Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo 1997, 750ml

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"The 1997 Barolo Riserva Monfortino might be considered Giovanni Conterno’s monument, the greatest ever made in a series which goes back all the way to the 1950s. Enormously full and ripe, layered and textured with a richness which is almost indescribable, it truly has it all, the rose petals, tar, and licorice of the nose, the succulent density of the flavors, the endless finish which rises to a crescendo of sensual authority. Strangely enough, it is already approachable, even if it will undoubtedly be good for another quarter of a century. A last piece of good news is that the 1996 version of this wine, a work of art which seemed hewn out of granite, is finally beginning to soften, open up, and show its austere magnificence. Unlike the 1997, it is a wine I would not touch for another ten years but, as in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, it is entirely possible that the former beast will win the race." WA 98