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Average critic rating : 95.0 points
The 2005 Barbaresco Santo Stefano is striking in its beauty. This firm, structured wine bursts from the glass with layers of dark red fruit, spices, flowers and menthol. Medium in body, the wine possesses notable inner beauty in a transparent, almost weightless style. There is superb pedigree here, not to mention tons of class. Once again the Santo Stefano bottling delivers the goods. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2025. My May visit with Bruno Giacosa was significant in many ways. It was the first time in many years that the recently departed, long-time oenologist wasn’t on hand to lead the tasting. At the same time, Giacosa appeared to be in higher spirits than I have witnessed in previous recent visits. Oftentimes change can be invigorating, and I certainly hope that will be the case here. New oenologist Giorgio Lavagna has his work cut out for him, but I can only wish him the very best. As for the wines, we spent several hours surveying all the 2005s, 2006s and 2007s from cask, after which we re-visited several of the 2004s from bottle. The 2004s confirmed their stature as masterpieces, yet Giacosa fans will delight at the prospect of a number of potentially outstanding wines in the pipeline. The 2005 Barbarescos have always shown tons of harmony and elegance from cask, so I was happy to find the wines just as outstanding from bottle. Although there are no Red Label Riservas from Giacosa in 2005, the wines display remarkable quality across the board. The rest of the line-up is solid as well. Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate # 179.
Bruno Giacosa is a revered Italian wine producer based in Nieve, in the Langhe region of Piemonte. Under the label Azienda Agricola Falletto (di Bruno Giacosa), he produces top quality Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as Dolcetto and Barbera from his 23 hectares of vines in prime vineyard sites. Giacosa also purchases grapes from growers with who he has long standing relationships, these wines are bottled under the label Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa. Regardless of which label is being used, his ambition it to make the highest quality wine possible, to the point where he will not attach his name to any wine considered inferior. Giacosa has also been known to declassify his single vineyard Barolos and Barbarescos, and did so in ’91,’92, ‘94, ’02 and ‘06. Conversely, in great vintages some of the best wines are bottled as Riserva under a distinct red label. Bruno Giacosa began learning his craft in 1944, at the age of 15. By the 60’s he had obtained a strong reputation as a perfectionist and was starting to bottle single vineyard Barolo and Barbaresco. In the early 80’s he acquired the renowned Falletto vineyard, home of his top Barolo. Today, Giacosa works alongside daughter, Bruna, and together they make world-class wines that are known for their remarkable elegance and longevity.
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