Monday, January 07, 2008

2004 Mascarello Dolcetto D'Alba Bricco - Giuseppe E. Figlio $19.99

Color: Scarlet red on the edges with darker hues at the center
Nose: Earthy, mineral, herbal notes with hints of berry fruit
Palate: Earthy and mineral, plum, herbal with firm tannins and acidity
Finish: Clean and refreshing from the acidity, earthy and plumy fruits echo the aromas and flavors
Tonight Lisa made some Porcini Mushroom ravioli in a Pomodoro sauce. Lisa made the Pomodoro from scratch, with tomatoes, olive oil, grated Romano (an adequate and much cheaper substitute for Parmesan Reggiano) and garlic. The ravioli were from Vito’s in Hoboken who makes their own fresh and frozen. To pair with the ravioli we needed a wine that would match well with the earthy mushroom, subtle Ricotta/Romano cheese filling, and the acid in the Pomodoro tomato sauce. We would need a wine with fresh acidity and an earthiness a Sangiovese based wine like Chianti Classico or a lighter Italian red like Dolcetto can deliver. I decided on a Dolcetto (fresh out of drinking priced Chianti or Sangiovese). If I had my druthers or the inventory for it I may have tried a Pinot Nero, aka Pinot Noir, because of the earthiness of the mushroom ravs but I have none on hand. I chose a 2004 Mascarello Dolcetto D'Alba Bricco by Giuseppe E. Figlio. Bricco is the name of the vineyard. Bricco is a famous vineyard that produces world class Barolos for the few wine makers that have access to its fruit. Giuseppe also makes 3 different Barbera, as well as 5 classic Piedmontese Barolos made from the Nebbiolo grape from other single vineyards in Barolo.

The Mascarello Dolcetto Bricco thoroughly impressed Lisa a few months back and when I saw the bottle in a shop a few weeks ago I had to snap one up. The first time we had this wine it was at the bar at Cru, a great restaurant in New York City that has a deep and high quality wines by the glass menu. Not to mention two enormous wine lists; one each for red and white and each the size of the Bible! Cru is a special place to grab a glass of wine and a cheese plate if in the area or planned out. Dinner is fabulous and one can have dinner about 20 different ways in 3-9 course creations; made to order with as many or little courses as you wish or can eat based on your tastes and preferences (off menu), a seasonal 7 course tasting menu, or create your own prix fixe dinner based on the usual 11 First Courses and 8 Main Courses and 5 deserts. You can also pair with your meal with the premium wines by the glass poured at the bar or maybe talk the sommelier into some 1990 DRC and 82 Mouton! For my 30th birthday Lisa and I dined here and had the 4 course prix fixe (I had 5).

At first I was surprised how dark the wine was. The first time around I guess I did not notice it as the bar area at Cru is pretty dim. The nose had old northern Italian smells of earthiness, minerality and herbal notes with some red berry fruit. The herbal notes were not easy to pick out but I would say sage bay leaf, and maybe some tobacco. On the palate we had plum fruit, with tastes of the herbal notes, leather and lots of minerality and earthiness. It tasted like the wine was made in the large Italian casks and after some research I found out they were raised in large Slovenian oak casks (see picture at right). Highly structured with firm tannin and acid structure, this wine had a lot of stuffing and was excellent. This is not a wine for beginners; those without proper palate appreciation would think this is bitter and tannic. I thought it was a great Dolcetto, even at an uncharacteristically freakish 14.5% alcohol because of the super high tannin and acid content that balanced the high alcohol content. I can still taste the finish, delicious!


No comments:

Post a Comment

My Favorites