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Barbaresco Dinner at Matteo’s 04/06/12

Continuing my Italian Odyssey (sadly without leaving Melbourne) Patrick’s group assembled to taste most of the Single Cru wines from one of the worlds best cooperatives Produttori del Barbaresco
from the fantastic 2007 vintage.

Nebbiolo - better than Bordeaux? Burgundy?
It is a sight of beauty.

Barbaresco is in the region of Piedmont in North West tip of Italy, you can read a general overview of the region I wrote for TWDs Piedmont Dinner. Barbaresco is made with 100% Nebbiolo, a variety that packs a fair punch with tannin and acid power. They are notable for their ability to age and evolve very slowly for a very long time. The classic descriptor for the variety is “Tar and Roses” supported by a lot of savoury characters with some red fruits.
The 2007 vintage was celebrated for its long ripening season that allowed the grapes to reach maturity and therefore the resulting wines to be aromatic with plentiful but ripe tannin and a rich core of fruit. Something that was a common theme amongst the wines we tasted on the night.

None of these nights would function without Champagne. Happily it was the same one I loved at our last dinner at Mezzo Bar.

Lanson Gold Label Vintage 2002 Zesty and citrus with strong autolytic undertones. Really refreshing and enjoyable.

Sadly we did have to sacrifice doing our regular study of Riesling for this month. But it was for a good cause. 

The next eight wines are all from Producttori del Barbaresco and the vintage 2007. They are all single cru (single vineyard). First of all let me say that they were all excellent. They all showed a common theme of savoury wines with a tight core of fruit and a firm, ripe corset of tannins. Trying to split these in terms of quality was almost impossible, but it was well worth the ‘headache’.These were all stunning wines and well worth tasting. But the other theme they all had in common is they need a lot of time. Check out TWDs Produttori del Barbaresco offer for pricing and availability.

Lots of love for the Asili
Asili defintely stood out. But it was in great company.

Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Asili’ Dry, floral – roses, cherry, stones, rubber, limestone, aniseed.
Tart, tannic and bacon fat, fine tannins, minerals, great length, great core, spicy, meaty, long, ripe. A very majestic wine and the wine that stood out to me as being the best in a great lot of wines.

Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Moccagatta’  Dense, earthy, fresh red lift, smokey, blood orange, dusty.
Tart, zesty, clean, crunchy, cardamom, herbal finish, dry fruit tannins.

Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Montefico’ Light, spice, rubber, hint of mint?, sweet plums.
Plush and silky, smoke, mineral, fruit tannins, fruit cake, chocolate, comparatively soft.

Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Montestefano’ Red currants, tart, fine, spice, earth, black stones, soot, pepper.
Round, silky, tart, mineral, fine, hint bitter, cardamom.

So hard to split these awesome wines.
So hard to separate these wines.  

Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Ovello’ Roses, floral, red fruits, spice and sweet spices, ripe sweet fruits.
Dry, savoury, very tannic, cinnamon.

Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Paje’ Dark, rubber, blue and black fruit, spice, tea leaf, dense, hint of oak.
Silky, dense, dark fruits, hint oaky palate too.

Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Pora’ Red fruits, fresh, lively, tea leaf, deep, rich cinnamon.
Silky, dense, v tart, clean, cinnamon, good length. A very good wine.

Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Rio Sordo’ Floral, red fruits, stones, tea leaf.
Great balance, red fruits, dry tannins, mineral drive, density and fat. Very, very good wine.

Pora and Rio Sordo very very impressive.
So similar yet so different. A great problem to have.

Options Wine – This month was a good lesson in not over thinking this part of the night!
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘Asili’ 1997 Initially it looked really old. Cloudy, brown and a bit unappealling to the eye. The nose was quite waxy, savoury, tea leaf, hint of VA and a fair whack of aniseed.The palate had undergrowth, sweet fruits, chocolate, red apple, rose petal. Fine, balanced and long.
At first I was thinking old Chateauneuf du Pape, but after re reading my notes for this post I don’t know why, it reads like all the other Barbarescos we just tried. When we were told it was Barbaresco and from the same Cru as one of the wines already on the table I remember aniseed and went with the only other wine I had tasted that had that character. So atleast I picked the Cru.

This wine really opened up with time in the glass and with more time it showed its true class and value. These wines are seriously cheap for the quality level.

Good times.
Like a kid at a candy store.
Fonseca 10yo Tawny Corked – curse the silly things. Given we were already quite full of Nebbiolo it was probably a good thing.

There was also a Macedon Pinot, glass of beer and a glass of Cognac. None of which I feel the need to remind myself of.