Monday, January 3, 2011

Cheesy noodles and Piemonte rossi

Seeing as I was cooking up the Macaroni Italienne a la Escoffier (perhaps with a little more cheese than he calls for - like double the cheese), I thought it might be fun to enjoy some Piemontese red wines for the occasion. In retrospect, piemonte probably was not the way to go here, but heck I was craving these wines for some reason. As always, the pasta was great - what's not to love about gruyere, smoked swiss and parmesan melted on noodles, baked with some kale for extra vitamins? As for the wines...

...2008 Castello di Verduno "Basadone" Pelaverga

Sadly, a bitter disappointment. Hopefully no one takes too much offense, as I know that calling this pelaverga disappointing is in some circles akin to calling your baby ugly. What was missing from this wine was a sense of Piedmont: it lacks acid, lacks earth, floral qualities, grip. Even a (usually) lighter wine like grignolino or freisa has at least one of these components. To me, this tasted like a medium grade mencía raised in stainless, with a clumsy reductive quality and not too much going for it.

2006 Angelo Germano Langhe Nebbiolo

Better, with darker fruits, some minerality and a tannic, muscular, if a bit overbearing and clumsy grip. Tracking this over a few days, the wine failed to improve and was in clear decline on day 3.

2004 Da Milano Barolo Cannubi

Yes, I know that these guys are full on rotofermenting, barrique using modernists. The wine shows it, with a heavy handed, dumb dark fruit and oak expression that is not going to win many awards for excellence in nebbiolo. However, underneath all the method and make-up was a glimmer of minerality and expressive fruit. I'd be curious how this wine might have turned out if the fruit that they are sourcing was then harvested, processed and fermented by someone more traditionally minded.