The following opinions have been translated from 2006: Vintage to bottle or to skip? Barbaresco Producers’s Point of View, posted today on the Italian Sommelier Association website by VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani. Grape growers and winemakers in Barolo and Barbaresco have been troubled by iconic producer Giacosa’s decision not to bottle his 2006 Barolo and Barbaresco and the subsequent negative fallout in the wine-related media.
Aldo Vacca, Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco
I believe that Bruno Giacosa’s evaluation of the 2006 vintage is definitely exaggerated. As an old Piedmontese myself, I can say that he is guilty of excessive pessimism. [Here in Piedmont], we are famous for always seeing the glass half full!
I can’t see a reason not to say that the 2006 vintage in Barbaresco was more than good. Of course, it wasn’t a perfect vintage like 2007 and it probably won’t be as elegant as 2004 and 2005. Should we give it 4 stars instead of 5? The rain in September really were actually irrelevant. At harvest, the fruit was ripe and very healthy, at least where good work had been done in the vineyard.
It was a somewhat warm vintage that produced full-bodied wines. They might lack some complexity and may not be suitable for long-term aging… but we are certainly at a level of quality much higher than 2003!
Cesare Barbero, Cantina Vignaioli Elvio Pertinace, Treiso
There shouldn’t be anything more to say, except that Giacosa’s 2006 Barbaresco did not achieve the qualities that he expected and that he hoped for, without generalizing an evaluation of a vintage that we believe to be better than 2005, for example… We absolutely do not share Bruno Giacosa’s statements and we wonder why they were made.
Pier Carlo Cortese, Giuseppe Cortese, Barbaresco
As far as the 2006 vintage is concerned, I have to tell you the truth: I prefer it to the 2005 and 2007, although all three of them were very interesting. Giacosa is one of the best Italian producers, in my opinion, but I believe he had some internal company problems — maybe in the vineyard — that led to such a severe evaluation of the vintage.
Enrico Dellapiana, Cantina Rizzi, Treiso
Such a decision by such a famous winery clearly doesn’t help Barolo and Barbaresco, especially in such unhappy economic times… At the same time, such drastic choices don’t always turn out to be a disavantage. This decision by the Giacosa winery has resulted in a powerful — and free — ad campaign and perhaps a reevaluation of wines for previous or subsequent vintages… 2006 was another excellent vintage in Langa — without a shadow of a doubt!
Cristina Oddero, Poderi Oddero, La Morra
We bottled our Barbaresco Gallina 2006 and it’s already on the market and we’re happy with the results. We are getting ready to bottle our 2006 Barolo. During the most important months — August and September 2006 — the [relatively] average amount of rainfall allowed the polyphenols to ripen in the best way, without excessively increasing sugar for concentration. In our opinion, it is a very good vintage, with an excellent propensity for fruit, and good tannic freshness and acidity, a sign of good evolution in the future.
Read the entire interviews and others here (in Italian).