Sounds like a great wine, Steve. I’ve never had a barolo that old. Is that typically how you would handle (double decant) one that old, or was that specific for this wine since maybe you had some idea of its character?
The 1961 is also a great wine and still going strong if you can find any well-stored bottles anywhere.
As for treatment, my experience is limited, but I find that old Barolo should be left standing up for at least several days and then should be gently decanted to remove sediment, which can be substantial in old Barolo. It has generally been my experience that at least a few hours of air helps the wine open up too, but with especially old bottles you may want to check in to see how it is doing every so often, just in case.
Actually, when I did the double decant, not only did I get lots of sediment out of the bottle, I also got what looked like 6 or 7 black leaves. (I am sure this was sediment that had clumped together." After a double decant (and a rinse of the original bottle), I put a new cork in the bottle. I often do this for old Barolo/Barbaresco from strong years. I might have waited less time, but I did it before leaving for work and did not return for 13 hours later.
Still have almost 1/2 the bottle, we’ll see if it is still OK tonight. (Poured into a 1/2 bottle last night, recorked and refrigerated).
I love these old Rinaldi’s. I grabbed a few from Chambers Street wines a while back and i’ve yet to be disappointed. I haven’t ever been as aggressive with the amount of time between decanting and drinking. I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat with anything over 30 years old.
I never believed in the 100pt scale before. Now I know why. I now understand the difference between a 96 and a 98 point wine, or between a 98 and a 100 pt wine. I am not sure which this is, but it is definitely one of them.
It is wonderful when great old wines like this perform so well. Glad to hear it worked. I had a bottle of the truffle version of this a couple of months ago. I didn’t give it quite as much air, but it probably would have showed even better if I had. It was amazingly young.
Steve, that is doing a birthday right! My god, I can’t think of anything at all I would want to drink more than a '71 Barolo (maybe a '64, I guess…).
Eric (and others) re time open: I have now convinced myself that the proper handling of any fine Piedmont Nebbiolo is to pour off the sediments, rinse the bottle and taste the sediments, and pour the wine back into the bottle and cork it up a minimum of 8 hours before consumption. This has worked well for everything from '06 Brovia crus to '61 Vietti. I do a little less time open, 4+ hours, for old northern Piedmontese wines, but not young ones. I recall discussing this issue with Steve, in fact.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that this is too much time for some wines, but I haven’t encountered one yet. And I have encountered many old wines (e.g. '78, '71, '67, '64, '61, '58) for which 2 hours decanting was not enough.