Sunday, October 4, 2009

2004 Ceretto Barolo Zonchera

Well, it's been quite a while since I've even had a drink--10 or 11 days. I just didn't want to. Drinking is an interesting double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is pleasurable and interesting, on the other hand, it fucks with a lot of essential functions of your body. Like sleeping for instance. I find that even a bottle split at a meal disrupts my sleep drastically...which I don't really enjoy. It's fascinating to look at the biological response that intoxication brings. Your brain actually tries to compensate for the depressive effect by releasing chemicals into your body that stimulate you a couple of hours after the fact. And for some reason, I have found myself to be increasingly disrupted by a couple of drinks as I get older. Maybe this is what getting old is like? Who knows, but it's a frustrating conundrum, because wine is so fascinating to me, but I also really like my sleep. Either way it sucks.

There's a great article in the NY Times this morning about E. Coli and slaughterhouses. To a certain extent, this article is preaching to the choir (IE me and the readership of the times I'm sure), and it's nothing that hasn't been revealed in works such as The Omnivores Dilemna, but it still demonstrates what an absolute joke/horror food safety, the industrial meat complex, and the government are. I haven't eaten a burger in a really long time (and with good reason, I might add), but the article still scares the shit out of me. I mean listen to the beef packers try and blame it on each other in the article, and then look at the government response, and it's clear that no one really cares about the consumer in all this. It's all based on plausible deniability. Everyone knows there's a real issue, but no one wants to be the first one to change. So they just deny that there's an issue. Fucked up. Here's hoping that there are changes to the way the vast majority of idiot Americans consume food. Eating random cow pieces from a sad animal fattened on food that it's body can't process is not only inhumane, but dangerous. Maybe the government should stop subsidizing corn so that it gets more expensive to eat meat and the economics of more local, humanely run, old-school operations would make better sense? Feedlot beef, pigs and chicken are whack, and it's too bad that those are not only the cheapest, but frequently the only, options available (even to me). It's hard, and expensive to find a better alternative, even in a humongous city like Los Angeles. That's got to change, but there have to be enough people on board for it to change. It can't just be all the bourgeois's got to be the whole fucking country, and all the apologists for the meat industry need to realize how fucked up the meat industry is. Yes, we'll all still eat meat, but we shouln't eat industrial, shit-infested meat from sad animals. 

Okay, now that I'm done ranting, on to this wine. Barolo is one of those things that's hard to get to know since it's so fucking expensive. Definitely more familiar with CDP, and CDR, but Barolo was my first "holy shit!" wine (it was a 1997 Livia Fontana Barolo at Volterra in Ballard with a veal chop that did it for me), and when I find bottles that are relatively affordable, I generally buy them and drink them. I don't have too much space for "safe" decade long wine storage anyways...Ceretto is a well-lauded producer and this is their base-level bottling. The single vineyard wines, such as "Bricco Rocche," are around 200$. So I figured that since Costco was carrying this wine for 37$, and it was from the awesome 2004 vintage, that this would be a slam-dunk. It's certainly good wine, but not 37$ good. I have had better, cheaper (25$ish) 04 Barolo (although admittedly, not many). Nose of cherries, chocolate, licorice, and berries after it's sat in the glass for a couple of hours. Once in the mouth, it's clear that this wine has some good structure, and there's definitely some tannin that is starting to integrate seamlessly with the fruit. On the rustic side. It's a bit hollow mid-palate, and the finish doesn't have a lot of oomph, although there are nice notes of chocolate and ginger that come through along with some traces of fruit. I was hoping that this would knock my socks off (I had firm intentions of getting several more bottles if it did), but it didn't. Too expensive, and not enough bang for the buck. Definitely better stuff out there are this price, both in Barolo, and other wines. C/C+


Tricerapops said...

barolo is definitely a crap shoot - and at the price point, i would rather gamble on ground beef (i kid).

i have avoided the NYT article (i'm in denial, i love meat TOO much) - but have read enough axillary commentary to understand that it's damning.

no offense meant by this - but i laughed after reading the rant on meat and then hearing that your epiphany barolo was paired with a veal chop. LOL.

In seriousness, great blog - and i look forward to following more of these reviews.

Jeff said...

Barolo is a crap-shoot...and frequently expensive too, which is too bad. Yeah, I like meat too, but there is a lot of cognitive dissonance floating around it for me. I didn't even realize that I went from ranting to beef (it was a rant, after all), to talking about a veal chop. Kinda funny in hindsight. Oops. I must sound like a total tool. Glad you like the site. I like that your site isn't soley about wine. Wine is so specific, and the lexicon surrounding it can be nauseatingly boring! That tweet from Aziz Ansari was hilarious, and no one would have turned me on to it otherwise.