Barbaresco Asili Riserva 2016 Bruno Giacosa FUTURE ARRIVAL
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The 2004 Barbaresco Riserva Asili is even more compelling than the Rabaja. It floats on the palate with an ethereal core of sweet fruit that calls to mind a profound Musigny, but with the unmistakable structure of Nebbiolo. The perfumed purity of the fruit carries all the way through to the deeply satisfying, resonating finish. Made in a soft, seductive style, this remarkable wine is decidedly more approachable and easy to appreciate today than the Rabaja. Giacosa fans will have a great time discussing the merits of the Rabaja and the Asili in 2004, but to me they are virtually equally moving; Asili for its feminine gracefulness and Rabaja for its size and power. The Asili should prove more accessible at an earlier age. Bruno Giacosa says his 2004 Asili Riserva will turn out to be just like his 2000 Asili Riserva, the wine he still thinks is the best he’s ever made. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025. ||At a time in life when many of his colleagues have begun to slow down, Bruno Giacosa continues to make stunning wines of the highest level. Of course Giacosa has the good fortune of having the services of long-time oenologist Dante Scaglione, who is one of the most prodigiously talented winemakers in Italy. Although age has slowed Giacosa down somewhat, he was in fine form during the several hours we spent tasting his 2004, 2005 and 2006 Barolos and Barbarescos from barrel earlier this year. Simply put, 2004 will go down as one of the all-time great Giacosa vintages for both Barolo and Barbaresco. The Red Label Riservas are the Barbaresco Asili and the Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto, but his other wines aren’t too far behind in terms of quality. From cask, the Barolos revealed slightly more promise, but that may be splitting hairs at this level. In 2004 Giacosa also fulfilled a long-standing dream by making his first Barolo from La Morra, the Barolo Croera, which will be released next year. The Croera is made from a newly-acquired vineyard in the Serradenari district of La Morra, an area best known for its Dolcettos. So far Giacosa’s 2005s appear to be well-balanced, yet smaller-scaled wines that will likely drink well relatively early, while the 2006s are decidedly bigger and more powerful. I also noted a marked improvement in the quality of the Barbaresco Santo Stefano, which is the only single-vineyard wine the estate still makes from purchased fruit. Our tasting ended with the 1967 Barbaresco Riserva Asili. It was, in a word…sublime. The world will have to wait for the 2004 Barolos and Barbarescos to be released, in the meantime readers will find no shortage of compelling offerings among this set of new releases from Bruno Giacosa. The 2006 Dolcettos are excellent to outstanding, while the 2005 Barberas reflect the more modest qualities of that vintage. Giacosa is among the producers whose views on the 2003 vintage for Barolo and Barbaresco have changed dramatically in recent years. While many producers draw comparisons with 1947, Giacosa is one of the very few who can speak from personal experience. At first pessimistic, he initially thought he might not bottle any of his top wines but as time has passed his stance has changed, and today he is much more enthusiastic about the vintage.