Vinous – 98
The 1997 Barolo Riserva Monfortino (magnum) is the first wine in this tasting that I started to get to know when it was in cask. Back then it was unbelievably unctuous and exotic. Today, it is all that, and more. Red cherry jam, mocha, licorice, sweet rose petal and leather are some of many notes that open in the glass, but ultimately the 1997 is not a wine that is drunk, but one that is enjoyed as a total sensory overload.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2037
Robert Parker – 95
1997 Barolo Riserva Monfortino-Dark red. It appears that the early approachability of this wine was an illusion after all. My most recent bottle showed all the classic Monfortino notes of tar, licorice, roses, cocoa, and leather, with super-sweet dark fruit and notable concentration, but the open, generous quality that was present just a few months ago is diminishing, and this wine seems to be shutting down. Roberto Conterno confirmed that my impression is consistent with his naturally more frequent observations of this wine. 95/drink after 2012, 11/05