Friday, November 28, 2008

A Cut Above

It was another beautiful day and Scott and I got in a walk along the river, much to the chagrin of a large number of Canada geese.

Since it was sunny we lit the grill for dinner. There were two large lamb chops and they were rubbed with a mixture of rosemary, thyme, sea salt, Dijon mustard and olive oil and allowed to marinate for about an hour. While the chops marinated there was a risotto to fix. This version was finished with roasted buttercup squash, cheese, nutmeg and a quarter teaspoon of white truffle oil. It smelled like heaven should smell.

The wine was a 2005 Luciano Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba. This was not "your father's Dolcetto." It opened to a blast of freshly turned earth, spices and dark fruit. There was a suggestion of vanilla in the nose as well. The color was extremely dark. The taste was about the darkest, ripest cherries mixed in with a few dark plums. Full bodied with surprising, tannin it just filled the mouth with flavor. There was good acid and a good grip of soft tannin that led to a long finish ending with fruit and earth. It was wonderful with the lamb but the risotto / Dolcetto match was magnificent. The squash was earthy and it matched the earthiness and fruit in the wine, and the white truffle oil provided a richness that the acid in the Dolcetto played tag with. As the evening went along and the wine had more time to breathe it mellowed and picked up a hint of flowers as well as the fruit and earth. There is enough in this wine that it should have a 3 to 5 year window for drinking.

Quite simply it was the best Dolcetto I've ever had the pleasure to drink - and there are two more in the cellar, and it is still available in the market here at $24 a bottle. We will be adding another bottle or two.

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