98 points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2019
I have been tasting this wine from barrel for the past two years and now finally, abracadabra, the 2013 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is safely housed in bottle. The wine was bottled in June of last year and will hit the market this upcoming October. The Barolo Francia was not produced in 2013 because Roberto Conterno diverted all fruit from that vineyard to this wine. Monfortino was not produced in 2011 or 2012, meaning that this 2013 edition follows directly after the absolutely stunning 2010 vintage (which earned a perfect 100-point score). The two vintages (2010 and 2013) are very similar, strikingly so, but the 2013 vintage registers at a slightly lower structural threshold. The tannins are slightly looser, or softer in the case of this wine. With up to six years in botte, the 2010 vintage is still crunchy and super sharp, while this wine is slightly more succulent and earthy. Some 20,000 bottles, 2,500 magnums and 400 three-liter bottles were made.
Here are my reviews of barrel samples tasted at the winery the last week of April. Among the samples is a new wine produced for the first time: the 2015 Barolo Arione, made with fruit from one of the estate's most high profile recent land acquisitions. Roberto Conterno will bottle all these wines on June 10th, just as we prepare to go to print. These wines will hit the market in October. When appropriate, I have given final scores to these wines, or a range of scores, accordingly. This year, I not only tasted new vintages, I got to taste from a new glass too. Roberto Conterno has designed new stemware called Sensory. With the help of his son who made 3-D computer designs from Roberto’s hand sketches, the Sensory glass offers these distinguishing factors: 1) The universal glass is used for both white and red wines; 2) The base of the balloon is almost flat, giving the wine a wider rest area at the bottom; 3) The side curve of the balloon is taller and wider, at a very open angle. This gives the wine more room to travel when you swirl the glass; and 4) The actual stem is on the short side, giving you the ideal distance between your fingers to hold the glass steady. My impression? Wow, this glass is to wine what high definition is to a television screen.
- Monica Larner