98-100 points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2013
Tasted from botte number 45, the 2006 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is gorgeous. Roberto tells me, “Monfortino is not a drinking wine, it’s a chewing wine.” His comment makes perfect sense and offers incredible insight into the profound beauty beholden before us. You almost feel the crunch of the young tannin and the snap of its presence in the mouth. The bouquet is perfectly matched to the wine. Elegance and finesse add contrast to the wine’s sheer power and determination. Dried rose, licorice, tar, spice and tobacco show immense definition and focus. The 2006 vintage is noted for its extraordinary aging potential. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045. There is something almost ecclesiastical about a cellar visit to Giacomo Conterno at the foot of Monforte d’Alba. Enter his gates and you immediately cross an imaginary threshold into a spiritual and sobering world. The winery has the feeling of a vast cathedral with soaring ceilings and open spaces. Impeccable oak casks, each beautifully varnished, line the cellar perimeters like a succession of small family chapels. Roberto Conterno glides slowly and steadily across the tiled floor as if he were a priest lost in a contemplative moment of prayer. He carefully wipes the spigots clean of each stray drop with a white handkerchief he keeps at his side. The official tasting of his wine is performed with the ceremonial precision and religious intensity of a First Communion. And, just as when Mass has concluded, there’s a subtle sense of relief when you finally step back out into the sunlight.
- Monica Larner