Bruno Giacosa 1996 Asili di Barbaresco Riserva (red label) Magnum, (bottle 048 of 1520)
One of the many reasons Nebbiolo is so fascinating is its versatility. It can produce wines with different style and character depending on the terroir...but all within northern Italy, and mainly Piemonte. As Angelo Gaja has said, Nebbiolo is ''infinitely more complex'' than Cabernet Sauvignon, which is grown all over the world.
After tasting a very powerful and noble 1985 Bruno Giacosa Santo Stefano Riserva last week, it made it that much more meaningful to taste a younger 1996 Bruno Giacosa Asili Barbaresco Riserva. Asili has been mentioned as the vineyard capable of producing the best expressions of Barbaresco and even Nebbiolo in some cases.
I tasted this wine throughout a 24 hour period from being opened and double decanted. Although not as powerful and complex as the Santo Stefano (which we have said closely resembles a Barolo), it showed wonderfully. The colour was still a very dark red and showing no signs of the classic orange reflections. The first thing you notice when tasting this wine at 15 years out, is how powerful the tannins still are and how much more time this can spend in the cellar. It started off gamy, slightly chewy and with notes of toasted hazelnuts. After an hour it lost the gaminess and hazelnut, the beautiful fruit came out and it stayed pretty much the same for 24 hours showing a textbook nose of tar and roses with a beautiful acidity making it show best when paired with food.