I could hardly find another word other than “wow” when I first tried the sisters Conti Boca. I was in a local osteria in the North of Piedmont when I asked the “oste”, “please surprise me”. From that day I promised myself that I would have done anything I could to get them in Vineria; so here we are.
My recommendation is, buy as much as you can today, stow it away in a dark place, and savour each bottle over the next 20+ years because there is no “second chance” when it comes to acquiring Conti’s Boca. Whenever the Conti sisters deem a vintage worthy enough for this rare bottling—which can only ever be produced in terribly limited quantities 2000 bottles—all insiders, collectors, and critics halt in their tracks. The reasons why are many: Conti only farms two hectares in the impervious small growing zone of Boca; their wines have become true cellar collectibles over the decades; and classic releases like today’s sublime, age-worthy Nebbiolo consistently outperform the blue bloods of Barolo and Barbaresco.
The Conti sisters understand that such unique terroir and their combined years of perfecting natural and biodynamic practices (herbicides have never been introduced to their vines nor enzymes, stabilisers in their cellar) means they need not fuss too much in the cellar. There is very little in the way of technology or modern gadgetry at Conti.
The minuscule amount of juice produced from their vineyards is fermented in a stainless steel tank. There are twice-daily punch-downs during fermentation and after malolactic fermentation is complete, the wine is transferred to old, handmade, 500-liter oak botti. It rests here for a minimum of three years before bottling and sees further maturation before exiting their cellar doors—today’s 2019 is their current release.