TN: Barolo including a Giacosa Rionda Riserva Vertical


Tom organized this event around a trip he made to NYC. Tom generously brought the 78 and 89 Riondas. Dan and I filled in with the 82 and 90, resp. Tom also set up the meal with Maialino, which is highly recommended, esp. with mature Barolo! There was also an Aldo Conterno Cicala which was totally corked.

Photos of food, bottles, and people as well as more information here:

Flight 0: Champagne
With Grande Selezione di Salumi: Prosciutto di Parma (Emilia-Romagna), Mortadella (Maialino, NY), Felino (San Francisco, CA), Finocchiona (San Francisco, CA), Soppressata Piccante (Long Island City, NY).

Flight 1: Giacosa Rionda Riserva Vertical
Four of the five ever made (no one had the 1967 to bring). With a variety of wonderful appetizers and pasta dishes.

  • 1978 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Speciale Collina Rionda - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    [Opened at 1pm. Decanted at 5pm. Served at 7pm.] An ethereal nose of smoky red fruit. Thick and tannic in the mouth. Long, drying finish. Still overly tannic. Some caramel notes in the finish. Mature, maybe at its peak now. (96 pts.)
  • 1982 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Collina Rionda - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    [Opened at 1pm. Served at 7pm. No decanting.] Sweeter in the nose than the 78 with more red fruit. Has a richness and sweetness that is incredibly appealing. A great showing for this wine, perhaps the most pleasurable of the evening to drink tonight. The sweetness and harmony is compelling. Reminds me of 82 Bordeaux as a vintage. (98 pts.)
  • 1989 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Collina Rionda - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    [Opened at 1pm. Decanted at 5pm. Served at 7pm.] Stunning nose of black fruit and iron. Has amazing richness and length. Still perhaps 10 years from its peak.
    9pm: Explosive in the mouth with unbelievable depth. Long sweet finish. Once again the best wine I’ve ever had. 101 points!!! (100 pts.)
  • 1990 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Collina Rionda - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    [Double decanted at 1pm. Served at 7pm.] Cherries and wood mulch on the nose. More mature than the 82 or 89. An exquisite wine full of sour cherries and autumnal flavors. A terrific wine that just has some trouble shinning along side the 78, 82, and 89. (96 pts.)

Flight 2: Other Barolo
With a variety of terrific main courses.

  • 1990 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Gorgeous tar, roses, and red fruit nose. Still very tannic with sweet red fruit. A beautiful wine which is more about elegance. Might have shown better before the flight of Giacosa Rionda Riservas. (95 pts.)
  • 1990 Cappellano Barolo Otin Fiorin (Gabutti) - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    [Decanted at 6pm. Drunk about 8pm.] Dark black fruit nose. Monumental in the mouth. Incredibly rich and tannic. A big dark wine of incredible proportions. Serralunga fruit is much more reminiscent of the Riondas than the Bartolo. Continues to get better with more air. No points given by request of the winemaker. See Cappellano Barolo & Barbaresco @ Fine Wine Geek
  • 1985 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo Monprivato - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    [Decanted at 6pm. Drunk around 8pm.] Glorious tonight! Perhaps the best showing of this wine in my experience. Exquisite, long and sweet. Terrific finish. (97 pts.)
  • 1978 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Rocche di Castiglione Falletto - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    [Decant and pour at around 8:30.] Big, dark black fruit and marzipan nose. Wow! Elegant, floral, harmonious. One of the great white-label Giacosas. (98 pts.)
  • 1988 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Riserva Brunate - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    [Decant and pour.] Classic woodsy red fruit nose with a hint of mint. Very tannic. Sour, dried out, heading toward oxidized. Not Rated.

The four Rionda Riservas once again shined. The Cappellano and the Rocche more than held their own, and the Monprivato was great.
Posted from CellarTracker

Wonderful night and thanks for posting those all important and informative decanting notes!

Wow! What a night. Very well done. Thanks for the notes.

Sounds like it didn’t suck. Who is this Giacosa fella? He must make good wine.

You would like him. He’s a grumpy old man like us!

Wow! Nice night of drinking and eating.

The Rionda was only made in the best vintages? Has there just not been a year up to Bruno’s standards since 1990?

The Rionda Riserva was only made in 5 vintages. A white label (non-riserva) Rionda was made by Giacosa in several vintages:

The last Giacosa Rionda was in 1993. The grapes from that plot are no longer sold to Giacosa. [cry.gif]

Rionda was made from 1967 and the last one in 1993.Sad.
Not necessarily made in the “best” of vintages.

Who gets the fruit now?

Thanks ken!!! I wish I were there. Great to be a voyuer on those wines though [worship.gif]

There is a lengthy footnote on this topic at the bottom of that page.

Worst. Rionda. Ever! neener

Very nice, Ken - I’m surprised to see the '82 Rionda outpoint the '78, but either way, sounds like a great evening.

Thanks Ken. I picked up a couple of the 85’s.

Well, I guess that shows what you think of my opinion. [snort.gif]

Ha no I already had them. But I’ll let you know soon I’ll be popping one with a plate of white truffle pasta.

Looks like an awesome night, Ken. Thanks for the notes.

Amazing tasting. Giacosa is one wine I wish had more of it in the cellar. Its a Burgundy lovers Piedmont.

It’s really so much more than that. To borrow from Giorgio Rivetti, it’s Burgundy with balls!