Bruno Giacosa   Barbaresco Asili DOCG

2008 Barbaresco Asili D.O.C.G.

By Bruno Giacosa

2008 Barbaresco Asili D.O.C.G. from Bruno Giacosa

In the symphony that is the world of fine Italian wines, the 2008 Barbaresco Asili D.O.C.G. from the virtuoso producer Bruno Giacosa plays a sonata of flavors both complex and eloquent. This particular vintage presents a masterclass in harmony between wine production and climatic conditions, for it captures an exceptional year in the heart of Piedmont.


Nectar of a Majestic Year

The 2008 harvest was one filamented with turmoil yet blessed with subtle climatic graces. Bruno Giacosa aptly responded, turning his nimble hand to craft a Barbaresco that has since matured into profound insight into this challenging growing season. Parked between the unsettling influences of unfavorable weather patterns and brief interjections of sunlight, comprehensive vine care was vital - a detail not lost on the meticulous team at Bruno Giacosa.


Eternal Elegance in a Bottle

The consequence is an elegant effusion of dark cherries, wild berries, earthy undertones and subtle hints of dried roses. This 2008 Barbaresco Asili D.O.C.G., with its defining finesse and depth marked by aging potential harbours an intriguing climax of rich flavours. It's a testament to Bruno Giacosa's savoir faire in creating exquisite and enduring Nebbiolo masterpieces.


Investing in Perfection

If we were to consider the realm of wine investment purely through the lens of imbibable expressionism, the 2008 Barbaresco Asili D.O.C.G would undoubtedly claim prominence. Graced with an incredible longevity, it continues to evolve beautifully over time - just like any good investment should.

Indeed, each sip unfolds a complex tasting note, suggesting not just a promising vintage but a vinous revelation in itself. The 2008 Barbaresco Asili D.O.C.G. from Bruno Giacosa doesn't just adorn your cellar, it enriches it, signifying not only an asset of appreciating value but a timeless portrait of Italian viticulture.

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The 2008 Barbaresco Asili comes across as quite delicate, even frail, in this vintage. It possesses modest depth and inner sweetness in a decidedly understated style. Sweet red cherries, flowers and spices emerge over time, but the wine never comes together in the glass. The light, almost translucent color suggests this is a wine destined for a short life. The 2008 Asili is a major disappointment. It comes across as eviscerated and lacking any depth whatsoever. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2016. I suppose it was bound to happen. Few wineries have been through as much stress in the last few years as Giacosa, and the wines have finally begun to show some cracks. Although he is doing better today, Bruno Giacosa’s health issues and subsequent recovery put a big strain on the winery. The departure of long-time oenologist Dante Scaglione in 2008 was another blow. Scaglione has since returned to the winery as a consultant, which is an encouraging development. Quite simply, the 2008 Barbareschi are the weakest wines I have ever tasted from Bruno Giacosa. The fact that some of Giacosa’s recent releases from his negociant operation are stronger than the wines made from estate fruit suggests some of the issues may be in the vineyards. Regardless, there is no other way to view these wines than as major disappointments. In November I will host my annual White Truffle Charity Dinner to benefit The Mt. Sinai Hospital. On that night I will open my last remaining bottles of Giacosa’s 1964 Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano and 1967 Barbaresco Riserva Asili (among other rarities) and raise a toast to the towering genius of Neive, with the sincerest wish that these new releases, and the 2008 Barbareschi in particular, represent what will ultimately be viewed as a small blemish on an otherwise extraordinary career. A Leonardo Lo Cascio Selection, Winebow, Montvale, NJ; tel. (201) 445-0620. As of January 1, 2012, Giacosa’s new US importer will be Folio Fine Wine Partners, Napa, CA; tel. (707) 256-2700

Antonio Galloni - The Wine Advocate, 30 October 2011

Vintage performance