bruno giacosa, barolo, falletto vigna le rocche riserva 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.