official cru naming) in Barolo and Barbaresco. The 2012 Barolo Francia is a seductive and silky expression that flows gracefully over the palate with power and determination. The nose is expressive, and decidedly more articulate than many of the more muted wines made by neighboring estates in this warm vintage. The quality of the mouthfeel is of special interest. This beautiful Barolo already shows stunning texture, richness and integrity, despite this very early preview tasting. I tasted this wine in barrel shortly before bottling.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050