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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Barolo, Brunello and Barbaresco Wine Finds by Philip S. Kampe

May I give you fair warning that I had the privilege of sampling well over 50 varieties of what I consider to be Italy's true gift to the world--wines that start with the letter "B".
As you know from the title of this short article, that can only mean "BAROLO, BARBARESCO and BRUNELLO.
Thanks to a wine guru in the making, Sam Kass of Winebow, I had the pleasure of attending, what I consider to be one of the 'Top Five" wine tastings of the year. The event was held at the new 'Lafayette Restaurant and Bakery' at 380 Lafayette Street (NYC). The same space housed a very successful restaurant, Chinatown Brasserie for several years, before the conversion.
The wine tasting took place in the newly renovated basement, which looks like a true wine cellar, the type you would have in your house. The walled brick cellar held hundreds of bottles of wine, which looked impressive, partially due to the dimly lit lights that created the necessary mood. A large table in the center was home to a gourmet's delight--antipasto. Whether it was beet salad or seafood salad, the food presented matched the wines that were poured.
What I learned was that the Winebow portfolio of wines at the event were masterfully picked out by none other than Leonardo Locascio, whose name is attached to each bottle. Leonardo has been named as one of the wine worlds most influential personalities and America's foremost authority on Italian wine. My respect for Leonardo started years ago when his company carried wines and lemoncello from my relatives, Antonio and Aurelia De Angelis who live on the Isle of Capri.
Eventually the de Angelis's sold their wine and lemoncello interest to concentrate on their world renowned restaurant on the Isle of Capri, La Capannina ( www.capannina-capri.com ).
The restaurant has been a hotspot for celebrities that visit the island known for the 'Blue Grotto'. In fact, last week I watched an episode of  The Food Channel's 'Everyday Italian' starring Guida De Laurentis'. The episode focused on the Isle of Capri and included Guida preparing from scratch, La Capannina's world famous Ravioli alla Caprese.
In fact, the Ravioli alla Caprese would pair well with the selection of Italian wines I sampled.
What I learned from the wine tasting was to buy these wines from a small group of producers who specialize in either Barolo's, Barbaresco's or Brunello's. Yes, the year does matter (I prefer 2009), but, it seems the quality of each year of production excels in its own way.

The companies to focus your interest on are::
"BARBARESCO DOCG"
CASTELLO di NIEVE DOCG
2006, 2008, 2009, 2010  ALBESANI S STEFANO

CERETTO DOCG
2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
ASIJ
BRICCO ASILI BERNARDOT
BRICCO AISLI

CORTESE DOCG
2004, 2008, 2009, 2010
RABAJA
RABAJA RESERVA
--------------------------
"BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO DOCG"
SAN PALO
2006, 2007, 2008

ALTESINO DOCG, DOC
2007, 2008
MONTOSOLI
RESERVA
--------------------------
"BAROLO DOCG"
CERETTO DOCG
2007, 2008, 2009
BRICCO ROCCHE BRUNATE
BRICCO ROCCHE PRAPO
ZONCHERA

SERRADENARI
2008, 2009
CLASSICO

VOERZIO ROBERTO DOCG
2007, 2008, 2009
BRUNATE
CERREQUIO
LA SERRA
ROCCHE DELL' ANNUNZIATA

Philip S. Kampe
Philip.Kampe@TheWineHub.com







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