Tasted Wednesday, January 30, 2008 by Dave Dalluge with 489 views
The Kitchen Tasting Group completed a magnificant series of Wednesday night tastings in January with a night of Piedmont wines at Steve’s house. This is a great venue for a tasting. We started in Steve’s massive kitchen while the food was being prepared, and then moved to the banquet room for dinner. The banquet room is a huge room set off from the main house with heated floors, white-washed walnut paneling (ceiling and all), plenty of windows and an excellent sound system. The music got louder and louder as the night wore on.
Steve had the Fevre open when I arrived to help with the cooking. Chris Palm supplied the magnum of Veuve Clicquot. These wines were served in the kitchen with a fine selection of cheeses (courtesy of Brad England), olives, and garlic and pancetta crostini (made by me).
We started on the reds while still in the kitchen. Consensus was to start with the ’61 Monfortino for fear that it would fade in time. We then moved on to the ’90 Conteisa. Chris and Steve were working feverishly while the rest of us calmly sipped on these excellent wines.
The first course was an excellent pasta put together by Chris and Steve. Steve has a great source for fresh fettucini and the sauce was comprised of onions, red peppers, mushrooms, cream and gorgonzola. This had tons of flavor and paired very well with this flight of wines.
Dinner was served with the Gaja flight. Steve prepared an excellent Barolo braised beef (he used a 1999 Pio Cesare Barolo – “It’s the cheapest Barolo I own.”) This was served with bok choy and marinated mushrooms. I don’t know how much beef Steve made, but I do know it disappeared in a hurry. The pairing with the wine worked spectacularly well.
As we finished dinner we moved on to the next flight of wines.
I prepared a Duchess of Parma Torte for dessert. Unfortunately, in my rush to get out of the house in the morning, I forgot this in the refrigerator. It is 45 minutes each way between Steve’s house and my house, so we had to go without. Fortunately, Steve had a tray of Italian cookies that worked very well for dessert.
Next up was the mystery wine. Steve appeared with the wine in a decanter and proceeded to badger us into guessing the wine. As I’ve never had any vintage of this wine I had no shot of nailing this one. I don’t think anyone else got close either.
With the tasting winding down the group turned ugly – demanding d’Yquem. We were calling for a 2001, but Steve graciously supplied the excellent 1990. This seemed to revive our palates and gear us up for some more wine. The 1990 Tig was on the table and was quickly opened. Steve tried to keep the music in check for his family, but Brad and I kept turning it louder and louder, and eventually Steve gave up. Brad was really getting into the music. Talk turned to Richebourg, and eventually the crowd demanded more wine – preferably a Richebourg. Steve again acquiesced to the will of the group (actually, he seemed like a willing conspirator) – returning from his cellar with a stunning pair of Burgundies. Steve had prepared the guest room for me, and I’d had enough so I stumbled up the stairs and collapsed into bed. In the morning I discovered that the party had continued for quite some time.
Hard to call a WOTN with this collection of wines. For the Piedmont wines I would narrow it down to the '97 Sperss and the '00 Conterno Gran Bussia. While I'm still a bit conflicted about it, I would say the Conterno was the better wine on this night. However, when taking into consideration all of the wine served the DRC Richebourg was my favorite. Thanks to Steve for throwing such an awesome event to close out our January tastings. Next up is planning for our February tastings.