I would never dream of opening one of my bottles of 1996 Asili Riserva from Bruno Giacosa right now, as the wine is still a good decade or two away from really blossoming, but when a friend generously served one, I was very, very happy to check in on the wine and see how it is progressing! The bouquet has started to stir nicely and now offers up a pure and complex blend of cherries, licorice, road tar, a gorgeous base of Asili’s inimitable terroir, red curry, a touch of fennel seed and a gentle topnote of fresh oregano. On the palate the wine is very deep, full-bodied and tangy, with unmistakable profundity in its future. The core here is bottomless, the tannins are ripe and seamlessly integrated, and the focus and grip on the very, very long, perfectly balanced finish are haunting. This has been a legend in the making since it was released, and though it is still at least a dozen years away from really starting to drink with a bit of generosity, its inherent beauty is already very easy to read. Just be patient, as it will probably be a perfect wine when it is truly ready to drink! 98+
Giacosa's 1996 Barbaresco Riserva Asili is a total stunner. Fresh, perfumed and inviting, the 1996 is a real treat to taste and drink at this adolescent stage in its life. The tannins have now softened, releasing an extraordinary amount of Nebbiolo fireworks that captivate all the senses. The 1996 Asili is still as memorable as it was the first time I tasted it. My only regret is not owning more than a handful of bottles. What a wine! (AG)
Lots of raspberry, mushroom and black cherry, with a hint of vanilla. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long, fruity finish. Still a little reserved, but shows lovely fruit. A gorgeous wine. Goes on and on. (JS, Web-2007)
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