Maybe it’s because she knew I was depressed by the flurry of bad news from Europe.
But it’s definitely because I’m the luckiest guy in the world: when Tracie P came home from work yesterday, she brought me a bottle of 2007 Barbaresco by Produttori del Barbaresco, which — believe it or not — I still hadn’t tasted.
However bizarre the 2007 vintage in Langa, everything I’ve tasted so far from Barbaresco and Barolo has been simply sensational. Here’s what one of my favorite wine writers, Antonio Galloni, had to say about this strange but glorious (imho) vintage:
- The year started off with an unusually warm and dry winter, with virtually no precipitation. Flowers and plants went into bloom nearly a full month early. Growers had never seen conditions such as these. The summer was warm, but evenly so, without noticeable heat spikes. Towards the end of the growing season nighttime temperatures lowered, slowing down the maturation of the grapes, and allowing for the development of the perfume that is such an essential component of fine Nebbiolo. The harvest was earlier than normal, but the growing season started so early in the year that the actual length of the vegetative cycle was actually close to normal if not longer than normal by a few days.
At first kiss, the 2007 classic (as opposed to vineyard-designated) Barbaresco by Produttori del Barbaresco was very generous with its fruit. Arguably the most elegant bottling I’ve ever tasted from the winery that forms the centerpiece of our wine collection, the wine showed stunning balance before quickly closing up, with the muscular tannin dominating the wine in my glass for the rest of the evening (I’ve saved the great part of the wine in the bottle and will revisit it tonight and tomorrow night). If ever there were an expression of Barbaresco “Barolo-esque” in its power, this would be it: there was a delicate menthol note in the mouth that reminded us of some of our favorite “east-side,” “Helvetian” growers.
It’s too early for final judgment on this wine, but wow, my impression is that we have a lot to look forward to…
In other news…
I also opened a bottle of Gianni Brunelli olive oil that Laura Brunelli gave me when I visited the family’s amazing farm in Montalcino in October.
A drizzle over some still warm toasted bread was unbelievably good, one of the mineral olive oils I’ve ever tasted. (When tasting olive oil, please be sure the olive oil is room temperature and always taste with warm bread; the gentle heat of the bread will prompt the oil to release its full flavor.)
I used the oil to dress some fresh red leaf lettuce and some cannellini beans. Utterly and absolutely delicious.
Whereas Ligurian olive oil tends toward the fruity and Sicilian toward the spicy, great Tuscan olive oil leans toward salty: I added just a dash of kosher salt to both the salad and the beans and Laura’s oil imparted all the savoriness I needed to both dishes. Fantastic stuff… Enough to cheer a wine blogger up after a day of gloomy news from his adoptive country…
Stay tuned for a post on my visit with Laura, a tour of her amazing “biodynamic” house, and a tasting of some current and older vintages of her family’s incredible wines… one of the best tastings from my last trip to Italy… Thanks for reading!