TN: Produttori del Barbaresco vertical 2016-1970

Normally I write a preface of sorts on the producer in question, but I guess on this forum PdB is one of those that needs no introductions, so probably I’ll just save some of my time.

So, on an average year I throw tastings once or twice a month. This year, thanks to Covid, social distancing, restrictions etc., I’ve managed to arrange only a total of 4 tastings - two of them before Covid hit the fan in February. So this year my cellar has been just bloating up with very little wines coming out. That’s why I needed to have this tasting I had been planning for some time now - and fortunately I managed to find a good spot for it in October.

Apart from the 1996 vintage, which came from fellow forumite MikkoR, all the other bottles came from my cellar. All the vintages from 2010 onwards had been bought on release and kept in a cellar since, while the older bottles were bought from internet shops and auctions. What surprised me was the very varying conditions of the wine - while there were some terrific wines, the number of misses here was atypically big. I’ve been to multiple PdB verticals before, but never before I’ve had this many poorly performing bottles. I know how the older bottles (especially those bought from auctions) can be a crapshoot, but what disappointed me was how many of the younger ones were flawed.

Nevertheless, the highs were high! Both 2016 and 2014 were terrific, as expected; 2006 was still a mere baby; and the outstanding vintages 1982 and 1970 were as extraordinary as I expected.

  • 2016 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    This bottle is from Lot 19.058, ie. the wine is bottled in late February 2019, after some two-plus years of aging in large botti casks. 14,5% alcohol. Decanted for 1½ hours.

Translucent, luminous ruby red color. Somewhat restrained yet very attractive and subtly sweetish nose with aromas of licorice, some strawberry, a little bit of ripe black cherry, light candied notes of raspberry marmalade and a floral hint of roses. Lovely. The wine is firm, ripe and juicy on the palate with intense, subtly sweet-toned flavors of black cherries, some peppery spice, a little bit of licorice, light brambly notes of blackberry, a hint of gravelly minerality and a ferrous touch of blood. The overall feel is youthful and textural, but despite its firm and assertive tannins and high acidity, the wine isn’t aggressively tightly-knit or lean; the ripeness and intensity of fruit serve as a wonderful counterpoint to the firm structure. The high alcohol lends a little bit of warmth to the palate. The finish is long, powerful and quite intense with rather noticeable tannic grip and intense flavors of sour cherries, some cranberry, a little bit of licorice root, light meaty notes of umami, a hint of brambly blackberry and a touch of gravelly minerality.

A powerful, impressively structured and still all too youthful Barbaresco. The wine is surprisingly accessible despite its youth, but it nevertheless isn’t particularly open yet - there’s quite a bit of depth and nuance here, but overall the wine feels a bit like a sleeper. It is brimming with potential and truly lives up to the 2016 vintage hype. Most likely it will need another 4-6 years before it starts to open up fully, but I can’t even fathom how much this wine will before it hits its peak. Seeing how the best vintages are drinking wonderfully +50 years from the harvest, I have no doubts it will take several decades before this wine is at its apogee. Instead of drinking any bottles, I heartily suggest trying to get as many additional bottles as possible and fill your cellar with them. Outrageous quality for the price at 27,90€. (93 pts.)

  • 2015 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    This bottle is from Lot 18.080, ie. the wine is bottled in mid-March 2018, after about two and half years of aging in large botti casks. 14,5% alcohol. Decanted for 1½ hours.

Translucent, luminous ruby-red color with a subtly developed brick-red hue. Very off-putting, musty nose that reminds me of a mouldy earth cellar. Surprisingly, the taste is almost clean with no noticeable off-flavors, but, alas, no noticeable fruit either.

Corked. NR (flawed)

  • 2014 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    This bottle is from Lot 18.164, ie. the wine is bottled in mid-June 2018, after well over 3,5 years of aging in large botti casks. 14% alcohol. Decanted for 1½ hours.

Youthful, translucent ruby red color that is slightly darker than the vintages 2015 and 2016 tasted alongside. I guess this might have something to do with Nebbiolo producing more anthocyanins in cooler temperatures? The nose is slightly restrained but also very fragrant and seductive with classic aromas of licorice root, brambly raspberries, some sour cherry, light mineral notes of stone dust, a little bit of truffle, a hint of sunny dark plums and a subtly funky touch of Brie rind. The wine is clean, fresh and light-to-medium-bodied with dry, very focused and pretty high-strung flavors of sour cherries, licorice root, some truffle oil, a little bit of crunchy cranberry, light tart notes of lingonberries, a hint of gravelly minerality and a touch of sweeter dark plum. The overall feel is not particularly ripe, but it definitely isn’t underripe in any way, coming across very balanced - albeit quite tightly-knit - with its bright, high acidity and assertive, grippy tannins. The finish is fresh, crunchy and rather noticeably tannic with intense, dry flavors of brambly raspberries, sour cherry bitterness, some crunchy cranberries, a little bit of tart lingonberry, light bloody notes of rare meat and a hint of licorice root.

A beautiful, impressive and very high-strung vintage of Produttori that doesn’t show that much weight or ripe fruit, letting the very fresh and focused fruit and quite assertive yet not dominant tannins take the lead. The overall feel is still very tightly-wound and compared to the 2016 vintage that was drunk alongside, this is not nearly as accessible as 2016 is now. The wine is very lovely in so many ways, but it is now all about future potential, not immediate pleasure. This is a fresh and delicate vintage that is going to need much more time to open up than one would expect from such a cool vintage. Most likely the wine will enter its drinking window within the next decade, but in all likelihood it will take a few decades more before the wine is at its peak. Terrific now, but expect the score to go up with age. Outstanding value at 26,01€. (92 pts.)

  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    This bottle is from Lot 17.158, ie. the wine is bottled in early June 2017, after about three and half years of aging in large botti casks. 14% alcohol. Decanted for 2 hours.

Dark, luminous and moderately translucent cherry-red color with brick-orange overtones. Very weird, surprisingly evolved and quite madeirized nose with aromas of raisins, pungent soy sauce, some meat stew tones, a little bit of old leather, light balsamic tones and a hint of kirsch. The wine is dry, concentrated and very evolved on the palate with a somewhat dull and mute taste of meager red-toned fruit, some old leather, light raisiny tones, a hint of sour cherry bitterness and a touch of soy sauce. Due to the understated flavors, the structure is very much to the fore and the wine is high in acidity with very firm and grippy tannins. The finish is short, dry and quite dull with a lot of tannic grip and brief flavors of sour cherry bitterness, some leather, a little bit of tobacco and a hint of sour cherry bitterness.

Well this was a sore surprise and a disappointment. Although I had bought the wine upon release and transferred it immediately to the cellar, this bottle felt quite stewed and was very unlike any other wine in the tasting. Due to its good provenance I started to wonder if this is was a cooked off bottle, if there is something wrong in this batch, or if the whole vintage is just like this? Nevertheless, this was a poor performance and nothing I expected from such a great vintage. I will abstain from rating the wine until I get to re-taste this vintage, just to see if this bottle was a one-time disappointment, or if there is something systematically wrong with this vintage. The bottle cost 23,90€.

  • 2010 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    In 2010 not all vineyards showed good promise, they decided to forgo the vintage for Riservas. Instead, they used all their Cru grapes in making of this regular bottlings. Macerated for 30 days with the skins. This bottle is from Lot 13.102, ie. the wine is bottled in mid-April 2013, after 2,5 years of aging in large botti casks. 14% alcohol. Decanted for 2 hours. Tasted in Produttori del Barbaresco 2016-1970 vertical.

Medium-deep ruby-red color with a thin, almost colorless pale reddish-pink rim. The nose is vaguely sweet, but otherwise borderline mute with no aromas whatsoever. The wine is broad yet very structured on the palate with quite high acidity and tough, grippy tannins. Dull taste with no fruit flavors and only the mildest hint of licorice. The finish is tannic, tightly-knit and flavorless with a ferrous hint of blood.

In all likelihood, this was a borderline corked wine. It didn’t show any obvious corked aromas; it was just completely mute with no fruit qualities whatsoever. It feels like TCA just had killed all the fruit, leaving just acidity and tannins behind. A disappointment. Had the bottle been in prime condition, I imagine it could’ve shown quite outrageous value, since this bottle was bought from the winery in 2015 at 16,50€. NR (flawed)

  • 2006 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    2006 was a spectacular vintage and Produttori was originally planning on producing the single-vineyard Riservas for that vintage. However, in late April 2009 they decided to forgo the vintage for Riservas and, instead, use all their Riserva juice in making of this regular bottlings. This decision was made only after the first batch was bottled, so the first lots do not contain any Riserva wines and those lots bottled in May 2009 contained 30% of Riserva-level wine. All the subsequent lots have contained the remaining Riserva wines, i.e. the blend has been approximately 50/50 Normale and Riserva. Macerated for 25-30 (Normale) to 40 (Riserva) days with the skins. This bottle is from Lot 10.167, ie. the wine is bottled in mid-June 2010, after 3,5 years of aging in large botti casks and contains 50% Riserva. 14% alcohol. Decanted for 2 hours.

Quite translucent dark cherry color, although moderately deep and dark for a Nebbiolo - darker than most of the other vintages. Not big or particularly expressive yet still ripe and attractively dark-toned nose of black cherries and dark plums, some licorice tones, light brambly notes of black raspberries, a little bit of raw meat, a hint of juicy dark forest fruits, a touch of dried aromatic herbs and a whiff of tar. The wine feels dry, rather full-bodied and noticeably concentrated on the palate with powerful flavors of dark forest fruits, gamey meat, earthy spices, some tobacco, a little bit of crunchy cranberries, light sweeter notes of black cherries, a rich hint of balsamico and a subtly developed touch of sweet, wizened dark berries. The full body and ripe fruit seem to mask the tannins at first, making the wine feel quite smooth and silky with good, bright acidity; then the wall of tannins emerges out of nowhere, tightening the grip noticeably and making the wine feel very muscular and assertive. The finish is dry, slightly warm and very grippy with intense flavors of ripe black cherries and sour cherries, some wizened dark berries, a little bit of tobacco, light meaty notes of umami, a hint of old leather and a touch of tannic bitterness.

A real powerhouse of a Barbaresco, showing quite a bit of muscle, concentration and tannic grip for a Produttori Normale - thanks to the combination of exceptional vintage and abnormally high portion of Riserva wines in the blend. The wine is only starting to show the first signs of development, but the overall feel is still painfully young and the wine is obviously built for the really long haul. The fruit can take decades of aging and most likely the tannins will require even longer. An outstanding vintage with tons of promise. Outrageous value at 29,90€. Very highly recommended. (94 pts.)

  • 1996 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    In 1996 the vintage didn’t show good promise even at the arrival of the harvest, yet Produttori decided to make the Riservas, so this vintage does not contain any Riserva juice. This bottle is from Lot 9.140, ie. the wine is bottled in late May 1999, after 2,5 years of aging in large botti casks. 13,5% alcohol. Decanted for 3 hours.

Translucent pomegranate red color with a developed maroon hue and a clear, orange-yellow rim. Slightly reticent, somewhat sweet-toned and quite delicate yet pretty seductive nose of wizened dark berries and red cherries, some seared red meat, a little bit of leather, light dusty notes of earth, a hint of dried flowers and a touch of tobacco. At first the nose felt quite underwhelming, but it fortunately opened with air. The wine is dry, firm and textural on the palate with a medium body and harmonious flavors of ripe dark berries, sour cherry bitterness, some gamey meat, a little bit of pipe tobacco, light sanguine notes of iron, a hint of leather and an evolved touch of wizened tart red berries. The wine is high in acidity and at first it feels quite gentle in the tannin department, but the tannins build up slowly, making the wine turn out to be quite grippy and firmly structured. The finish is firm, tannic and very long with intense, wonderfully evolved flavors of ripe red fruits, sour cherry bitterness, some meaty tones, a little bit of salty beef jerky, light tart notes of cranberries, a hint of earth and a touch of old, cracking leather.

A harmonious and wonderfully evolved Barbaresco that seems to be either at its plateau of maturity or quite close to it. This isn’t a big or spectacular vintage, but instead one that has stood the test of time and is drinking wonderfully after a quarter of century of waiting. The fruit department is starting to show some tertiary tones, but the tannins have softened only relatively little, so I can imagine some further cellaring might soften the wine a little bit more. However, it doesn’t feel like this is going to be capable of aging as much as the best vintages, so best not overdo it. This is in a wonderful shape right now, so further cellaring isn’t necessary, although the wine might be able to pick up a point or two with a bit more age. Just decant the wine off the deposit and let it breathe for a few hours, just to wake it from its slumber. All in all, a lovely and thoroughly enjoyable effort. (93 pts.)

Translucent and still surprisingly youthful garnet color with a pale, subtly brick-orange rim. Ripe, fragrant and very attractive nose with classic aged Nebbiolo aromas of sweet black cherries, fresh Morello cherries, some wizened fig and pruney fruit, a little bit of pipe tobacco, light notes of tar, a hint of dried flowers and potpourri and a touch of cooked carrot. The wine is ripe, quite weighty and beautifully silky on the palate with a full body and complex flavors of juicy dark berries, pipe tobacco, some meaty umami, a little bit of sweet black cherry, light leathery notes, a sweet, lifted hint of plum liqueur and a touch of sour cherry bitterness. The wine is impressively structured with its high acidity and still rather grippy medium-plus tannins. The finish is long, powerful and impressively complex with developed, savory flavors of red cherries, some meaty umami, a little bit of leather, light plummy tones, a ferrous hint of blood, a touch of tar and a subtle undercurrent of sour cherry bitterness which serves as a wonderful counterpoint to the sweeter taste in the midpalate. The firm tannins make the wine and on a moderately grippy note.

This is consistently an outstanding vintage of Produttori del Barbaresco, drinking beautifully every single time. The wine has resolved quite a bit, coming across as enjoyably evolved, yet at the same time retaining quite a bit of seductive, youthful vibrancy. The overall feel is still very structured and while the wine isn’t a youngster anymore, it is obvious there is still room for further improvement - even though the wine is clocking at almost 40 years! Astounding depth and complexity. Most likely the best 1980’s vintage and also among some of the best Produttori vintages ever. Very highly recommended. Good value at 59€. (95 pts.)

Very translucent yet still surprisingly dark maroon color with a pale yellow-orange rim. Pungent and quite heavily oxidative nose with tertiary aromas of salt-cured beef and soy sauce, some dry smoky tones, light sweet notes of dried black cherries, a little bit of salty liquorice, a hint of musty earth and a touch of old furniture. Contrasting the almost unpleasantly pungent, musty and oxidative nose, the wine is moderately full-bodied, silky and very aged on the palate with still somewhat pleasant tertiary flavors of dried black cherries, some charred game, light meaty umami tones, a little bit of sour cherry bitterness, a sweeter hint of liqueur-ish VA and a rich, aged touch of hoi sin. The wine still retains quite a bit of structure with its moderately high acidity and still somewhat grippy medium-plus tannins. The finish is complex, very evolved and somewhat grippy with tertiary flavors of dried wizened cherries, some dried dates, a little bit of sour cherry bitterness, light soy sauce tones and a hint of gamey meat.

The nose was pretty shot and quite off-putting with its somewhat musty and rather pungent tertiary aromas, but on the palate the wine was noticeably more mellow and enjoyable, albeit obviously gliding downhill. Although the nose made it hard to get to the first sip, it turned out that this wine was not only for academic curiosity, but also for a wee bit of pleasure. Not by much, but comparing this vintage with the other old, oxidized vintages, this performed the best. Although too old for a good, developed Barbaresco, this was still miles better than the odd, unpleasantly musty and rather disagreeable bottle I tasted a year ago. Nevertheless, it seems obvious that this lesser vintage is already past its peak and I doubt there are going to be any drinkable bottles remaining - 1979 Barbaresco just wasn’t meant to survive for 40 years. Not really worth the 47,55€ anymore. (83 pts.)

  • 1977 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    A traditionalist Barbaresco, fermented in stainless steel tanks (the first vintage to be put into stainless steel!) and macerated with the skins for 25-30 days. 13,5% alcohol. Decanted for 2 hours.

Very evolved and surprisingly dark reddish-mahogany color with a pale brown rim. Moderately oxidative and somewhat pungent nose with aromas of hoi sin, some tobacco, a little bit of tar, light licorice root tones, a sweet hints of soft, wizened strawberry and rowanberry marmalade and a touch of beef jerky. The wine is old, savory and textural on the palate with a medium body and tertiary flavors of salt-cured beef, sour cherry bitterness, some meaty umami, a little bit of soy sauce, light sanguine notes of raw game, a mushroomy hint of porcini and a touch of dried roses. The overall feel is surprisingly acid-driven with the high acidity and still quite grippy tannins. The finish is long, dry and somewhat oxidative with firm tannic grip and tertiary flavors of dried cherries, some salty soy sauce, a little bit of sour cherry bitterness, light leathery tones, a ferrous hint of blood and a touch of tar.

A still impressively structured but otherwise somewhat tired Barbaresco that has a rather off-putting, oxidative nose, but much more balanced and harmonious taste. The wine is already past its peak and the fruit has, for the most part, faded away while the oxidation is creeping in, but fortunately the flavors still retain enough depth and complexity to keep the wine somewhat rewarding. It might be that there was some bottle variation and this was more advanced than a bottle in pristine condition, but seeing how the rainy 1977 wasn’t a particularly memorable vintage in Barbaresco, I doubt it will benefit from any further aging. Most likely it is high time to drink up. Not really worth the 47,55€ anymore. (84 pts.)

  • 1976 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (24.10.2020)
    A traditionalist Barbaresco, fermented in concrete tanks (the last vintage of Barbaresco put into the old tanks) and macerated with the skins for 25-30 days. 13% alcohol. Decanted for 1,5 hours.

Dar, moderately hazy and slightly murky reddish-brown color that screams of oxidation. Old, somewhat oxidative and slightly odd nose of licorice and anise, some pungent male sweat, a little bit of beef jerky, light mushroomy notes of champignons, hints of tar and campfire smoke, a touch of salty liquorice and a sweet whiff of liqueur-ish volatile lift. The wine is dry, old and tertiary on the palate with a medium body and intense, savory flavors of sour cherries, beef jerky, some sanguine notes of iron, a little bit of licorice root, light oxidative notes of soy sauce, a a hint of decomposing old wood and a touch of tart lingonberry. The acidity feels high and - while not particularly ample - the tannins come across as somewhat tough and green. The finish is tart, thin and tannic with intense tertiary flavors of beef jerky, some salty soy sauce, light sour cherry bitterness, a little bit of tart cranberry, a hint of tar and smoke and a touch of damp earth.

Past its peak. It was already quite obvious from the murky brown color that the wine had seen better days and while the taste wasn’t as bad as the nose, the overall feel was too past its peak to be particularly enjoyable. Waste of money at 49€. Leaving the wine unrated, as it is very possible that this was just a bottle that wasn’t in optimal condition, had a compromised cork and/or was kept in non-optimal conditions at some point, but seeing how the rainy 1976 vintage wasn’t among the memorable vintages in Barbaresco, I have doubts that even a well-kept bottle is going to be at its peak anymore.

After decanting I noticed that there is a huge amount of quite solid deposit in the bottle. I mean an inch or two of quite solid stuff that comes out in chunks, not in sheets or flakes. The wine appears very translucent, luminous and quite pale brick-orange with a bronze core. The nose feels very pungent, old and very oxidative with tertiary aromas of Palo Cortado-like rancio, aldehydic notes of sorrel and green almonds, some crunchy cranberry tones, a little bit of tar, light beef jerky tones, a lifted hint of plum liqueur and an acetic, Rodenbach-esque touch of balsamic VA. The wine is pungent, oxidative and very old on the palate with a medium body and intense tertiary flavors of raisins, tangy rancio, some nutty tones, a little bit of beef jerky, light tarry notes, a balsamic hint of VA and a touch of sour cherry bitterness. The wine feels rather high in acidity with ripe, textural medium tannins. The finish is dry, oxidative and medium-long with gentle tannic grip and sharp flavors of salty soy sauce, some nutty rancio, a little bit of balsamic VA, light notes of sorrel, a hint of sanguine iron and a touch of green almonds.

Past its peak and almost fully oxidized. A shame, because 1971 was supposed to be one of the great vintages of the 1970’s. Nothing particularly interesting remaining here anymore. A poor purchase at 47,55€. NR (flawed)

Translucent and moderately pale maroon color with a developed coppery hue. Evolved, complex and very attractive nose with sweetish tertiary aromas of dried figs and wizened sour cherries, some raisiny tones, a little bit of pipe tobacco, light balsamic notes, a hint of sweet smoke and a touch of ripe strawberry. Lovely! The wine is textural, silky and moderately full-bodied on the palate with complex tertiary flavors of sweet wizened black cherries, some meaty umami along with subtly saline notes, a little bit of licorice root, light charred gamey tones, a hint of cigar smoke and a touch of sour cherry bitterness. The overall feel is remarkably structured for the age, thanks to the high acidity and still very ample and firm tannins. The finish is remarkably long, complex and quite tannic with layered tertiary flavors of dried red cherries, some meaty umami, a little bit of dried herbs, light saline tones, a hint of sweet smoke and a touch of raisiny fruit.

A beautiful Barbaresco at its peak. Unlike the 1982 powerhouse - drunk only moments earlier - which showed great promise for future development, this vintage sits firmly at its plateau of maturity. There are no signs of the wine going downhill yet, but it is quite obvious that the wine isn’t going to be developing much from here either. The tannins might soften a bit more from here, but I have a strong suspicion that the fruit is going to give up much sooner than the tannins will soften. All in all, this was a beautiful Barbaresco that certainly showed how fantastic a great vintage can be if the bottle is in pristine condition. When the bottle is good, this is among the greatest Produttori vintages ever. Highly recommended. Solid value at 70€. (96 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker


That is an awesome tasting. Thanks for posting!

I’m wondering if you held on to any of the older bottles that you noted felt tired? I’ve had produttori that felt like that even at the 4 hour mark that eventually came around to be beautiful wines. Some even from the same vintages you noted

Great notes! What a pity about the '71!

fantastic tasting and notes. best winery in the world??

Really fantastic, Otto.
Very helpful. Glad I have some '82 and '70.

Excellent notes Otto.

I have a number of vintages that you did not try, so perhaps I will dig them out of the cellar, and try to work through them in the next few months. Seems like a worthwhile (and tasty!) exercise.

Great tasting, Otto. I may have missed it, but could you tell us how the bottles were prepped for the tasting, in other words how much air they got? (I’m also wondering, ike Matt, if any of the bottles that underwhelmed showed signs of waking up later on.)

My experience with older Produttori’s, while not super extensive, has been much like your tasting–some great bottles from great years, but also quite a few bottles that didn’t survive very well, or were sort of flawed in some way. Since most of those bottles didn’t come from my cellar, or cellars of others that I trust, it has always been hard for me to tell how much is poor treatment, and how much is just not aging well forever.

Thanks all for the positive comments! [bow.gif]

I was expecting this kind of comment to appear. :smiley:

Yes, I did and I’m very sure they were oxidized, as I am starting to have quite a bit of experience with older Nebbiolo. Although every now and then some seemingly dead wines can manage to surprise, you start to get a quite good hunch when a wine is just holding back and when it’s just lifeless and dead.

Except for that 1970 which was just a-singin’ from popping the cork, all the 1970’s wines seemed completely dead and dull at first. However, I wasn’t taken aback, because I know older Nebbiolo can take some time to come around, so I happily decanted all of them.

Of those wines, 1979 and 1977 actually came back to life to some degree, turning out to be quite enjoyable wines with still a bit of enjoyment left in them. However, even they slowly fell apart over the evening and when I re-tasted those bottles that still had some wine in them after having cleaned up the tasting venue, all the vintages 1979-1971 were going downhill fast. 1976 and 1971 were completely dead from the get-go and never got any better during the evening.

Indeed! As a vintage that was even better than the already terrific 1970, which is why the wine being oxidized was such a bummer.

Ooh, lucky you! They are drinking remarkably well right now.

Well, I’ve been to multiple Produttori verticals during the past few years, so while I did not taste all the vintages this day, I’ve tasted some 25-ish different vintages of PdB to this date, so most likely I’ve tried at least some of them at some point! [cheers.gif]

I mentioned the decanting times for every wine tasted…

I carefully decanted the wines off the deposit, left to breathe in a decanter for some time, washed the bottles clean, then returned the wines back into the bottles when they were next in line for pouring.

1979 and 1977 woke up during the decanting and my tasting notes are taken when they were more or less showing their best. 1976 and 1971 were just dead.

Very interesting tasting. I have single vineyard wines back into the 80s but have always consumed my regulares within about 10-12 years of the vintage. Wouldn’t have thought that they would be so good, for so long!

Hi Otto,

Thanks for all the work writing. I have mixed feelings about your assessment for the 2016. I may not be around to see this wine peak in several decades!

Anyway, do you have any experience with the 1975 normale? I am considering it as a birth year present, but fear it may be like the 1976. For that matter, do you think any 1975 Barolo or Barbaresco would still show well given the vintage?


Oh boy, you’ve missed a world of greatness! Normally the lesser vintages improve for the first 15-20 years of their life easily, keeping nicely for 25-30 years. The best vintages take decades to reach their peak and are still yet to fall apart. The 1964 and 1961 PdB Normale are among some of the greatest Barbarescos I’ve tasted and neither one of them showed any signs of decline.

I haven’t had PdB 1975, but '75, '76 and '77 was a lousy trio of three consecutive cold and rainy vintages. Some well-kept wines might be still alive, so they could show well for the vintage, but I doubt many of them will be particularly interesting. However, as I haven’t had that much experience with Piedmontese wines from that vintage (since most of them weren’t really made to be aged due to the poor quality, so quite few bottles have made it to this day), I can’t speak for all the wines - it might be that there are some terrific wines still left out there.

Sad that 2 of the youngest 5 bottles were corked. Time for Produttori to do some screw capped bottles for comparison?

I do agree that it’s sad, but I’d prefer them to switch over to DIAM, not to screwcaps.

If they offered the same wines with screwcaps and natural corks, I’d still go with bottles with corks.

I’d rather see both and do some blind comparisons. Just accepting corked bottles as the price of enjoying fine wine drives me crazy [head-bang.gif]


Having the foresight to buy wines decades ago, storing them carefully all this time and then finding that they have been flawed all that time is…‘not ideal’ (I shall refrain from using emotive language.)

Very, very annoying to cellar for years and have a spoiled bottle. Did it to a Lafleur Petrus I was really looking forward to. I guess that is better than a flawed Petrus, but at the time it was very irksome!

I opened a Produttori single vineyard 89 awhile ago - corked! IIRC it was an Asili!

Well actually I’ve been to a few blind tastings where the producer has poured bottles that have been bottled under a screwcap and natural cork. While the screwcapped wines have been remarkably youthful for their age, people who prefer aged wines have invariably preferred the ones that have been aging under a cork.

I’ve had too many wines bottled under a screwcap that have been tasting like they’ve been bottled a year ago, even though they’ve been happily aging in a cellar for 10 years. If I want to drink wine that tastes like super young, I drink them young. I age wines to get aged wines.

The ideal would be if producers could just switch to DIAM. These wines seem to age similarly to wines under a cork, but without the risk of TCA.