Il Capriccio Ristorante in Whippany once again provided the venue for a wonderful evening. Tony Grande (owner), Natale Grande (Executive Chef), Salvatore Le Rose (Maitre'd/Wine Director) and the very professional staff of Il Capriccio Ristorante saw to it that the event was orchestrated like the NY Philarmonic.
I am most delighted to report that the event netted more than $49,000 for the evening. I want to thank all of my friends, coagulation manufacturers and home care companies whose financial support made it all possible. As for HANJ, I have always said that if I had hemophilia or a child with hemophilia and I did not live in NJ, I would move here to have access to their support. Led by outgoing Executive Director Elena Bostick and new Executive Director, Stephanie Lapidow and their committed staff, HANJ has accomplished more for families that live with hemophilia than any other state in the country. Once again hats of to you and the hemophilia treatment centers that mange the medical needs of the community.
|Stephanie Lapidow & Elena Bostick|
The festivities began with an hour of passed assorted hors d'oeuvres that were enjoyed by all
|Prosciutto & Melon Mozzarella di Bufala|
|Stuffed Zucchini Flowers Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail|
|Baby Polpettini Baby Lamb Chops|
With these delicious bites we enjoyed:
2012 Ariana Occhipinti Nero d’Avolo Siccagno. The young and extremely talented Ariana Occhipinti has been making extraordinary “natural” wines in Vittoria, Sicily since 2004 at the ripe old age of 24. Tonight’s wine, crafted from 100% Nero d’Avolo, was a beautiful example of turning Mother Nature’s fruit into a compelling and delicious wine. The ashy & earthy bouquet is complemented by an elegant and pure fruity palate that displays considerable depth. The finish is both delicious and lengthy. A tour de force of natural winemaking! $42. Wine-Searcher.
1993 Olga Raffault Champ Chenin. I remain both confused and grateful that the wines from the Loire Valley of France get very little press. My confusion stems from the fact that while the red (Cabernet Franc) and white (Chenin Blanc) grapes produce delicious and age-worthy wines year after year, they play second and third fiddle to the wines that receive high scores from critics. On the other hand, I am grateful, make that very grateful, that because of this the wines are very reasonable and offer great value to the drinker. This Chenin Blanc is of the grape variety "Pineau de la Loire". 23 years old and the wine displayed both youthful fruit and incredible depth on a complex palate with enough acidity to keep this beauty drinking for at least another decade, if not longer. The finish was monstrous both in length and flavor. This wine was made by Olga Raffault who sadly passed away a few years ago. Her granddaughter Sylvie is at the helm today and has continued to produce great wines in the tradition of her grandmother. $54. Wine-Searcher.
We then sat down to our pasta course of Trofie Al Ragu d’Anatra Al Barolo (Quill Pasta in a sauce of Duck and Barolo Wine). While Il Capriccio does everything well, chef Natale Grande really shines with his pastas, as he did tonight. Generous plates were served and more than a few said yes when second helpings were offered.
We had three wines with the pasta.
2006 Chandon de Briailles Savigny-les Beaune 1er Cru Aux Vergelesses Blanc. Since 1988 Claude de Nicolay took over from her mother as winemaker at this top estate. This wine was a great example how a great wine maker usually makes an outstanding wine in a so-so vintage. At age 10 the wine is just coming into its drinking window. The nose displayed rich fruit while the slightly mineral palate revealed a delicious, beautifully balanced wine with an excellent finish. Expect to pay about $60 should you be able to find it.
2012 Foradori Morei Teroldego delle Dolomiti (Magnum). Teroldego is a native grape variety of the Trentino Alto-Adige region of Italy. Located in the foothills of the Dolomites, it is related to Syrah and Pinot Noir. Elisabetta Foradori is referred to as the “undisputed top producer of Teroldego”. For the Morei she vinifies in amphorae (tiñaja from Villarobledo, Spain); She finds that the shape of the vessels and the porosity of the clay lends exceptional purity and balance to the wine. The winemaking process is non-interventionistic, so that only the character of the land and the variety shows through.
A compelling wine, it boasts a dark hue with an enticing nose of spice and stone. A host of intensely savory/mineral notes meld into a core of dense dark red and black stone fruits. A bit tannic on a wonderful complex palate, the wine finishes great length. $45. Wine-Searcher.
2010 Fonterenza Brunello di Montalcino (Magnum). Mentored by the great Gianfranco Soldera, twin sisters Margarita and Francesca Padovani founded the estate in 1997 and produced their first vintage in 2004 if I recall correctly. Biodynamic farming and natural wine making are followed religiously resulting in stunning wines marked by both purity and complexity. What an elegant Brunello this is. If one were to taste this blind, I would not be surprised if they guessed Soldera. While still a bit young, the pedigree shines through as each sip evolved and opened a bit more thus giving a peek into the impeccable balance, finesse and elegance that is waiting to be released after a few more years of cellar time. This is definitely a wine with soul! $100. Wine-Searcher. Since this is a bit pricey, I suggest looking for their Rosso di Montalcino and about 1/3 the price.
The main course was an expertly prepared Stinco d’Agnello con Risotto Milanese (Roasted Lamb Shank with Risotto). I will let the photo below speak for the dish.
|Gorgonzo Dolce, Purée di Fichi Chocolate Lava Cake|