Last week we introduced a value Barolo producer, Gianfranco Alessandria. Today we feature an iconic producer at the other end of the price scale. Giacosa is one of the most revered names in the world of wine. Giacosa makes exactingly precise wines; whether it’s Barolo or Barberesco, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbara or Arnais, they are, with uncanny consistency, fully realized expressions of varietal and terroir. Giacosa was helmed for decades by legendary Bruno Giacosa, who began working at the family winery at the age of 15 and died only 3 years ago at the age of 88. Bruno Giacosa pioneered the single vineyard concept in the region (borrowing from Burgundy), introducing the first ‘Cru’ bottling in 1964, the Barbaresco Santo Stefano.
In the 60s and 70s he bought grapes from farmers with the best vineyards (in French terminology he was a negociant). In the 80s he began buying his own vineyard land and eventually acquired plots in some of the best terroir of Barolo and Barbaresco, including Le Rocche de Falletto, Barolo Falleto, Asili and Rabaja. Giacosa now has 50 hectares of vineyard.
For those of you not familiar with Giacosa, here’s a primer on labeling. Negociant release labels are white and have “Bruno” Giacosa at the bottom, bottlings from Giacosa owned vines will say “Falletto” Giacosa, and Riserva wines, which are only made in the best vintages, have a red label.
Giacosa Barolos manage that trick of being delicate, yet massive. Compared to its peers in classified growth Bordeaux or Grand Cru Burgundy, they are not priced extravagantly and they will age for years into ethereal beauties. We also have Conterno Monfortino and Francia, B. Mascarello, G. Mascarello, Cerreto as well as other Giacosa Barolo and Barbaresco. Please inquire if interested.
Bruno Giacosa Falletto Barolo 2016
Sale Price: $179.97
James Suckling, 97pts. – “This is a really dense red with intensity and beauty, showing dried fruit, such as strawberries, as well as chocolate, tar, hazelnuts and meat. Really complex and rich. Opulent, yet tense with dusty tannins. Extremely long. Great finish. Hard not to drink now, but will age incredibly well.” (8/2020)
Wine Spectator, 95pts. – “This pretty red offers distinctive mint, black tea, cherry, tar, iron and tobacco aromas and flavors. Firm and dry, with the tobacco and tea notes echoing on the finish. Shows plenty of finesse.” (9/2020)
Bruno Giacosa Le Rocche Falletto Riserva Red Label Barolo 2008
Sale Price: $389.97
James Suckling, 97pts. – “Amazing nose of chocolate, orange peel, plums and hazelnut. Full-bodied, with super fine tannins and a long finish. Intense with a beautiful line of fine tannins that go on for minutes. Superb. 10,000 bottles made. February 2014 release. Leave it for at least four or five years before drinking!” (7/2012)
Wine Advocate, 96pts. – “The 2008 Barolo Riserva Le Rocche del Falletto (aged 36 months in botte grande) is a gorgeous wine from every perspective. Its 360-degree beauty shines comes through in terms of the intensity of the bouquet and the elegance of the mouthfeel. Again, super-finely textured tannins give the wine backbone and create a supporting structure for rich fruit flavors. There’s just enough consistency here to fill the palate, yet the wine is never heavy or flat. It shows vibrant energy thanks to the natural freshness and that beautiful note of garden fresh red rose that pops up as nostalgic sign-off. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040.” (6/2013)
Past Cellar Selections:
Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo 2016
Beringer Private Reserve 2015 – 99 points!
Huët Clos du Bourg 2019 – Grand Cru from the Loire Valley
Heitz, Dunn, Continuum . . . What is a Cult Cali Red?
Chandon de Briailles - Wines Without Artifice
Magnum Bottles from CVNE Imperial
Beaux Freres Pinot Noir 2018
Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva – What were you doing in 1987?
Domaine Simon Bize 2018 – Value Burgundy
Domaine du Pelican – Burgundy Meets Jura
La Rioja Alta “890” Gran Reserva Rioja 2004
Alion and Pintia – The Other Vega Sicilias
Three Oderros: for the Picnic Table, the Dinner Table and the Cellar
Burgundy with age from Jean Chauvenet