This past week we’ve been introduced to younger Nebbiolo and I’m on board for the long haul. I used to always think of Nebbiolo like Cabernet in that it needed time for the tannins to mellow out but that’s not always the case. It’s true that Good Barolo and Barbaresco will often be more approachable with age like a good Cabernet however there are young Nebbiolos to be found at bargain prices that make great weeknight wines. This 2011 Silvio Giamello Nebbiolo is a perfect example. It does have some tannin but it’s very approachable and full of floral, earth, spice, and dark fruit notes. It’s young and alive on the palate and a little in your face vs. an aged, sophisticated, and complex Barolo. The best part is it’s only $20 wheras a quality Barolo or Barbaresco is going to run you at least $50. This is a very differenet way to experience Nebbiolo and something you can keep in your cellar for a nice hearty Italian dish on a weeknight where you don’t want to go crazy.
Our first night visiting with Aunt and UncleGrape lead us back to 3Guys. Their food is always excellent and it’s BYO so it’s a perfect low key dinner to get the weekend started. Before heading to dinner we had some aperitifs at the house and went with two Italian whites. First the 2011 La Scola Gavi Bianco Secco which is made primarily from Garganega grapes. Not a big hit across the board, kind of hollow/boring, I wouldn’t recommend it. Next we had the 2011 Fattoria di Magliano Pagliatura which is made primarily from Vermentino grapes and it was excellent. Tart and flavorful, this was a nice alternative to the standard Chablis or Sauvignon Blancs of the world but with a similar flavor.
SisterGrape met us at the restaurant and we brought along some Nebbiolos. For starters we had clams casino, sausage and broccoli rabe, garlic bread with mozarella, and potato croquettes. Being our usual selves I had the veal parm and Moby had the gnocchi. It all paired wonderfully with the Nebbiolos.
2010 Sottimano Langhe Nebbiolo: A Barolo/Barbaresco from outside of their respective regions. Very young wine and UncleGrape pre-dinner decanted it for a couple of hours which was necessary. Still tannic but approachable. Great buy for under $20.
2004 Paride Iaretti Gattinara: Interesting story from UncleGrape about this wine. It was unavailable for purchase online so he went on facebook and became friends with the producer. From there he was able to track some at a local store in the city. I haven’t been on facebook in years but that’s a cool way to track down some rare wine. I liked this better than the Sottimano, it was more approachable. Another great value wine…if you can find it.
This brings us to the star of the night…the 1989 Parusso Bussia Barolo. Absolutely fantastic Barolo that opened up beautifully after a quick 20 minute decant. As you’ll read in our next few posts we sampled 11 bottles this weekend and this was the clear favorite. I’d love to have a case but the 89′ has vanished from the internet. I’m not sure how many bottles UncleGrape has left in his cellar but if you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on some 89′ Parusso…do it. It certainly won’t be a value but you will be rewarded. Don’t sit on it though, it’s ready to drink!