February 11, 2007
Loving Italian Barolos
Ah yes, Italian wines. While I spent a fabulous April in Tuscany a few years back, and everything about it, including the drizzling rain was memorable, I wasn't looking forward to drinking reds at the time, largely because I was hooked on California style Chardonnays. I still am to some extent (got a bottle of Kistler for Christmas and was over the moon).
It was a phase, a phase that quickly shifted after being introduced to the 'right Italian Chiantis,' which had always been too light for me.
As a California Zinfandel and South African Shiraz lover, the Chianti's never took me to that 'big in the chest' place that a Cab, Zin or Italian Barolo is known for. I was recently exposed to a few Italian Barolos which were exquisite with both the raw fish I ordered to start and the duck avec carmalized cherries, berries and nuts. Did I say exquisite? I meant mind-blowing.
We started with a 2003 Barbaresco - Produttori del Barbaresco, which while on the lighter side than the Barolos, was very dry but with fruit undertones, particularly plum. Very obvious plum. We also tasted the 2001 Masseria Vietti, the 1998 Mauro Melino and the 2001 Massolino. More on Barolos and in particular Ettore Germano here, which I understand is where the 2000 Prapo Germano Ettore Barolo is from.
Where is the vineyard exactly? Set on the outskirts of the Italian village of Serralunga, which is on the south-east edge of the Barolo appellation. A medieval fortified tower dominates the village and the Germano winery is a few hundred yards north of Serralunga. If you have an opportunity, check out all of the above.
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