The 2007 Barolo Cascina Francia is an unusual version of this benchmark wine. In 2007 Conterno decided against bottling his Monfortino. Conterno believes Nebbiolo can handle rain and humidity (hence his decision to make Monfortino in rainy years such as 1987 and 2002), but not drought. The result is a Cascina Francia that is unusually dark, rich and powerful. The floral, herbal notes that are typical in young Cascina Francia have been replaced by deeper notes of tar, smoke and licorice to match the layers of intense dark fruit. The 2007 is powerful and imposing from start to finish. It is going to be a fascinating Barolo to follow over the coming years and decades. Cascina Francia is often accessible for the first year or two after it has been bottled. That has not been my experience with the 2007. It seems already headed for a period of dormancy. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2037.