Wine of the Day February 11, 2014

1980Giacosa1980 Bruno Giacosa, Barbaresco, Santo Stefano di Neive, Piedmonte, Italy.
Some days are just better than others, and I must say I’m grateful for the kindness of strangers and friends alike, for the other night I braved the rains and trains to surprise visit my my Peter Steiner at Corso in Berkeley, where he is the manager of this fun and delicious Italian bistro. Peter makes for a comforting and sharing host, the staff and patrons are equally gracious and engaging, and tonight that was in the extreme when I was handed a glass of 1980 Giacosa Barbaresco, and as well as a William Fevre Grand Cru Chablis, just because I was in the wine business, I really like this place! As per normal, the food and service at Corso was excellent, the wet evening went on with lots of smiles, but I am still dreaming of that amazing 1980 Giacosa. The 1980 Bruno Giacosa, Barbaresco Santo Sefano di Neive, from a private cellar in Berkeley, it still had original $15 price sticker, was in fine condition with shocking youthful color with only a very slight orange rim to the ruby core and this wine was very much alive and in wonderful shape. The nose was mature with dried roses, mineral and game, but a vivid red fruit essence remained constant, leading to a palate of old school charm in this refined and perfectly aged beauty with cherry, balsamic strawberry, earthy loam, rustic leather and hints of anise and poached plum. The texture was ultra satin/silky and while still vibrant and clear had a nice roundness and creamy feel only an old Nebbiolo can produce. Giacosa is one of the Grand marques of Italy, these wines are sublime and exceptionally rare, I am in awe of them, my past experiences with 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2004 vintages proved life changing, these are on par with the finest Burgundies, so it was absolutely thrilling to taste this 1980 Barbaresco, and I must thank my lucky stars to be at the right place at the right time, and of course that place is Corso in Berkeley and my friend Peter Steiner that makes magic there. On a final note while this wine may have peaked years back, the Giacosa 1980 showed no real decay and could go another few years easy, but I’d say drink now, it is lovely and joyous based on this well cared for bottle.
($15 when released, $100-200 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive