Bruno Giacosa, like Bartolo Mascarello, often told me he preferred 1986 to 1985. Of course, 1985 is the vintage that got all the press, while 1986 is remembered for a devastating hailstorm in May that decimated production. Very little wine was made that year, but what was bottled turned out to be quite good, and in some cases, better than that. Sadly, this is not a great bottle of Bruno Giacosa’s 1986 Barolo Riserva. The overall impression is of a delicate, lifted, fully mature Barolo. Only the memory of better bottles helps put this one into context, because taken on its own, this is still a very fine bottle of Barolo.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2020