This year we bade adieu to, and now salute Bruno Giacosa, a true giant of not just the Langhe, but Italy, and indeed the world of wine. This wine comes from four south-facing parcels on Falletto di Serralunga d’Alba’s upper slope, the prime cut of the vineyard. Roundly critically acclaimed and arguably one of the best wines made in Italy, this is a collector’s item and is accordingly very limited.
Growing up in Neive (a small town in the region of Langhe in Piedmont), Bruno Giacosa was bound to end up with his hands in the vineyards. Bruno went into the family business at the age of 15, and quickly established himself as one of the key figures in Italian winemaking. The "Genius of Neive" built a brand defined by making exquisite wines that respect the identity and connection to his homeland from vine to bottle. If there are "first growths" among Italy's esteemed vineyards, Giacosa's wines are the beginning of that lineage. His reputation for perfectionism is continually reaffirmed through his exacting requirements, as he is known for his uncompromising and scrupulous standards. He was the first to market Barolo and Barbaresco from single vineyards, emphasizing the unique terroir of the area and demonstrating his mastery of giving voice to specific vineyard sites. Bruno's eyes tell the story of a man who has transformed the way we perceive Italian wine. Take a look inside and find the magic within the man.
The recent evolution of this wine is a bit confusing. After the 2009 Barolo le Rocche del Falletto was released, the wine was not made in 2010 or 2011. The following year, we got the 2012 Barolo Falletto that I scored last year. We now return to the series with the 2013 Barolo Falleto Vigna Le Rocche—which is, of course, the white label wine. The wine shows extremely elegant and fine characteristics with a dry and streamlined approach. Fruit tones on offer are delicate and nuanced. White truffle, balsam herb, violet and licorice are folded within. The wine was a little reticent when I tasted it and it definitely needs more time to flesh out in the bottle.
Cherry and strawberry fruit is supported by leather, licorice, mineral and tar flavors in this red, starting out detailed and elegant, turning firm and unyielding by the finish. Though assertive, the tannins stay within bounds, and this finds equilibrium in the end. Best from 2022 through 2045.
This is incredibly powerful and structured with so much tannin backbone and ripe fruit. Aromas of plums and hazelnuts. Full-bodied and chewy. Fabulous finish. Needs three to four years to come together. Great wine. No Falleto was made in 2013. Only Le Rocche. Available in January 2017.