Tuesday, November 4, 2014

GOTG First Look Series: Barollo Wines

I recently had the good fortune to try the new line of wines soon to be available in New York from Barollo (not Barolo) wines from the Veneto region of Italy.

The first white wine up was the 2013 Barollo Sauvignon Blanc made from 100% of the same. Stainless steel fermentation. The first thing I noticed about the aromas was the absence of cat pee, which frequently appears in varied quantities in many Sauvignon Blanc's. There are nice grassy base aromas layered below herbaceous nuances of citrus, while the palate displays a verdant earthy slate minerality along with more citrus fruits like grapefruit and lime. A very fine acidity with balance and juicy finish.

Paired perfectly with a first course of shrimp with yellow squash, baby kale, tomato confit with a champagne vinaigrette dressing.

Barollo Pinot Bianco 2012
Similar to a Chardonnay but slightly dryer, aromas of buttery apple pie and tropical fruit partnering well with a palate of ripe apples and hints of banana. Very food friendly with lively acidity which pairs well with a second course of pumpkin risotto.

Barollo Manzoni Bianco 2012

Manzoni Bianco, an indigenous grape from the province of Treviso, which was originally a cross-breeding of Riesling Renano and Pinot Bianco in the 1930's. Usually used as a blending grape, Barollo is one of a handful of wineries presently producing Manzoni as a single varietal.
Pale golden colors in the glass, on the nose a floral bouquet with nuances of apricot, apple and marzipan. On the palate notes of pears and powdery flower petals. Delicate but with texture and structure showing minerality that also works very well with the pumpkin risotto.

Barollo Frater Rosso 2013
Stainless steel fermentation and 3 months in bottle. Deep purple in the glass, animal and underbrush on the nose, exotic spices, super ripe cherries, violets and an overall floral bouquet. Flavors are intense but not overpowering with gamey notes, red bing cherries, and a lingering finish of violet candy and nutmeg. Beautifully balanced and complex... but, easy drinking, and as someone at my table pointed out, "... bridges the gap between new and old world reds".

The Frater (above) and Frank (below) both paired well with 3rd course of Grilled Hanger Steak with Caramelized Onions & Oxtail Marmalade.

Barollo Frank 2010 Cabernet Franc
Late harvested for ripeness, the stems are removed early to eliminate any green taste. Aged 12 months in French barriques before bottle aging for 6 months, resulting in an elegant, well structured, mouth watering Cab Franc with smooth, even aromas. Ruby red colors with warmer colors around rim, on the nose ripe cherries, tobacco and cocoa. On the palate a soft, elegant balance of acidity and tannins, with earthy flavors of coffee and red berries and a wonderful long finish.

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