1999 Giacomo Conterno "Monfortino" Barolo Riserva

SKU #1033440 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1999 Barolo Riserva Monfortino takes things to another level, hard as that may be to believe. It is deeply expressive in its aromatics, with breathtaking nuances of roses, menthol, spices and licorice that emerge from the glass, melding seamlessly onto the palate where complex layers of dark ripe fruit captivate the taster in an endless counterpoint of aromas, flavors and sensations that are hard to fully capture with mere words. Boasting much intensity and a more full-bodied structure than the 1998, with building tannins that define the eternal finish, it is wine to taste now and over the next 6-9 months before it begins to shut down. Sampled from both bottle and magnum, it is a remarkable wine in every way, and is sure to take a place among the great Monfortinos of all time. Those fortunate enough to own Monfortinos from the recent string of vintages dating back to 1995 as well as the equally promising 2000 and 2001 will no doubt enjoy debating the merits of these remarkable wines for years and decades to come. The 1999 Monfortino remains one of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2039. (AG)  (10/2006)

98 points Vinous

 Forbiddingly tannic in its youth, the 1999 Barolo Riserva Monfortino has gradually begun to turn the corner in recent years. Today, the 1999 is exotic, sweet, perfumed and much more finessed than it was at the outset. There is still plenty of tannin, though, so readers need to be patient. Towering and vertical in its expression, the 1999 Monfortino nearly overwhelms all of the senses with its profound, utterly moving personality. The 1999 is an epic Monfortino. It's as simple as that. (AG)  (8/2014)

96 points John Gilman

 In much the same manner as the comparisons between the 2001 and 1999 Cascina Francia, the 1999 Monfortino is much more open for inspection today than its 2001 counterpart. Which vintage will ultimately be the superior wine will be a delicious debate for the next fifty or more years, as both wines are legends in the making. The 1999 Monfortino offers up a brilliant and utterly profound bouquet of black cherries, blood orange, road tar, woodsmoke, fresh herbs, and a kaleidoscopic base of soil. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and very powerful, with a brilliant core of sappy fruit, stunning purity and focus, perfect balance and a very, very long, palate-staining and ripely tannic finish. Another utterly humbling young vintage of Monfortino. (Drink between 2020-2075)  (10/2008)

93-96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full red. Very deep, sappy, complex nose combines black fruits, violet, rose and minerals. Then sweet, dense and lush, with terrific clarity of flavor and inner-mouth perfume. This has all the elements of great Barolo. Finishes with compelling aromatic complexity, noble tannins and great length.  (12/2004)

Jancis Robinson

 Mid ruby and mature looking. Quite dusty and takes a little getting used to, with notes of hung game, undergrowth and lots of concentrated, sweet fruit underneath. A balance you cannot fault: concentration of fruit, gripping but beautifully sculpted tannin and great matching acidity. Hedonistic as well as elegant, and fresh. Still has years ahead of it. 18+/20 points. (WS)  (2/2013)

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Varietal:

Nebbiolo

- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Piedmont

- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
Specific Appellation:

Barolo

- Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, these wines take their name from the village of Barolo. A maximum of 205,000 cases per year can be made from 3081 acres of land divided between 11 communes and more than 1200 growers. La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte and Serralunga are the most important communes and produce most of the exported wine. Barolo is a powerhouse wine in some communes but also more delicate in others (La Morra is the most delicate and Serralunga the most powerful). Recent technological and viticultural advances are remaking Barolo into a wine that is more consistent balanced. Producers here do not want to change the flavor or feel of their wines, only improve and eliminate poor winemaking technique. A wine of great perfume, body and size the classic nose of "tar and roses". Barolo is best served with roast meats the Piemontese classic would be "Stracotto del Barolo or pot roast cooked with a Barolo, game birds or powerful cheese.