When it comes to comparisons of any kind, all bets are off with the 2014 Monfortino, a Barolo that enters the stratosphere of profound and utterly moving beauty. Seamless and elegant in the glass, with stunning aromatics and perfectly ripe tannins, the 2014 is simply breathtaking in its beauty. In 2014, Roberto Conterno waited to harvest this fruit very late. The result is a Barolo that offers the textural opulence of fruit picked at the end of the season with the aromatic depth and structure of a wine from a cool year. Most incredibly of all, the 2014 is a very tannic wine analytically, and yet the sensation is of a Barolo of softness and opulence. A rush of dark red/purplish berry fruit, blood orange, spice, tobacco and mint builds into the rapturous finish. Readers who can find the 2014 when it is released next year should not hesitate, as it will unquestionably go down as one of the greatest Monfortinos ever made. Drink Window 2024-2064.
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. Drink Date 2025-2060.