2015 Bruno Giacosa, Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC, Piedmonte, Italy.
Bruno Giacosa’s polished village wine, the Nebbiolo d’Alba is one of the most stylish and well made red from Piedmonte in its price class, it really is as close as you can get to the cliche “baby Barolo” without sounding like an idiot, with it’s depth and structure proving the point. Made from classic terroirs with southwest exposures, in the villages of Monteu Roero, Santo Stefano Roero and Vezza d’Alba, coming from 25 to 30 year old vines on the marl/limestone, sand and hardened clay soils, all of which provides the rich concentration and the pretty layers, especially in this warm vintage 2015, making it more ripe in detail and with great fruit expression, even in its youth. There’s a lot to love here with its subtle bouquet of roses, dark red fruits, spice and cedar that leads to a medium to full bodied palate of black cherry, damson plum, tangy currant and reduced strawberry fruits along with a mix of sweet French oak, minty herb, black salted licorice, new leather, mineral/iron, dried lavender and a hint of sandalwood. This vintage, as per normal, saw about 14 months in French oak after a stainless steel fermentation including a cool two week maceration, to highlight clarity and done in a more modern style, delivering an elegant Nebbiolo with a regal mouth feel and it’s luxurious in glass.
The late Bruno Giacosa, one of Italy’s greatest ever producers, died just last year (in January of 2018) was an Italian wine hero who was from the village Neive in the Langhe region most famous for his Nebbiolo and more so for Barolo. Today his daughter Bruna, who has taken over produces a number of Barbaresco and Barolo wines, as well as bottlings of Arneis, Barbera, Dolcetto and a sparkling wine, all up to the legendary Rocche del Falletto Barolo and the equally famous Santo Stefano(s) Barbaresco. Bruna, working with his longtime enologist and protegé, Dante Scaglione, has continued her father’s important work. Her commitment, according to Rare Wine Co. a direct importer of classic wines, is a guarantee, that the Giacosa name on a bottle of Barolo or Barbaresco denotes both the highest quality and true vineyard expression, I myself think of Giacosa as the Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé, with their Barolo and Barbaresco comparing well with Vogüé’s Musigny and Bonnes Mares Grand Cru. I consider myself lucky to have tasted with Bruna at a tasting in San Francisco, and enjoyed her Tre Bicchieri (winning) 2004 Riserva Santo Stefano, it was an experience I won’t forget. While the regular Nebbiolo doesn’t rise to the greatness of Giacosa’s elite bottlings, it certainly offers a glimpse and it is a very rewarding Piedmonte that is well worth the price and a savvy choice for Nebbiolo lovers to drink over the next 5 to 10 years.
($30 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive