Vecchio Barolo & Barbaresco: 1960s

3/31/24 -

The pundits on the vintages, and I've added some notes:

1960: Ratti, Annata Non Buona; Wasserman 0.

The decade starts with a fizzle. I remind you of the sentimental value of old wine for birth year and anniversary celebrations, alla my own year of 1956, which was decidedly Non Buono (for wine), but is nonetheless a pleasure to drink. I don’t recall which 1960s I’ve tasted – there were a couple back there that didn’t leave a powerful impression one way or the other.

1961: Ratti, Annata Grande; Wasserman **+;  Galloni 97 pts

1961s are rare in my experience – we’ve come across relatively few bottles. I recall a solidly good Franco-Fiorina, and a better Ceretto.

1962: Ratti, Annata Abastanza Buona; Wasserman *; Galloni 75 pts

Did I mention the anniversary thing?

1963: Ratti, Annata  Non Buona; Wasserman 0; Galloni 70 pts

We’re not offering any here, but I include the info for the sake of continuity. I once tasted a very decent Ceretto…

1964: Ratti, Annata Eccezionale; Wasserman ***; Gallon 96 pts

An excellent bottle of Franco-Fiorina 1964 Barolo was one of the first old Piedmont wines I tasted, so it deserves some of the blame for exacerbating what my wife calls my “Nebbiolo problem”. That was followed by equally good or better wines from Ceretto, Marcarini, Cavallotto, Bartolo Mascarello (I’m sorry we don’t have any for sale at present: it’s one of the best wines, on several occasions, that I’ve ever tasted), F. Rinaldi, G. Rinaldi, etc. For once the pundits agree: an Annata Eccezionale.

1965: Ratti, Annata Buona; Wasserman 0;

I’ve only tasted a couple: Prunotto Barolo, and the Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco. My recollections of both incline me to take Ratti’s view.

1966: Ratti, Annata Buona, changed to Annata Mediocre in a later revision; Wasserman 0;

I have by now accumulated a lot of tasting of old Prunotto, Cavallotto, Franco-Fiorina, Oddero, F. Rinaldi,  the Produttori del Barbaresco (and some other fancier Barolos), and I can testify: good winemakers make good wine. And yes, some years are better than others...

1967: Ratti, Grande Annata; Wasserman **; Galloni 94 pts

I’ve always really liked Piedmont 1967s, and I was gratified to discover Antonio’s opinion that “this is a gorgeous, fully mature vintage to drink now”. The wines are generally on the lighter side, but retain fruit and elegance.

1968: Ratti, Annata Buona; Wasserman 0; Galloni 82

Austere but sometimes really quite nice wines.

1969: Ratti, Annata Normale;  Wasserman 0; Galloni 89

My friend JD says the Cappellano Barolo was very good (it’s his birth year). I’m not sure I’ve tasted anything other than the Produttori, and you can probably guess what I think of that. Jamie Wolff

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