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Barolo & Barbaresco

July 15, 2013

Bacchus kept up its steady stream of dinners with yet another gathering in the private sanctum of Garibaldi, 30 May 2013, with a bespoke menu expertly crafted by maestro RobertoBarolo and Barbaresco aren’t exactly the most exciting wine themes one could conjure up but Bacchus, being Bacchus with its members having “been there, done that”, can afford to do away with exotic themes, preferring to concentrate on the pleasures of fine wine and great company.

1967 ConternoWe began with a 1996 Antinori Cervaro (courtesy Kieron), displaying a dull plummy color and lowish acidity with mild overtones of lacquer and laid back apricot, some nectar creeping in as it gradually warmed up, though it was just a tad too lightweight on the palate for my liking, exposing the stony minerality beneath with a fair degree of dryness. One could tell that the 1967 Ditta Giacomo Conterno Barolo from the restaurant list that followed was badly oxidized, a weird orangey-peachy color that was quite indescribable on the nose, an overwhelming powdery musty odour, the wine tasting like rust or motor oil (not that I’ve ever had those before but I’d imagine they’d come close).

Thankfully, no such further abomination was in store for the rest of the evening. The 2000 Bruno Giacoso Barbaresco, despite its alarming lightness in color, turned out well, fully matured with a soft glow of strawberries and red fruits, distinctly medium-bodied and gentle, carrying decent weight but short. It gained further weight over time, becoming beautifully developed by the end of dinner. Barolo & BarbarescoInterestingly, its pairing, a 1999 Gaja Costa Russi (courtesy Pipin), was significantly darker in color and tone than the Giacoso in spite being older, generous in mint, spice, raspberries and dark cherries that added up to an attractive weightiness, exuding a lovely perfumed fragrance offset by undertones of saddle and leather. Lovely.

A pairing of Barolos brought the evening to a most satisfying conclusion. The 1985 Gaja Sori Tildin (courtesy Kieron), suitably aged and glowing with rose petals and all manner of supple red fruits, exuded a distinctly feminine character, absolutely seamless and beautifully developed although there was no mistaking the weight that comes from a Barolo. The best was saved for last, for how could one go wrong with a 1997 Gaja Sperrs (courtesy LiFern). This wine was the darkest of the lot, remarkably sweet on the nose, promising ripe sweet berries and currants and superb depth of fruit that came through on the palate, beautifully rounded and seamless, developing further notes of rose petals and licorice with a touch of forest floor, earth and a trace of smoke, framed by lithe supple tannins. Outstanding.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Wrist slitter permalink
    August 12, 2013 15:35

    Ah… Never wait too long to write stuff. There was a 76 Barolo which I brought was succumbed to rigor mortis. Which resulted in the combined effort of Vic, K et moi in the white and Tildin, After which I had to plumb 3 vessels to recover cost!

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