After a busy week that was mostly cold and miserable the last two days have been perfect on the weather front with sunny, blue skies and warm temperatures.
There was a tremendous wine tonight, a 2005 Barbaresco from the Produttori del Barbaresco, a cooperative winery. This particular wine is their blend of selected vineyards and is 100% nebbiolo. Taking a cue from past experience the wine was decanted for six hours with only an occasional sip to check on its progress. The color was medium, but red to the edges. There was red fruit and spice in the nose along with some flowers and earth. The fruit was full on the taste and the acid was wonderful, but like any young nebbiolo the tannin was intense and drying. As the wine sat in the decanter the tannins faded only slightly. It definitely needed food.
There was a sale on ribeye steaks so one of those went on the grill, and there were some oven roasted potatoes with Italian spices. The hit of the meal was a simple dish of organic carrots and shallots sauteed in butter. We added a tablespoon of water and some tarragon, covered the pan and let the vegetables simmer and steam, then took the lid off the pan and let them caramelize. At the end I tossed in some fresh tarragon.
The dish was earthy and sweet and almost perfect with the Barbaresco. It tamed the tannins more than the steak and potatoes did and it brought the fruit forward while minimizing those tannins. This was a very nice match.
There is half a bottle of the wine left, and it will be interesting to taste it over the next several days. It's good enough that there are two more bottles stuck way back in the cellar. They won't make a second appearance for several years.