1988 Barolo Monfortino Riserva Giacomo Conterno



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Average critic rating : 94.0 points

94

94

1988 Barolo Riserva Monfortino—Burnished dense ruby. The 1988 offers classic evolved aromas of spices, chocolate, animal, and beef broth. Structured and complex on the palate, with sensations of dark fruits, stewed prunes and a balsamic character which suggest this wine is at or close to maturity. Finishes with great length and class. 94 points/drink now-?, tasted 05/05 Conterno makes two Barolos both from the Cascina Francia vineyard, one of the great monopole sites in Piedmont. The vineyard was purchased by Giovanni Conterno in 1974 and measures six hectares. Cascina Francia is made in a traditional style, with natural yeasts and temperature-controlled fermentation and maceration lasting 3-4 weeks. The wines are aged in large Slavonian oak casks and are bottled in the summer of the fourth year following the harvest. In great vintages a special selection of the best fruit is made in the vineyard and that fruit becomes the Barolo Riserva Monfortino, perhaps the single most iconic wine in all of Piedmont. Monfortino is also made with natural yeasts, although fermentation/maceration time is longer, lasting 4-5 weeks, and is carried out without the aid of temperature control. Current vintages are aged seven years in cask, but past vintages have seen as much as 10 years of cask aging before being released. Monfortino is legendary for its extraordinary longevity, which is usually measured in decades. Antonio Galloni, In the Cellar # G3,4.

GIACOMO CONTERNO

For any wine collector, Giacomo Conterno is a name that makes you sit up straight and pay attention. Widely acknowledged as the most majestic examples of traditional Barolo, these wines are some of the most thought provoking heavy-hitters known to the wine world. Power, massive structure, richness tempered with delicacy and the ability to age beautifully for 30+ years are just some of the reasons for Conterno’s world-class reputation.


A NEW DIRECTION

The winery, established in 1908, initially conformed to the way other producers in the region made Barolo; in cask or demijohn suitable for early consumption. In the 1920s Giacomo Conterno set his sights on making a higher quality Barolo that could age for decades. He started by extending maceration periods extensively and began aging his wines in large wooden botti. The shift in quality kept the winery afloat during difficult economic times and eventually led to the ability to purchase the Cascina Francia vineyard in the 1970s.


CASCINA FRANCIA

Cascina Francia is one of Piedmont’s greatest sites and the exclusive source of Conterno’s Baroli – Monfortino and Cascina Francia. The densely planted 14 hectare site boasts southwest exposure and sits 4,000 metres above sea level, offering ideal conditions for deep tannins and big, ripe acidity. This vineyard is the key in producing Conterno’s powerful, age-worthy style of Barolo.


BAROLO MONFORTINO RISERVA

In great vintages, Barolo Monfortino Riserva is made from a selection of the best fruit. It is vinified differently than Cascina Francia, first undergoing an uncontrolled fermentation at a high temperature, followed by an additional three years of maturation in cask. Antonio Galloni remarks “Baroli Cascina Francia and Monfortino... rightly considered by most observers as among the most profound wines in the world.”


FAMILY BUSINESS

Today, the winery is run by Roberto Conterno, who benefits from the wisdom and legacy of his late father, Giovanni, and grandfather, Giacomo. The winemaking is still rigorously traditional with long fermentations followed by periods of 7+ years in cask, practices reminiscent of other great Italian producers Gianfranco Soldera and Giuseppe Quintarelli. This powerful style of Barolo continues to shock and amaze those lucky enough to open them.


FINE & RARE

Made in tiny quantities of only around 1,000 cases per year, this is a hugely desirable and collectable wine with a rarity factor similar to Petrus in Bordeaux and Domaine Romanée Conti in Burgundy. Highly rated by Antonio Galloni, the vintages 2010, 2004, 1999, 1978 and 1970 are among some of the most sought after wines in the world.

 



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