Giacosa- The Godfather Of The Nebbiolo Grape

One of the most aristocratic, delicate and particular varietals of the world thrives best within the wine region of Piedmont, Italy. Travel to the northwest countryside of Neive and discover a grape comparable to the legend himself, the “Godfather of Nebbiolo,” Mr.Bruno Giacosa. Nebbiolo makes the magnificently rich and smoky Barolo and the elegant, more feminine, yet sometimes just as powerful, Barbaresco. The Barolo’s and Barbaresco’s produced by Bruno are wines which showcase the complexity of Nebbiolo through traditional, old-world Italian values. The Nebbiolo grape and Bruno have both been described as, “having thick skins which hide their beautiful, and poetic souls”.


There are few great winemakers from the era of Bruno Giacosa that are still with us, but the 84 year-old, with the help of his daughter Bruna, remains dedicated to producing some of the most outstanding wines of the world. The Giacosa legacy continues with pure and meticulous winemaking practices. Grapes are delicately plucked and aged with selective modern techniques in French oak barrel, often resulting in unforgettable “vine to bottle” Riservas. Their traditional legacy also includes the choice not to bottle if a mediocre vintage is deemed unworthy of vinification. Giacosa’s single vineyard Nebbiolo wines are all shining examples of the importance of the Langhe terroir combined with a conservative winemaking philosophy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One particular Giacosa wine worthy of highlighting is the Nebbiolo D’Alba Valmaggiore DOC 2011. Harvested from vines thirty-five years of age, it spends up to two weeks in fermentation before resting in French oak for twelve months. This bright wine mimics it’s terroir with earthy tasting notes of cherry, rose, licorice and poignant acidity. Floral on the nose with a palate of pleasant tannins. If you could bottle the sound of birds chirping on a sunny Piedmont day, you’d taste it in this Nebbiolo. A true testament to the Giacosa’s firm belief in passion, resilience, excellence and love.

This past May we had the fortunate pleasure of meeting Bruna Giacosa at James Suckling’s Great Wines of Italy event in NYC. Like her 100 point Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva, Bruna herself was pure, delicate and perfect. Read more about this warm-hearted woman on our previous review and by viewing this lovely video from Wine Spectator. -R.H

Nebbiolo D’Alba Valmaggiore DOC 2011


Market Price: $40

Recommended glassware: Nebbiolo Riedel Glass Collection

Drinking window: now through 2017

Alcohol: 14.0% vol.

Recommended food pairing: Giada De Laurentiis Grilled Tuscan Steak with Fried Egg and Goat Cheese