|Italy||2014||Barolo Monfortino Riserva, Giacomo Conterno|
|MG||0 \ 1||1||1,780.00||bt||1||1186.6666666667||100.00||100.00||Barolo Monfortino Riserva, Conterno, Giacomo||1.5||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
Another last minute addition to this tasting, the 2014 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is a preview, as it had not been officially released at the time of this tasting. In fact, guests at this dinner were the very first people to taste the 2014 outside the winery. And in magnum! I am glad they did, because the 2014 has subsequently closed down, at least in magnum. The 2014 spent a year less in barrel (six years instead of seven), but its release date was the same as always, as if it had spent seven years in cask. That means that by the time it arrived in the market, it had been in bottle for more than a year, which is quite unusual, as the wine is usually bottled in the summer and then shipped immediately a few months later. I always advise readers who want to taste Monfortino young to do so right upon release, before the wine starts to shut down. That was virtually impossible with the 2014. But on this night, it was spectacular, with that intoxicating mix of soaring aromatics, silky fruit and nearly imperceptible tannins. I don’t know what else I can say. 2029-2054
The Giacomo Conterno 2014 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is made with 100% fruit from the Francia cru, which is not the case for the 2015 vintage (that sees 22% Arione in the blend) or likely future vintages. In a sense, this 100-point wine represents a milestone or a chapter finale in the long and exciting trajectory of Italy's collected and revered Monfortino. I've had the great fortune of tasting this wine from barrel over the course of four years and twice again this summer during my visits to the Conterno estates (in Gattinara and in Monforte d'Alba). 2027 - 2060
Serralunga d’Alba. Lustrous mid ruby with orange tinges. Cool and concentrated with a fine minerally note of liquorice dust. Huge depth. Still tightly wound, succulent fruit with bags of coating tannins and nervy, long acidity. Perfumed, complex and long and even a little more refined than 2013. Its length can only be measured in light years. Drink between 2020-2038
Tasted from barrel, with about one year to go before it will be bottled, the 2014 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is shaping up to be a true icon. From an analytical point of view, this vintage records slightly higher tannins (compared to 2013), and this is something winemaker Roberto Conterno looks to with attention, especially because his entire philosophy and methodology prizes longevity. What I find most interesting here is the sheer density and plumpness of the fruit that defies our expectations of this cooler vintage. That dark fruit richness is perfectly measured to the wine's structural backbone. That relationship between fruit and tannin is ultimately what gives this wine such a precise sense of balance. I will be able to give a final score to this wine in one year's time.