WA100: The 2004 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is drop-dead gorgeous. I have tasted the wine multiple times from barrel and three times from bottle and never been anything less than blown away. The 2004 is a subtle, layered Monfortino that captures the sheer elegance and finesse of this great vintage. It is sweet, perfumed, silky and utterly mind-blowing. From barrel it has always been a 100 point wine, but it has just been bottled and naturally a bit closed in on itself. Still, with some time in the glass its silky, perfumed fruit and dazzling class come to life. The 2004 is remarkably harmonious for such a young wine. Readers will have much fun debating which is the greatest Monfortino of recent years. Could it be the 1996, 1999 or 2002 for their huge structure and classicism? Or, is it the 1997 for its opulence? What if the dark horse 1998 and 2000 steal the show? Personally, I adore the 2001 and 2004 for their completeness, but the 2004 is the sexiest of them all. Sadly, 2004 is also the year Giovanni Conterno passed away, but one can’t escape the feeling his spirit lives in this wine. Kudos to Roberto Conterno and his team for this magnificent, thrilling Barolo.