2006 Piedmont

2006 seems to be getting good reviews, and I’m beginning to receive some offers for the wines. Given that I haven’t tasted any, though, I’m wondering how those who have think it compares with 2005, 2004, 2001, etc. And what wines are you seeking out this year?

Here is how the winemakers of the Piedmont feel about the wines:

2004 - The best vintage in, at least, the past 20 years maybe more. A very long lived wine that needs and will reward aging. Classic. Most rate this vintage far superior to the 2000 vintage that Suckling gave 100 points to.

2005 - A lighter vintage, much more approachable in its youth. Pleasant fruit, best consumed within 5-7 years of release (2015).

2006 - Similar to 2005

2008 - (Not to be released until 2011 at earliest) Probably the best vintage in the past 50 years if not Century. Incredible wines. Having done side by side barrel tastings of the 06,07, &08’s, at numerous wineries one never had to be told which was the 08! flirtysmile Save your dollars, save your cellar space, the 08s will sweep you away. These again will be huge wines that will need and reward bottle aging.


I didn’t hear vintage opinions like that from any producer I visited in Piedmont (Giacosa, G Conterno, G Rinaldi, F Rinaldi, Cavallotto, G Mascarello, P Scavino).

My surmising of what I heard from the producers and have heard from others:

04 and 06 - fantastic vintages on the riper side of the classic spectrum (more like or perhaps a touch riper than 01, less like 96/99)

05 - classic excellent vintage but sandwhiched between two better vintages (better than 98, perhaps as good as 99)

07 and 08 - variable weather, good wines but not the home runs of 04/06 and probably not as good as 05

All things considered I’m sure better producers will have made great wines in every vintage from 04-08, honestly.


Very interesting–thanks guys. I’d love to see another 96-style classic vintage one of these days. I have enjoyed the few (not totally shut down) 04s I’ve tried, and it’s good news to hear that 06 may be similarly promising (if possibly somewhat less so).

Was there ever a conclusive story on why Giacosa didn’t make his top wines in 06?

Not that I’m aware of, Ryan…

I received this satement on the matter in an email from the UK agent in June 2009…

Bruno Giacosa - 2006 vintage statement from UK agent, armit

2006 was a difficult year for Bruno Giacosa. He suffered a serious stroke which resulted in him being absent from both the vineyards and cellar for most of the year and into the beginning of 2007.
Although 2006 was overall a fine vintage in Piedmont, now that Bruno is in a position to judge the quality of the wines personally, he is not satisfied that the Barolo’s and Barbaresco’s produced at Giacosa meet his exacting standards.
He has taken the brave and we think highly honourable decision not to bottle these wines, which is clearly a considerable financial sacrifice.
Bruno’s decision underlines the remarkable recovery he has made. He is now back fully involved, alongside new winemaker Giorgio Lavagna, and after a clearly difficult period, the focus on quality remains as strong as ever at Giacosa.
As a result of the decision with the 2006s, we now plan to release the 2007 Barbaresco wines in February/ March 2010.
Should you require any further information about the estate or any other wines in the Giacosa portfolio, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Then i saw Ken Vastola had posted these links…

Franco Ziliani speculating on posible reasons…

http://vinowire.simplicissimus.it/2009/06/19/franco-ziliani-render-unto-caesar-a-clarification-on-bruno-giacosas-decision-not-to-bottle-his-2006-barolo-and-barbaresco/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and Bruno and Bruna’s response…

Giacosa responds to Ziliani | Do Bianchi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So i guess nothing conclusive is right!

I would qualify these a little.

Although 2004 is very good, I haven’t heard anyone say that it outclasses 1989, 1990, 1996 or 2001. As for Suckling’s take on 2000, that was regarded as a joke by everyone in Piedmont and everyone here who knew anything about Barolo and Barbaresco.

On 2005, there were rains at harvest, so the wines are somewhat variable, and some show some dilution.