Reviews & Scores
The 1998 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is still young, especially from magnum, but it is a wine that I am enjoying more of late. It really needed a number of years, although it remains raw and not fully complete just yet. Burly, powerful and tannic, the 1998 reminds me a bit of the 1995 in that it is a Monfortino that still needs bottle age to be at its most expressive.
The 1998 Monfortino is a superb bottle in the making, which comes as no surprise as any time the Conternos decide to put a Monfortino label on a new release, it is a guarantee of quality. The 1998 offers up a very deep and typically black fruity nose of black cherries, dark berries, licorice, camphor, road tar, woodsmoke and a fine base of soil. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and laser-like in its focus, with a rock solid core of fruit, firm, well-integrated tannins, and outstanding length and grip on the very youthful and tangy finish. This will need every bit of twelve or fifteen years of bottle age to begin to blossom, and should prove to be an especially long-lived vintage of Monfortino.
The 1998 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is a monumental effort. A deep dark red, it opens with a huge nose of licorice, roses and cocoa, then flows onto the palate with masses of sweet, concentrated dark fruit that go on forever. Notes of mineral and leather gradually develop in the glass, adding further complexity as this great wine begins to reveal its expansive and profound personality. The 1998 is unusually open right now. As was the case with the 1997 at this stage, it should offer a brief drinking window over the next 6 months or so before shutting down for what is likely to be an extended period prior to awakening in the glorious prime of its life.
Decadent and ripe, with wonderfully seductive aromas of white truffle, plum and leather. Full-bodied, with supersoft tannins and amazing fruit and Christmas cake character. All in finesse and beauty. All in place.