About This Producer
Borgogno Giacomo & Figli holds a privileged position as one of the longest-standing producers in Barolo with the estate being founded in 1761. A century later, on the occasion of the luncheon officially celebrating the unification of Italy, it was Barolo di Borgogno that was selected to celebrate this new chapter of Italian history.
The twentieth century was shaped by the vision of Cesare Borgogno who took over management of the estate in the 1920s. Under his guidance it became customary to hold back approximately 20,000 bottles in the best vintages for ageing ten years or more in their immaculate cellars. This practice has created an enviable library of older wines with which Borgogno Giacomo & Figli offer a snapshot of Barolo from years passed – a window to the heritage of this famed region and one of its great producers.
Upon the death of Cesare Borgogno in 1968 the estate passed to Cesare’s granddaughter before being bought by the Farinetti family in 2008, under whose ownership it resides today. Father and son Oscar and Andrea Farinetti have brought an approach that, in the words of Wine Advocate’s Antonio Galloni, “is best described as enlightened traditional”. Of the wines under the new guardianship, Galloni describes them as “… super polished, sexy wines with tons of finesse and appeal.”
A library release from the cellars of Borgogno Giacomo & Figli is eagerly anticipated across the globe as wine lovers look forward to being transported to the very heart of Barolo. As the years are wound back and the layers of history unfold in the glass, complex aromas and flavours speaking of a particular vintage are revealed. The 1958 Barolo Riserva tasted in 2010 by John Gilman of View from the Cellar reveals “a mélange of dried cherries, orange rind, forest floor, onion skin, game birds a lovely base of soil tones and a touch of curry in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with fine resolution to its structural elements, good depth at the core and fine length and grip on the fully mature finish”. Of more recent vintages, high praise is in abundance. Italian wine expert Walter Speller, describes the 2004 Barolo Riserva as having a “succulent palate with intense acidity and gorgeous, grainy tannins. Stylish and long and animating”.
The tension that exists between tradition and innovation and which has been at the very heart of Borgogno has been fully embraced by the Farinetti family. To the Barolo and Barolo Riserva have been added single site expressions from the treasured Cannubi and Fossati vineyards as well as the Liste monopole, which was part of the original 1761 estate. The estate’s vineyards have been converted to organic farming and most recently, experiments using biodynamic agricultural practises have been implemented. In the winery, indigenous yeasts replace cultured yeasts and the estate has returned to using cement tanks for fermentation.
This approach has yielded significant rewards as is evidenced by the regular inclusion of Borgogno Giacomo & Figli in the Gambero Rosso tre bicchieri award list. The longevity and complexity that characterises these wines is succinctly put by James Suckling when, in 2013 he tasted the 1961 Barolo Riserva, describing it as “an ethereal red with amazingly complex and subtle aromas of dried rose petals, red cherries and star anise. Cedar too. It's delicate yet dense and changes every minute in the glass”.
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