About this Blog

The blog focuses on the essence of wine and food, not how many points or stars it receives. The opinions are mine and should be taken only as that, an opinion not gospel.

Like many collectors, initially I was very much influenced by wine ratings. I purchased wines based on points, even if I had never tasted the wine. And it was much worse than that. I would drink a wine with a high rating, not like it, yet since it was highly rated I’d rationalize that I did not yet appreciate the wine, or that my palate was not sophisticated enough to understand the wine. How’s that for lunacy? As a result my cellar grew in all directions while my palate narrowed. By the time I realized the style of wine that I enjoyed, my cellar abounded with wines whose styles I did not enjoy. All of these wines were very highly rated, just not my cup of tea, or glass of wine to be more accurate. Fortunately I was able to sell many of these wines to those who either enjoyed them or wanted highly rated wines. Don’t misunderstand, I am not against wines with high ratings, in fact I own many. It is just that I now purchase wines based on the producer, the style and my palate, not the rating. Nor do I shun reading reviews. I very much respect Antonio Galloni, Alan Meadows, Eric Asimov and John Gilman and read their reviews routinely. I pay attention to what they write, not the points they award.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Celebrating Mom 2013

Mother’s Day is always a special celebration day for our family as our mothers are still with us. Carol and I are truly blessed to be able to celebrate the day with our moms, children and grandchildren. Grammy (97), Carol’s mom, and Nanny (91), my mom, along with my son-in-laws mom Marlene really made it a special day with their active participation.  The smile on their faces as they interacted and played with their grandchildren and great grandchildren will forever remain with me.
My 3 lovely ladies, Lisa, Carol & Gina
As they did last year, my daughter Lisa and son-in-law Andy hosted a fantastic Mother’s Day brunch followed by dinner later that evening at their home in Florham Park, NJ.  A few special friends and my sister and her husband completed the attendees.

Brunch Menu/Order Form
Tradition has it that Andy and I man the stove and cook fresh eggs to order for everyone.  Bacon, breakfast sausages, Andy’s Aunt Paula’s potato dish, cornucopia fruit salad and Zucchini & Tomato Pie (sort of a quiche) are available to accompany the eggs.  There is something that is just magical about fresh eggs.  In my opinion, along with toasted and sliced Italian Panella bread, there is no better way to begin the day.  My preference is for soft-scrambled or over easy.  I opted for over easy today.

Bellini cocktails made with NV Francois Pinon Vouvray Brut ($22) and 2009 Patrick Piuze Chablis Montée de Tonnerre ($50) were a perfect match with the eggs.  The Pinon is a terrific sparkling Chenin Blanc that is a perfect vehicle for peach nectar.  The resulting drink is refreshing and delicious. The Piuze had crisp fruit and drank with elegance and finesse. The wine had great balance and acidity ensuring many more years of enjoyment.

Aunt Paula's Potatoes
In between lunch and dinner. while we enjoyed the kids and watched Tiger Woods win another golf championship, we sipped a lovely 2004 Agostina Pieri Brunello di Montalcino. This is an old world Brunello that is quite affordable for a wine of this caliber ($46). Medium-bodied, it possessed a dark purple hue, a nice earthy bouquet and good complexity.  The somewhat oaky palate was a bit of a distraction to the purity of the wine for me.

Dinner was once again Manicotti, but this year Carol and I decided try our hand at making them. So with my sister Diane’s crepe recipe and my Grandmother DeRosa’s ricotta filling recipe we jumped in with both hands. Carol made the crepes and I made the filling along with the gravy, meatballs and sausage. They turned out to be light, creamy and delicious and were applauded by all.
Homemade Manicotti w/Meatballs & Sausage
Dinner wines were:

1985 Huet Clos du Bourg Moelleux; Loire Valley, France
My daughter Lisa's favorite wine,I have written about it in previous posts and each time I drink it I am mesmerized by its brilliance.  A gorgeous golden hue, with a marvelous complexity of fruity aromas. On the palate it is completely balanced, round and pure with a slight hint of botrytis and a long and sensual finish. This vintage will not be easy to find and will cost about $100 a bottle. However recent vintages will cost under $30 a bottle.

For the reds I chose two wines from two of the giants of Abruzzi Italy.  This was my first time tasting them side-by-side.

2000 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo; Abruzzi, Italy
Made from 100% Multepuciano grapes, Pepe’s wines are terroir in spades.  It is hard to mistake their earthy bouquet and palate.  This bottle had a rich red hue, spectacular balance, and a long lush finish.  This wine will last for decades.  $75.

1992 Edoardo Valentini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo; Abruzzi, Italy
As good as the Pepe was, this wine was in a class of its own.  Here was harmony of fruit, soil and climate.  The wine simply soared from the glass, danced on the tongue before finishing with a lengthy and provocative elegance.  This is a wow wine, very difficult to find and rather expensive at  $375.  I found a couple of bottles at NY Wine Warehouse in NYC.

For dessert, Carol treated us to a new recipe for miniature Pineapple Upside down cakes with vanilla ice cream.  Gino brought along a bottle of 2008 Hermann J. Weimer Riesling, Bunch Select Harvest from the Finger Lakes in NY. The more I drink of these wines from the Finger Lakes, the more impressed I am.  This was as good a desert wine as one can find.  Fantastic balance with multiple layers of complexity and a lush, semi-sweet viscous palate with a never-ending finish.  $95/375ml.

It was a great day with family and friends.
AJ, Lisa, Isabella, Andy
Diane feeds AJ to the enjoyment of Nanny
Grammy, Mia, Gina
Mia, Gina, Nick, Nicholas


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Notre Dame Wine Dinner 2013

Notre Dame Church of North Caldwell, NJ held it’s annual wine dinner fundraiser on Friday, May 10th at Il Tulipano in Cedar Grove, NJ.  Chris Cree, MW, owner of 56º Wine in Bearnardsville, NJ once again put together an amazing selection of wines for the evening, while Gregorio Polimeni and his staff did a terrific job with a delicious menu to compliment the wines.  This year’s theme was “Wines of Passion”.  Each wine that was poured was made by an artisan winemaker with a passion for taking the elements of fruit, soil and climate given to him by Mother Nature and crafting them into a pure expression of these elements.

Il Tulipano is known for its superlative “Antipasti Hour”.  With an array that included greaseless fried calamari, Neapolitan pizza, hotdogs in puff pastry; crab cakes; shrimp; tuna tartare; various cheeses, salamis and canapés it is important to pace oneself so as to enjoy the dinner to follow.
Fried Calamari

The antipasti hour wines, one white and one red, matched the food perfectly and got the evening off to an exciting start.  The white was 2007 Huet Vouvray Petillant from the Loire Valley, France.  This is an uncommonly delicious Chenin Blanc sparkling wine made in the Champagne style, but not in the traditional méthode traditionelle.   Traditionally made Champagne goes through a complete primary fermentation before it is put into the bottle.  At the time of bottling, yeast and sugar are added so that a second fermentation can take place in the corked bottle.  Thus the bubbles are formed and trapped under pressure.  Prior to being released, the wine is uncorked and disgorged to purge the sediment of the yeast cells from the wine.  The wine is then corked for the final time.  In the Petillant style the wine is made in the methode ancestrale in which the wine is bottled before the primary fermentation is finished, the result being a lower pressure sparkling wine, because only a portion of the fermentation occurs within the bottle. The wine we drank tonight was rich with great focus and a vibrant acidity, and at $25 one of the world’s best wine bargains.

The red wine, 2012 Domaine du Cros Vin Rouge de Marcillac from Marcillac, France was medium-bodied, fruity and peppery and delightful to drink. This is the ultimate French country red, made from indigenous grape variety Fer Servadou (also called Mansois), and it is best when served with a slight chill.  The wine will also age very well.  Another incredible bargain at $15 a bottle.

Gamberi del Signor Rex was served shortly after we were seated for our dinner courses.  This remarkable dish, named after a long time customer of Il Tulipano, is comprised of breaded Jumbo Shrimp with a Tomato/Mustard/Cognac Sauce.  It is simply delicious.  What do you drink with this dish?  How about in one glass 2011 Quintarelli Bianco Secco Cà del Merlo, Veneto, Italy and in the other 2011 Chateau Maris Brama Grenache Blanc, Languedoc, France.  Both were spectacular.  The Quintarelli, a blend of Garganega, Trebbiano Toscano, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Saorin, was perfectly balanced and pure on the palate with a lingering finish. While every vintage I have had of this wine has been superb, this vintage was over the top.  I heard raves from every table as they drank this wine.  The wine is in a class by itself.  $48.

The Chateau Maris, made from 100% Grenache Gris (very rare white grape variety), had a brilliant freshness, crispness on the palate.  It was round and delicious, with layers complexity and a lengthy and elegant finish.   I am told only 70 cases of the wine were made.  $45.

Risotto con Funghi Esotica (wild mushrooms) followed our first course.  While a bit peppery, the rice was perfectly al dente, creamy and yet not too rich as is the case with many risottos. Chris paired two superb red wines with this dish, 2008 Quintarelli Primofiore Rosso, Veneto, Italy and 2011 Danilo Thomain Enfer d'Arvier Rouge, Valle D'Aosta, Italy.

While Primofiore may be the least expensive red wine from Quintarelli, it is as superb as his other wines. The wine is made by gently pressing the remaining grape matter after the free-run juice is siphoned off for the higher end wines such as Valpolicella and Amarone. It is like drinking a baby Amarone. The wine had great balance, purity, pepper & spice on the palate and a lengthy finish. $62.

Thomain is much lesser known than Quintarelli.  He owns only one hectre of vines from he produces only 2500 bottles of wine made from the traditional grape of the area, Petit Rouge. The grapes grow in impossibly steep, terraced rock vineyards at the very feet of the Alps.  The wine had a compelling rusticity and a lively freshness on the palate.   Danilo Thomain is the sole independent grower in the region.  $38.

The evening;s entrée choices were Saltimbocca di Petti di Pollo Novello (Breast of Spring Chicken topped with Parma Prosciutto in Sage Butter Sauce) or Brasato di Manzo al Barolo (Beef braised in Barolo wine, Potato Purée & Spring Asparagus).  We stayed in Italy, Northern Piedmont to be exact, with the wines for this course.  From Gattinara (Province of Vercelli) was 2001 Petterino Gattinara ($32), and from 10 miles west of there from Lessona (Province of Biella), was 2008 Proprietå Sperino Lessona ($70).  Both of these wines were wonderful examples of the soul of the Nebbiolo grape.  They both drank very well.  I felt that the Lessona was a bit more elegant and round on the palate than the Petterino.  Both had a long and earthy finish.

For our dessert wine, we moved to the commune of Cerdon in the Bugey region in the Ain department of Eastern France for NV Renardat-Fache Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancestrale Rosé.  Like the Huet Vouvray Petillant, this wine is made in the Methode Ancestrale style. Deep pink in color, this is  like drinking sparkling cotton candy… and who doesn’t like cotton candy.  This was fun, enjoyable and easy to drink and captured the palates of all in the room.  A fantastic wine at the unbelievable price of $24.

Each of the wines we had were wonderful expressions of wines made with passion and soul. They are not wines that are made to please wine critics, but instead to please the winemaker and his family.  In fact with the exception of the Lessona, not one of these wines was rated by any critic that I am aware of.   Antonio Galloni gave it 95 points.  If you enjoy drinking wine for the experience it will bring as opposed to the name on the label and/or its price tag, seek out wines like these that often travel under the radar but soar to the top of superb and exciting wines.  All of the wines mentioned above, if still available, can be purchased at 56º Wine, Bearnardsville, NJ

It was a terrific evening that many people contributed to.  My sincere thanks and appreciation to:
Chris Cree, MW for his wine expertise and procuring the wines;
Arlene Catanzano, my co-committee member who worked tirelessly to help make the night a success;
Gene Urban, Master of Photography, owner of Impressive Impression for taking the photos in this post;
Gregorio Polimeni and the Il Tulipano staff for a great meal;
Fr. Anthony Randazzo, Pastor of Notre Dame, for his constant inspiration;
The Scudiery Family Foundation for donating the wines;
To all attendees who made the night a huge success.
Fr. Randazzo leads us in Grace

Happy wine raffle winners...
Rosan & John won a bottle of each wine served

Frank & Ann won 3 bottles.

We all hope to see you next year!!!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Aged Italian

Our wine group met for our monthly dinner in April at La Pergola Ristorante in Millburn, NJ.  I wrote about this terrific spot in my post, Friends, Food & Wine a few weeks back.  Howard was up and he chose Italian reds with considerable age as this dinner’s theme.  He brought along a diverse and impressive selection for us to taste. Owner Agron Kaloshi, who hails from Albania, oversaw the decanting of the wines for our meal, while his wife Driola, who hails from Sienna, oversaw our food.

Our appetizers consisted of an enormous, moist and delicious Stuffed Artichoke, Arugula and Pear Salad, Homemade Fettucine with Rabbit Ragu, and Homemade Papparadelle with Wild Mushrooms, Fresh Spinach and Heirloom Tomatoes in a Creamy Sauce.
Stuffed Artichoke
The homemade pastas are made in-house by Driola. All pastas, homemade and dried, are a strong suit at La Pergola.  Every pasta I have had to date has been perfectly cooked and properly sauced allowing you to get the essence of the noodle which is complimented, as opposed to being overpowered, by the sauce.

With the appetizers we sipped a 1971 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Classico Riserva ($175, Grapes, The Wine Company).  Over the years I have found wines from this producer to be very inconsistent and lacking the true expression of the Nebbiolo grape.  Alas this was the occasion again tonight as the wine had no life at all.  (Things seem to be changing with the new ownership of this winery as I wrote about in my previous post).  We fared much better with 1971 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco.  This is the consortium’s basic Barbaresco and it is always superb as was this bottle.  The wine's age showed in its brownish brick-red hue, but it still had considerable vitality and drank with focus and complexity.  $195, The Rare Wine Company.

Entrées were up next and consisted of a marvelous Lasagna Bolognese, Homemade Papparadelle with Broccoli Rabe and Hot & Sweet Sausage, Grouper Francaise over Linguine, Fegato (calves liver) alla Veniziana and Rack of Lamb.  Each dish was prepared with a skillful hand and went superbly with the entrée wines, the first of which was a 1978 Gaja Barbaresco, which unfortunately was corked. Howard, however, was prepared and his back-up bottle of 1995 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo Monprivato more than made up for the Gaja.  This wine was magnificent.  Here was the essence of the elegance and finesse of the Nebbiolo grape.  Round and delicious, this is a wine with soul.  $150 and also available at The Rare Wine Company.
Grouper Francaise

1990 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia followed the Mascarello. 1990 was a magical vintage in Piedmonte, producing gorgeous and age worthy wines such as this effort from Conterno. While this bottling consists of the grapes that don’t make it into their top bottling, Granbussia Riserva, this was fresh, clean, complex and elegant.  I do not feel however that it is worth the $250+ price tag that goes with the wine.  If you are interested, again it can be found at The Rare Wine Company

The final wine of the evening was one of my favorites, 1979 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.
Papparadelle w/ wild mushrooms & spinach
 This incredible old world winemaker produces wines that are homage to mother nature. They are very earthy in style and do not appeal to everyone.  Everything is done by hand and with meticulous care. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered, without added SO2, and aged in their cellar, in bottle, for continued development. Before release, the wines are decanted by hand into new bottles, and then labeled.  This bottle soared from the glass and got better with each sip.  For me, and I believe the consensus of the group also, the wine of the evening.  $200 at Grapes, The Wine Company.

Thank you Howard, Jeff, Agron & Driola for a most enjoyable evening of wine and food.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

2008 Barolo

The Nebbiolo grape of Piedmont is one of my favorite red wine grapes.  I find it to be uncommonly elegant and delicious, especially when made by masters of traditional wine making.  Two weeks ago, over the course of less than 48 hours, I had the opportunity to taste 20 of these wines, mostly from the 2008 vintage. The vintage, which was marked by a later than normal harvest due to weather conditions, produced gorgeous wines.  Those that I have tasted to date are medium-bodied, elegant, possess ripe fruit, complexity and have at least 15+ years of aging potential.

Dinner with Franco Conterno

On a Thursday evening about 30 Barolo lovers convened at Il Capriccio Ristorante in Whippany to enjoy some of the wines from Poderi Aldo Conterno.  Aldo Conterno passed away in May of last year but the estate and wine making were left in the very capable hands of sons Franco, Stefano and Giacomo who continue to craft their wines in their father’s philosophy.  Franco was in town for the “La Festa Del Barolo” tasting on Saturday (more on this in a moment), so my good friend Tony, who has become good friends with Franco, orchestrated the event at Il Capriccio.

Once again the cuisine of Tony & Natale Grande shared center stage with the wines.  Appetizers consisted of Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Ricotta; Veal Meatballs with Raisens and Pignoli Nuts; Zucchini Frittelle (hands down my favorite); Shrimp in Salsa Americana and Bread Sticks with Prosciutto San Daniele.

As we settled into our seats to enjoy our appetizers we were poured 2009 Aldo Conterno Conca Tre Pile Barbera.  While I like of Barbera, this one aged in new Barrique for a year, did not appeal to me.  The wood overpowered the fruit and there was no finish to speak of.  $38.

2009 Aldo Conterno Nebbiolo Delle Langhe Rosso, which is made from Freisa 80%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%, Merlot 10%, complimented a delicious Piedmontese Beef Carpaccio with Truffle infusion. Also aged in Barrique, but in one-year-old oak, this was quite nice.  It possessed nicely balanced fruit with a soft, round palate.  Well worth the $30 price tag.

Trofie w/ Rabbit Ragu
With our homemade Trofie pasta with Rabbit Ragu we enjoyed 2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello.  The 2008 vintage in Barolo was outstanding, producing wines of elegance.  More about the vintage a bit later on in this post.  This bottle, from grapes harvested from the Colonnello vineyard in Bussia and aged for 28 months in large Slovanian oak casks, was delicious and a beautiful expression of the terroir of Piedmont. There is terrific pedigree here and a few years of patience while this wine matures in the cellar will be handsomely rewarded. Even though it is still young, it had a wonderful expression of ripe fruit, with layers of richness and complexity.  $125

Our main course was the traditional Piedmontese dish, Barolo in Brasato.  I call it Italian pot roast.  Here the beef is slow braised in Barolo wine, sliced and served with the Barolo braising liquid.  It is simply divine.  A hearty dish like this cries for a wine that will not only pair well with the beef, but enhance it.  Such a wine was the 2005 Aldo Conterno Barolo Riserva Granbussia, the estate’s top bottling.  It is only made in vintages in which all three of the Conterno Cru vineyards, Romirasco, Cicala and Colonnello yield outstanding results. The wine was pure velvet on the palate with great structure, layers of complexity and balance.  It finished with a profound elegance. It is drinking well now, and should continue to do so for another 15 to 25 years.  $350.

2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo, the estate’s entry level Barolo, accompanied our cheese course of Gorgonzola Dolce with Walnuts and Fig Marmalade served with Aged Balsamic Vinegar. Made from grapes from all of the Bussia vineyards, this drank beautifully even at this young age. Very traditional earthy bouquet with balanced, pure fruit and an elegant finish.  $60

Panna Cotta Piemontese and espresso completed a grand evening.

La Festa del Barolo

Approximately 36 hours after the Conterno tasting, along with friends Emil and Jack, I attended the La Festa del Barolo tasting of 2008 Baroli at Del Posto Ristorante, NYC. The event was orchestrated and emceed by acclaimed wine critic and reviewer Antonio Galloni and his lovely wife Marzia.  15 of Barolo’s top producers were on hand to speak about and sample their 2008 vintage. As I mentioned earlier, 2008 is a vintage that produced gorgeous and elegant wines, very reminiscent, in my opinion, of the elegance of Pinot Noirs from Burgundy.

Antonio began the tasting with 3 Baroli from the Cannubi vineyard area of Barolo.  There appears to be about 20 producers that make wine from this vineyard area.  We tasted, side-by-side, E. Pira Barolo Cannubi ($70), Borgogno Barolo Canunubi ($70) and Luciano Sandrone Barolo Canunubi Boschis ($110).  Each wine was a wonderful expression of the elegance of the vintage. The Borgogno however stuck out for me.  This was a classic, traditionally made Barolo with earthy undertones and elegance. This pleasantly surprised me, as I have never been a fan of this producer.  I have always found their wines inconsistent with very little to get excited about.  What then happened?  I’ll tell you.  The Farinetti family purchased the estate in 2008 and Andrea Farinetti the 22-year-old son of Oscar took over the wine-making duties.  Thus 2008 is his first vintage.  If this is a sign of things to come, we can expect great wines from this once so-so producer.

The remaining wines were, in order:

2008 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Cerequio.  Voerzio’s winemaking style combines modern and traditional methods that produce big and powerful wines that, in my opinion, lack the finesse of traditionally made Barolo.  The 2008 seems to be softer than other vintages I have had, but still not in my wheelhouse, especially at around $175 a bottle.

2008 Elvio Cogno Barolo Bricco Pernice.  This was a new Barolo for me, but one that I hope to have again in the future.  Lighter and more elegant than the Voerzio this was a delicious old world Barolo that had terrific focused fruit, a soft, velvety palate and wonderful finish.  Less than 10,000 bottles are made annually.  $100.

2008 G.D Vajra Barolo Bricco delle Viole.  Another first for me and another old world beauty that is now on my radar.  The Bricco delle Viole vineyard is located on the highest part of the commune of Barolo. Only the oldest vines are used for this wine.  The wine is aged from 42 to 48 months in large Slovanian oak before being bottled.  Like the Cogno, this was elegant and has the acidity and structure for years of aging potential.  At about $70 a bottle, this is worth considering adding to your cellar.

2008 Vietti Barolo Rocche.  The Rocche vineyard of Castiglione Falletto is one of the top vineyards in the Barolo region.  It has a reputation for big Barolo and tends to need more time in the bottle.  As in Burgundy the best vineyards are all sub-divided into small plots with fragmented ownership.  Vietti is one of the top producers making wines from this plot.  The 2008 possessed great structure and finesse with lovely focused fruit and a lengthy and velvety finish.  $135.

2008 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva Bric del Fiasc.  I am not a fan of Scavino wines as I find his wines to be very modern in style with oak playing too big a role.  This offering, which according to Antonio, is his 30th anniversary bottling of the wine, did little to change my opinion.  $120.

2008 Conterno -Fantino Barolo Sori Ginestra.  This producer embraces modern wine making, employing rotary fermenters and small barrique to craft the wines.  This wine had good complexity and structure, but the pronounced presence of oak distracted from the elegant essence of the Nebbiolo grape.  $90.

2008 Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Mate.  I found this a bit oaky, but with lots of finesse, structure and pedigree.  This clearly needs 5+ years of cellar time to evolve and then it should be superb. $90.

2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo Romirasco.  This was a classic Barolo with lots of terroir, complexity and balance. The “Romirasco” vineyard is about 50-55 years old and its vines are replanted from time to time.  The wine is racked several times before transfer to large Slavonia oak casks where it is aged and refined for 30 months.  The 2008 is still a baby, but promises to be a tour-de-force in another 5 years or so.  $175.

2008 Pio Cesare Barolo Bricco Ornato.  Considering that this wine sees 70% new Barrique for 3 years, the oak was not as pronounced as I have experienced in previous vintages.  It possessed an earthy bouquet, with fruit reminiscent of classically styled Barolos.  $100.

2008 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia.  Simply gorgeous!  This is one of my favorite Barolo producers and one of the greatest producers of old world Barolo in Italy.  While still very young, the wine had multiple layers of complexity and pristinely balanced fruit, with a seductive and elegant finish.  This is a must for Barolo collectors.  $135.

2008 Brovia Barolo Ca’ Mia.  This small, old world producer only makes a total of 60,000 bottles of wine annually, which comprises his entire portfolio of seven wines.  This cru vineyard wine was a superb old world Barolo that brought a smile to my lips and warmed my soul as I sipped it. Still very much an infant, cellar time will be amply rewarded.  At about $70 a bottle.

The final Barolo was from the spectacular 2007 vintage.  It was the 2007 Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe.  I am a huge fan of the round and focused wines Cavalloto consistently produces, and this was certainly no exception.  The wine exhibited layers of fruit and complexity, an elegant palate and a lengthy and seductive finish.  $95.

My hats of to Antonio for a sensational assemblage of top Barolo producers.