Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dinner at Obelisk

Looks like Rockss and Douche was also in DC over the weekend. As usual, the VLM-TR is the winner. He went to a bunch of lame places in order to avoid the smackdown.

Had a great time at 2 Amy’s with a group of folks from Wine Disorder. Pizza’s weren’t up to the usually amazing standards, but the anti-pasta and the company were excellent.

My lady friend joined me the next evening for dinner at Obelisk. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been eating at Obelisk for about 15 years now. For most of that time, it has been my favorite restaurant in America. It doesn’t have the most exciting or trendy food or even a particularly sophisticated décor. What it does have are perfect and honest foods, expertly prepared and ringing with clarity. I feel like I’m eating at a restaurant in the Piedmont. It has always has had an interesting wine list, most of the time ahead of the curve (well ahead compared to DC restaurants).

2005 Massa Vecchia Maremma Bianco
It’s been a good long while since I’ve had a Massa Vecchia Bianco. This was a golden color you’d expect, though not quite the orange of a Radikon. My dining companion didn’t have much experience with these wines, but she was immediately taken with this, which I think says something about the myth that these are an acquired taste. I think the wines are delicious and if they were cheaper, would be enjoyed en masse. I love it when vermentino has that saline quality and I think the skin contact may actually enhance how it shapes the wine in this case.

1990 Giovanni Manzone Barolo Riserva Gramolere "de Grazia Cuvée"
Still has a fairly deep robe and not a lot of bricking of the color. I really should have opened it in the afternoon to give it some more time to come around, but you never know. Had a nose with a very prominent soy component, something I’ve seen on a number of 1990s. While this was in no way woody, I’m pretty sure, given the color, that it saw some wood and maybe a shorter, hotter fermentation than is normal in classically made Barolo. It would seem to open in fits and starts, but never really unfolded totally. Interestingly, there were about 2 inches of wine in the bottle due to sediment. I went back to that wine and it was much fresher in tone with more cherry and floral notes as opposed to the deeper soy and dried fruit notes from the decanter. All in all, it was a disappointment. In retrospect, I bought more 1990s than 1989s back in the day, would that it was reversed.


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Florida Jim said...

Massa Vecchia Maremma Bianco
Another of those skin-contact wines I've never had. And I am not surprised someone who had not experienced them befopre was taken with it.
I served a skin contact ribolla to a friend in Sonoma and she lit up. She'd never had it before but there was little doubt that she enjoyed it.
Any idea where one could purchase the Massa Vecchia Maremma Bianco?
Vermetino, you say?
Best, Jim

Joe Manekin said...

A Peter Pastan few nights in DC, huh? I miss 2 Amy's. A lot. I don't miss the Massa Vecchia Bianco - don't much care for that stuff. And I generally like the long skin contact and/or oxidative whites: Radikon, Gravner, , Montborgeaux L'etoile, LdH whites of all stripes.

Will be in DC later this month and will hopefully make some time for pizza at 2 Amy's.

Jello4 said...

I agree with Jim that these wines can be more approachable than we geeks sometimes assume. When I was still at ASS I poured the nun wine at a Friday Uncorked and everyone adored it, though none of the customers were geeky about wine at all. Conreria d' Scala Dei Les Brugueres is a white Priorat of a similar stripe that I've also seen make friends with ease.