“Bruno Giacosa is a perfectionist which is obviously visible from the meticulousness with which he approaches his craft. This is the story of his wines.”
There are some figures within the Italian wine industry that are worthy of the terms iconic, legendary and maestro. Bruno Giacosa clearly is one of them, yet those terms transcend the Italian wine world and encompass the wine world in totality.
Giacosa crafts wine from purchased grapes and estate vineyards. Wines bearing the “Azienda Agricola Falletto” labeling are crafted entirely from estate owned fruit. That ownership encompasses 20 hectares spread throughout Serralunga d’Alba and La Morra in Barolo and also vineyards within the Barbaresco zone.
After suffering a stroke in 2006, from which he recovered, Bruno Giacosa stepped back somewhat from the daily responsibilities of his winery. Today, the winery is mainly helmed by his daughter Bruna, who continues to produce wines in the style she learned from her father.
|~ The Giacosa estate in Serralunga d’Alba ~
Today we’re discussing a CellarNote on a wine that I purchased upon release and have stored until just shy of its 20th birthday. The 1997 Giacosa Barolo is an intriguing, complex and honest wine.
I decanted the wine about 45 minutes before dinner. A few words of caution here. I am always wary of decanting older wines too far in advance because often times, the wine can begin to oxidize or “fall apart” before dinner. That being said, this Barolo was loaded with sediment and needed to be decanted. My error here was not standing the wine up for a few days prior to enjoying it. This is critical to allow the sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle. The wine was filled with very fine, silt like sediment that I was unable to completely remove. The resulting wine looked very cloudy and unattractive. While the taste or texture was not impacted, the wine was not pretty to look at.
Aromas of roses, dried herbs, orange rind, reduced cherry, anise and cured meats were complex, discernible and wonderful to identify. Later on, mulch, autumn leaves and mushroom became identifiable.
On the palate, the wine was silky smooth with fully resolved tannins and an elegant medium bodied core of warm cherry fruit. Dried tobacco, mulch and cedar notes were prevalent and soft orange, spice and tea notes were flinty and faintly present. Much more elegant than powerful, I think perhaps this wine may have been better a few years ago, but with grilled filet mignon with a gorgonzola porcini topping, it was pretty delicious. Purchased on release for about $40. 93 points. Drink now.
|~ Here you can see the light ruby color in the glass and faintly see the cloudiness. In the decanted, the wine looks darker, but out at the rim, it’s almost orange in color. You can also see plenty of sediment in the decanter that I was unable to remove; even with the use of a screened funnel ~