Wine writing by Stas Medvedev

Fontanafredda 160th Anniversary Vertical Collection 1982–2010

‘The king of wines, the wine of Kings’ — is said about Barolo and true for Fontanafredda.

Based in Serralunga d’Alba, winery played crucial role in history of Barolo. Founded by Vittorio Emanuele II, the 1st King of Italy in 1858.

The history of estate is like a rollercoaster ride and reminds to many the history of Barolo itself. When royal family gone bankrupt, it was sold to the world oldest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena in 1931. Since 2009 it belongs to the owner of Eataly. Winery owns ~100ha being the largest producer in Barolo. It has built a reputation for a very affordable Barolo. For a long time it produced Barolo for Autogrill, the largest chain of roadhouses.

Barolo Riserva is produced only from estate owned vineyards, mostly from Serralunga d’Alba. All wines were stored in estate cellars and released for 160th anniversary. Pristine condition, new corks, good levels and beautiful labels.

Fontanafredda 160th Anniversary Barolo Riserva Vertical Collection 1982–2010
Fontanafredda 160th Anniversary Barolo Riserva Vertical Collection 1982–2010

1982 🏅 Rating 96/100 (4,6⭐)Tar and roses. So classic, so deep. Complete graceful wine. Simply fantastic. Ripe fruit. Balsamic and truffle tertiary aromas. Little bit of sandalwood. And eucalyptus finish.1982 is a blockbuster vintage. Gorgeous, richly textured and structured wines.

2010 🏅 Rating 93+/100 (4,35⭐)Oh, this menthol and eucalyptus oil notes. Strawberry. Touch of colour paint. Sandy tannins are ripe. Nose is great.It is surprisingly accessible and already showing how good it is. Should be laid down to gain more complexity on the palate. Huge potential ahead.Another great vintage. 2010 had long, cool growing season.

1996 🏅 Rating 92/100 (4,2⭐)Tight in the beginning. Fruits and berries. Perfumed intense aromatics. Rose petals, rather concentrated and sweet on the nose. Very focused. Energetic. Good balance on the palate. Ripe fruits, dense with medium (-) body. Dries rose and black cherry.1996 is a classic Barolo vintage. Wines with good structure, tough tannins and nervous acidity.

1998 🏅 Rating 91+/100 (4,15⭐)Lots of red berries. Slightly green on the nose. This Barolo has some weight. Tannin is present, ripe and granular. Acidity is very refreshing.1998 is sometimes referred to as a sleeper vintage.

1999 🏅 Rating 90/100 (4,0⭐)Concentrated and dense version of Barolo. Ripe jammy dark fruits in chocolate. Plums and dark red rose. Intense perfumed aromatics.1999 overall is considered as excellent vintage in Barolo.

2000 🏅 Rating 89/100 (3,9⭐)Vanilla dominant. Very straightforward and one dimensional wine. Tannins are present and granular. Overall impression of a hot dry year with overripe fruits. It has Barolo typicity into it, but the wine is just not great.
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