Giacomo Conterno   Barolo Riserva Monfortino

2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino

By Giacomo Conterno

2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino from Giacomo Conterno, Piedmont, Italy

The 2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino from Giacomo Conterno is one of those fine wines from Italy that proved instrumental in securing its status as an unparalleled producer of world-class vintage. As a wine critic, drawing upon forty years of experience, this vintage occupies a vaunted spot among the pantheon of truly great Italian wines.


The Fruit of Obdurate Time and Unabashed Talent

At Giacomo Conterno, time is seen not just as an ally but a silent craftsman. One that sculpts the wines meticulously, year after year, to let them attain a level of sophistication that defies expression. The 2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino echoes this philosophy resoundingly. This vintage stands out in being a splendid incarnation of patience-loving Nebbiolo that was vinified following an exceptionally long maceration period and then left to mature for seven long years in large oak barrels.

The righteousness of this waiting becomes evident in the multiplicity of its personality betwixt each savoured sip. From sensual layers of dark cherries and spices to flirtatious overtures of mint and liquorice that only deepen the intrigue.


A Year Set Apart: The 2008 Vintage

Framed by challenge and carried by resilience, the 2008 growing season in Piedmont forced vine growers and vintners to adapt quickly to capricious weather patterns. Petite rainfalls during an otherwise hot summer threw up obstacles which were astutely navigated by astute producers like Giacomo Conterno.

The result is a beautiful testament to viticultural persistence. The 2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino, though slightly lighter than typically expected from these vineyards, surprised with exceptional freshness and vibrancy which have proven advantageous over the course of its development.

This context amplifies the wine’s potential as an investment, adding to its romantic appeal with a tale of triumph over tribulation. 2008 was not a year for the faint-hearted – it was a year that rewarded the proficient winemakers who exhibited patience and skill in perfect synergy.

With its storied journey and ethereal expression, the 2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino from Giacomo Conterno serves as an exemplar of wine investment power - a testament to patience, resilience and unparalleled brilliance in winemaking.

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Scores and tasting notes


The 2008 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is pure excitement. The bouquet alone is alluring, but then the wine begins to open up on the palate, revealing extraordinary depth. An explosion of fruit follows as dark berries, mint, roses, incense and tar flesh out in all directions. Huge, powerful tannins frame an extraordinary finish. This is going to be a thrilling Monfortino to follow over the coming years and decades. Anticipated maturity: 2028-2048. Roberto Conterno’s 2008s capture the best qualities of the vintage. They are intensely perfumed and impeccably refined. These will be fascinating wines to follow over the coming years. As for the rest of the wines in cask, they are pretty spectacular, too. Today I am most optimistic about the 2010s, but there seems to be no shortage of great wines aging in this historic cellar. Readers who want to get an early impression on 2010 will want to check out Conterno’s Barbere, which are shaping up beautifully. 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, 25 April 2012

Vintage performance