TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

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Andrew Hamilton
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TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#1 Post by Andrew Hamilton » November 19th, 2020, 2:33 am

Great cork that didn't make you think this was a 50 year old wine. No signs of seepage, looks super clean. Opened just after 5pm. Cork came out cleanly by using the Durand corkscrew and a Monopol ah-so. I did this because I've found the Durand ah-so prongs are unnecessarily thick and it often damage the cork more than necessary. The Monopol ah-so worked a treat and the cork came out relatively easily. Immediately upon opening the scent of roses hit my nose. Always a good sign! I immediately decanted the wine off sediment and then washed the bottle after emptying the sediment into another glass. After a couple minutes to let the bottle drip dry I put the wine back in bottle.

Image

Color was incredible. Light to medium amber? Maybe even a bit orange? I'm colorblind so I do struggle a bit with describing wine color. What I can say is that the wine was completely transparent. First taste was good with ample vinous sweetness and a touch of oxidative character which effectively reminded me that I was drinking a 50 y.o. PdB normale. After giving the wine more time to breathe and come up to temperature the nose really started to come together. Very pretty and lifted. Hint of citrus/sour note. Has gorgeous tertiary 'old wine' character with some medicinal notes as well as some goudron. There's just a hint of VA which provided lift and was a value add to my palate.

Image

Once the wine was settled and had come up to temp the palate was absolutely gorgeous. Light and elegant with a core of concentrated vinous sweetness. There was still ample acidity which carried the palate throughout. So little tannin was left it felt more like the 'ghosts of tannin' instead of tannin itself. Mouthwatering and long.

Image

Around 1.5 hrs after opening I chopped up some Manchego to have with it as I suspected the wine would benefit with a bit of food. It did. The sweetness was amplified by the richness of the cheese giving both a chance to shine more than they would individually.

Last glass came approximately 4 hours in and I sat with it for nearly an hour. The old wine/old book library? nose was still there of course but both the nose and palate depth had built up with air. The nose was also showing some spice and an even a touch of Christmas cake. Palate was still characterised by overt vinous sweetness and still very taunt. An absolutely gorgeous and engaging wine.

I've got to say, wines like this are what keep me chasing old nebbiolo. This was actually the second 1970 PdB normale I've opened in the past year; I pulled the cork on the first Boxing Day (Dec 26) 2019. That wine was completely shot and undrinkable. I had concerns this wine would show identically to the first and I was SO relieved it didn't! A quick word on the effusive aromatics of this wine is also worth mentioning. My wife was out when I opened this bottle and I opened and decanted it in the cellar in my shed before bringing the wine into the house. She could smell it as soon as she opened the door despite the fact that the kitchen is probably 10-15 feet away. The aroma had filled the house. Also worth a mention is the fact that I stood this wine up maybe in April? Sediment is not your friend when it comes to these wines and I doubt my experience would have been the same if I hadn't given the wine ample time upright in the cellar.
That sounds about right.
Probably for the best.
They had a good run.

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J D o v e
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#2 Post by J D o v e » November 19th, 2020, 3:54 am

Great commentary. Thanks for taking time to post it.

Nice view off your deck? Where is that?
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D@vid Bu3ker
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#3 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 19th, 2020, 4:34 am

Wonderful commentary. I hope I live long enough to have old Nebbiolo in my cellar.
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Bill Sweeney
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#4 Post by Bill Sweeney » November 19th, 2020, 4:39 am

Thanks. Pictures really add to the post!

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#5 Post by Otto Forsberg » November 19th, 2020, 6:10 am

I had this exact same wine about a month ago when I threw my PdB 2016-1970 vertical, the second time ever drinking the wine. This time it was my WotN (along with the equally stunning 1982 vintage).
Andrew Hamilton wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 2:33 am
Also worth a mention is the fact that I stood this wine up maybe in April? Sediment is not your friend when it comes to these wines and I doubt my experience would have been the same if I hadn't given the wine ample time upright in the cellar.
Lol. I put the wines standing upright 24 hours before the tasting, some bottles were laying there on their sides but some I even carried with me from another offsite to the place where we had the tasting. Right before the tasting I just carefully double-decanted the wines without any gimmicks like filter sieves or cheesecloth. During the tasting a few attendees commented how remarkably clear and beautifully translucent even the older vintages were with no obvious deposit whatsoever.

I've always thought that letting wines stand upright for months on end sounds quite ridiculous, as I've never had any problems with wines I've left standing up for 24 hours. Nothing that would point to the contrary this time, either.

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#6 Post by Lonnie F. » November 19th, 2020, 6:37 am

Beautiful wine. I hope to taste a 50 year old Produttori one day.
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#7 Post by Ramon C » November 19th, 2020, 6:49 am

In the same vein, and color, was the 1964 Produttori normale I opened last year. Memorable. Excited for my remaining bottle.
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Eric White
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#8 Post by Eric White » November 19th, 2020, 7:04 am

great note! These old Nebbiolos are passion of mine, such a great experience when they shine.
Last edited by Eric White on November 19th, 2020, 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#9 Post by Dennis Atick » November 19th, 2020, 7:16 am

Great pics and note. I have one bottle of this and have been waiting to open. Soon perhaps. Really appreciate the detailed post. Thanks!
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#10 Post by Andrew K. » November 19th, 2020, 9:03 am

Great note. 2 bottles of 1962 PdB Riserva just arrived today. Bottle and fill condition looks very good so I'm excited to dive into my oldest nebiolo soon.
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#11 Post by Martin Petersen » November 19th, 2020, 12:13 pm

Thanks for the great note and photos. I have a 3,78 liter of this that I plan to open for my big 60 in four years time, cant’t wait when I read these positive comments 🙏

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#12 Post by JohnP » November 19th, 2020, 12:27 pm

Great post, thanks for sharing! Here's interesting fact about the 1970 PdB normale, there were multiple labels in this vintage http://www.finewinegeek.com/produttori/ ... resco.html
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#13 Post by Max S. » November 19th, 2020, 12:29 pm

Is there any indication that present day normale will last like the oldies do?
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#14 Post by JohnP » November 19th, 2020, 12:33 pm

Max S. wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 12:29 pm
Is there any indication that present day normale will last like the oldies do?
I'm too young to know what 70 PdB normale tasted like on release. However, that 2016 PdB normale will likely age 30-40 years (IMO), it had incredible acid and tannin structure.
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#15 Post by Jeremy Holmes » November 19th, 2020, 7:39 pm

Thanks for the note Andrew.
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#16 Post by Andrew Hamilton » November 19th, 2020, 8:07 pm

J Dove wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 3:54 am
Nice view off your deck? Where is that?
Thanks Jim! I live in the Perth hills and yes, that's the view from my veranda.
Otto Forsberg wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 6:10 am
Lol. I put the wines standing upright 24 hours before the tasting, some bottles were laying there on their sides but some I even carried with me from another offsite to the place where we had the tasting. Right before the tasting I just carefully double-decanted the wines without any gimmicks like filter sieves or cheesecloth. During the tasting a few attendees commented how remarkably clear and beautifully translucent even the older vintages were with no obvious deposit whatsoever.

I've always thought that letting wines stand upright for months on end sounds quite ridiculous, as I've never had any problems with wines I've left standing up for 24 hours. Nothing that would point to the contrary this time, either.
That's quite interesting Otto. On the one hand, I admit standing up the wine up for so long isn't necessary. I initially stood it up to drink at a gathering that sadly didn't eventuate. That said I was mindful of my previous experience and thought looking at it sooner as opposed to later would most likely be a good thing. I am surprised that you're comfortable with travelling with these wines without giving them significant time for the sediment to fall out of solution for lack of a better term. As you can see from my photo above there was quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. Granted a fair amount had clumped but there was still a large amount of fine particle sediment suspended in the last of the bottle. I drank the wine off the top of the glass where I poured the remainder of the bottle as I didn't want to waste anything. That said the last sip was both gritty and bitter from the sediment. I can't help but think if that was mixed in solution it would significantly impact the palate.

YMMV but I'm not comfortable with travelling with any old nebbiolo without standing it up a week or two before gently double decanting. If I'm opening a bottle to take elsewhere I'd do a quick double decant before leaving the house.
That sounds about right.
Probably for the best.
They had a good run.

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#17 Post by Vince T » November 19th, 2020, 9:51 pm

Thanks for this note. I have one coming up in a post-covid 1970/1961 Barolo/Barbaresco showdown to celebrate two friends’ birth years. Sadly I don’t have a 1961 PdB as well.
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#18 Post by Otto Forsberg » November 20th, 2020, 12:45 am

Andrew Hamilton wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 8:07 pm
That's quite interesting Otto. On the one hand, I admit standing up the wine up for so long isn't necessary. I initially stood it up to drink at a gathering that sadly didn't eventuate. That said I was mindful of my previous experience and thought looking at it sooner as opposed to later would most likely be a good thing. I am surprised that you're comfortable with travelling with these wines without giving them significant time for the sediment to fall out of solution for lack of a better term. As you can see from my photo above there was quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. Granted a fair amount had clumped but there was still a large amount of fine particle sediment suspended in the last of the bottle. I drank the wine off the top of the glass where I poured the remainder of the bottle as I didn't want to waste anything. That said the last sip was both gritty and bitter from the sediment. I can't help but think if that was mixed in solution it would significantly impact the palate.

YMMV but I'm not comfortable with travelling with any old nebbiolo without standing it up a week or two before gently double decanting. If I'm opening a bottle to take elsewhere I'd do a quick double decant before leaving the house.
I'm very sensitive to sediment, which is why I prefer to carefully double decant all the red wines prior to any tastings.

However, I can't remember if I've ever seen older wines where the particles would remain in suspension for days, even though so very many here claim the opposite. If I have to travel with an older bottle that is to be tasted the same day, I definitely double decant the wine off the deposit at the place where the wine is being kept before I transfer it to the place where it is to be tasted. However, if I have the opportunity to move the wine to the tasting place beforehand, I've noticed that 24 hours has always been enough to let the sediment settle.

In this Barbaresco vertical I brought four wines with me the previous day to the tasting place, while nine bottles had been aging there for a longer time. When I double decanted them the next day, I couldn't tell from the wines which had been staying there for the whole time and which ones I had brought the day before. Only one wine was noticeably hazy, but that one was also oxidized, so I doubt any amount of settling would've clarified the wine. And bar the few young vintages, virtually all the bottles had thrown notceable amounts of sediment. 1971 had developed tons of semi-solid clumps that required some very rigorous bottle shaking before I could get them out from the decanted bottle!

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#19 Post by Mattstolz » November 20th, 2020, 3:56 am

Dennis Atick wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 7:16 am
Great pics and note. I have one bottle of this and have been waiting to open. Soon perhaps. Really appreciate the detailed post. Thanks!
FWIW: every older Produttori I've had has only just been starting to open up at the four hour mark, and has only gotten better from there.

OPs pics do a great job illustrating what I simultaneously love and hate about old Nebbiolo: you have to be so patient when opening and drinking it. You can see in the pics even the color completely transformed with some air time.

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#20 Post by Dennis Atick » November 20th, 2020, 5:14 am

Mattstolz wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 3:56 am
Dennis Atick wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 7:16 am
Great pics and note. I have one bottle of this and have been waiting to open. Soon perhaps. Really appreciate the detailed post. Thanks!
FWIW: every older Produttori I've had has only just been starting to open up at the four hour mark, and has only gotten better from there.

OPs pics do a great job illustrating what I simultaneously love and hate about old Nebbiolo: you have to be so patient when opening and drinking it. You can see in the pics even the color completely transformed with some air time.
Thanks, Matt. I've had similar experiences on a couple from the 80s and older Borgognos. Looking forward to it.
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#21 Post by Brady Daniels » November 20th, 2020, 11:29 am

Thanks Andrew,

We recently drank my fourth 1967 PdB normale. Left it upright for four months. Decanted super-slow, leaving maybe 1/8th bottle. It definitely had more sediment than yours. The wine was fully mature, identical in color to yours. It was absolutely stunning, far more vibrant than any 53 year old wine has a right to be.

For those inexperienced with older Nebbiolo, I cannot emphasize enough the need to be meticulous in preparing the wine. Nebbiolo has a very fine and bitter sediment that can overwhelm the experience. I’ve had some great wines, including older Monfortino and Giacosa, converted to interesting wines because the owner didn’t prepare and double decant it themselves, before bringing it to a restaurant.
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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#22 Post by Mattstolz » November 21st, 2020, 8:19 am

Dennis Atick wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 5:14 am
Mattstolz wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 3:56 am
Dennis Atick wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 7:16 am
Great pics and note. I have one bottle of this and have been waiting to open. Soon perhaps. Really appreciate the detailed post. Thanks!
FWIW: every older Produttori I've had has only just been starting to open up at the four hour mark, and has only gotten better from there.

OPs pics do a great job illustrating what I simultaneously love and hate about old Nebbiolo: you have to be so patient when opening and drinking it. You can see in the pics even the color completely transformed with some air time.
Thanks, Matt. I've had similar experiences on a couple from the 80s and older Borgognos. Looking forward to it.
a 1982 produttori i opened about 6 months ago will be my lesson forever in never giving up on these wines. opened it and thought it was DOA but just in case held onto it. decanted it 3 hours later and still thought it was totally dead. took another 4 hours for it to end up ruby red with dried red fruit notes galore. was so glad I opened it extra early!

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#23 Post by Claus Jeppesen » November 21st, 2020, 9:07 am

Also the Baroli looking like clear water through the green glass will (many times) develop into unforgettable wines
Claus

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#24 Post by jordan jacobs » November 21st, 2020, 10:42 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
November 21st, 2020, 8:19 am
Dennis Atick wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 5:14 am
Mattstolz wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 3:56 am


FWIW: every older Produttori I've had has only just been starting to open up at the four hour mark, and has only gotten better from there.

OPs pics do a great job illustrating what I simultaneously love and hate about old Nebbiolo: you have to be so patient when opening and drinking it. You can see in the pics even the color completely transformed with some air time.
Thanks, Matt. I've had similar experiences on a couple from the 80s and older Borgognos. Looking forward to it.
a 1982 produttori i opened about 6 months ago will be my lesson forever in never giving up on these wines. opened it and thought it was DOA but just in case held onto it. decanted it 3 hours later and still thought it was totally dead. took another 4 hours for it to end up ruby red with dried red fruit notes galore. was so glad I opened it extra early!
I recently learned this same lesson thanks to Sarah Kirshenbaum a couple weeks ago on a 67 Barolo.

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Re: TN: 1970 Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)

#25 Post by Andrew Hamilton » December 2nd, 2020, 12:10 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 12:45 am
I'm very sensitive to sediment, which is why I prefer to carefully double decant all the red wines prior to any tastings.

However, I can't remember if I've ever seen older wines where the particles would remain in suspension for days, even though so very many here claim the opposite. If I have to travel with an older bottle that is to be tasted the same day, I definitely double decant the wine off the deposit at the place where the wine is being kept before I transfer it to the place where it is to be tasted. However, if I have the opportunity to move the wine to the tasting place beforehand, I've noticed that 24 hours has always been enough to let the sediment settle.

In this Barbaresco vertical I brought four wines with me the previous day to the tasting place, while nine bottles had been aging there for a longer time. When I double decanted them the next day, I couldn't tell from the wines which had been staying there for the whole time and which ones I had brought the day before. Only one wine was noticeably hazy, but that one was also oxidized, so I doubt any amount of settling would've clarified the wine. And bar the few young vintages, virtually all the bottles had thrown notceable amounts of sediment. 1971 had developed tons of semi-solid clumps that required some very rigorous bottle shaking before I could get them out from the decanted bottle!
I find that sediment in older nebbiolo can vary wildly dependent on producer. I've had bottles from producers like Massolino ('78 Riserva) that had very little sediment. I've also had older F. Rinaldi's that were chock full of sediment. But from my perspective when I decant old nebbiolo I don't stop decanting when the sediment starts, I stop as soon as the 'white cloud' starts to appear before I get to the sediment. I'm not sure what it is, I've never photographed it as I was decanting and it was in the bottle neck anyway, but that's my cut off point. Whatever it is it's superfine and appears quite light mass wise. Do you ever come across that? Next old bottle I open I'll try to get a snap.

The ability to handle and improve with exposure to oxygen also seems to be producer dependent. Most can tolerate and improve a day after opening but a few years ago I opened a '78 Fontanafredda Barolo that was gorgeous on opening and quite disappointing the next day. As with most things in life there aren't many set in stone rules, more like guidelines that apply most of the time.
That sounds about right.
Probably for the best.
They had a good run.

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