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BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | International Red Wines: Bruno Giacosa 2008 Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva Barolo

  • Brett Anderson

At gatherings where more than two oenophiles are present, the question inevitably arises—in one form or another—of which wine is a given grape fancier’s favorite. Though responses to this query are as varied as the varietals themselves, among the cognoscenti, Nebbiolo always figures prominently. The reason for this is simple: Just as certain gemstones reflect a distinctive light of their own, this noble fruit generates a lively lift on the palate and a prepossessing perfume that, in the most capable hands, can be transformed into a sensory experience approaching the sublime. And no hands are more adept than those of Bruno Giacosa, whose family winery, Azienda Agricola Falletto, has produced wine in Italy’s Piedmont region since the 1880s. Giacosa, however, has raised this craft to a fine art, as attested by the Bruno Giacosa 2008 Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva Barolo  (www.brunogiacosa.it, $450). This intensely beautiful red marries a light, silky texture with dense, intoxicating fragrances of peonies, raspberry, and sweet sandalwood. Bright acids make the mouth water and wash the taste buds in flavors of dried cherry, rhubarb, mint, and tobacco.