Vinous – 99
The 2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is one of my favorite recent vintages. It is the product of an exceptionally long and cool growing year marked by a highly unusual cold snap at the very end of the season. Those conditions yielded a Monfortino that is pure silkiness and sensuality, with striking aromatic presence and exceptional balance. There is an exoticism to the 2008 that is impossible to miss, while the impression is of tannins that are virtually non-existent. The 2008 was such a complete wine right from the outset that Roberto Conterno decided to bottle it with six years in cask as opposed to the more typical seven.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2048
Robert Parker – 97
The 2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is pure excitement. The bouquet alone is alluring, but then the wine begins to open up on the palate, revealing extraordinary depth. An explosion of fruit follows as dark berries, mint, roses, incense and tar flesh out in all directions. Huge, powerful tannins frame an extraordinary finish. This is going to be a thrilling Monfortino to follow over the coming years and decades. Anticipated maturity: 2028-2048. Roberto Conterno’s 2008s capture the best qualities of the vintage. They are intensely perfumed and impeccably refined. These will be fascinating wines to follow over the coming years. As for the rest of the wines in cask, they are pretty spectacular, too. Today I am most optimistic about the 2010s, but there seems to be no shortage of great wines aging in this historic cellar. Readers who want to get an early impression on 2010 will want to check out Conterno’s Barbere, which are shaping up beautifully. Importers: Polaner Selections, Mt. Kisco, NY; tel. (914) 244-0404, The Rare Wine Co., Sonoma, CA; tel. (707) 996-4484
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2048