Les Tastevins du Lac is dedicated to camaraderie in pursuit of joie de vino! This blog serves as an informal forum on wine, food and travel.... Cheers! Steve Adams


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Best of Barbaresco and Barolo

At dinner on Sunday at Tribeca Grill, a '98 Giacosa Santo Stefano Riserva and a '99 Bartolo Mascarello from Signor Melito's cellar were a wonderful treat ! 

My vote goes to the Riserva as the wine of the evening.  The thing that always shines in truly great wines is impeccable balance... Giacosa defines gorgeous aromatics, refined tannins and pure fruit. Drinking extremely well now.

The Mascarello is still young at this stage of the game, yet paired wondrously with the delicious Gigantone short rib Bolognese that I had for dinner.  A more structured wine with alluring sottobosco... the last of it went way too soon!

We enjoyed an Egly-Ouriet Les Crayeres NV, disgorged in 2010 I believe, as a prelude.  (Thanks, Marius, for the recommendation!)... A great Champagne that is 100% pinot noir ... paired beautifully with rock shrimp tempura.

A delightful conclusion to a weekend in NYC for Janet and I ... thank you Ignatius and Carolyn for your hospitality!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Albert Morot Beaune les Bressandes 1990 and 2002

Have been looking forward to trying these side by side. Slow oxygenation for both bottles for 2.5 hours prior to dinner. 
1990 ---
Delicious fruit aromatics emerging immediately upon popping the cork... there is really nothing else like a lovely older Burgundy... a true pinnacle for the pinot noir varietal.  Lighter garnet color and quite translucent.  Mouth-watering gossamer tannins with gorgeous, aged red cherry fruit.  This wine is a great example of why the 1990 vintage in Burgundy may be the best ever.  Very well balanced at 13% alcohol.  Morot is just a tremendous value.
2002 ---
A relatively youngster compared to the 1990... darker in color and more tartness to the cherry fruit as would be expected.  Fine balance with weightier tannins, yet still holding the line at 13% alc.  Almost a bit new world-ish after the 1990.  Absolutely fascinating to taste the terroir of this vineyard shining through from two vintages that are 12 years apart. Kudos to Morot for consistency and transparency in winemaking.  
The 1990 sang throughout dinner and it was finished first, paired with:
    Crab cakes made of smoked trout & lump crab complemented by greens with grilled red     onion, sweet basil & bacon aioli
    Hushpuppies stuffed with crawfish & shrimp drizzled with leek fondue accompanied by     crispy leeks
Followed with the 2002 paired with:
    Wood grilled spring lamb tenderloin complemented by melange of roasted sweet          carrots, spring peas, pearl onions with crispy micro-mushrooms and hazelnut pesto.
    Chicken stuffed with fennel sausage along with roasted cabbage & potato puree,    chorizo vinaigrette
    Roasted Salmon with cauliflower puree, charred leeks salsa verde and creme fraiche
    Pecan crusted mountain trout with peach chutney, baby green beans, yukon whipped potatoes with honey-lemon butter  
    Sorghum-glazed, shaved Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon 
    Cajun shrimp jambalaya with andouille sausage and scallions
Finished the last of the 2002 with creme brulee and bourbon bread pudding.... it was just coming into its own.  

Giovanni Corino Barolo Vigneto Arborina 1999

Full decant 3 hours ahead of dinner.  The 1999 vintage Barolo's benefit from lots of aeration. 

First impression: deep, dark color and big tannins ... has a ways to go yet till maturity.
As the wine opened up, the lovely rose petal and tar profile came around... this one could be considered just on the cusp of its drinking window.

Warm, attractive perfumed nose with ripe fruit, sous bois and mineral palate ... distinct "Piemonte dust".  Easily another 15 years of solid enjoyment ahead ... probably best to try again in 2 to 3 years. 

Paired with Chicken Parmesan for dinner along with heirloom tomato and mozzarella di bufala stacks drizzled with 10 year old balsamic (love this dish).

Continued to open up over the course of 6 hours... nice, but a bit warm with 14.5% alc. that precludes it from being a truly well-balanced wine.   Still have a bit left to try on day 2 or 3 ... 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pelissero Barbaresco Vanotu 1998

Slow-oxygenated in bottle for 2.5 hours prior to dinner.  Gorgeous aromatics and stunning palate right away upon opening the bottle.  I have had great experiences over the past couple of years with 1998 vintage Barbaresco... 
14% alc, upfront black fruit, spice, mocha and tar... sweet aromatics that opened up gloriously at dinner.  Very alluring minerality manifested by limestone marl terroir. 
Paired with flash-fried, spicy tempura-battered langoustine (incredibly delicious) and very tasty roasted duck.
My first experience with Pellissero. Reminds me of a slightly more elegant version of Bruno Rocca Rabaja.  
I believe that Vanotu is the nickname of the Grandfather of Signore Giorgio Pelissero, the owner of the estate.  The vineyard intersects the Barbaresco, Treiso and Neive districts.  Here is a link to an interesting interview: http://www.terroirist.com/2012/05/weekly-interview-giorgio-pelissero/

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto 1999 and Damilano Barolo Cannubi 2000

First try for the '99 Giacosa Falletto ... opened 3.5 hours prior to dinner.  Seemed tight so did a full decant. Let me say right off the bat that if you have some of this vintage, I highly recommend holding onto to it for at least another 5 years.  I was quite surprised at the reticence of this wine. It started to open up a bit more 6 hours after full decant.  Unfortunately, there was none left for a day two appraisal... Once it started to open, there was a lovely, balanced sweetness to the wine that complemented extremely well balanced tannins... a masculine wine that is going to take a few more years.  Still, at the end of the evening, it was quite alluring.

Have had the Damilano Cannubi before and knew that this 2000 bottling was a stunner now.  This beauty was absolutely delicious right from the start and got even better as the evening progressed.  Velvet texture, luscious fruit, spices and light creosote... Highly recommended!
Here are the notes from January for the Damilano Cannubi: http://lestastevinsdulac.blogspot.com/2014/01/luigi-pira-barolo-marenca-2000-and.html

Paired the wines with grilled filet mignon for dinner (all wines pictured)