Wine Monopole

We attended a wine tasting event last week, featuring many of the best Italian winemakers. The range was so broad and amazing that it was probably one of the best we have ever been to in HK. Especially for Piedmont fans like us, many wineries that we didn’t have time to visit in person before were present this time.

Among all, the most memorable wines that afternoon were from Bruno Giacosa. At the casual tasting event, the winery presented 3 wines

  • Bruno Giacosa Barolo La Rocche del Falletto Riserva 2008
  • Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Asili Riserva 2007
  • Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto 2007

We have tried over 30 Barolo and Barbaresco, mostly from 2007 and after. I was most impressed by the Barbaresco Asili Riserva 2007. Young Nebbiolo wines, particularly those made in traditional method, almost always have strong tannins even after 5 years - the very expressive (and often aggressive) tannins would “attack” your gums like an army after a swirl in your mouth. One would need patience to calm them down. This Barbaresco Asili Riserva, however, was strikingly gentle, friendly and elegant, hugging you like a motherly figure.

The Barolo La Rocche del Falletto Riserva 2008 will not be released to market until 2014 and it was a special presentation just for the event. While more fully-bodied than the Barbaresco Asili, this Barolo Riserva presented himself as a gentleman and is surprisingly already approachable with fine and beautiful tannins at such young age.

How can Bruno produce such awing wines? 70 years of experience…

One of the most highly regarded winemaker in the world, the 83-year old Bruno first learned about winemaking from his grandfather and father when he was only 13. Without any formal classroom training, the most important skill he inherited (and proven to be his supernatural talent) was how to select the fruit. This was particular important given the winery did not buy its first own vineyard until 1982. Now, with 20 hectares of own lands, Giacosa still buys from many trustworthy historical growers.

Some of us could get a bit confused of the labels of Giacosa wines. Giacosa produces wines from grapes bought from other historical growers, and these wine labels will bear the word “Casa Vinicola BRUNO GIACOSA”, with a picture of a fortress on a hill top.


For wines made in grapes from own vineyards, the wine label would bear the word “Azienda Agricola FALLETTO”, with a picture of a vineyard along the hillside.


For superb vintages, they would produce Riserva wines (by law, 4 years in barrel for Barolo, 3 years for Barbaresco), and the label will be red in color. These legendary Giacosa’s “Red Labels” are rare and always on the wish-list (or must-try-before-you-die-list) of all Piedmont fans.

photo credit: 

Written by Wine Monopole — December 11, 2012


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