Baroli 2007: Collectables Coming to the US This Spring

By: Victor Rallo

The 2007 Baroli are some of the best young Baroli I have ever tasted and a lot has to do with global warming. I do not believe any wine region in the world has been helped by the global warming more than Piemonte in Italy. In the past it was those rare years when the weather held out in late October and November that the Piemontese had stellar vintages, but I believe global warming is changing that and the 2007 vintage is a prime example.

The winter of 2007 was almost non existent in Piemonte, with no snow and very little precipitation, the flowers and vines began to bud almost one month early. The summer was warm but never had those heat spikes in late July and August and by late August the nights became cool and perfecto. This extended the growing season and the vegetation cycle, in fact even with its early start it lasted the normal amount of days, possibly a few days longer. Nebbiolo flourishes with cool nights at the end of the season, it is when the magic happens for me with Nebbiolo it allows the perfume of Nebbiolo grape to blossom. The 2007 Baroli have the richness and power of a warmer vintage and the beautiful delicate bouquet of a cooler vintage which is very rare for Baroli and makes this vintage truly unique.

The 2007 vintage is unprecedented and the age ability of these wines may be in question because we have never seen a growing season like that of 2007, but after the tasting of 2007 Baroli I attended on March 19, 2011 in New York City, I can assure you this is a collectors vintage.

The Tasting:
Antonio Galloni of the Wine Advocate, bought together 15 of the great Barolo producers for a tasting in New York City, at Del Posto restaurant on March 26, 2011.

I think it is important to list the producers, we could argue about a few but I think Galloni was dead on. The producers:

  1. Elio Altare
  2. Luciano Sandrone
  3. Roberto Voerzio
  4. Azelia
  5. Ceretto
  6. Vietti
  7. Paolo Scavino
  8. Bruno Giacosa
  9. Conterno – Fantino
  10. Elio Grasso
  11. Domenico Clerico
  12. Guiseppe Mascarello
  13. Brovia
  14. Guiseppe Rinaldi
  15. Giacomo Conterno

WOW!! WOW!! WOW!!

The producers were at a head table in the order listed and each spoke about there vision of 2007 vintage before we tasted their wine, what a format! I can tell you that Antonio Galloni has reviewed every wine we tasted and each wine has received 94 points or higher in his first review of the 2007 vintage.

My favorite person at the event: was Marta Rinaldi of Giuseppe Rinaldi Winery. He had never travelled out of Italy prior to this event; Antonio Galloni had to get him a passport after he accepted the invitation to attend. When it was his turn to speak he stood up slowly in a nervous but confident manner, he took the microphone from Antonio and spoke in Italian. Antonio translated and it went something like this;

His voice was far more gentle then his looks, he spoke soft and assured. He thanked us for joining him on his first trip to NY and said it was difficult for him to come. After all he was a farmer and he had never left his vines or cellar before, who would take care of this while he was gone. The trip was only 5 days and total but it should the passion, the pride and integrity Marta had for his wine, his land and his home. His wines portray this dedication vintage after vintage. I love this man and his values I hope I grow old in the same vain as Marta Rinaldi.

My Favorite Wine at the event was the:

Vietti 2007 Barolo Rocche, from the village of Castiligione Faletto

Let me first say that tasting all of these wines was like the finals a Beauty Pageant, every wine was delicious, well made and little intricacies separated the wines for me.

The Vietti 2007 Barolo Rocche, immediately caught my attention, when I put my nose in the glass. The nose was like a great symphony with many layers, and complexities. Ripe berries, burnt sugar, roses and fresh flowers it was truly fascinating. The beauty continues this wine has lovely tannins for a young Barolo and an exciting long finish. This is one of the most well integrated, balanced young barolo’s I have ever tasted.

The wine spends 5 weeks on the skins and malolactic fermentation takes place in French barriques. After fermentation the wine is aged in traditional large neutral Slovonian oak for 2 years. This wine will age for 15-25 years.

A MUST HAVE IN ANY BAROLO CELLAR.

The Bellavista Wine Tasting TONIGHT with Owner Sara Padarli

 

 

BellaVista

TODAY (March 17th) from 5 – 7pm, come celebrate the Italy’s 150th birthday with a complimentary tasting of Bellavista Wines with Owner Sara Padarli!

 

Bellavista Wines is the top producer of sparkling wines! Come and taste greatness for yourself. All wines being tasted will be available for purchase at special pricing during this event.

This event will be a complimentary tasting, so no reservations are necessary.

Mattia Vezzola! 2008 Tre Bicchieri WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR


The Wines Being Tasted

Bellavista NV Franciacorta Brut

Rating: 91
The NV Brut Cuvee is simply beautiful. White peaches, jasmine, minerals, ash and grapefruit are some of the aromas and flavors that come together in this taut, focused Franciacorta. This is a superb example of Italy’s best reasonably priced methode Champenoise wine. I loved it.
-Antonio Galloni (February, 2011)

Bellavista Grand Cuvee 2004

Rating: 91
The 2005 Brut Gran Cuvee is another super-impressive wine from Bellavista. This understated, elegant wine shows lovely inner perfume and fabulous overall balance in an open, approachable style best suited for drinking over the next few years. Rich, seductive fruit finds a lovely counterpoint in an underlying streak of minerality on the impeccable, chiseled finish.
-Antonio Galloni

Bellavista Grand Cuvee Rose 2005

Rating: 91+
The 2005 Gran Cuvee Rose is a pretty, delicate wine that is almost certainly not showing the fullest breadth of its potential. Though still somewhat buttoned up, the 2005 occasionally reveals its gorgeous inner perfume. The mousse is exceptionally fine in this polished, understated wine.
-Antonio Galloni (February, 2011)

 

About Bellavista

Scale and charm do not generally go together; yet in Bellavista’s case, they are perfectly compatible. This remarkable operation, masterminded by owner Vittorio Moretti and winemaker Mattia Vezzola, combines grandeur and star quality with familiarity and simplicity. The estate’s larger-than-life facilities, miles of underground cellars, impressive contemporary architecture (helipad included), and 1,250 surrounding acres of Franciacorta soil – 462 acres of which (187 hectares) are now under vine – leave you awestruck. At the same time, the exuberant Mattia, ebullient Morettis and likable, friendly Bellavista staff inspire immediate empathy.

Moretti founded the estate in 1976, and the first bottle of Franciacorta was issued in 1984. Over these three decades, the style of Bellavista has become a benchmark to the DOCG – so much so it has prompted countless imitations. Its vineyards now constitute 8% of the entire appellation, in extraordinarily favorable positions: some 60 selections that go into one million bottles yearly.
A choice number of special Reserves from the finest vintages rest in 3.5 million 3-lt. bottles, in Bellavista’s immense underground cellars. This treasury of excellence continues to nurture the Bellavista cuvées, providing the winery’s signature leitmotiv. The past couple of years have seen Mattia implement yet another phase in the estate’s constant crescendo: increasing élevage, on average from 36 to 48 months, so as to achieve the greatest possible quality consistency and personality.

 

WHAT IS FRANCIACORTA?

Franciacorta is not only an appellation; it is also a vinification method – metodo Franciacorta – for sparkling wines known as Franciacortas. There are only two world regions whose bubbles enjoy such distinction: Franciacorta, and Champagne. The Franciacortas of Bellavista consist of classic méthode champenoise/metodo Franciacorta from Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, awesome in every detail: minuscule, persistent perlage, ample, elegant bouquet of bread dough, ripe apples, pears and apricots with subtle notes of vanilla and peach jam; creamy, silky texture, unique concentration and long, pure finish.
Franciacorta’s clayey/limestone soil is richly endowed with the elements of Champagne, ideally enhanced by in-depth genetic research, organic-only fertilization, phased out harvests, parcelled out crops (the 60-plus selections are separately fermented in oak/stainless steel), vertical presses (Marmonnier and the more recent Coquard), up to 6 years’ bottle age in the vast underground cellars, refermentation directly in the bottle for the larger-format sparkling wines, remuage by hand for all sparkling wines etc. Both still and sparkling are from prime hillside vineyards, clonally selected material, densely planted stock. The still DOCs of the range are called Curtefranca (an ancient designation for the area).

Celebrate St. Joseph’s Day at Undici

Join us the week of March 14 – 20 in Celebration of Saint Josephs Day

We will be serving St. Josephs Pasta all week

Saint Josephs Day March 19, 2011

 

A note from Victor Rallo Jr.

My Father loved this day and would always cook a feast for family and friends. I grew up eating pasta con sarde and the traditional sfinge on St. Josephs day. After my father passed away in 2002 I promised to keep the tradition alive, please join us and enjoy this special occasion.

Customs of the Day

St. Joseph’s Day is a big Feast for Italians because in the Middle Ages, God, through St. Joseph’s intercessions, saved the Sicilians from a very serious drought. So in his honor, the custom is for all to wear red, in the same way that green is worn on St. Patrick’s Day.

Today, after Mass (at least in parishes with large Italian populations), a big altar (“la tavola di San Giuse” or “St. Joseph’s Table”) is laden with food contributed by everyone (note that all these St. Joseph celebrations might take place on the nearest, most convenient weekend). Different Italian regions celebrate this day differently, but all involve special meatless foods: minestrone, pasta with breadcrumbs (the breadcrumbs symbolize the sawdust that would have covered St. Joseph’s floor), seafood, Sfinge di San Giuseppe, and, always, fava beans, which are considered “lucky” because during the drought, the fava thrived while other crops failed (recipes below).

The table — which is always blessed by a priest — will be in three tiers, symbolizing the Most Holy Trinity. The top tier will hold a statue of St. Joseph surrounded by flowers and greenery. The other tiers might hold, in addition to the food: flowers (especially lilies); candles; figurines and symbolic breads and pastries shaped like a monstrance, chalices, fishes, doves, baskets, St. Joseph’s staff, lilies, the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, carpentry tools, etc.; 12 fishes symbolizing the 12 Apostles; wine symbolizing the miracle at Cana; pineapple symbolizing hospitality; lemons for “luck”; bread and wine (symbolizing the Last Supper); and pictures of the dead. There will also be a basket in which the faithful place prayer petitions.


The cry “Viva la tavola di San Giuse!” begins the feasting and is heard throughout the day. When the eating is done, the St. Joseph’s altar is smashed, and then three children dressed as the Holy Family will knock on three doors, asking for shelter. They will be refused at the first two, and welcomed at the third, in memory of the Holy Family’s seeking of hospitality just before Christ was born. This re-enactment is called “Tupa Tupa,” meaning “Knock Knock.”

The day ends with each participant taking home a bag that might be filled with bread, fruit, pastries, cookies, a medal of St. Joseph, a Holy Card and/or a blessed fava bean. Keep your “lucky bean,” and let it remind you to pray to St. Joseph. (The Litany of St. Joseph would be most appropriate today! You can download the Litany, in Microsoft Word .doc format, in English and in Latin).

Recipes:

Pasta di San Giuseppe (pasta with breadcrumbs that symbolize sawdust)

Bucatini or Perciatelli pasta

Sauce:
2 TBSP olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped fresh fennel
2 cups crushed tomatoes
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP chopped fresh basil
4 cans of drained, skinless, boneless sardines

Heat oil in large pot, and saute in it the garlic and pepper flakes. Add the fennel, tomatoes, paste, and basil. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes ’til fennel is tender. Add the sardines and simmer a few more minutes.

Topping:
1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup fine homemade breadcrumbs

Heat oil, and add crumbs and heat until golden brown. Pour sauce over the pasta, then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
Traditional St. Josephs Reading

Sermon 2, On St Joseph
By St. Bernardine of Siena

This is the general rule that applies to all individual graces given to a rational creature. Whenever divine grace selects someone to receive a particular grace, or some especially favoured position, all the gifts for his state are given to that person, and. enrich him abundantly.

This is especially true of that holy man Joseph, the supposed father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and true husband of the queen of the world and of the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father to be the faithful foster-parent and guardian of the most precious treasures of God, his Son and his spouse. This was the task which he so faithfully carried out. For this, the Lord said to him, “Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”

A comparison can be made between Joseph and the whole Church of Christ. Joseph was the specially chosen man through whom and under whom Christ entered the world fittingly and in an appropriate way. So, if the whole Church is in the debt of the Virgin Mary, since, through her, it was able to receive the Christ, surely after her, it also owes to Joseph special thanks and veneration.

For he it is who marks the closing of the old testament. In him the dignity of the prophets and patriarchs achieves its promised fulfilment. Moreover; he alone possessed in the flesh what God in his goodness promised to them over and again.

It is beyond doubt that Christ did not deny to Joseph in heaven that intimacy, respect, and high honour which he showed to him as to a father during his own human life, but rather completed and perfected it. Justifiably the words of the Lord should be applied to him, “Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Although it is the joy of eternal happiness that comes into the heart of man, the Lord prefers to say to him “enter into joy”. The mystical implication is that this joy is not just inside man, but surrounds him everywhere and absorbs him, as if he were plunged in an infinite abyss.

Therefore be mindful of us, blessed Joseph, and intercede for us with Him Whom men thought to be your Son. Win for us the favour of the most Blessed Virgin your spouse, the mother of Him Who lives and reigns with the Holy Spirit through ages unending. Amen.