Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Italian Paradox

From the “why Italian wines are so confusing” dept

On Sept 4, 2012 @missmelpayne posted the picture above on twitter asking if anyone knew the origin of this wine or anything about it.

Her tweet:
Fellow winos: can you help me find more info on this 1964 #Barolo? #wine #vintage #Italy #Piedmont @WineWouldntYou pic.twitter.com/wauMjCXh

This week another tweet came through from ‏@WineLibrary:

@missmelpayne Not on that particular bottle. @italianwineguy, any thoughts?

I took a look at it and tweeted as @italianwineguy:

@WineLibrary @missmelpayne you got me- maybe @haddadfrank knows about this 1964 #Barolo #wine #vintage #Italy #Piedmont pic.twitter.com/McA6bzOv

Frank Haddad, a friend and collector of these kinds of wines in Vancouver, BC,  added as @haddadfrank these five tweets:

@italianwineguy @WineLibrary @missmelpayne I have had this producers wine before I will check my notes etc and will get back to you Tues

@italianwineguy @missmelpayne funny it is hard to read but appears to say that it is a DOC wine in 64 Barolo became a DOC in 66

@italianwineguy @missmelpayne you have me on this one 1964 Vintage with a DOCG on the label, a long time in the bottle until release

@italianwineguy @missmelpayne the 64 Vintage a good one should be drinking this one now. hard to put a value on it Probably brought in grapes

@italianwineguy @missmelpayne it certainly confused me would you wait that long to bottle even a tannic Barolo

Here’s the closeup on the label:

And here’s the conundrum. There were no DOC or DOCG wines in 1964 – DOC started in 1966 and DOCG ramped up in 1980. So how could a 1964 Barolo claim to be DOCG?

What’s inside the bottle?

Anyone care to comment?

P.S. Gotta love these things…

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


Lewis Perdue said...

Since I once owned a fine Italian wine importer, wholesaler/distributor, I can answer the question of why Italian wines are so confusing: They are Italian.

Benito said...

Earliest Barolo I've ever had is a '67, but I'm more confused as to why someone would get a treble clef tattoo on the left wrist.

Any details on the cork?


Frank Haddad said...

This has been interesting bottle the neck label does not fit the rest of the labeling on the bottle. It could have been a 64 and bottled in 68 and had a DOC label, but not DOCG It appears that it had a DOC or DOGC label on the capsule. A picture of the capsule to see if it does have a DOCG label on it, would be useful. That would also possibly help track down the producer. It would be highly unlikely that it would have been bottled 18 years later. It would not be worth the time and effort to commit a fraud, for what a bottle of this type would bring in dollars. The neck vintage label seems to either fallen off or lose,from the pictures. The vintage neck labels have a habit of falling off. So it could be that there was a wrong neck label put on, why I do not know.I have bought collections with a lot of the vintage neck labels fallen off and so would not be an unusual occurrence So really the bottle by the main label, it is no older than 1980. There still is a mystery on who the producer was. I thought that I have had a wine from this producer but checked my notes and cellar notes and I have not. Another interesting note that the alcohol content seems to be hand written and 16.6% which is also strange. It sometimes take some digging on older Italian wines to see what you really have. AS Lewis stated they are Italian, part of the joy of finding and drinking.

Thomas said...

I'm with Frank: it is not the original neck label, and it is not likely the wine is a '64.

Melissa Payne said...

@Benito: I'm left-handed. Why wouldn't I get it on my left wrist?

As for the wine, thanks everyone for your interest - the bottle belongs to a friend of mine, and I'm always curious about the history of wines of this nature. I'll keep reading along to see if anything else interesting comes up!


Frank Haddad said...

You learn something new every day about Italian wines. I was wrong when I stated that it could not be older than 1980. It appears when the DOGC was granted you could go back three years so it could be age wise as old as a 77. Thanks to Cesare Boschis for the information.

Thomas said...

It's difficult to see, but after a name that I cannot read, I see "Francesco" on the label.

Alfonso Cevola said...

Pira is the last name, Thomas. pretty common name in Barolo country

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