Friday, May 2, 2008

Mid-week Barolo

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.


Oliver McCrum said...

I would have thought you'd be a fan of Serralunga Barolo, both for its uncompromising structure and its potential for greatness (eg Cascina Francia).

Anyhow, Sergio Germano's Prapo is just north of the village, sees about four weeks of skin contact and is aged in botti (2,000L or so). So traditionally made. The 01s are oddly drinkable now for a vintage that should be excellent in the long haul.

the vlm said...

I do love Serralunga Barolo, of the 5 communes (well, 6 now, I guess) it is my favorite.

When I said it is still Serralunga Barolo, I meant to imply that it is still a beast, if an elegant one.

I was surprised at how drinkable it was at this stage.

Good find.

Rasoul said...


is this the same Germano that makes pinot noir in piedmont from some pre phylloxera vines dating back to iirc 20s?

aside from that, i found out about your blog from the recent barolo barbaresco dinner i had which i posted on ebob.

keep on posting


the vlm said...


Not sure about the pinot, but I don't think so. Oliver is the importer, so maybe he'll chime in.

To bad that discussion on eBob devolved so quickly, but Richard and I have a history of devolving. I thought my point rather uncontroversial, but apparently not.

the vlm said...

Oh, and thanks for reading. Glad to know you found something useful here.

Rasoul said...

maybe a brother, cousin or someone.

i know, too bad about the 97 discussion. opposing views when exchanged in a civilized matter are always highly educational.


the vlm said...

I agree. Without opposing viewpoints being argued, you never get anywhere interesting.

For the VLM-TR, wine IS an intellectual subject.