Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Barolo – Bricco Rocche Brunate 1997

The mind is a tremendous and powerful organ. It helps us adapt to our current environment and to be find wellbeing. We feel the warmth of a hot tub, and then relax as we become accustomed the heat. A quick splash in the cold pool our senses are heightened, the adrenalin rushes throughout our body. We are awake and attentive, refreshed and ready to take on the world.

It has been awhile since we dipped into our high-end portion of the cellar. Normally we save these wines to share with friends or very special occasions but the desire struck and we succumbed to the temptation. This particular bottle was purchased several years ago as one of the wine stores was liquidating most of its specialty wines. Although we did not know this wine from personal experience it is part of the Ceretto family.

I opened the bottle and smelled the long and subtle cork. A scent of mature fruit, round but not sweet. Our anticipation rose. Raffaella used a cup for the Risotto al Barolo con Salsiccia that we had planned for the evening. As she sprinkled the wine into the hot onions and sausage sautéing in the pan its bouquet filled the kitchen. No longer could we resist and I poured a glass although it had only been about 15 minutes since we opened it. It was smooth, still with a hint of tannins that immediately sensitized the middle of my tongue. I exclaimed, “ma quant’e’ buono!”

Raffaella, smiling with a twinkle in her eye, “fruit peaches?”

I thought for a minute and took another sip, “Apricot jam, no …, September plums.”

Raffaella was not convinced, “maybe, but there is something more,” another sip and more thought.

“Bing cherry jam,” I replied.

That was it, then chocolate, maybe some ginger, and coffee.

Just as the cold pool pumps the adrenalin and makes you more aware of your surroundings, our taste buds had just received a dip in ice cold water. This wine quickly reminded us of the difference between a 50 and 150$ bottle of wine. Not that we drink junk, but for those who love wine there is a difference, and this wine exhibits all of the qualities of a world class wine.

Our dinner was planned around the wine, so our simple and savory risotto was perfect but this wine can accompany red meats, roasts, wild game, mushrooms, tartufo and aged cheeses. We also would drink this wine before, during and after dinner but it may have a little too much personality for some before dinner.

This is an expensive wine and should be attempted only by the most dedicated winos. I would suggest you drink this at home instead of at the restaurant, the money you save from the restaurant will pay for the wine and you can enjoy it at your own pace.

Technical data:

Grape: 100% Nebbiolo Michet and Lampia.
Color: Brilliant, intense, Ruby red. Over the years the wine will pick up orange highlights.

Bouquet: Pronounced character, sensual, engulfing with hints of violets and cherry blossoms.

Flavor: Apricots, September plums, intense flavor of mature Bing cherry liquor, with a finish of vanilla, chocolate, and mint.

Alcohol: 14.5%

Aging: Minimum 8 years, any earlier would be a crime. This wine can easily age 15-20 years.

Serving Temperature: 18 degrees c.

Decanting: At least one hour, preferably with a separate decanter and not just the open bottle.

Glass: Wide bodied and wide mouthed, a balloon is usually a great choice for this wine.


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Blogger a.c.t said...

Barolo is my Dad's favourite wine. I bought my parents a bottle for Christmas and they waited for 4 months before opening it on their anniversary.

3:05 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

ACT - Barolo is an excellent wine. Most Barolo are more expensive thus not an everyday wine for many people but are a great choice for a special meal or occasion.

5:01 AM


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