Our fine local wine shop, Renegade Wines, recently held a stellar dinner at the equally fine Italian restaurant, Oiio e Limone. The dinner showcased some fantastic wines from Giacosa and Dal Forno amongst others.
15 of us were seated in the private dining room and graciously served by 2 of their more than competent wait staff and treated to a special 4 course dinner with multiple options for the main and dessert courses.
To assist in the presentation and discussion of the wines, Tim Holl, the Southern California market sales manager and partner for Folio was on hand and assisted by Daniel Berman of Estate Wines.
We were graced with a wonderful champagne upon arrival:
NV CHARLES HEIDSIECK BRUT ROSE- this was the perfect beginning with this delicious bubbly; the base wine was from the fine 2008 vintage with 20% reserve wines blended in to the composition of 33 1/3 Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay; it was topped off with still Pinot Noir which contributed to its bright, rich red color; the nose consisted of toasty brioche almost with a burnt character and the fruit profile was of red cherry/ berry and a touch of red raspberry; the soft mousse provided excellent mouthfeel to support the so pleasing taste; it was properly served with a good chill which was very refreshing.
Assorted Italian Antipasti [bresaloa with arugula, roasted artichoke hearts, prosciutto di Parma, roasted bell peppers, grilled eggplant, bruschetta, white anchovy fillets, buffala mozzarella]
Trittico di Pasta
Pasta sampling: housemade pumpkin ravioli with cream sauce, butter and sage, spinach tortellini with tomato sauce, garganelli with lamb ragu
Pesce Spada con Caponata
Lightly breaded swordfish filet served with Sicilian “ratatouille”
Filleto di Branzino al Limone
Striped bass fillet served over pureed potatoes with lemon sauce, capers and asparagus
Petti di Pollo Saltimboca alla Val d`Ostana
Thinly pounded sliced chicken breast with prosciutto, fontina cheese and Marsala wine
Lombata di Vitello alla Griglia
Grilled veal chop, roasted potatoes, vegetables and rosemary jus
Tagliata di Bue con Rugola e Tortino di Patate
Sliced beef tenderloin over thin potato tart with arugula, shaved parmesan and truffle oil
Crostata di Pere al Caramello
Pear tart with thin mazipan layer served in warm caramel sauce with vanilla gelato
Torta di Limone
House made lemon tart topped with white chocolate shavings
Crème Brulee ai Lamponi
Raspberry crème brulee
Bauletto di Cioccolato e Banana
Chocolate banana bread pudding with a warm chocolate ganache center topped with caramelized bananas; vanilla gelato
The pasta course was paired with:
2011 BRUNO GIACOSA BARBARESCO SANTO STEFANO- absolutely stunning; even though this was not the highly acclaimed reserve last made in 08`, it was a complete treat with concentrated aromatics of toasted dark chocolate laced black fruit with an emphasis on black cherry continuing on through mid palate and all the way to the back end; the texture was smooth and lush; the medium red purple color belied the depth and complexity this had; it even got better in the glass over time much to everyone`s delight.
2011 BRUNO GIACOSA FALLETTO BAROLO- there`s so much happening here and it`s readily apparent this has all the stuffing to go for a long ride toward maturity, say 25-30+ years; the deep dark purple color does indicate seriousness which is consistent with the experience; it had concentrated cranberry and black cherry notes with blackcurrant coming in toward the end of the taste profile; this is full of power and not so much finesse at this point as the tannins are exploding throughout; quite the bomb.
The Secondi was served with the next 2:
2009 DAL FORNO VALPOLICELLA- there`s more intensity from the color on through the entire experience here with a deep dark rich purple hue; the nose is redolent of mint, eucalyptus and black fruit almost mindful of Silver Oak from the 80 and early 90s; this is a big and full bodied beast with pretty stiff tannins however the wonderful fruitiness is allowed to come through and display notes of black currant and cherry; obviously, this needs a lot of time to evolve and although real good now, it promises to offer more and in good balance later on.
2008 DAL FORNO AMARONE- one more incredible treat to behold here as this dark and dense beauty falls into the equally serious category of those preceding it in tonight`s lineup; the nose is intense and suggestive of the depth and complexity which it has; the spiced raisin notes are accentuated by sweet black chocolate and black currant flavors; this is delicious, pure and satisfying and still in the infancy stage with many years to go before puberty.
Our dessert course was paired with these 2:
2013 DONNAFUGATA BEN RYE- served from a 375 ml bottle; made from dried Moscato, the nose had stewed apricot notes that then vacated the cooked part and moved on into ripe, sweet honeyed apricot; this was concentrated, intense and definitely sweet.
VILLA SANDI CARTIZEE VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO- even the Prosecco falls into the serious category which is certainly not my usual experience with Prosecco; the aromatics consists of vivid floral, tropical and citrus notes; this has some spritzy lemon zest with a tanginess and a bit of tartness and overall was very good and paired especially well with the torta di lemone and pear tart desserts.
A great night with many close friends in attendance sharing the bliss of a complete dining experience. Life is good.
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