A famous house in Barolo is not performing when it should

According to historical notes, the unifier of Italy, Vittorio Emmanuell II, the king of Sardinia, registered this estate’s piece of land in Barolo to his beloved Rosa that then named one of Fontafredda’s vineyards in Serralunda d’Alba. The barolo “normale” aims to render a classic blend that reuses their classic silver label. All good and promising and with a nice price tag to it as well.

2010 Barolo, Fontanafredda

Glowingly dark red colur with ligh edges.

After two hours, the nose emerges with typical rose petals, some grill smoke, dog rose, herbs and surprisingly notes of toasted oak. Unexpectedly, no tar but an overall fine nose.

The tannic cut is edgy and texture is not soft in accordance with the vintage characteristics, rather rough, dirty and sandy. The fruit is fine and just a little dry. Moreover, the palate offers saline underbrush, stew, some unpleasant bleach coffee, cedar and metallic chalky notes. It is bold, quite unbalanced and dissonant. In addition, even though it is quite persistent, the finish is unfortunately overly saline, too austere and dry.

No, even when considering the low price tag, this does not impress and the blend put together by winemaker Danilo Drocco and owner Andrea Farinetti truly under-performs in a vintage that is fantastic. Did they do a mistake or is this their cynical perception of a classic barolo really the kind with rough tannins and dried out fruit?


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