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February 27, 2014

Bruno Giacosa Barolo and Barbaresco

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Bruno Giacosa is arguably the greatest Barolo winemaker; his wine is released on an allocation system and produced in very small quantities. Today we are pleased to offer the new release of Bruno Giacosa’s truly great wines; Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva 2008 and his superb Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto 2009. The most famous Giacosa Barbaresco “Cru” has historically been his extraordinary Santo Stefano. The first vintage was made in 1964 and we are delighted to be able to offer the 2011 ‘the last vintage that will ever be made’; it will become a true collector’s item!

Giacosa’s best and most famous Barolos herald from his vineyard in Falletto di Serralunga d’Alba. His flagship wine is the Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto, which in normal vintages has the famous and elegant white label. In great vintages, like 2008, they make their Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva, which is given the red label. Monica Larner describes this wine as ‘gorgeous wine from every perspective… [Possessing] 360-degree beauty’.

Giacosa’s winemaking philosophy is regarded as ‘updated traditional’, taking from tradition and adding modern variations, thereby straddling the two styles. For example, maceration on skins can last from to 30 to 50 days, thereby extracting the powerful features of the illustrious Nebbiolo grape, harmonising power with elegance. They use a combination of French and Slovenian oak, (Botti, 50 HL casks) for four to five years. Giacosa adhere to very strict standards and only ever put their name against what they consider their finest of wines. His daughter Bruna Giacosa now runs the Estate.

Bruno Giacosa began helping at the family winery from the age of 15. He is known as the “Genius of Neive” and is one of the most respected producers of Barolo in Piedmont. The Giacosa Estate consists of 20 hectares from some of the finest regions in Piedmont, including single vineyard production from Falletto. The vineyards sit in south-southwest facing amphitheatres.

Giacosa’s wines appreciate steadily in price with age; the 2009 Falletto is a wonderful effort and will drink beautifully in two years. The 2008 Riserva is a truly great wine and will age for 30 years. The 2000 and 2001, which scored 96 points are already trading at £1,600 per case. Their growing global acclaim and vintage premium make them an excellent investment as well as wines to lay down, they have already returned 100% in the last five years. Giacosa has an established and strong European and US collector base, new markets which are eager to own the best wines of Piedmont are beginning to stress their minuscule production; allocations are small and older vintages very hard to find.

Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto 2009, 6×75 – £480 EP
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate 95 points, tasted June 2013
The 2009 Barolo Falletto is an exuberant and exciting wine with tight, firming tannins surrounded by deep layers of dried cherry, licorice, cassis, moist tobacco and campfire ash. What sets this Barolo apart is the focus and care it shows on the bouquet. It is as if each layer is a separately audible voice in a united chorus of flavors and aromas. Also notable is the balanced acidity that adds a bite of freshness without being too sharp. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035.

Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva 2008, 6×75 or 3×150 – £1,000 EP
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate 96 points, tasted June 2013
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.

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Stefano 2011, 6×75 – £480 EP
Stephen Tanzer, 93+ points
Medium with a hint of amber.  Highly complex, scented nose combines red plum, cherry, strawberry, clove, medicinal herbs and a hint of orange zest.  Intensely flavored, juicy and tightly wound, with lovely cut and definition to the red fruit and spice flavors.  Very concentrated, tactile wine whose firm tannic spine will require at least several years of cellaring. Finishes with terrific lift.

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