The 2003 Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto is a fascinating wine. It is classic Giacosa, with a lovely core of sweet roses, raspberries, licorice and menthol that is currently hiding under an imposing wall of tannins. It is also a wine of contrasts, at times open and accessible, at others brooding and shut down. As it sits in the glass the fruit gradually emerges to fill out the wine’s structure. It had only improved when I re-tasted it several days after first opening the bottle. That said, it will require further cellaring to soften the tannins, as the wine has shut down considerably since bottling. Made from the heart of the Falletto vineyard, it clearly benefits from the age of the vines in these selected plots. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2023. (AG)
Surprisingly fresher than the Asili from the same vintage. Loads of fruit and velvety tannins with a delicate raisin and dried strawberry character. Very long finish. Drink this now, it is very gulpable at the moment.
The 2003 Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto has quite a bit more breadth and volume than the straight Barolo Falletto, but at the same time the intense, forward personality of the year is more evident. The classic Giacosa perfume struggles to emerge, but the ripeness of the vintage remains very much in evidence. The tannins are a bit firm, but they will only intensify as the fruit fades, so the 2003 is best enjoyed before that sets in. (AG)
A little jammy on the nose, with lots of strawberry. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, chewy finish. Slightly one-dimensional now, but should develop wonderfully over time. Best after 2010. (JS)
Medium red. Autumnal aromas of red berries, underbrush and mushroom lifted by a hint of sweet spices on the surprisingly forward, open nose. Sweet and fairly plump at first, with moderately complex flavors of red cherry, cinnamon, nutmeg and leather, this shows building tannins on the medium-long finish that manage to avoid bitterness. An extremely successful wine for the vintage: I think it's developing at a faster rate than my original barrel tastings would have led me to believe, though it's still an infant. Giacosa did not produce any Riserva bottlings in 2003, an extremely difficult furnace-like drought year. (ST)
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