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