Nothing gets your head around a particular grape variety or region that whacking a heap a heap in a tasting and looking at a broad variety of similar wines. When you narrow this down to a a sub-region it gives an even greater understanding of a so called ‘cru’.

At Scopri last week we did this with the Barolo cru of Monforte and the result backed up my thinking that Monforte is one of the greatest and long lived Barolo Cru’s. These wines are not fashionable and giving in their youth. They are masked by a wall of tannings that perfectly hide (for sometimes years) the beautiful fruit fruit. The wines of Monforte require patience and those without patience will probably never understand the quality of wines that this cru is able to produce.

Below is a snapshot of the wines featured on the night.

Domenico Clerico Trevigne Barbera 2006: oaky,though good fruit and high tones.

Domenico Clerico Trevigne Barbera 2008: more oak than fruit, touch varnishy.

Benevelli Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2010: beautiful wine, so well balanced and in the grove.

Fenocchio Barolo 1990: corked

Aldo Conterno Granbussia Barolo 1995: typical Monforte, lovely, tea bag tannins, tar and roses, benchmark Monforte

Aldo Conterno Granbussia Barolo 1996: bigger, rounder, a product of a warmer year. A crowd pleaser amongst the dinner group. Lacks the structure of the 1995.

Conterno Fantino Sori Ginestra Barolo 1996: an amazing cru and amazing wine. Touch of brett but no way distracting, oozes class, poise and style.

Rocche dei Manzoni Capella Santo Stefano Barolo Riserva 2001: amazing, pure and seamless. Breathtaking in it’s beauty. Years to go.

Elio Grasso Casa Mate Ginestra Barolo 2004: for me wine of the night. Amazing purity of fruit, complexity to boot, Ten, twenty or thirty years in the tank.

Domenica Clerico Pajana Barolo 2004: oaky, new world style, not my style but a style that will please many.

Domenico Clerico Percristina Barolo 2004: a lot better than the previous wine, more balanced but still with a lot of up front fruit and oak. More La Morra than Monforte.

Benevelli Ravera Barolo 2005: classic Monforte, tannic, just starting to drink well now. A bargain. Still evolving and just entering into int’s drinking window.

Rocche de ManzoneCapella Santo Stefano Barolo 2006: very different to the 2001 Riserva of the same winery. Lot’s of VA and a touch of brett.

Benevelli Ravera Barolo 2006: so consistent, lovely, balance with beautiful complexity. I still have another 280 bottles of this at the winery in Monforte. Yay!!

Aldo Conterno Romanasco Barolo 2008: oak up front, too young to really do this wine justice.

Principiano Ravera Barolo 2010: scalped.


All in all a great night. Lot’s of diverse and different wines that highlighted the strengths of Monforte and also the hand of each winemaker.



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