The 1999 Barolo Riserva Monfortino takes things to another level, hard as that may be to believe. It is deeply expressive in its aromatics, with breathtaking nuances of roses, menthol, spices and licorice that emerge from the glass, melding seamlessly onto the palate where complex layers of dark ripe fruit captivate the taster in an endless counterpoint of aromas, flavors and sensations that are hard to fully capture with mere words. Boasting much intensity and a more full-bodied structure than the 1998, with building tannins that define the eternal finish, it is wine to taste now and over the next 6-9 months before it begins to shut down. Sampled from both bottle and magnum, it is a remarkable wine in every way, and is sure to take a place among the great Monfortinos of all time. Those fortunate enough to own Monfortinos from the recent string of vintages dating back to 1995 as well as the equally promising 2000 and 2001 will no doubt enjoy debating the merits of these remarkable wines for years and decades to come. The 1999 Monfortino remains one of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2039. (AG)
Forbiddingly tannic in its youth, the 1999 Barolo Riserva Monfortino has gradually begun to turn the corner in recent years. Today, the 1999 is exotic, sweet, perfumed and much more finessed than it was at the outset. There is still plenty of tannin, though, so readers need to be patient. Towering and vertical in its expression, the 1999 Monfortino nearly overwhelms all of the senses with its profound, utterly moving personality. The 1999 is an epic Monfortino. It's as simple as that. (AG)
In much the same manner as the comparisons between the 2001 and 1999 Cascina Francia, the 1999 Monfortino is much more open for inspection today than its 2001 counterpart. Which vintage will ultimately be the superior wine will be a delicious debate for the next fifty or more years, as both wines are legends in the making. The 1999 Monfortino offers up a brilliant and utterly profound bouquet of black cherries, blood orange, road tar, woodsmoke, fresh herbs, and a kaleidoscopic base of soil. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and very powerful, with a brilliant core of sappy fruit, stunning purity and focus, perfect balance and a very, very long, palate-staining and ripely tannic finish. Another utterly humbling young vintage of Monfortino. (Drink between 2020-2075)
Good full red. Very deep, sappy, complex nose combines black fruits, violet, rose and minerals. Then sweet, dense and lush, with terrific clarity of flavor and inner-mouth perfume. This has all the elements of great Barolo. Finishes with compelling aromatic complexity, noble tannins and great length.
Mid ruby and mature looking. Quite dusty and takes a little getting used to, with notes of hung game, undergrowth and lots of concentrated, sweet fruit underneath. A balance you cannot fault: concentration of fruit, gripping but beautifully sculpted tannin and great matching acidity. Hedonistic as well as elegant, and fresh. Still has years ahead of it. 18+/20 points. (WS)
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