I don’t often indulge in mid-week Barolo, but I had an urge to cook a Piedmontese pasta based upon one in Matt Kramer’s excellent Passion for Piedmont. I’m not the type to own a lot of cookbooks. What I have are Larosse Gastronomique, McGhee On Food and Cooking, Peterson Sauces, Oxford Companion to Food and then Classic Julia, Marcella, and Claiborne. That’s it, except for this. I must say, it is one of my favorite cookbooks ever. It is full of interesting anecdotes and useful recipes, almost all of which work (GASP!) and are really good with wine. Anyway, highly recommended for those that are looking for food to make with their Piedmontese wines.
The sugo di carne is a great dish where you , essentially, evaporate a meat based sauce whose only herb is rosemary. You then place the sauce on the pasta and top generously with olive oil, which becomes the sauce. It is simple (6 ingrediants) and if you use good stuff, is fabulous. It is a great use for top-notch oil. I’ve been using Gulfi and Tenuta delle Terre Nere, both from Sicily. The pasta I prefer is Latini, which I find as good or better than almost any fresh pasta I’ve had.
2001 Germano Ettore Barolo Prapò
Beautiful ruby color. I decanted this while I cooked the sugo di carne, which takes a bit over an hour. Really great Serralunga nose. Very classic, if maybe bordering on a bit, well, not roasted exactly, but warmish confiture-ish. On the palate, it really performed with fine grained, long, mouth coating tannin, that were very present, but in no way hard. In fact, given the food, I felt like the wine worked quite well at this age. The snappy bright cherry/cranberry flavors were persistent and mixed with some darker fruit and earthy tar flavors. All were washed from the palate with mineral tinged acidity. I don’t want to go overboard. Pretty for a Serralunga Barolo, but it is still Serralunga Barolo, if you know what I mean. This was very good rather than profound Barolo, but it was so delicious that I finished almost the whole bottle myself (well I guess that isn’t exactly astonishing).This is not a producer that I have tons of experience with, but everything seems to be in order and no apparent spoofilation. Should age well in the medium term and be in a perfect place in 5-7 years, but you can drink a bottle now with the proper food. I think it was around $45, but could have been a little more. Well worth that price.