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Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva 2011

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • JS100
  • WS97
  • RP97
  • D97
0% ABV
  • JS98
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • JS97
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • JS100
  • RP98
  • WS97
  • WS97
  • RP97
  • RP96
  • WS96
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Winemaker Notes

Garnet red color. Ample, complex and elegant bouquet with reminiscences of rose, ripe fruit, truffle and spices. Its flavour is dry, full, generous, harmonious and velvety. Wine of aristocratic personality that in the best vintages can boast the denomination “Riserva” on the label.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 100
James Suckling
This reminds me of the perfect 2000. Aromas of blackberries, violets, smoke and sliced plums. Subtle, classic beauty for the nose. Full-bodied yet tight and refined. It starts off very slowly, but the finish comes after one minute of tasting. Spellbinding wine. So savory and salty. Extraordinary. 7,000 bottles.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
This alluring red starts out with soft rose, cherry, raspberry and menthol flavors, all harmonious, before picking up tar, tobacco and mineral elements, playing out on the long finish. This has mellowed somewhat, but the fruit never gives up, even as mouthcoating tannins emerge. Best from 2023 through 2040.
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Here we have the venerated red label. The Bruno Giacosa 2011 Barolo Riserva Falletto Vigne Le Rocche commands attention and respect. The wine successfully, and somewhat magically, turns the tables on the overdone exuberance of the warm vintage and the natural heft that is inherent to Serralunga d'Alba. It does a great job of reining in all that power and transforming it into streamlined elegance instead. The wine opens to a dark and penetrating color and an immediately expressive bouquet. Thick layers of dark fruit, iron-rich earth, balsam herb, Darjeeling tea, dried ginger and cherry cola rise from the bouquet. The wine's Falletto signature is very strong. This is a Grande Vino with the proverbial capital G and capital V.
D 97
Decanter
Possibly Bruno Giacosa’s famously taciturn nature has contributed to the iconic status he enjoys, as a kind of paradoxical self-promotion in reverse. However that may be, behind those dark-rimmed spectacles lies one of Italy’s greatest wine producers of all time. He did his apprenticeship selecting grapes for the family business and used bought-in grapes for the first wines he made at his own company. In 1982 he acquired the 3ha Falletto vineyard at Serralunga, which is the source of his Barolo. Southwest-facing in a natural amphitheatre, with sandstone and silty marl soils, it is by common consensus one of the finest crus of the Langhe. Giacosa once said that he preferred his wines to speak for him and this perhaps explains his legendary perfectionism. He will never bottle a wine until he considers it ready and will never bring out a vintage unless it completely convinces him, which makes the release of the Vigna Le Rocche Riserva a truly iconic event. There's an immediate rush of aroma on the nose; prune, nutmeg, pressed flowers, a touch of camphor, a hint of bay leaf and then the most classic tar and roses. Round, deep, broad and richly textured on the palate; still very compact but already majestic.
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Bruno Giacosa

Bruno Giacosa

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Bruno Giacosa, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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One of the legendary winemakers of the world, Bruno Giacosa crafted the most prestigious single-vineyard Barolo and Barbaresco wines during a career that spanned nearly eight decades. He joined the family business at the age of 15, representing the third generation of his Langhe winemaking family. Giacosa’s unfailing pursuit of perfection, his unrivalled palate and his intimate knowledge of vineyards in the Langhe quickly drew recognition and helped establish Piedmont as a leading wine region. In 1982, Giacosa began to acquire prime parcels in Serralunga d’Alba, La Morra and Barbaresco to produce wines that are rightly regarded as the finest expressions of Nebbiolo. 

His legacy rests with daughter Bruna, who continues to uphold her father’s winemaking philosophy to respect traditional techniques while using the best of modern technology. The goal is for each distinguished site to produce articulate, unique wines. 

The “Azienda Agricola Falletto – di Bruno Giacosa” label represents wines made from estate vineyards. The “Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa” label appears on wines made from purchased grapes that are made with the same care in the Nieve winery.

The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hilltops, is one full of history and romance of the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape and needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

YNG231024_2011 Item# 207954