1998 Giacosa, Barbaresco Riserva, Santo Stefano (RT96) At 20 years of age the 1998 Santo Stefano Riserva has blossomed magnificently over the last decade and today shows the magic commonly associated with Giacosa’s Riserva’s. That said, it has been a sleeper not initially rising to the standards of other “red labels”, perhaps the greatest sleeper Giacosa Riserva ever. Today it shows a classic traditional Nebbiolo hue checking in on the lighter side of garnet but remains brutally powerful and tannic. Notes of dried cherry & strawberry, mentholated balsam, dried roses and hints of marzipan emerge with fervor. The mouthfeel is beautifully pure and focused in a linear fashion, with an impeccable balance of relatively lean fruit, acid and ripe, but still grippy tannins. This wine will continue to move upward as it matures. It is an excellent, but not top shelf Santo Stefano. This was the last vintage Giacosa produced a Santo Stefano Riserva. Drink now-2038+ This was available in the high $100s on release, but now trades in the $400-ish range.