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Flat front label of wine

Giacomo Conterno Monfortino Barolo Riserva 2002

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • RP98
  • WS98
  • JS97
0% ABV
  • RP100
  • JS99
  • WS97
  • JS99
  • RP98
  • WS97
  • RP100
  • JS98
  • WS98
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Winemaker Notes

Fruit Source:Cascina Francia cru in Serralunga

Avg. Yield : 30 hL/hA

Fermentation : 3-4 weeks in wooden vats with regular breaking-up of the caps. No temperature control

Aging: minimum 7 years in large cask

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Conterno's 2002 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is a legend in the making, or now that it is in bottle, it may be more correct to simply say it is a legend. The late Giovanni Conterno and his son Roberto Conterno created quite a stir when they announced that they would make their Monfortino in 2002, a year in which most of the harvest in Piedmont was severely compromised by a cold summer and devastating hail in early September. But there was more. The Conternos not only announced that they would make their Monfortino in 2002 but no Barolo Cascina Francia for the first time ever in the estate’s history. In a bit of defiance towards the press, the Conternos then announced no one would be allowed to taste the wine from barrel. Over the years, this stance softened. Visitors lucky enough to visit the cellars and sample the wine from cask knew what was in store. Simply put, the 2002 Monfortino is stratospheric. A dark, imposing, but sensual wine, it flows from the glass with a breathtaking array of dried roses, autumn leaves, wild cherries, plums, new leather, espresso, licorice and spices, showing phenomenal depth, richness and balance. The tension between the luxuriousness of the fruit and the austerity of the vintage is truly captivating. I have tasted the 2002 Monfortino multiple times from barrel and bottle. At times it has reminded me of what I imagine the 1971 tasted like upon release, at other times it has seemed more similar to 1978. According to Giovanni Conterno, the 2002 reminded him of the 1971. Either way, the wine is extraordinary. The 2002 Monfortino is the result of the cold vintage that was typical of Piedmont up until the mid 1980s. In many ways, it is a throwback to wines that can’t be made anymore in Piedmont. Roberto Conterno thought so highly of the 2002 Monfortino he gave the wine an extra year in barrrel. And of course, there is one sad footnote. The world lost Giovanni Conterno to cancer in 2004, but he made sure his last Monfortino was at least equal, if not better, than his most monumental wines. There is little doubt the 2002 Monfortino will soon take its place as one of the greatest Monfortinos ever made. It is the most fitting last chapter to the life of one of the world’s greatest winemakers. As always, I suggest readers who have an interest in Monfortino taste the wine as soon as possible, as it will soon head into a period of dormancy, which in this vintage may last several decades. One of my favorite vintages for current drinking is the 1970, which still looks to have another 30 years of fine drinking ahead of it! Anticipated maturity: 2027-2052.
WS 98
Wine Spectator
This is incredibly fresh, vibrant and expressive, exhibiting complex aromas of red fruits, tar and licorice, with strawberry, sweet tobacco and mineral flavors. Intense and elegant at once, with finesse and structure, ending with a saline and mineral aftertaste. Try it in five years. Best from 2014 through 2040. 1,000 cases made.
JS 97
James Suckling
What a wine. In a year where the rainfall was more than two times the norm Giacomo really impresses. This wine is an ever evolving (even in the glass!) experience. On the nose it has fresh mint and licorice then a wave of roses, berries, and cherries. On the palate there is more of the same, tons of berries, licorice and roses. Incredibly full and ultra-velvety. This is a dense wine that does not lack depth and focus. Breathtaking balance and a incredible finish that is measured in minutes not seconds. Harmonious. Find the wine
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Giacomo Conterno

Giacomo Conterno

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Giacomo Conterno, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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The ultimate and purest expression of Barolo can be found in bottles bearing the Giacomo Conterno name. In fact, they represent the ideal of traditional Barolo: rich, powerful, massively structured, and capable of long aging in bottle.

These majestic wines descend from a colossal legacy, spanning three generations of Conternos: Giacomo, Giovanni, and Roberto—in each case, the torch passing from father to son. Both Giovanni, who forged a reputation as the greatest of all Barolo producers, and now his gifted son, Roberto, have continued the important work of patriarch Giacomo.

Roberto Conterno is quick to say that the wines he makes belong to his father and grandfather. Yet his era may prove to be the most exciting. After all, Roberto benefits from the wisdom of both Giacomo and Giovanni. And Roberto has shown that he shares not only their genius, but also their devotion to tradition and history.

Home to the world’s most powerful wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, the Barolo village of Piedmont has long been known as “the wine of kings, the king of wines.” There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from neighboring Barbaresco as well as from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards to the west, typically resulting in fresher, fruitier, and softer wines that are approachable relatively early on in their evolution. This is sometimes referred to as the “feminine” side of Barolo and is closer in style to Barbaresco with its elegant perfume. On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian sandstone clay soils are chalkier and less fertile, producing age-worthy wines with full body and structured tannins—the more “masculine” style. The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Barolo is one of the world’s most distinctive red wines, and experienced tasters typically have no trouble picking it out of a lineup. In addition to Nebbiolo’s signature “tar and roses” aroma, one can expect to find complex notes of strawberries, cherries, leather, white truffles, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco, violets, plum, and much more. Despite its deceptively light garnet color, Barolo has a full presence on the palate and plenty of tannin and acidity. The traditional style of Barolo relies on the use of neutral large wooden vats for aging, which do not impart flavor to the wine and preserve the natural character of the Nebbiolo grape. Meanwhile, a more modern, “international” style of Barolo utilizes small French oak barrels to add spicy, woody flavors and a softer texture resulting in earlier drinkability.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

PBC9130199_2002 Item# 119798