TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

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Todd Tucker
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TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#1 Post by Todd Tucker » November 5th, 2019, 4:18 pm

Four good friends got together in NYC to finish an extended 50th birthday celebration. On our first evening, we ate at a new place for me, Leonti on the UWS. The company was great. All the wines were double decanted for sediment earlier in the day and enjoyed over several hours at dinner.

To keep our palates fresh and focus on some pretty special wines, we skipped any whites and bubbles and went straight to the nebbiolo.


The first flight:

[*]1989 Lorenzo Accomasso Barolo Vigneto Rocchette - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (10/25/2019)
89 Horizontal at Leonti

Double decanted for sediment several hours ahead of time, Drunk over around 3 hours.

A forward, balsamic driven nose with cherry fruit and roses, but mostly medicine cabinet. Overtly perfumed and floral with a little VA at first that blew off with time. Sappy and dense on the palte yet with inner mouth perfume, more florals, rich fruit, cherry Luden’s, and tar. This is broader, has less precision, and is a little wild compared to the other wines of the night, but it has good acidity and balance to keep it all together and carry it's large frame extremely well. Expansive, dense and stcutured, yet very energetic. This expanded with air and gained focus, and some savory notes. By the end of the night, this had improved the most of all the wines. Still the most forward, and direct wine of the night. Very long and hugely perfumed on the back end. A little wild but for me it adds interest and it pulls it off beautifully. Drinking at peak with decades to go. Sadly my only bottle. It would be great to revisit this in a decade. Delicious. (96 pts.)

[*]1989 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo Monprivato - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (10/25/2019)
1989 Retrospective at Leonti

Double decanted for sediment several hours ahead and drunkover 3 hours.

This was still pretty inwardly focused at first, and a pretty stark contrast to the rich and forward Accomasso. Subtle, more elegant and precise. Eventually it gains more perfume, tar, roses, and an almost sweetness ot the fruit like Giacosa wines can get. Much more subtle, successfully coupling grace with depth. I had a little later on in the evening at it had added some bouillon and porcini savory notes to add to the whole. What impressed was the balance. It lacked the fantastic nose and palate presence of the best bottle I have and of this, but had wonderful balance in a more understated mode. I have had one tremendous bottle of this wines and one that was significantly less amazing. This one sat in the middle, and while outstanding and drinking well with air time, I was for sure affected by the possibility it did not achieve. This was “merely” outstanding and then some, and others who tried it later than I did said it opened more. Still wonderful, and just not what it could be. (95 pts.)



The second flight:
  • 1989 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (10/25/2019)
    1989 Retrospective at Leonti

    Hugley perfumed: a lung filling nose with roses, cherry fruit, and balsamic notes more than tar. Smelling this would have been enough, and on the palate the beauty continued with tremendous sap and breadth. It's expansive, with near perfect balance, richness, and depth that seems bottomless. All without any fat to it. Perfectly balanced acidity acts as a perfect counter to the power and extract. A tremendous expression of effortless power without weight. Near perfect with a life span of decades to go. Amazing. (99 pts.)
  • 1989 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Falletto di Serralunga d'Alba - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (10/25/2019)
    1989 Retrospective at Leonti

    Darker on the nose than the SSR. It's meaty, ferrous, and more savory with darker profiled Nebbiolo fruit. On the palate, it's dense yet extremely well balanced with a sappiness and breadth in a more directly powerful mode than the SSR. A serious, regal wine that demands your attention whereas the SSR draws you to it. Fantastic, but lacking some of the mystery and grace of the SSR. Wonderful. (98 pts.)
  • 1989 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Collina Rionda - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (10/25/2019)
    1989 Retrospective at Leonti

    Double decanted several hours ahead

    Sadly corked. A shame as the underlying wine was impressive. NR (flawed)
Posted from CellarTracker


We saved a fair amount of each bottle for trying later in the night to see how they developed. The Accomasso and Monprivato improved quite a bit. the Giacosa were just about fantastic and stayed there. All of these wines were fresh and drinking on the early side of peak drinking (for me at least) and likely have decades to go. That said, they are pretty fantastic right now and I cannot see any downside to drinking them now.

Overall it was a great night catching up with friends. The wines for the most part were pretty terrific. The Monprivato was not the best bottle I have had, but I heard it got better later in the evening. Still not at the level that bottle can achieve. I am sure all of us would prefer that a different wine to have been corked, but such is life. A great first night.

Thanks for reading.

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Steve Nordhoff
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Re: TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#2 Post by Steve Nordhoff » November 6th, 2019, 7:18 am

Sweet! Bummer about the CR though.
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Re: TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#3 Post by Joshua Kates » November 6th, 2019, 3:55 pm

Yes, thanks for these, Todd,
Great notes; they really give a good view of the differences among these extraordinary wines. I have the '98 of the Giacosa Riserva SS; I hope it shows as well as yours 10 years from now:)

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Re: TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#4 Post by Yao C » November 6th, 2019, 10:01 pm

What a spectacular lineup! Thanks for sharing
Joshua Kates wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 3:55 pm
I have the '98 of the Giacosa Riserva SS; I hope it shows as well as yours 10 years from now:)
Same; my oldest Giacosa. These notes make me want to hold for a good bit longer than 10 though
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Andrew Hamilton
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Re: TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#5 Post by Andrew Hamilton » November 6th, 2019, 11:22 pm

Thanks for the notes Todd. I'm with you on the Monprivato re the sweetness of the fruit and it being comparable to Giacosa in that respect.
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Re: TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#6 Post by Joshua Kates » November 7th, 2019, 10:03 am

Yao C wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 10:01 pm
What a spectacular lineup! Thanks for sharing
Joshua Kates wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 3:55 pm
I have the '98 of the Giacosa Riserva SS; I hope it shows as well as yours 10 years from now:)
Same; my oldest Giacosa. These notes make me want to hold for a good bit longer than 10 though
I'm sure you could hold them, Yao,
But I suspect the '98 could be more ready than '89. Ken V. got me on to '98 Giacosa, and the non-reserve bottlings have been delicious and ready to drink across the board, at least the ones I've had.

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Re: TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#7 Post by Claus Jeppesen » November 7th, 2019, 10:17 am

1989 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Collina Rionda
Sadly corked. A shame as the underlying wine was impressive. NR (flawed)
Ouchh
One of the best Giacosas
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Todd Tucker
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Re: TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#8 Post by Todd Tucker » November 7th, 2019, 8:23 pm

Thanks for reading everyone.

For sure a bummer on the Rionda, but the other wines mitigated the pain well.

Andrew. I love the Giacosa sweetness and so few wines have replicated it.

Josh, the '98 SSR will be outstanding, but the '89 is something pretty special. For me, '89 is a once in generation vintage. Time will tell and I hope the '98 gets close, and I'm hopeful with you as I have no '89 and a few '98 SSR's.

Thanks again for your comments

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Re: TN: 1989 Piedmont Retrospective: Giacosa, Monprivato, Accomasso

#9 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » November 8th, 2019, 3:45 pm

Great notes, thanks! True bummer about the corker.

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