Friday 28 November 2014

Barolo Boys Does 1964 Barolo & Barbaresco

Flight I

Flight II
I had saved the crème de la crème of my Barbaresco and Barolo bottles from the greatest vintage ever, for this get together with the Barolo Boys. It became a night to remember.
The red wines were tasted single blind for all at the table.

1964 Dom Perignon
This has reached a fine state of maturity. A creamy, mature nose with lovely notes of strawberry fudge, red ripe apples, a touch of mushroom cream and coffee powder. Very elegant.
The taste is pure and mature with notes of toasted bread, dark fudge, dried strawberries and a very fine acidity. Long and fine. Drinking perfectly on this night.
94p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo Riserva, E. Pira
A medium deep, mature nose with a lovely autumn scent and notes of veal stock, old leather, rosehips and dried cherries. Very, very good.
The taste is mature and a tad linear with notes of dried up cherry jam, old leather, undergrowth and mushrooms. The taste is, contrary to the nose, a bit burly. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo, Aldo Conterno
A deep, concentrated nose with notes of cooked red cherries, rosehips, warm herbs, tobacco and some fresh stable scents. A lovely maturity.
The taste is big and bold with notes of forest floor, ripe red cherries, tobacco leaves, leather and warm herbs. The finish is very long and sumptuous. This is a fine bottle of mature Barolo.
92p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo, Vietti
The Vietti has the lighest colour in the line up, but what a nose that greats you when you put your nose in the glass! A deep, focused, concentrated nose with notes of warm tiles, undergrowth, milk chocolate biscuits, dried cherries and some veal stock. Very, very refined. So, so fine.
The taste is mature, medium bodied but makes a strong impression in the mouth with notes of sweet/sour cherries, dried mushrooms, forest floor and dried wild strawberries. A very fine dried up sweetness. This is a stunning piece of mature Nebbiolo.
94p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo, Francesco Rinaldi
This has obviously been in some sort of time warp. I would never have guessed this to be 50 years old. Maybe 20-25, tops. The colour is darker than the others and the nose is deep and brooding with notes of sweet black cherries, cold coffee, fresh mushrooms, rosehips, leather and some stable aromas. A complex scent of burnt rubber emerges with air. This is good! And young!
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of red and black cherries, mushroom forest, liquorice, sugared coffee and rosehips. Some perky tannins in the long finish. This time warp wine needs another 10+ years, amazing!
93p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo Riserva, Giuseppe Mascarello
When I turned 40 we drank 30 bottles of 1964 Barolo, and the best of the bunch back then was the Riserva from Giuseppe Mascarello. So I had high expectations on this bottle. And while very good, it didn´t reach the heights of the previous bottle.
The nose is a touch volatile with notes of freeze dried raspberries, herbs, warm earth, coffee powder and a touch of detergent. Medium deep and rather complex.
The taste is deeper and more concentrated than the nose with notes of warm tiles, forest floor, lots of mushrooms, rose petals and dried raspberries. A long, long, focused finish with a nice dry ending. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo Riserva Speciale, Cavallotto
Too bad, the bottle looked fine, a good level and colour of the wine but the nose is full of yeast, moist earth, unfresh stables and iron.
The taste is foursquare and dry with lots of unripe lingonberries, canned mushrooms and a yesty finish. No thanks.
58p   (tasted 2014/11)

The second flight got all of our juices flowing, the line up looked stunning! And, with one exception, it proved to be just that...

1964 Barolo, Giacomo Conterno
The third bottle from the same stash, this performs great. The nose is deep and intense with notes of ripe black cherries, plums, forest floor, rose petals and some dry, expensive leather. A very high, pure and fresh nose. Very, very deep. Almost mature but still has a long time to go.
The taste is finely tuned, has a high definition and a gorgeous structure, full of ripe black cherries, rose petals, forest floor, ceps and old leather. The finish goes on for minutes and has a wonderful warmth. A great wine 6 years ago, a great wine tonight and surely a great wine for years and years to come.
96p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barbaresco, Gaja
¤#%&/&%¤#"=)(/&%!!! As with the Cavallotto, the bottle looked fine but this must have been standing on a Italian wine shop shelf in the summer heat for 20 years - cooked and completely dead.
50p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barbaresco Riserva Speciale, Bruno Giacosa
The next wine made up for the loss of the Gaja, and then some! A hauntingly beautiful, pure and refined nose with notes of cool cherry fruit, cigar ash, warm herbs, rose petals, ceps and hard cherry candy. Intensity and purity in the glass. This is awesome stuff. Entering maturity, but still on the young side of things.
The taste is fresh and cool with notes of ripe red cherries, rose petals, ceps, liquorice and leather. More forest floor notes after a while. An immense depth and focus. The taste lingers on and on and on. Very, very pure. A perfect mix of tannins and acidity. Greatness.
97p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo Monfortino, Giacomo Conterno
Again, tasted single blind, but everyone guessed it to be Monfortino and everyone had this as their favourite in flight 2. And here is a tip, don´t decant a old Monfortino for 2 hours, like we did, decant it for 24 hours.
I saved about 6-7 cl to the next day in the bottle with the cork pushed in. It blew my mind the day after, I just...had it at 98p on day one. Day two it was a easy 100p - one of the best wine ever.
I could just sit a whole night through, sniffing this beauty, with its notes of a mix of cherries and raspberries, dried flowers, ceps, rosehips and a pine forest on a moist autumn day. Very floral. This wine could be a poster child for an ethereal nose. Hard to describe, it has to be experienced.
The taste is a weightless beauty, with notes of sweet/sour cherries, liquorice, rose petals, violets, expensive leather and ceps. The finish goes of for two minutes and has silky smooth tannins and a gorgeous acidity. We were in the presence of perfection.
100p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Taylor´s Special Tawny
Flight II was a tough act to follow but this old tawny from Taylor was the perfect wind down wine after the Barolo and Barbaresco´s. The nose is deep and soft with notes of balsamico marinated strawberries, plums, fried nuts and some rubbery aromas. Very good and yummy.
The taste is sweet and a touch fiery with notes of cherry jam, plums, dates, assorted nuts and the same rubber note as on the nose. Fully mature, and maybe a tad much so, but easy to drink and a great match with some 70% Venezuela chocolate.
87p   (tasted 2014/11)


  1. Wow....Wow...and Wow !!
    Can you please enter this 50th celebration in the Guinness has the most serious ever done 1964 Barolo tasting ....please !!

    No even Conterno ever had so many Barolos for his 50th birthday

    How much $$$ far ??

    1. Thanks! Just a few $... well, I have been buying for many, many years.

  2. I didn't read this until now, but really great Joakim to read that the Monfortino was so fantastic. Conterno manages to pick only super-ripe tannins and render honest and truly weightless but velvety and structured wines. I need to acquire a 1971 myself, even though it is Vosne-Romanée prices. After all, perfection is once in a lifetime experience.

    1. Thanks! A 71 Monfortino - that sounds like something dreams are made of...:-)