Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Pi Vigne" Barolo Silvio Grasso 2001

Sarah gave this to me when we were living in Oakland on our fifth anniversary, with the intention that we drink it on our tenth anniversary, which was yesterday. Purchased at Paul Marcus wines for around $40 or $50. At the time, it was an expensive bottle of wine for her, mainly because she couldn't find a job and we were both broke as a result.  This bottle has also traveled with us, and is pre-Vino Temp. The first year we lived in LA it was hot, so I was half expecting this bottle to be cooked or something. It also survived a ride in a car through the Central Valley in the middle of June. If you've been through the Central Valley, you know it's insanely hot. Hundreds of degrees. I'm happy to report that despite my fears, this bottle of wine definitely held up, and has lots of stuffing left. It could definitely have aged for longer. 

I braised some short ribs on Thursday and let them cool in the fridge so that I wouldn't really have to do too much on Friday night. On Friday night, I made a risotto alla Milanese (which is basically risotto with saffron in it), roasted some cauliflower, and uncorked this wine. This wine is textbook Barolo, right down to how tightly wound and tannic it was. Despite that, it was still impeccably fresh, but was just starting to show some secondary types of characteristics, like cinnamon. Dried cherries, strawberries, herbs, licorice, some cinnamon notes right at the tail end, and some earthy stuff thrown in for good measure. Lots of tannins, but sufficient fruit and acidity to balance it all out. Overall, this wine was great with the short ribs, although maybe it needed more time (either a decant or aging in the cellar) to really open up. It seemed to be a bit shy. The real interesting part of this bottle was the fact that it's been around for five years, and we got to drink it. It was interesting to reflect on the last five years and how much we've changed, because that isn't something that we often have the opportunity to do. We need to set aside bottles for a specific date like this more often. 


2 comments:

Cabfrancophile said...

Funny coincidence--my fiance and I had just had a 2001 Nebbiolo from Bien Nacido Vineyard, made by Jim Clendenen, to celebrate moving into a new rental house in Albuquerque. Basically what you wrote for this Barolo could describe that wine. It was by far the best CA Nebbiolo I've had. My guess is it could compare well to a good Barolo--it had varietal character, and more depth and balance than a Langhe Nebbiolo.

I need to be getting more Piedmont Nebs and laying them down. Meanwhile, Santa Barbara can keep working on its Nebbiolo. It's probably a pretty decent spot for it given the temps, coastal influence and long growing season.

Jeff said...

How's Albuquerque? Always wanted to go there. Cheaper than Santa Barbara I imagine?

I wish that we had been buying random wines like this and squirreling them away a couple of years ago. Really, the only wines that I have like that at this point are CdP's. I've got a lot of those, but they obviously don't age quite the same as Barolo. I've got a couple vintages of Vieux Telegraphe, and some Beaucastel, but the other wines that I have kicking around are begging to be drunk.