1961 Fontanafredda Barolo


  • Italy
  • Piedmont
  • Langhe
  • Barolo
Drink between 1990 - 2023 (Edit)
CT91.3 44 reviews
Label borrowed from 1962
Label borrowed from 1962
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Label borrowed from 1955

Community Tasting Notes 41

  • Sagan99 Likes this wine: 90 points

    August 5, 2022 - Drinking my age with this one! '61 was a great year, and this is 61 years later!
    This is several years, or a couple of decades past prime, but I wanted to test this wine, to see if it could make my 61 birthday. Looks like we made it!

    The cork was totally intact, and only bottle side 50% of it wet. No remnants of any kind of debris or decay. Fabulous! Though, here in Alberta, humidity is about perfect for storage. About 70%

    13.5 %abv when bottled

    At 3 hours - Wow! What changes!
    The wine remains as at opening,(below) with some remarkable changes !
    The wine was clear with pale intensity. But the brightness of the garnet had " popped. It was much more intense red, within the tawny rim, which had shrunk ever so slightly.
    Nose - now, red berries could be discerned, however faintly, with secondary and tertiary notes mentioned earlier.
    Palate - similarly, in the palate there was a restoration of sorts in the primary red fruits, plums, berries, but only vaguely. The tertiary remained.The tannins showed themselves more, giving me a thought that this wine has maybe a few more years in it's agedness.

    Conclusions- this wines best years are behind it.... And those years were more than a decade ago! Likely more.

    But, this was an interesting experiment to see what can happen to a a certain grape"s juice when cellared properly and patience maintained.

    It also shows that, patience in collecting wine, leads to corks being popped later than it should have been.
    And, being a newbie to this CellerTracker community will reduce the opportunities for that to happen.

    This time, it was purposeful. Others in my past, was neglect and pride of knowing more. It's been an expensive mistake, and not in a financial sense, but in a sense of missing out on drinking some of the world's greatest wines!

    The lesson... Pop the cork, in a reasonable and measured time, before it's too late.

    At opening-
    Intensity is pale with a garnet centre and tawny rim+.
    Nose is light, earthiness, dried fruit, wet leaves, with a hint of caramel, milk chocolate and licorice.
    Palate aligns with the nose, showing aged fruit, nothing primary at this age.
    Dry. High tangy acid, medium tannin, medium alcohol, medium/full body, 30+ second finish

    Very good quality for a 61 year old wine, though it's drinking window is a furlong or ten over due!

    But, there's still tannins resolving, and alcohol, but also a little reduction or oxidation as well.

    It's hard to give this an overall grade when I've never had this experience before.
    But, I guess that in itself is what this is all about.
    So, I'll give it a 90, though I did a tasting of far better, " in there moment" wines last night.

    *** This 90 points reflects the fact that this can still be consumed after 61 years! It's remarkable.
    (But, if I were to rate the wine as is, with the flaws I've levered on the wine, it should be higher.
    If I taste it now, with how it actually tastes, with all it's flaws, it would be lower.)

    PS- Drink the Rainbow!
    PSS- with this sample, the Rainbow ends at since 8 point, so test and drink often! Pop the cork!

  • rocknroller wrote: 97 points

    June 19, 2022 - Medium red color with a 10mm bricked margin. PNP, drank a glass plus over an hour plus. Revelatory, stunning, lightning in a bottle. Wow, what a perfume; watching this evolve in the glass was sheer joy. The purity of the red berry fruit is staggering, gorgeous bright strawberry, fine leather, iron, blood, fine tobacco, rose petals. The palate is so harmonious and elegant, medium bodied, wild strawberry, rose water, red cherry, leather, dried spices, still fresh with tangy acids and such satiny soft tannins. This was probably the best Barolo I've experienced; an unexpected treat and a birth year bottle for several of us. Brought the last sips home for my wife to finish and it was still singing. Good to see this aging so wonderfully at 60 plus years...there are no great wines, only great bottles and this was surely one.

  • chablis28 wrote: 95 points

    June 15, 2022 - This put an exclamation point on a lovely evening outside at Martina in Minneapolis! I tried to research this wine a bit more and can't find any details on it. The label is in mint condition and nothing about the btl itself screams 61yrs of resting in a cellar. That is, except the depth & range of flavors & aromas here. The wine's color is still a near release deep, almost opaque, ruby vs. the more typical translucent crimson rose' color of most Barolos of this age? It would be fun to know more about how these btls are produced, stored & packaged. I didn't see its cork so I don't know if was a crumbly cigar like stub typical of very old btls or a recently corked wine? That all aside this is a wonderful Barolo by any measure and terrific value to boot. 95+

  • HotelHarrington Likes this wine:

    May 1, 2022 - Very funky on the nose. Very tertiary. After some time in glass, the funk blew off a bit and revealed some more fruit character that was still hanging around. But ultimately I think this wine’s best years are behind it.

  • PhillyVine2112 Likes this wine: 90 points

    July 6, 2021 - This was a really interesting wine to experience. It was a serious stinker on opening. Poured out a glass and let the rest stay in the bottle for about 3 hours. Decanted it from there about 20 min before dinner. No one would confuse this for a young wine. Stewed fruit, forest floor, cigar wrappers, along with less enjoyably soy and mushroom aromas. The wine had plenty of acidity and left and amazingly still some tannins. I found when drinking this wine, which definitely needed food, that it would have moments when it would pull itself together and the pieces would come into balance. Then a few minutes later the aged flavors like soy and mushroom would dominate again. I definitely would recommend sampling over time, but if you happen to catch it in a nice window, don't be afraid to enjoy it while it lasts.

    1 person found this helpful Comment
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View From the Cellar

  • By John Gilman
    Jul/Aug 2021, Issue #94, Recently-Tasted Italian Wines Summer 2021, 7/1/2021

    (Barolo- Fontanafredda (Barolo)) Subscribe to see review text.


  • By Gary Walsh
    1/29/2015 (link)

    (Fontanafredda Barolo) Subscribe to see review text.

View From the Cellar

  • By John Gilman
    Jan/Feb 2008, Issue #13, Recently Tasted Italian Red Wines: Outstanding Options Abound

    (Fontanafredda Barolo) Subscribe to see review text.

  • By Richard Jennings
    12/22/2011 (link) 94 points

    (Fontanafredda Barolo) Bricked medium brown red color with pale meniscus; mature, nutty, dried cherry, raspberry nose; tasty, mature, poised, raspberry, tart cherry, dried cherry palate; long finish (decanted for 3+ hours)

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 1961
  • Type Red
  • Producer Fontanafredda
  • Varietal Nebbiolo
  • Designation n/a
  • Vineyard n/a
  • Country Italy
  • Region Piedmont
  • SubRegion Langhe
  • Appellation Barolo

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 16 (6%)
  • In Cellars 145 (58%)
  • Consumed 91 (36%)

Food Pairing

No food pairings available.

Who Likes This Wine

92% Like It  12 votes

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