Giacomo Conterno   Barolo Riserva Monfortino

2005 Barolo Riserva Monfortino

By Giacomo Conterno

2005 Barolo Riserva Monfortino from Giacomo Conterno, Piedmont, Italy

The 2005 Barolo Riserva Monfortino from Giacomo Conterno is an awe-inspiring testament to the finesse and depth of fine wines from Italy. This distinguished vintage is synonymous with the meticulous attention to detail that only a seasoned winemaker such as Roberto Conterno could infuse into every bottle.


Poised Perfection to Savour

The 2005 Monfortino resonates with depth and sophistication that matches its stump-pulling power with stunning nuance. This marvel of a wine, drawn from a generous growing season in Piedmont, promises intriguing rewards for the patient investor. It's one of those fine wines that epitomizes the enthralling allure of wine investment.

This Barolo conjures up a bouquet reminiscent of ripe fruits and decadent spices woven together in an opulent display of elegance. Melded with the richness of dried cherries, fresh tobacco leaf and undertones of subtle forest floor, it screams opulence at every sip.


A Year Blessed by the Heavens

The year 2005 was bestowed with warm temperatures ensuring optimal growing conditions to extract nuances from each grape. The Nebbiolo grapes embraced this warmth profusely, giving birth to this sophisticated vintage. The profound weather-induced notes dance harmoniously against its stunningly developed tannin structure.

Such climatic palate enhances the diversified characteristics embedded within this enduring vintage, making it one of the sterling collections from the heralded house of Giacomo Conterno.

The final word? The 2005 Barolo Riserva Monfortino from Giacomo Conterno is better than a masterclass in Italian viticulture; it's a sublime symphony of intricate flavours held together by a conductor armed with an unerring sense of balance. Indeed, in the realm of fine wines and savvy wine investment, this title carries a heft of respect that discerning investors understand and appreciate.

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Scores and tasting notes


A rich, sensual tapestry of dark plums, cherries, smoke, incense, tar and licorice emerges from the 2005 Barolo Riserva Monfortino. Exotic, rich and layered, the 2005 boasts gorgeous depth and a sensual enveloping personality. I am quite amazed at how the 2005 has developed since I last tasted it, in November 2011. The once-firm tannins have never been more elegant than they are today. That said, as good as the 2005 is, it doesn’t quite have the thrill factor of the very best vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045. A stop at this historic cellar in the center of Monforte is always fascinating, as no one keeps Barolo longer in cask than Roberto Conterno, giving the visitor a chance to taste numerous wines all in various stages of their maturation. If forced to pick a favorite recent vintage, I would vote for 2010, a year in which all of the wines are fabulous. Next would be 2008 and 2006, two super-classic years. Robero Conterno is by far the most enlightened of the traditional producers in Barolo. I don’t think too many producers taste their wines as often as Roberto Conterno does, but what really separates Conterno from the overwhelming majority of his peers is his intense intellectual curiosity about the world’s great wines. The Conterno wines remain traditional in interpretation, but they are also clearly the work of a winemaker living in his time and not the past. This set of new releases is full of highlights, but the Barbera from Conterno’s Cerretta vineyard is particularly of note because it is the most improved wine in the lineup. When Conterno purchased this plot in 2008, he told me it would take 2-3 years to get the vineyard into top shape. When I asked him recently where he was in that process, the answer was, “Ninety percent.” Readers should note that the two flagship Baroli, Cascina Francia and Monfortino, were especially shut down every time I tasted them this past summer. Conterno bottled a month earlier than normal this year, and I think that is the reason the wines were particularly impenetrable. Readers may also want to take a look at my previous reviews, based on barrel samples, for greater context. Importers: Polaner Selections, Mt. Kisco, NY; tel. (914) 244-0404; The Rare Wine Co., Sonoma, CA; tel. (707) 996-4484

Antonio Galloni - The Wine Advocate, 30 October 2012

Vintage performance