Sunday, February 26, 2017

Open That Bottle 2017

The last Saturday in February is Open that Bottle Night, the one night a year when you don't need an excuse to open a bottle that you have been saving for a special occasion.  It was started around 20 years ago by John Brecher and Dorothy Gaiter who at that time were writing the wine column for the Wall Street Journal. 

This year was an adjustment of sorts, as the 2001 Enzo Boglietti Case Nere (black case) Barolo was a substitute bottle.  Two of the guests had to cancel the day before, and they had been looking forward to the first choice wine, a 1995 Luciano Sandrone Canubi Boschis.  I decided to hold that bottle for next year as the other folks would be thrilled with any good wine.

I opened the Boglietti about two hours before dinner and decanted it.  One sip was all it took to realize I should have opened it sooner.  It was tight, acidic, tannic and closed with little hint of fruit.  Half an hour later some cherries began appearing and the acidic assault lessened.  At just past an hour the wine began to bloom and the nose of flowers and just a bit of tar began to emerge.  It was at that point that I returned backup bottle #2 to the cellar. 

Two and a half hours after opening the bottle the lamb was finally ready and so was the wine.  It smelled like clean earth and flowers.  The tart cherry flavors were there, but so were some red plums.  The tannins had softened from an overbuilt body builder to a finely tuned athlete.  The length of flavor was wonderful and there was enough acid to cut through the richness of the lamb - roasted with Dijon mustard, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme.  Great combination. 

Of course, at the end of the meal the last glass was the best.  Everything this wine had came together.  The best news is that there is a second bottle in the cellar and it has a few years more before starting to go downhill. 

2001 Enzo Boglietti Case Nere Barolo.  14% alcohol and $70 when purchased ten years ago. 

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