Summer 2008 Wines

Wines
Barbera d’Asti, ‘Ca di Pian’, La Spinetta 2005 $26 (***)
Sangiovese ‘Sezzana’, La Spinetta 2003 $48 (**)
Pin Monferrato Rosso, (Nebbiolo/Barbera) 2005 $48 (***)
Barbaresco Riserva, ‘Valeirano’, La Spinetta 2004 $122 (***, aromatic)
Barolo, ‘Campe’, La Spinetta 2003 $125 (*****)
Barbera d’Asti ‘Bionzo’, (Barrique) La Spinetta 2005 $49
Moscato d’Asti, Biancospino, La Spinetta 2007 (375mL) $13 (***)

Pairings
Basilim, ‘Sicone’, Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata 2003 = Funghi Pizza
Incredibly good with funghi. earthiness and smokiness of the pizza highlights the elegant qualities of the wine, not sure why but very memorable. tomato, mushrooms, mozz, grana padano, garlic, oregano in pizza
Barone Pizzini, ‘Pievalta’, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Marche 2006 = Funghi Pizza
some RS, sufficient acid to clear, adds a little sugar, somm mentioned some saltiness and minerality with the tomato, mushrooms, mozz, grana padano, garlic, oregano of pizza.
Tuna Conserva artichokes with croutons, basil, chiles = Statti, Mantonico, Calabria 2006
beautiful pairing, ends with a peppery finish with the dish. By itself, low acid, chalky, almost no alcohol, totally enhanced with the dish. The tuna is lightly flavored except with chiles. Artichokes supposedly get bitter with high acid wines, but these were cooked in olive oil barely any flavors except the basil and chiles. A very nice combination.
Tuna Conserva artichokes croutons, basil, chiles = Benito Ferrara, ‘Vigna Cicogna’, Greco di Tufo 2005
beautifully aromatic, low acid, prettiest Greco I’ve had with a medium body but didn’t do much with the dish. The aromatics are almost unnecessary and interfere with the dish.
panna cotta (pistachio, rosepetal) rhubarb and semolina cookie panzanella = La Cappucina, ‘Arzimo’, Passito, Garganega, Veneto 2004
light raisins flavor, adds another dimension to the panna cotta which is milky.
Chocolate budino tart with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil = Luciano Landi, Lacrima di Morro di Alba, Le Marche 2002.
Crust was intense chocolate virtually no sugar didn’t realize there was salt, with the bergamot/earl grey qualities of the lacrima (pronounced lah-crema). I thought it was this pungent herbal quality at first that seemed very familiar. Bitter orange as well, maybe.
House-cured bresaola with wild arugula and marinated yellow wax beans = Grotta del Sole, ‘Gragnano’ Penisola Sorrentina 2006 or Terredora di Paolo, Greco di Tufo 2006
Sparkling blend of Aglianico/Piedirosso/Sciascinoso. sweet winey flavor like church wine, effervescent and chilled. The bresaola is salty, air dried. arugula was bitter and peppery green beans. The wine adds sweetness but also picks up a quality in cured meats that reminds me of decomposing meat (not in a bad way). The wine doesn’t taste as sweet and just more berryish. The salad and intensity matches the greco acidity and the dish has enough flavors, not mild like the tuna, so the aromatics of greco don’t seem out of place.
Gramigna nera with octopus, borlotti beans, tomato, garlic and basil = Ippolito 1845, ‘Liber Pater’, Ciro Classico Superiore, Calabria 2004 the gramigna is a black little doughy, chewy pasta that reminds of chinese doushaomian. The aftertaste is all seafood, as if it was cooked down with it, a mild flavorful dish with a hint of black pepper in the background. The alcohol of the wine enhances the black pepper and adds more heat to the dish. The octopus earthiness is highlighted a bit too. Gaglioppo by itself has a touch of drying tannin and brightness. The wine can stand on its own. The Frascati is the other match – a light acid wine with light floral characteristics and a honey nose. The greco overwhelms the pasta dish with citrus and its acid intensity seems too much. The main problem in matching a white would be too much acid.

Golden Glass producers I checked out
Georg Breuer
C.H. Berres
Allan Scott
Azul, Bodegas Guelbenzu
Scacciadiavoli
Arnaldo Caprai
Germano Ettore
Adami prosecco
Cantina Tollo (Pecorino)
Cantina Produttori Cortaccia (Lagrein)
La Montecchia (sparkling moscato giallo and passito with almond biscotti)

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