Category Archives: Nebbiolo

2007 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco

2007 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco

I can’t believe it but this is my 100th post since Moby and I started Grapestorm last year…thanks to everyone who has followed us! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have. On to the wine:

Last week we went into town to check out a Polish deli and Pig Fest at a local restaurant. We got kielbasas and blood sausage then went and had a great pork themed meal. We started with meatballs and pork belly then I had roasted suckling pig while moby had the braised pork and garlic polenta. A delicious meal and a fun evening.

colonelgrape: 75. Let me start by saying that this is not a bad wine…I just think it’s mislabeled. If I were drinking this blind I would have said it was a very nice Nebbiolo for $20-$25 a bottle. Great nose and flavor profile I like in Nebbiolo: licorice, leather, earth, red fruit however it was really lacking in body and finish. It was good up until you finished the sip then it just disappeared. I like my Barolo to be big, robust, and have a long finish and I like my Nebbiolo to taste similar but be a “smaller” wine. If this were a $20-$25 Nebbiolo I’d have given it a 92 however as a Barolo it falls short. Tasty wine, just not worthy of being a Barolo or $50+.

MobyGrape: 93. This is the cleanest dirty wine I’ve had in a while. Smelled a bit licorice-y and leathery and musty.  Had a velvety texture with a little tannic kick at the end, it was very pleasant with a pork-centric dinner.  Can’t seem to go wrong with this producer, The Rat makes a great everyday Barbera, and a great Barolo to match.

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Fall NJ Trip

Moby and I took a half day Friday to take a trip down to visit Aunt, Uncle, and Cousingrape last weekend. We ate great food and drank fantastic wine making a perfect weekend. We also stopped by wine library and stocked up on Champagne and Cotes du Rhone. Here’s the wine lineup along with a few blurry pictures in here and some wonderful hand modeling by Auntgrape and Mobygrape:

2007 Domaine Bruno Clain Corton-Charlemagne

2007 Domaine Bruno Clain Corton Charlemagne

NV Albert Boxler Cremant

Albert Boxler Cremant

2010 Domaine Blain Gagnard Chassange-Montrachet

2010 Chassange-Montrachet Domaine Blain-Gagnard

1988 Chapoutier Cote Rotie

88 Chapoutier Cote Rotie

1990 Campo Delle Piane Boca

90 Campo Delle Piane Boca

1989 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron

89 Pichon

1990 Chateau Leoville Barton

90 Chateau Leaoville Barton

For me the wine of the night was hands down the 1989 Pichon. With the wine market the way it is Moby and I do not have the luxury of drinking mature Bordeaux regularly but thanks to Unclegrape it’s a special treat every so often. The tannis had melted away leaving structured and delicious fruit. From nose to finish you get a complete wine experience, just outstanding. I’ve developed a taste for younger Bordeaux but honestly it’s not even close…if you have the will power age your Bordeaux. Be patient, it’s worth it. Moby really enjoyed the Cremant as well. Light, refreshing, not as big as a Champagne it’s a great aperitif. We’ll definitely be having more Cremant in the future.

You may have noticed the oddball Nebbiolo in our otherwise French theme. I found this bottle at Vin Bin recently and brought it along. We enjoyed it quite a bit and will be purchasing a few more bottles. It wasn’t a fair fight vs. the 89 Pichon however a delicious mature Nebbiolo at $65 is a steal.

Plate of the Trip:

foie gras NJ

Foie Gras from Le Rendez-Vous Bistro. Wow. Perfectly cooked, creamy, melt in your mouth liver with a balsamic reduction and carmelized apple. There’s a strong possibility this was the best plate I’ve had all year.

Purchase of the Trip:

corkatoo

Completely unnecessary yet completely necessary at the same time. Aunt and Unclegrape have two parrots so this was the perfect purchase. Does it work? Who cares…It’s a Corkatoo and it’s hilarious.

2009 Poderi Lorenzo Alutto Barbaresco

2009 Poderi Lorenzo Alutto Barbaresco

We had this wine last week with a simple pasta and homeade redsauce. Normally I’d reserve our Barbaresco bottles for bigger meals but we were feeling Italian last week and opened it anyway. The tannis were smoother than I expected from a 2009 and in fact the fruit was not as lively as I expected. This tasted more like a 2004 than a 2009 which was a pleasant suprise. Great translucent, brick color, also making it seem older than it was. There was also a distinct mineral undertone to the wine which gave it a nice, lasting finish. A really curious bottle but one I’d recommend, I think this would fool a lot of people at a blind wine tasting. Have it with a bigger meal though, it’s still a big wine.

2011 Silvio Giamello Nebbiolo Vila Gentiana

2011 Silvio Giamello Villa Gentiana

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.

Dinner Grape Style Part II

The gang was back together again at Aunt and UncleGrape’s house on Saturday night for another spectacular dinner. We were joined by CousinGrapette, BoyfriendGrape, as well as SisterGrape who took a trip from school to join us. Fresh off our trips to Union Square, Eataly, and of course the Wine Library we got to work on dinner. Here was our menu:

Appetizers: Smoked duck breast, wild boar salami, goat cheese with rosemary olive sourdough bread, daikon radish with hummus or spicy brown mustard and Hawaiin volcano sea salt.

Main Course: Roasted boneless leg of lamb infused with garlic and rubbed with spicy brown mustard.

Dessert: Italian cookies with pistachio cream spread and assorted chocolates.

NV Guy Larmandier Champagne2011 Gilbert Picq Chablis

With the appetizers we decided to go with French whites. We started with the NV Guy Larmandier 1er Cru Champagne which was crisp, light, refreshing and had just the right amount of bubbles. That was followed by the 2011 Gilbert Picq Chablis which was similar to the Champagne w/o the carbonation. I probably favored the Champagne over the Chablis and Moby did for sure. I learned that Vielles Vignes means old vines after I butchered trying to say it in front of UncleGrape who speaks fluent French. While the duck  and boar probably could have stood up to a light red the whites went well with everything. The duck was tender with just the right amount of smoke and the boar had an interesting sweetness to go along with good texture. The goat cheese paired well with the bread for a creamy mouthful of food. The daikon was very interesting…to me it tasted like a crunch wafer made of mushrooms and onion but it worked well with the smooth hummus and red volcano salt. All the appetizers were promptly destroyed and it was time to move onto the main course.

April 2013 NJ CdP

Since I got my hands on some 1995 Chateau de Beaucastel recently I brought a bottle and we decided to go a horizontal tasting of 1995 Chateauneuf du Pape.

1. 1995 Domaine de Beaurenard Boisrenard

2. 1995 Chateau de Beaucastel

3. 1995 Domaine de la Janasse

We started the meal a little bit later than anticipated because we didn’t realize the lamb was still partially frozen in the center. Not a problem for the Grape family as we had plenty of wine to keep us busy. We started with the Boisrenard which was surprisingly still tight. UncleGrape explained that 1995’s were historically tight but while it still had solid fruit coming through a bunch of us thought this was a bit too tight still. I’d love to try it again in 5-10 years.

We then moved on to the Beaucastel which had a very distinct old bandaid smell to it. Sounds appetizing right? It was delicious! UncleGrape filled us in on the smell…it’s called “brett”. Brett is a type of yeast called Brettanomyces that can be found on the skin of fruit and therefore in wine. Small amounts of brett are generally regarded as good for the flavor of the wine however large amounts can cause problems. That being said the Beaucastel was very bretty. AuntGrape is notorious for loving bretty wines so it’s no surprise she loved it the most. We enjoyed it too and it was an educational experience.

Lastly we had the Janasse. Our last trip we had the 2000 which was good but not the best of the night however I’d argue for the 95 taking the show this time. I thought it had the most balance but not everyone agreed with me.

We couldn’t come to a consensus on the Chateauneuf like we did last time with the 2000 Charvin stealing the show. Here’s how we ranked them:

colonelgrape: 3-2-1

MobyGrape: 3-1-2

UncleGrape: 1-2-3

AuntGrape (brett lover): 2-3-1

Since Moby and I write the blog we’re going to declare the Janasse the winner but it was a split decision for sure. The one thing we all agreed on though is that the 1989 Parusso Bussia Barolo was the wine of the weekend. The Chateauneuf was great but the Barolo outclassed them all.

Cocchi Barolo Chinato

Last but not least AuntGrape treated us all to a very rare (and previously illegal in the United States) Italian digestif…Cocchi Barolo Chinato. Having never heard of it Moby and I were all in. We learned that Barolo Chinato is a standard barolo infused with spices and most importantly quinine which why it was illegal in the United States as that’s a drug found in prescription medications! The spices and quinine give it a gin like, piney taste to go along with some sweetness. On it’s own we weren’t huge fans but when paired with dark chocolate it was spectacular. Something about the combination worked wonders. We  also had the Italian cookies and pistachio cream spread which was crazy good. The spread was a honey like consistency but had a sweetness to go along with the strong pistachio taste. We liked the wine much better with the chocolate than the cookies and spread but we both would have eaten the spread right out of the jar it was that good.

We concluded our trip next morning by making breakfast with the duck, turkey, and pheasant eggs which was great. The duck was probably the most different having a huge yolk and slightly different texture, the others tasted similar to a chicken egg just different sizes. We learned about brett and Barolo Chinato, had great food, great wine, and spent time with family so all in all it was a great trip. Keep an eye out for that 1989 Parusso!!!