On thursday I was lucky to get an invite from the UK agent to a seminar/tasting with Bruna Giacosa. There were 6 wines - 4 Reservas (red label) and 2 white labels (standard releases) to taste after some nice scene setting. Giacosa is undoubtedly one of the great names of Piedmont so an exciting tasting indeed. The winemaking is traditional with long macerations and the long ageing in large neutral, 15-25 yr old and non-toasted barrels. The decision on whether a wine is released as a red or white label is made in the cellar not in the vineyard. One important announcement that I had not heard before was that Santo Stefano (Barbaresco) will be made for the last time in 2011 meaning Giacosa will then have just one Cru in Barbaresco - Asili, and that is where the tasting started. I have scored the wines out of 20 to focus the mind.
Barbaresco Asili Riserva 2007 - Pure red black fruits, cherries especially, lifted, soft but with a little dried fruit, has a bit of bite. A tiny bit short and tight but this was a hot year and this is young. Some gentle spice comes though. May be a tricky time totaste what I increasing think is a good but not great vintage. 16-17(+), 2015-2022+
Barbaresco Asili Riserva 2004 - Richer depth, Asian spice with mulled fruit that is both clean but bruised, very good. Good fine tannins, there and with force but balanced. A dash of white pepper and a saline character that come through as the wine moves round the glass, both good things in my book. 17.5-18.5(+), 2015-2026+
We then moved across to Barolos:
Barolo Falletto di Serralunga 2007 - This is from a site bought by Bruno Giacosa in 1982 the top of which provides the Rocche del Falletto which is where the final pair of wines we tasted were from. This had a very closed and tight nose, clean and more reminding me of Grenache than anything. A big wine with a structure to match, good for 2007. 17-18(+), 2017-2030+
Barolo Falletto di Serralunga 2005 - A cooler vintage and i'll be honest and say the only disappointing wine of the tasting. 2005's are, from my experience a more mixed bag than either 2004 or 006 and this seems the consensus too. This may not have been the best bottle of this wine, it was certainly not corked but just showed as more evolved than I expected. There as a little red fruit on the nose but also a beef stock element that often comes with Nebbiolo but not at this early stage. In essence the structure and body would be fine if there was more fruit weight there. A score seems harsh and I would love to try it again but 15-15.5, 2013-2018
Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva 2008 - A lovely pure and primary red fruit Nebbiolo nose that has lovely freshness but also very focussed fruit. A good nervy acidity on the plate with good grip of ripe tannins, this is a very good wine, very pretty now but with depth and weigh to put on. 18-18.5(+), 2018-2032+
Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva 2007 - A slight, albeit, light caramel note and very soft vanilla ice cream. Very 2007ish in nose but then more refined on the palate, in balance just a warmer fruit type. 17, 2014-2024
All in all a very good tasting.