TN: Piedmont 2013, Day 2 - Visit to Giacomo Borgogno

PIEDMONT 2013, DAY 2 - VISIT TO GIACOMO BORGOGNO - Barolo, Piedmont, Italy (18/6/2013)

Our first visit on day 2 was to the Borgogno in the heart of Barolo itself. One of the most historical houses in the region - they started making wine here in the 1760s, and have a wonderful library of old wines - they have recently undergone a major shift, with the Farinetti family (of Eataly fame) buying over the property in 2008, and the very young Andrea Farinetti taking over winemaking and operations in 2012. Andrea, who took us around said that the emphasis on traditional winemaking, with long maceration periods and aging in botti has not been changed since the takeover. The younger wines here, however, were all marked by a lovely, effortless elegance and even grace, with no lack of depth, but also a nice clarity in their fruit. I enjoyed this tasting very much.

  • 2010 Giacomo
  • [url=]2011 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barbera d’Alba - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d’Alba
    This was decent enough. Opened a day before, it had an interesting nose of sweet dark cherries and black berries, some plums, along with brambly herbs, earth, and a little floral note. The palate was very juicy, with tons of acidity showing in a citrussy streak that run through it big flavours cherry and blackcurrant flavours. It finished with a little underlayer of spice and mineral. There were barely any tannins to speak off, but this was kept up by the acidity, which gave it a very fresh, very lively feel. Pretty interesting, but this was a decent, early-drinking food wine rather than a great one. In fact, I thought this suffered on the tasting because it really did need some food to show best. #89 pts.#
  • 2008 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    I really liked this. It had a beautiful nose, with lots of lovely floral notes, with violets most prominent, then a little peppery spice, flecks of meat, and lovely pure aromas of dark cherries and berries scrubbed with some brambly brush and a touch of earth. The palate showed everything I like about the 2008 vintage - it was lithe and lovely, with a dance of pure, transparent dark cherry fruit soaring gracefully at the top of the palate over a bed of gently firm tannins and nice minerality. Bits of spice at the edges then grew towards into a long finish, with little hints of earth and smoke hinting at nascent complexity. A very elegant expression of Barolo, if not exactly the carrying the greatest depth. It was lovely though. This will be drinkable very young, but should also age beautifully in the medium-term. #92 pts.#
  • 2008 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Cannubi - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Opened 2 days before the tasting, this was showing very well indeed. I thought it had just a bit more in its tank than the quite lovely straight 2008 Barolo. This was certainly deeper on the nose, but it still had bright shades of wild blueberries with its darker plum aromas, then some balsam wood and eucalyptus hint, bits of white pepper, some meaty undertones, and a nice floral character that wrapped it all up. Quite a gorgeous bouquet. Lovely palate too. Super clean, super defined, with a laser-like beam of pure dark fruited notes flowing through the mouth. This was lithe, graceful and soaring rather than showing blockbuster power, but with a solid sense of refined structure below all that in the form of fresh acidity and firm tannins. There was certainly muscle on the wine, but the long, lean muscles of a ballet dancer, rather than the bulky power of a bodybuiler. A good finish rounded it off with juicy red cherries and blueberries moving into a long, spicy tail. Very good indeed. This too will be accessible young, although it has the chops to age better than the straight Barolo, and should only really hit its peak past its first decade. 92+ #92 pts.#
  • 2006 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Excellent - tasted from a bottle that had been opened a day before, this seemed miles ahead in terms of quality from the 1998 Riserva that we tasted shortly after, or indeed any of the other wines on show. Poured into our glasses, a little swirl, and wow, what a nose! The bouquet here was the best of the lot, almost melting with roses, fleshy cherries aromas, earthy forest floor and inflections of spice and mineral. An intense, amazing nose. Wonderful stuff on the palate too. This was fresh and juicy, with the intense fruit of the vintage showing in flavours of red cherries and mature berries twisted together with light touches of bramble, all built on a layer of superbly fine-boned tannins and supple acidity, which led into a fine, long, lightly spiced finish that brought a smile to my face. A wonderfully refined, almost velveteen Barolo. Fuller, more complete than either the straight 2008 Barolo or the Cannubi, this was so approachable now, but will age beautifully. Great stuff. No harm drinking well with some air, but I really would keep it in the cellar for 10-12 years - it should be brilliant at peak. 93+ #93 pts.#
  • 1998 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Unsurprisingly, this seemed the most traditionally styled of the wine. It was a pretty good wine - very developed for a 1998 and seemed about to enter its drinking window. However, even then, this was perhaps the weakest Barolo amongst a pretty strong line-up. The nose was clearly advanced and very complex, with earthy, meaty, forest floor aromas, along with matured notes of plums and prunes, dried figs maybe, bits of hern and spice, some balsamic notes, and a little whiff of flowers. Quite nice. The palate was rather thick in the mouth compared to the insouciant clarity and elegance of the younger vintages. It showed sappy flavours of mature cherry fruitl quite advanced here as well, but still very fresh, very lively, supported by nice acidity and tannins that were starting to soften into a velvety robe. There was still a bit of grip at the finish though, where there was a nice, spicy length with slight shades of coffee and a little smokiness. Good wine, but not great. Try holding for a couple more years and it should be fully developed. #91 pts.)

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