Giacosa Bruno

Italy Piedmont Borgonovo

Few producers in the world can rival Bruno Giacosa. Not only for the stature of his work, but for the number of outstanding wines he has made and continues to make.

Established in 1871, Bruno Giacosa is the third generation of his family to produce wine in this Neive estate and has worked in these family cellars since he was a very young man during World War II. Today, he is ably assisted by his daughter Bruna who markets the wines throughout the world.

The Giacosa family philosophy is a simple one, based on the respect of local tradition in the vineyard and the cellar, and a driving passion that has been handed down from generation to generation.

Giacosa’s vines are all located in prime sites and total just over 20ha. They include 5.5ha of Barbaresco Asili and 14.5ha of Barolo Falletto di Serralunga d’Alba – two vineyards with optimum exposure and perfect soil for producing great Barbaresco and Barolo. All the fruit for the Giacosa wines come from vines at about 400 metres above sea level, south/southwest facing in an amphitheatre-like location which produces a very protective, low-cropping microclimate.

The over-riding ambition of both father and daughter is to achieve the highest quality possible. To this end, they only ever put the Giacosa name to wines in which they have complete confidence. Bruno's strictness in this regard comes at a heavy financial cost - in 1991, 1992 and 1994 he declassified all his single-vineyard Barolos and Barbarescos, and repeated this in 2002.

Bruno combines a strict adherence to traditional methods with a few concessions to modern technology. Skin contact during alcoholic fermentation of the red wines, in stainless steel tanks, can last for anything up to 30 days. The wines are then aged in huge 50-100 hectolitre botti for between 1 and 4 years, depending on the wine.

Made only a few times a decade, his red labels (Riserva) are not only fantastically complex, rich, powerful wines capable of decades of development; they are also endowed with that rare and magical sense of extra dimension found only in the greatest wines. So high are Bruno Giacosa's standards that, over the decades, he has deemed relatively few wines worthy of wearing the red label. As a consequence, his more typical white label releases often offer such soaring quality that we find ourselves asking why they aren't red labels. In such cases, the difference in quality may be known only to Giacosa himself.

Personally, I think you need to use the superlatives for Bruno. He is a living legend and the best producer in Langa.

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