It seems Giacosa’s wines are often difficult to taste young, which leads us to wonder later whether we haven’t underestimated them. Relatively unexpressive on the nose, this wine reveals only hints of leather, cherries and citrus peel. But in the mouth, the quality is evidenced by a gradual building of intensity to a crescendo on the finish, where dried cherries…
Giacosa is renowned for his wonderful Barbaresco and Barolo wines, but in his spare time he makes what I consider Italy’s best sparkling wine, made entirely from Pinot Noir grapes. The 1994 Extra Brut is dry, full-bodied, rich and toasty, with a creamy texture. Production is small, but it is available in the United States
After this wine’s identity was revealed, we naturally wondered if we hadn’t underrated it. It ranks among the best of the Barbarescos, but not at the very top as we had expected. Leather, Asian spices and citrus peel, anise and dried cherries provide remarkable complexity and mouthfilling flavors without ever seeming overdone. Tannins cut short the finish, but…
Palate-pleasing toasty, vanilla-cracker and tropical-fruit flavors. Fine bubbles lend a richness to the mouthfeel; the lush, nutty finish extends deliciously on and on. This could almost pass for a French tête de cuvée, except for the distinctly almond note (very tasty at that) running through the finish.
Starts off with leather and dried fruit aromas, but they are unusually delicate and floral as well. The feel of the wine is lacy, yet firm, a spider’s web that lures you in to explore the depths of its complexity. Overall, it’s a little light, but wonderfully complex and fragrant.
Known for his prize-winning Barbaresco and Barolo, Giacosa pulls off a surprise hit with his Pinot Noir-based sparkler. The aromas are more floral and a citrus backbone yields an overall sensation of freshness. A little-known wine definitely worth discovering.
Big-boned but not showing much flesh, this wine didn’t appear to be at its best when we tasted it, yet it was still impressive. Scents of rubber, tar and prunes, flavors of red berries and cherry tomatoes. Long finish that builds in intensity is a positive sign for aging. Anticipated maturity: 2012–2020.
In 2004, Giacosa fashioned a stylish Arneis with a pretty nose of honeysuckle, spice and dried apricot. The palate does not quite live up to the nose, showing a slight hollowness, but the wine blossoms at the end, and it finishes with real aplomb in a rush of sweet fruit.