Saturday, March 30, 2013

Three Barolos

Beef Barolo is a hearty winter dish and when the long awaited evening came  the weather decided to "winter" again.  Fortunately the snow came late in the day just as everyone was arriving back home from the dinner.

There were three Barolos with the dinner along with a Cabernet blend.  The wines were in no particular order so everyone sampled their way through them before dinner and then started the meal with their favorite.

The first bottle was the youngest, a 2004 Pio Cesare.  It seemed to be the most closed and would have benefited from decanting.  Lots of rich fruit and strong tannin in this wine and it seemed a little awkward.  It was like a teenager whose body is changing from childhood to maturity.  The parts were all there, they were all good but at the moment they didn't all go together.  Still this was a good and delicious wine that I would like to taste again in three years or more.

The second wine was a 2001 Giovanni Corino Vecchie Vigna.  This was moving into some serious territory at eleven years of age, but it was still young.  It had deeper flavors than the Pio Cesare and a different type of tannin, these being more fine grained and tight.  Again, decanting would have helped this wine tremendously and by the end of the evening it was really beginning to blossom.  Full fruit flavors of dark berries supported the tannin.  Good grip in the middle of the wine.

The third was the bottle I took to the dinner, a 2001 E. Pira & Figli,  Chiara Boschis, Via Nuovo which is pictured a couple of posts below this one.  This wine had an advantage over the other two as I decanted it early in the morning, cleaned the bottle and then decanted the wine back into the bottle.  The extra exposure to the air was a definite benefit.  This had the best fragrance with the quintessential roses being in full bloom beside a just paved highway and the tar that goes along with it.  Much earthier than the other two wines and not as deep.  There was an almost perfect balance between the fruit and the tannin here.  This wine had the longest finish of any of the three.

All together it was a delicious meal with three very good wines.  I would have loved it if the other two had been decanted.  I was particularly intrigued by the Corino and would love to drink another bottle of that one a few years down the road.  I do have one more bottle of the E. Pira in the cellar and it will get a year or two before I open it.

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