Archive for the ‘Nebbiolo’ category

1989 Produttori del Barbaresco for Easter

April 5, 2010

produttori del barbaresco

Above: The 1989 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco was truly brilliant yesterday afternoon. We paired with roast leg of lamb and sat outside in the gorgeous weather. I visited the winery during my March trip to Piedmont and will post on my tasting there in the next few weeks.

Posting in a hurry this afternoon because slammed with work and getting ready for tonight’s Orange Wine dinner at Vino Vino, where I’ll be pouring and talking about some amazing wines. We posted the wines and the menu earlier today. (There are still a few spots open: the wines are great, chef Esteban is pulling all the stops, and in true Austinite fashion, the dinner will be followed by Gary Clark Jr.’s first performance at Vino Vino.)

produttori del barbaresco

We shared our Easter feast with another couple, close friends of ours. I roasted a leg of lamb yesterday afternoon, seasoned with rosemary from our garden. My beautiful Tracie P made all the fixins. 🙂

produttori del barbaresco

Tracie P had also dyed some Easter eggs. Our new home is so wonderful. Words just cannot say how much I love her…

—Do Bianchi

Too early for 2004 Pora? The answer was yes.

December 27, 2009

Above: Did I mention the girl can cook? Tracie B made chicken and dumplings last night for the whole B family. Photo by Rev. B.

In Emilia-Romagna they eat tortellini and cappelletti in brodo (filled pasta in capon broth). In Central Europe they eat knödel served in broth. At the Jewish deli, they serve kreplach in broth. And in the South, they make chicken and dumplings.

Above: Tracie B’s chicken and dumplings. I can only wonder what Dr. V’s user-generated content would have to say about this most impossible impossible wine pairings — chicken and dumplings. But, man, were they good! This and below photos by Tracie B.

By its very nature, broth is an inevitably impossible wine pairing: the temperature alone makes pairing like grabbing the moon with your teeth as the French say.

Heeding the adage by restaurateur giant Danny Meyer, if it grows with it, it goes with it, I should have paired Tracie B’s delectable dumplings with Lambrusco (my top pick would have been a Lambrusco di Sorbara). In Emilia, versatile Lambrusco is served throughout the meal, with the appetizer of affettati (sliced charcuterie), with the first course of tortellini in brodo, with the second course of bollito (boiled meats and sausage), and even with the dessert of Parmgiano Reggiano served in crumbly shards, perhaps topped with a drop of aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena or di Reggio Emilia (none of that hokey, watery aromatic vinegar). Lambrusco would have been perfect here.

Above: Don’t try this at home. Frankly, the 2004 Barbaresco Pora by Produttori del Barbaresco is going through a nearly undrinkable stage in its evolution.

But as food writer Arthur Schwartz says of pizza, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with.

Before heading to Orange for the Christmas holiday celebration with the B family, I had reached into our cellar and pulled out a bottle of 2004 Barbaresco Pora by Produttori del Barbaresco. Frankly, the wine was too tight, overwhelmingly tannic, and even though it opened up over the course of the evening, it’s going through a nearly undrinkable period in its evolution. But that’s part of my love affair with this winery: experiencing the wine and the different single-vineyard expressions at different points in its life. And there are more bottles of 04 Pora to be had in our cellar. We ended up lingering over wine, sipping it is a meditative wine as we retired to the living room and watched a movie together and munched on oatmeal cookies that Tracie B and Mrs. B had baked that afternoon.

Above: Nephew Tobey wasn’t concerned with wine pairing. But he sure loved him some chicken and dumplings!

Happy Sunday ya’ll and thanks for reading!

—Do Bianchi

Our first meal in our apartment

July 15, 2009

greg_wawro

DC is interesting. We’re pretty much settled now, and enjoying domestic bliss. Here’s a picture of our first meal in our apartment here.

—Greg Wawro

I love Pizza Antica

July 15, 2009

elton_slone

Produttori 05 for 20 bucks baby. I love Pizza Antica!

—Elton Slone

2001 Ovello

June 5, 2009

Adam Spencer

Above: Adam Spencer aka “Adam Spence,” one of the Clanton Cowboys Gang and one of the meanest sommeliers ’round these parts, faced off with the San Diego Kid (that’s me) in the outskirts of San Antonio yesterday at Saloon Pavil. He was ready for me but he didn’t count on the “seventh bullet” in my six-shooter wine bag.

Dusty and tired after a long day hawking wine in San Antonio, the San Diego Kid had a harrowing brush with death at Saloon Pavil where Adam “Spence” Spencer nearly sent him to his grave. Spence is one of the fastest hands around these parts and one of the best sommeliers the Kid’s ever met on the mean streets of Texas. His wine list is compact, studied, intelligent, original, and surprising. And his palate is as sharp as they come. The Kid’s French bottlings were no match for Spence but the Clanton Cowboy wasn’t counting on a 2001 Barbaresco Ovello that the Kid happened to have in his six-pack wine bag — the “seventh bullet.”

Cooper's BBQ

I cannot tell you how good that wine tasted — it had been open all day — with the tender pork loin and pork ribs at Cooper’s. The tannin, the fat of the meat, the gorgeous fruit, and the tanginess of the BBQ sauce made a long day of hawking wine all worth while.

Boy, was the San Diego Kid lucky to get out of San Anton’ alive! Delivered from danger once again by the skin of his teeth and the seat of his pants, he headed out to Cooper’s Old Time Bar-B-Que in New Braunfels where they allow outside wine “but no hard liquor.”

Cooper's BBQ

Above: Cooper’s in New Braunfels. Folks say that the Cooper’s in Llano, Texas is the best one but this one was purdy darn’ good.

—Jeremy Parzen

1989 Barbaresco classico

June 3, 2009

Every once in a while you come across one of those truly special bottles, like this 1989 classic Barbaresco by Produttori del Barbaresco,* at a price you can afford. I found it the other day in a wine shop in San Antonio (where I’ve been spending a lot of time these days) and although it gently pushed the envelope of my pricepoint ceiling (sorry for the mixed metaphors), I just couldn’t resist.

The 1989 harvest in Langa was one of the greatest in contemporary memory and I’ve had the great fortune to taste a lot of Nebbiolo from both 1989 (a classic, slow-ripening vintage) and 1990 (also a classic, but with slightly warmer temperatures). This gorgeous wine is still very young: the nobility of its tannin and earthy flavors were adorned by delicate notes of berry and red stone fruit, the way Laura’s noble, alpine beauty is dressed by her golden hair and her delicate veil as she sits by the stream in Petrarch’s songs.

Many would fetishize a wine like this but we always open them with food. After all, the people who made them intended them to be consumed with food.

At the urging of our friend Howard, Tracie B had Netflixed Alberto Lattuada’s 1962 social-commentary/thriller/comedy Mafioso, starring one of the all-time greatest Italian actors, Alberto Sordi.

Lattuada doesn’t make it as often into the syllabuses of Italian film studies in the U.S. as does, say, Pietro Germi (with 1960s classics like Sedotta e abbandonata), but he should. His Mafioso is 1960s social-commentary comedy at its best, at once poignant and hilarious, bridging the Messina Straits of the paradox of the country that never was — Italy. Alberto Sordi is a Sicilian who’s moved to the industrial north and has made a life for himself and his beautiful blond alpine wife. Lattuada’s camera follows him has he fulfills his peripeteia in a journey home to visit his family. The backdrop is the “economic miracle” of the 1960s in Italy, where the north flourished while the south continued to languish. I won’t spoil it for you but the final thriller scenes had us on the edge of our seats as we sipped the last drops of that gorgeous wine.

Here’s the great scene where Sordi’s character’s family welcomes him home with a classic Sicilian luncheon. Coppola ain’t got nothing on this baby!

—Jeremy Parzen

* Many erroneously distinguish the “cru” or single-vineyard bottlings of Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco from the classic Barbaresco (made with fruit sourced from multiple vineyards) using the ignominious qualifier normale. Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco that has been made by blending wines sourced from different vineyards is classic Barbaresco or Barbaresco classico.

Side-by-side: 2004, 2005, and 2006

March 3, 2009

Originally posted at Mc Duff’s Food and Wine Trail.

One of the things I love the most about Produttori del Barbaresco is how its winemaking practices have remained virtually unchanged since it began making Barbaresco in 1958 (technically the winery was launched as a Cantina Sociale in 1894). Few Italian winemakers can rival this iconic label for the terroir- and vintage-driven characteristics of the wines.

And as much as I love its single-vineyard expressions of Nebbiolo, my favorite is always the blended classic Barbaresco: on my palate, these are the truest expressions of Barbaresco and its unique power and elegance because they represent an overarching manifestation of the entire appellation, made from grapes grown by multiple growers across the territory. Each year, the best grapes from the best growing sites go into this wine. How do you determine where the best rows are? Simple: just observe where the snow melts first, they will tell you. 1967 and 1982 are two memorable vintages of the classic Barbaresco that I have tasted over the last few years (and I’ve tasted the crus going back to the late 70s): the wines of today are very true to the winery’s beautiful, natural terroir-driven style.

The 2004 is surely to be one of the great vintages of this decade and the winery compares it to the “mythic 1990.” I’ve tasted it a number of times over the last year and it seems to be closing up right now and showing more tight than it was last summer. I believe it’s going through a tannic period of its development and as much of a joy as it is to drink it, I think it’s best to lay it down for a while. I want to revisit it again around Christmas and see where it’s at.

Although 2005 was a very good vintage and classic in its profile (part of a string a good vintages, 04, 05, and 06), unusually high temperatures in September made for a wine with fruit more forward than the 2004. Unfortunately, this more “American-friendly” vintage has driven up the price slightly. It showed wonderfully in the tasting the other day and while I don’t think it will age quite as long as the 2004, I think this is an excellent Barbaresco that we can enjoy sooner than later.

2006 was another classic vintage, although again warmer than the 2004. I was thrilled to taste the 2006 Langhe Nebbiolo (made from fruit not destined for the Barbaresco) and I think it’s an excellent value for the quality. I like to call it my “Saturday night wine” (the Barbaresco is a “special occasion” wine at my table).

I’ve translated the winery’s 2006 vintage notes below.

    The 2006 vintage began with nice spring weather. The warm temperatures in the first half of May caused early flowering around May 25 (flowering usually occurs in early June for Nebbiolo). Temperatures lowered at the beginning of June but without adversely affecting the flowering and fruit set of the vines. These conditions led to an abundant harvest. July brought temperatures higher than average. But August saw milder and more pleasant weather with warm days alternated with cooler and more ventilated days. Unlike other regions in Italy, rainfall was scarce and as a result, the season was relatively dry, especially for vineyards with the best exposure, which were warmer and drier. The abundant amount of fruit made summer thinning all the more important in order to rebalance production and allow for good ripening.

    September arrived with healthy fruit with somewhat high sugar levels. But the development of the fruit and its aromas was however delayed, especially in the warmest vineyards with the best exposure. Two intense September rainstorms marked a break from otherwise summery conditions. The first happened around September 10 and this actually helped aromatic ripening to begin again and thus was helpful. The second rainfall arrived later, on September 25 and 26, when the fruit was already ripe. At that point, there was no point in waiting any more and as soon as the sun dried the fruit, we began to harvest on September 29 and we finished picking on October 7 after nine days of good weather that allowed us to harvest excellent, healthy fruit.

    2006 Barbaresco will be an excellent Barbaresco with natural alcoholic content higher than 13.5%, with intense color and good acidity. A good wine for aging, from another vintage in a string of good vintages including 2004 and 2005.

My advice: buy these wines, drink them, lay them down, live with them, pair them with food, save a glass of each and taste it the next day, open them on special occasions, revisit them, record your impressions, blog them… They never disappoint and their value simply cannot be beat.

—Jeremy Parzen