2006 Carlo Giacosa, Barbaresco, Montefico, Piedmonte, Italy.
The Montefico block is a tiny Cru site on a very sleep slope with white dusty soils making the Carlo Giacosa Montefico a Barbaresco with vigorous intensity and robust character. I was able to meet Luca, the young Giacosa and learn of his belief and style in crafting small lots of artisan Nebbiolo in old school, traditional methods as well as hearing how they can’t use the tractor in Montefico safely as the grade is too serve and most everything needs to be done by hand. The family also has plots in Asili and Ovello, and the neighbors include the other more famous Giacosa, Bruno Giacosa and Ceretto, and while the wines of Carlo Giacosa are more tannic and rustic than most of their contemporaries when young, these wines blossom after 7 to 10 years, and especially exciting is their 2006 Montefico Barbaresco which is just now starting to reveal itself in the bottle. Like many people’s reservas the Carlo Giacosa spent 3 years in large cask, mostly neutral French 500L, then more than 2 years in bottle in the cellar before being moved to importers and merchants. The age has been exceptionally kind and allows for this beautiful Nebbiolo to show itself in all of it’s glory, sadly as is the case with the modern wine trade, most of this vintage is missing from the market, but Siena Imports, the California importer fro Luca’s wines had a few cases to show, as well as the latest release of Narin, the 2010, which is still a baby, but with glorious promise with unbelievable deep perfume and grace just starting to shine through, it’s a blend of the mentioned plots of Cru Asili and Ovello along with selected lots of Montefico, you should look for it for the cellar, but try to find this 2006, a great vintage, of Montefico, it’s pure and wonderfully pleasing right now. The nose holds dried roses, minty herb, earthy tar, mineral tones and cedar notes leading to a medium/full palate of classic poached cherries, raspberry, strawberry and damson plum fruits as well as chalky stones, truffle, crushed violets, salted licorice, balsamic elements and dusty ripe tannins. Carlo Giacosa’s wines can be sometimes overlooked, like an ugly duckling that doesn’t get much attention in it’s youth, but turns into a beautiful swan, as is the case here. This is lovely stuff and has plenty of life to live, this Barbaresco is really engaging and entertaining now, but should gain a bit over the next 5 to 10 years, best from 2016 to 2026.
($53 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive