DEBUT: Arrivederci to the Limited Production Barbaresco RISERVA from the Artisanal Giacosa -- Under $65. It’s Another Tale of David and Goliath from the Benchmark 2016 Vintage. Just 200 Cases Produced.

“The 2016 Barbarescos are some of the most compelling young wines I have tasted in 20 years of visiting the region...” Antonio Galloni, Vinous

It's October 1st, the leaves are changing, there is a nip in the air, and the white diamonds of the earth, Tartufo Bianco d'Alba are beginning to arrive. It’s Nebbiolo O’ Clock, and here is a new arrival that has the IWM Team screaming. Artisanal, small production Barbaresco Riserva from Giacosa for under $65 that is simply striking! It begs the question, how is this pricing possible? It makes the eye balls pop and the palate salivate. But there is more to this David vs. Goliath tale that meets the eye, and you need to read on.

We have once again returned to the classic 2016 vintage in the Langhe Hills and the NEWLY released RISERVA. This time we are talking about the “Queen of Wines,” Barbaresco. And while the region is synonymous with the single-vineyard, triple-digit “Goliath” bottlings from Bruno Giacosa and Angelo Gaja, whose wines achieved critical perfection in the standout vintage, they can be cost prohibitive for the mere mortal. In true IWM fashion, we appreciate the overachieving underdog and are always looking for that quintessential below-the-radar artisan producer of Nebbiolo. Alongside the likes of Cigliuti and Poderi Colla, few producers epitomize this idea more than the family-run winery of Carlo Giacosa, which crafts one of the great values in the entire region as you have seen with our past offerings from this estate.

If you appreciate Barbaresco and Barolo, then the symbolic and patriarchic name of Bruno Giacosa is not new to you. However, the producer we are talking about today is the smaller, more artisanal Carlo Giacosa. Aside from iconic last name, they do share three important things in common, and that is (1) prized grand cru like vineyard holdings in Barbaresco (Montefico, Asili, Ovello and Cole), (2) Dante Scaglione – the esteemed consulting enologist that assisted Bruno Giacosa in making some of his most legendary Barolo and Barbaresco, and (3) a traditional expression of the noble Nebbiolo. And what may surprise you even further is that this is not a new estate, there is a long history here. Carlo’s father, Donato, was among the few growers that founded the Produttori del Barbaresco in 1958 under the guidance of the priest of Barbaresco. Carlo himself grew up alongside Angelo Gaja as Donato did a lot of vineyard work for the GAJA family - he was an expert vine-grafter and his services were highly sought-after. Then, in the mid-sixties, Donato and the family went out on their own and have remained under the radar. However, with Dante Scaglione on board over the past few years, this is already beginning to change.

Carlo Giacosa is small, farming just five hectares, yielding a mere 3,000 cases a year of traditionally driven Barbaresco. They practice organic with long macerations and aging in large casks. More importantly, they count some of Barbaresco’s most famous crus as their own. There is the structured Barbaresco Montefico, which is sourced from the eponymous cru, as well as the new label from the celebrated Asili vineyard. However, it is the Barbareco RISERVA Luca that is an all-star cuvee from the celebrated vineyards of Asili, Cole, and Ovello that has really caught our eye with its approachability on the palate, and in the pocket.

What you should know is that this is the last incarnation of the Barbaresco RISERVA 'Luca' – you will not see this label, wine of traditional cuvee again! The vineyards that make up this prized blend are being bottled separately going forward. We are now pleased to present this classic expression from the vaunted vintage of 2016 at some of the BEST pricing in the country for the next 48 hours – just $64.99.


*indicates pre-arrival

At the end of last year, Antonio Galloni, the former Robert Parker Piemonte wine specialist, shared his opinions on the highly anticipated 2016 vintage. “Last year, I wrote, ‘The 2016s, wines from a potentially historic vintage, may very well put Barbaresco on the map big time. As I traveled from producer to producer, I experienced that sense of excitement and energy I always feel when in the presence of important vintages and wines.’ I feel exactly the same way today...” We agree. Buy up all things 2016 Piemonte! We have not been this excited about Nebbiolo as a whole since the 2004 and 2010 vintages! Unfortunately, like many of the producers in the tiny region of Barbaresco, Carlo Giacosa produces miniscule quantities of their cru and cuvee selections from the prized vineyards. To put this in perspective, just 200 cases of the Barbaresco Riserva Luca are produced, with a handful arriving in the US. Like many parts of the world in 2016 – Napa to Bolgheri, Burgundy to Piemonte - Mother Nature provided a rare universal vintage and we recommend snatching up all the Barbaresco and Barolo you can grab!


“The young 2016 Barbarescos are some of the most compelling young wines I have tasted in twenty years of visiting the region…The 2016s are extraordinarily harmonious. The extended growing season yielded wines with healthy Nebbiolo fruit, soaring aromatics and perfectly ripe, super-polished tannins… Stylistically, the 2016s remind me of the 2004s, but with more fruit and the added finesse that comes with another dozen years of experience in farming and winemaking. The best 2016s I tasted are positively dazzling. Most of the 2016s have only recently been bottled, and yet their quality is evident.” – Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Twenty years in the business and I can say I forgot about the wines of Carlo Giacosa. I knew of them in the early days, but was quick to disregard thinking how can anyone live up to the name Giacosa? Well, Carlo Giacosa does it with value and tradition with prized selections – the Narin and Montefico bottlings are not to be missed. The wines captured the classic 2016 vintage brilliantly. But it does not end there, we just tasted and secured the standout 2016 Barabresco RISERVA ‘Luca.’ There is a little more depth here with the additional aging, and what we loved about this classic expression, from one of the vintages of our lifetime, is the deceiving approachability on the palate and in the pocket. I mean this is an all-star cuvee consisting of prized crus of Asili, Cole, and Ovello. It is worth noting that this is the final incarnation of this traditionally produced RISERVA as the crus will be bottle separately moving forward. It delivers what a more traditional Riserva cuvee should, more depth and structure, but also more balance than the sibling cru expressions. It begins with an intoxicating nose that simply stuns and pulls you in by the nose hairs with its explosive red fruit. On the palate this is a generous and chewy Barbaresco, you can expect to find nuances of ripe cherries, wild berries, dried flowers, licorice, cinnamon, an abundance of herbs, and baked earth. The signature gripping tannins are here on the finish and we recommend serving this with some Agnolotti del Plin if you are looking to cheat. It is a Barbaresco that will appeal to the fans of Nebbiolo and Sangiovese today. Unfortunately, just 200 cases are produced with a handful arriving in the US. A great value for a Barbaresco Riserva from one of the vintages of our lifetime. Best of all - you will not need to wait forever on.”

Aldo Fiordelli, Decanter Magazine: “An extremely savoury Riserva with woodland smokiness, dried cherry and strawberry fruit, and floral and balsamic tones. The attack is firm and assertive, followed by a well-packed mid-palate perfectly reflecting the dried cherry on the nose. It's refreshing, almost salty, with a dusty but sweet finish which suggests satisfying near-term drinking. The grapes come from three different plots in Barbaresco, equivalent to 1.5 hectares among the 5ha of the estate. Fermented in stainless steel tank, the wine is then aged in 20hL oak cask for 30 months.”

This is an email ONLY offer. Should you have any questions on these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer that is only available until 11:59, Monday, October 4th, 2021, or while supplies last, please email orders back to me at chris.deas@italianwinemerchants.com, connect with your portfolio manager or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation. IWM is not responsible for typographical errors.

All my best,


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