2011 Barolo, Falletto, Bruno Giacosa, Piedmont, Italy

2011 Barolo, Falletto, Bruno Giacosa, Piedmont, Italy

Product: 20118038735
2011 Barolo, Falletto, Bruno Giacosa, Piedmont, Italy

Description

This comes from the Falletto vineyard of Serralunga d’Alba, and from the estate of the same name that Bruno Giacosa bought in 1982. To the uninitiated. Serralunga d’Alba is responsible for Barolo’s finest, most sinewy Baroli, that derive their pedigree from the village’s white limestone soils, giving wines that benefit from time in bottle. Falletto is a top ‘Grand Cru’ vineyard, were such a classification to exist, lying in a natural conch-shaped site. The upper, whitest section is known as Le Rocche, released generally as a (red label) Riserva. This wine comes from the mid-slope belly of the vineyard lower down.
The 2011 vintage is regarded as giving fresh, fruity wines from a sunny and dry season – a cross between 2008 and 2009. In his first year at Giacosa, oenologist Francesco Versio recalls that the character and quality of 2011 was sealed by the cool September Serralunga nights at 15 degrees Celsius that followed hot days at 28 degrees. Still in its infancy, this vintage of Falletto, pale red garnet in colour, pings with white stony cranberry aromas; there’s a hint of coffee bean shells too. It’s precise, tight, cleansing, with again talc tannins and salty tight red berried fruit. This is the white label.
David Berry Green

Made famous, justly so, by the skill of Bruno Giacosa during the 1970s and 1980s, now new techniques in the vineyards have ensured that the Nebbiolo grapes are picked slightly earlier than previously and at optimum ripeness. Maceration times have been reduced from around 50 days to nearer 30, as a consequence of having physiologically ripe fruit from the vineyards. The fashionable, new, French 225-litre barriques are not for Giacosa: all his wine is aged in large 5,000-litre botti, though these are now French rather than Slavonian. Bruno’s wines are marvellously perfumed on the nose, and meaty and full-bodied on the palate.

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About this WINE

Bruno Giacosa

Bruno Giacosa

Bruno Giacosa's cellars are in Nieve and he has just over 17 hectares of vines in Barbaresco and Barolo. He also buys in grapes from growers that he has dealt with for over 30 years and trusts completely.

New techniques in the vineyards have ensured that the Nebbiolo grapes are now picked slightly earlier than before and at optimum ripeness. Maceration times have been reduced from around 50 days to nearer 30, as a consequence of having physiologically ripe fruit from the vineyards. Not for Giacosa the fashionable new French 225-litre barriques - all his wine is aged in large 5,000 litre botti, though these are now French rather than Slovenian.

His wines are marvellously perfumed on the nose and meaty and full-bodied on the palate. They have a suppleness and elegance that few wines in the region can match.

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Barolo

Barolo

Located due south of Alba and the River Tanaro, Barolo is Piedmont's most famous wine DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), renowned for producing Italy's  finest red wines from 100 percent Nebbiolo

Its red wines were originally sweet, but in 1840 the then extant Italian monarchy, the House of Savoy, ordered them to be altered to a dry style. This project was realised by French oenologist Louis Oudart, whose experience with Pinot Noir had convinced him of Nebbiolo's potential. The Barolo appellation was formalised in 1966 at around 1,700 hectares – only a tenth of the size of Burgundy, but almost three times as big as neighbouring Barbaresco.

Upgraded to DOCG status in 1980, Barolo comprises two distinct soil types: the first is a Tortonian sandy marl that produces a more feminine style of wine and can be found in the villages of Barolo, La Morra, Cherasco, Verduno, Novello, Roddi and parts of Castiglione Falletto. The second is the older Helvetian sandstone clay that bestows the wines with a more muscular style. This can be found in Monforte d'Alba, Serralunga d'Alba, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour and the other parts of Castiglione Falletto. Made today from the Nebbiolo clones Lampia, Michet and Rosé, Barolo has an exceptional terroir with almost every village perched on its own hill. The climate is continental, with an extended summer and autumn enabling the fickle Nebbiolo to achieve perfect ripeness.

Inspired by the success of modernists such as Elio Altare, there has been pressure in recent years to reduce the ageing requirements for Barolo; this has mostly been driven by new producers to the region, often with no Piedmontese viticultural heritage and armed with their roto-fermenters and barriques, intent on making a fruitier, more modern style of wine.

This modern style arguably appeals more to the important American market and its scribes, but the traditionalists continue to argue in favour of making Barolo in the classic way. They make the wine in a mix of epoxy-lined cement or stainless-steel cuves, followed by extended ageing in 25-hectoliter Slavonian botte (barrels) to gently soften and integrate the tannins. However, even amongst the traditionalists there has been a move, since the mid-1990s, towards using physiologically (rather than polyphenolically) riper fruit, aided by global warming. Both modernist and traditional schools can produce exceptional or disappointing wines.

Recommended traditionalist producers:
Giacomo Borgogno, Giacomo Conterno, Bruno Giacosa, Elio Grasso, Marcarini, Bartolo Mascarello and Giuseppe Mascarello.

Recommended nmdernist producers:
Azelia, Aldo Conterno, Luciano Sandrone, Paolo Scavino and Roberto Voerzio

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Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is the grape behind the Barolo and Barbaresco wines and is hardly ever seen outside the confines of Piedmont. It takes its name from "nebbia" which is Italian for fog, a frequent phenomenon in the region.

A notoriously pernickety grape, it requires sheltered south-facing sites and performs best on the well-drained calcareous marls to the north and south of Alba in the DOCG zones of Barbaresco and Barolo.

Langhe Nebbiolo is effectively the ‘second wine’ of Piedmont’s great Barolo & Barbarescos. This DOC is the only way Langhe producers can declassify their Barolo or Barbaresco fruit or wines to make an early-drinking style. Unlike Nebbiolo d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo can be cut with 15% other red indigenous varieties, such as Barbera or Dolcetto.

Nebbiolo flowers early and ripens late, so a long hang time, producing high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins; the challenge being to harvest the fruit with these three elements ripe and in balance. The best Barolos and Barbarescos are perfumed with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, liquorice and truffles. They age brilliantly and the very best need ten years to show at their best.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate94/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate94/100
The 2011 Barolo Falletto is a beautifully balanced and determined wine. It spends 30 months in oak and this warm vintage is already showing a quick bottle evolution. This was an early vintage: Fruit was harvested on September 23, which is ten days before average. It shows soft, luscious lines and ripe fruit favors that are both generous and opulent. Yet, there is a healthy crunchiness and crackle in the mouth that makes for a long aging future ahead. Barolo Falletto closes with pretty aromas of dark fruit, spice and shaved truffle.
Monica Larner - 29/06/2015 Read more