Tannic 2008 Produttori del Barbaresco & veal chop with cremini sautéed in white wine

veal chop barbaresco

We’re in a sort of limbo these days: now one day after our official due date, Baby P 2013 could arrive at any moment but there are still no signs of labor (yesterday Tracie P had a labor-inducing massage; today, she’ll do acupuncture).

Usually for my birthday dinner, I grill a porterhouse steak Florentine-style and open one of my favorite Langa crus or a Brunello Riserva from a favorite producer.

But this year, knowing that I wouldn’t be having more than a few glasses of wine and not wanting to tempt fate with immodesty, I pan-fired a beautifully tied veal chop and finished it with cremini mushrooms that I had sautéed and deglazed with white wine (some Dettori 2009 Romangia Bianco, for the record). And I opened a bottle of 2008 Produttori del Barbaresco (classic) Barbaresco, a label that you will always find in my Saturday-night cellar selection and one of my all-time favorite wines. (I pan-fired a filet mignon for Tracie P, who’s been craving red meat in these last weeks of the pregnancy.)

In my experience, the greatest expressions of Langa Nebbiolo will be fresh and bright, with vivid fruit flavor, in their early youth. But then suddenly, as if dropping off a continental shelf, they plunge into the tannic depths of traditionally made Nebbiolo.

The bottle I opened on Saturday night, my birthday eve, had already crossed the threshold of this “shut-down” period. And as much as I enjoyed the wine, it was much more generous with its fruit the next night (paired with quesadillas). Just a few months ago, it was still very bright when first opened.

I can hear my wine board fellows crying infanticide!

But in my view of the vinous world, this episode is all part of the joy in watching a wine evolve and remembering each development over the course of my relationship with it.

I drank just two glasses of it on Saturday night and then we finished it on Sunday night (by which time it was showing brilliantly, although still very tannic).

Moral of the story: in keeping with my maxim, never expedite wine, I just needed to give the bottle a day to open up and share its fruit with me.

Thanks again to everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes (mine and Baby P 2013!)! They mean the world to us…

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