The historic estate of Fontanafredda conceals one or two little secrets – not least the hunting lodge to which its origins can be traced back to 1878. The property of the first King of Italy, it was not only a base for his hunting of the local game, but also for more, shall we say, earthy pursuits. The king’s mistress, stationed at Fontanafredda, gave birth to a son and, while not officially recognised as royal progeny, he was granted the lodge when the King died. The development of Fontanafredda as we know it today ensued – until a bank took it over in lieu of unpaid gambling debts.
Today, thanks to a law prohibiting Italian banks from owning agricultural assets, the estate has passed into the sympathetic hands of Oscar Farinetti, founder of the Eataly chain of Slow Food restaurants and a native of nearby Alba. Fontanafredda’s revival under Farinetti looks assured and this sleeping beauty of the Langhe – its vineyards are surely among the finest in the area – is now on a clear upward trajectory. It’s a winery that combines this great history – Fontanafredda used to have its own bakery and school, and still preserves a great sense of community – with thoroughly modern production facilities for everything from Asti to Barolo.
As soon as the grapes reach the winery, they are de-stemmed and crushed, and the fermentation is carried out by using selected yeasts at a temperature of 30-32° C. The must is pumped over the skins regularly to optimize the extraction of colour and tannins. The maceration lasts 10-12 days, and the malolactic fermentation takes place before the end of the winter. The wine begins to mature in the January following the vintage, in 2.000 and 3.000 litre barrels made of oak from Allier. After around a year in wood, the wine spends a short time in stainless steel before completing its ageing process in the bottle.
Ruby-red with garnet highlights; on the nose ripe plums, bilberries and violets merge harmoniously with hints of liquorice, cinnamon and tobacco. Well-structured tannins and intense fruit fill the mouth with a closely-packed, full flavour.
Ideal with big red meat dishes and medium or mature cheeses.
- Additional Information
Name Fontanafredda Barbaresco Coste Rubin Country Italy Region Treiso, Barbaresco e Neive, Piedmonte ABV% 13.5% Vintage 2013 Grape Variety 100% Nebbiolo Size 750ml Dietary Information Suitable for Vegetarians, Suitable for Vegans