TN: 1990 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Gallina di Neive

After an hour in the decanter the rose petal florals had intensified, and it had a hint of earth and licorice too. The palate was rich and heady, with a dense core of ripe cherries. It was silky of texture, with outstanding depth and presence. It is an ethereal wine, totally engaging the whole bottle through and drinking right in the zone.

Thanks for your succinct and informative note Jeremy. Was that a red or white label?

‘Drinking right in the zone’

In your opinion is this zone a long one and has the wine recently entered it? Some of my most memorable experiences with Barolo and Barbaresco have been 40-50 year old wines. I have a couple of 1990s from this producer, do you think there will be any benefits from further ageing?

Hi Ian,

It was the white label.

Right in the zone now and likely to be so for another couple of decades I suspect. I too love Barolo and Barbaresco at 40-50 years of age. 29’s not a bad age either.


Sounds good. I still have 3 left. I should try one soon.

Jeremy, I have had this wine numerous times. Mixed results possibly partially due to provenance. Not the star in the Giacosa Barbaresco stable. Ken will correct me if wrong but I believe this was always from purchased fruit. Of all the Giacosa Gallina I would expect 1990 to be the better of other vintages.

Yes, always from purchased fruit. Asili and Rabajà are the only estate-bottled single-vineyard Barbarescos ever from Giacosa. Unfortunately, I was not able to find out whose vineyard provided the Gallina grapes.

In any vintage, I have found Gallina to be the most delicate of his wines. Always good (in sound bottles) but never my favorite.

I remember that mag of the 1990 Barbaresco Riserva that you brought to our 1990 dinner at Antonio’s. It was magnificent. Antonio says “According to Bruno Giacosa the 1990 Barbaresco Riserva is a blend of the Santo Stefano and Gallina vineyards, both in Neive.”

I only have a couple bottles of Giscosa ‘90, the Villero, and I like 35+, so will continue to hold.

I’m sure, however, a Giacosa or 1990 Piedmont dinner would flip me.