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Old 12-04-2012, 03:57 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: Mostly Nebbiolo (plus Champagne, Trebbiano, Sauternes)

A great group got together for some Nebbiolo at La Silhouette in Manhattan last night. Restaurant did a fine job with wine service. Food was great, though a little slow to get rolling. Maybe not what I'd have thought for Barolo, but delicous:

Smoked salmon amuse.
Beautiful slow poached egg over a white asparagus & mascarpone puree, with green asparagus
Delicious spring pea risotto with pea tendrils and parmesan (some thought peas tough)
While soft shell crab isn't my idea of Barolo food (thankfully I saved some Trebbiano), it was scrumptious, with chickpeas and ramp aioli.
Chicken two ways (roast and a ballontine) with a morel sauce.
Watercress and goat cheese salad
Rhubard dessert

We started with a lovely bottle of NV Billecarte Salmon Rose. Strawberries and earth, fine mousse, nice length. B+/A-

Then the 2008 Valentini Trebbiano d' Abbruzzo
Mineral, wax, honey, oily, a bit soft in the mouth, kind of Chenin meets Roussanne. Could use a bit more acidity but I enjoyed. B/B+

First Flight
1993 Giuseppe Rinaldi "Cannubi " Barolo
Soft, pretty red fruit, herby, in a good place and should hold there for a while. B+

1999 Roagna "Pajé" Barbaresco
Slightly lifted nose, but seems to calm down, pretty tannic (though it had time in decanter that AM), not as fun now as the Rinaldi but maybe with time. B

Second Flight
1999 G. Mascarello "Monprivato" Barolo
This is very very young, but it shows well and holds well for a long time (I saved some). Firm but the tannins are surprisingly supple and easy, red fruit, tar, classic. A-

1997 G. Mascarello "Monprivato" Barolo
I had given an hour in decanter before returning to bottle that AM. Powerful, nice tar and floral notes, but the fruit approaches roasted/jammy without going over (my) limit. Fun, tasty, but I'm not sure I'd want to age this further, and I'm glad it my next to last '97 Piedmont. B/B+

Third Flight
1980 Vietti "Masseria" Barbaresco
Most controversial wine of night. Some VA, a hint of caramel, lots of teabag. This was decanted and there were 2 camps, the "it's madeirized" side and "that's what sediment can do to old Nebbiolo" group. I'm in the latter camp, I liked it for what it was. B-

1982 Azienda Bricco Rocche (Ceretto) "Brunate" Barolo
Mushroom, tar, fresh cherry fruit, great length. Just what you want in maturing Barolo. A-/A

Fourth Flight
1970 Produttori del Barbaresco "Pora" Barbaresco Riserva
I had double-decanted in AM. Sweet fruit (some thought too sweet, but I thought classic old school Barbaresco). Tangy acids, orange zest, coffee and tar. I was very happy with this. A-

1967 Produttori del Barbaresco "Cavalieri del Tartufo -Paje" Barbaresco
A little tar, slightly lifted nose, a very good aged Nebbiolo that I just thought a little more tired than it's flightmate. B+/B

Last flight
1985 Cavallotto "Vigna San Giuseppe" Barolo Riserva
Hard, not very giving, this will probably be very very good but not giving a lot now. For current drinking, B-

1985 Giacomo Conterno "Cascina Francia" Barolo
Solid, masculine, spice over red fruit, needs time, but funner this night than the Cavallotto. B+

1985 Castello di Neive "Santo Stefano" Barbaresco
Good, easier tannins than it's flightmates, very nice and ready to go. B+

Ben had also brought a dessert wine, the 1990 Ch. Climens. Powerful and delicious Barsac, classic and long. A-

Very fun night with a good group, and I highly recommend the restaurant.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.


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