The neck tag from Sordo 1964 Barolo Riserva

Vecchio Piemonte (and a Little Tuscan Wine)

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A small new lot of wine has arrived from a favorite private cellar in Italy. This one includes some older bottles of Gaja, a famous wine of which we have relatively little tasting experience. Our friends who have tried Gaja in depth all seem to agree that the wines need a lot of time to develop, perhaps even more time than other Nebbiolo of equally high quality and repute. We don’t get offered Gaja very often; they’re not wines we seek out as they so often seem excessively muscular, but these look very tempting, and they certainly have significant age – starting with the 1958, which Angelo Gaja’s father made; the 1964 Infernot, a kind of Riserva Speciale; and the two 1971s, both very early examples of Gaja’s single-vineyard Barbarescos.Jamie Wolff

 

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Produttori del Barbaresco 1974 Barbaresco

1974 was a sleeper vintage for the Produttori, and it has definitely impressed on two separate occasions while tasting vertical flights of the cooperative's normale. Ripe red and black cherry fruit flavors mingle with secondary notes of balsamic, dark chocolate, and spaded earth. The medium body and robustness is supported by a quite lithe texture (1/17/17). Jonas Mendoza

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Cordero di Montezemolo 1982 Barolo Monfalletto

Old Cordero Barolo is great wine (recent vintages are in a fairly heavy, oaky style that we don't love so much, but the old stuff...). A couple of years ago we had several cases of this wine, which afforded multiple tasting opportunities; at this price the wine is a steal.

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Fontanafredda 1935 Barolo

Vintage is hand-written.

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Fontanafredda 1938 Barolo

Vintage is hand-written.

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Fontanafredda 1945 Barolo

The back-label can be translated as follows:

“Attention!

For those interested in rareness, Fontanafredda recommends this Barolo 1945. Unfortunately there are few bottles available because after inspecting the bottles there were only 450 in excellent condition.  Many had deteriorated during their long aging, and in the process of decanting from bottle –to-bottle were obliged to be discarded. This bottle can be considered something very special and Fontanafredda is proud to offer  it “as a rarity” to connoisseurs and collectors as an authentic part of our cellar.

The Cellar Master”

We know the label on these bottles was in use in the 1950's, and in our opinion the decanting and re-bottling referred to in the text took place then. Because the bottles make no reference to DOC, the latest possible date would be 1965, since the DOC came into effect in 1966. Jamie Wolff

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Produttori del Barbaresco 1970 Barbaresco Riserva Moccagatta

The 1970 Barbaresco Riserva Moccagatta from one of the my favorite Piedmont producers is showing beautifully with a compelling blend of earthy old Nebbiolo aromas, resolved tannins, and still lively fruit. The tension between the sweet and savory on the nose is beguiling, while the palate has evolved to the point where the fruit and earthy flavors  are supported by the structure, rather than dominated by it. Given time to blossom (we strongly advocate double decanting after lunch for dinner service) this is the perfect partner for braised meat with polenta or risotto with truffles. This is a lovely wine and a truly special treat for lovers of aged Nebbiolo. (Tasted 2/25/16) John McIlwain

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Produttori del Barbaresco 1970 Barbareco Riserva Pora

Still doing very well at 40+ years, with intense mature Nebbiolo aromatics, dry and savory; the wine is not overly tannic, but no Piemontese would ever serve this except at table, with a main-course meat dish like ossobuco or something grilled; do so and you will have a memorable treat.

 

 

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