How to sum up saturdays tasting dinner...? Great? Awesome? Fun? Well...all of the above! :-)
We were five hard core Barolo afficionados that meet up at my place. I had planned this dinner for some years, collecting the bottles all over Europe. I have spent a lot of time looking for the 1978, the first vintage of Bric dël Fiasc, but with no luck. But the twelve vintages we had more than made up for that loss!
For more info on Bric dël Fiasc - check out Scavinos web site - http://www.paoloscavino.com/eng/home_eng.html
We started with phyllo bundles filled with goat cheese and herbs, and a bottle of
1976 Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Fuder 59, von Schubert
A deep, creamy, lovely mature nose with notes of old and wrinkled yellow apples, matchbox, summer flowers, dry honey and a rubber wet suit. Very, very fine. Elegant and racy.
The taste is utterly gorgeous, and starts with a sweet entrance in the mouth - lemon curd, dried apricots, honey - but transforms within thirty seconds to a tight mouthfull of rocks, minerals and smoke. Seamsless structure. This is perfectly mature. A great start!
94p (tasted 2012/02)
For starter we had two classic dishes, that I had made mini versions of - Toast Charlemagne and Lobster Newburg. And what to match with these tasty, rich dishes? Burgundy of course!
1996 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes Clos de la Truffiére, Michel Niellon
A big, extrovert, mature nose with lots of dried fruits - mango, apricot, pear - and notes of moist earth, apple pie and vanilla infused dough. Very deep. There is a touch of oxidation, but not in a disturbing way. Big. Maybe a tad clumsy when it sat in the glass. But the fruit is sweet and fine.
The taste is as big as the nose, with waves of sweet tropical fruit. But there is a fine minerality in the finish. A touch of oxidation is also apparent in the taste. A long, warm finish. This is a really nice wine, but without the ox feeling, it would have been great.
90p (tasted 2012/02)
1996 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes, Verget
This feels a lot younger than the 16 year that the label state. A fine, elegant, deep and hedonistic nose that manages to be both sweet and austere at the same time. The notes of buttercup flowers, lemon cream, flint and a touch of coconut, is to die for. Really, really luscious.
The taste reflects the nose, with stunning sweet fruit and a refreshing acidity that you normally would associate with Riesling or Chenin Blanc. A long, pure finish. This still has room for improvement. Another stunner from Verget!
95p (tasted 2012/02)
It was now time for the first flight of the Bric dël Fiasc. This flight consisted of those vintages that had been "left over" when I put the other flight together. I wanted the vintages between 1982 and 1990 together and I wanted the 2004, 2001, 1999 and 1996 together. That left the 1998, 1997 and the 1995 for this flight. But they proved their part! Unfortunately we had two corked bottles, the 1997 and the 1989 (...me sobbing here....have never tasted that vintage before and was really looking forward to it).
The first and third flight was decanted 2 hours before the first pour, and flight two was decanted 1,5 hours before.
With the first flight we had home made tortellini (filled with rosemary infused potato mash) with prosciutto, fried sage leaves and sage butter.
1998 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A deep, young, pure nose with notes of red and black cherries, undergrowth, cookie dough and licorice. Some rose petals after a while in the glass. Very structured and fine. A cool sweetness.
The taste is young, tight and very fresh with notes of red cherries, rasberries, sandel wood and licorice. Medium long finish, that ends with a dry twist. This is still on the young side of things. A lovely laid back feeling. Very, very good.
93p (tasted 2012/02)
1997 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
1995 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A fine, elegant nose with a touch of maturity and notes of dried mushrooms, forest floor, red cherries and dry licorice. Has a fine, almost ethereal feeling about it. As far from a blockbuster you could get. Like walking in a forest on a sunny but chilly autumn day. A great nose!
The taste is a bit tense, the fruit is of the more withdrawn kind, but the structure is very fine, and the tannins have begun to soften up, so this makes up for a really nice drinking experience right now.
91p (tasted 2012/02)
For the next flight I had prepared a confit of rabbit with roasted root vegetables and a tarragon sauce. The soft flavours of the rabbit went perfectly with the more mature Barolo wines in this flight.
1990 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
This is a nearly perfect Barolo! It has some more maturing to do, but is impossible to resist today. Only the 1982 eclipsed this beauty on this night. The nose is of the purest, sweetest, deepest kind with notes of black cherry jam, dark coffe, moist forest floor, ceps, pipe tobacco, old leather and muscovado sugar. I could go on and on with more scents, for this has almost everything in its gorgeous nose. Semi mature, but not really there yet.
The taste is like liquified autumn leaves mixed with the sweetest black cherries imaginable and some beef broth, licorice and mushrooms tossed in. Very, very pure. It has both power and elegance. The tannins are noticable in the one minute long finish. This still needs another 5+ years in the cellar, but boy, is it good to drink today!
97p (tasted 2012/02)
1989 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
1988 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A cool, elegant, delicate nose with notes of dry licorice, red cherries, dried mushrooms and forest floor. After a while in the glass some really nice scents of dried flowers emerge. Rosehips also. On the light side but not fragile, just more thoughtful than some of the others. Elegant. Similar to the 95 in structure.
The taste is tight, elegant and mature with notes of red cherries, red currants, autumn leaves, old leather and rounded tannins, which leads to a fine, gentle finish. This is drinking beautiful now. Went perfectly with the rabbit.
92p (tasted 2012/02)
1985 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
Compared to the 1990, this is a perfect piece of mature Barolo! The nose explodes from the glass with big, meaty aromas, paired with overripe black cherries, sweet licorice, milk chocolate and beef broth. Not as structured as the 90, this is all about pure hedonism. And I love it! After some time in the glass, lovely scents of dried mushrooms emerge. The sweetness of the fruit is amazing.
The taste is a touch more strict that the nose indicates, and the fruit is not only of the black sort, there is some mature red cherries and rasberries here too. And rosehips, lots of it! The tannins have melted into the fruit and you can effortless drink big mouthfuls of this elixir. A beauty!
96p (tasted 2012/02)
1982 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
I didn´t think that anything would eclipse the 1990, but I was wrong. At least on this night. I think that the 1990 have the potential to be a 100p wine, but on this night, the bottle of the 1982 just charmed the pants of me...:-) The nose is perfection in a glass. Its hard to just name a few of the scents that greets you, but the dominate ones are dried ceps, red cherries, rosemary ham, licorice, smoke and tobacco. Utter harmony. You could sit and sniff this for the whole night. Just captivating.
This wine flows over your tongue like nectar, it hasn´t got one hard corner, not one rough nook, it is just seamsless. Lovely taste of sweet lingonberries, red cherries and wild strawberries. Both elegant and structured. This won´t get any better - just drink up!
98p (tasted 2012/02)
With the last flight we had some cheese - a Tomme du Berger, a Robiola ri Pecora and a Comte.
2004 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A deep, powerful, sweet, young nose with notes of sugared coffee, bay leaves, cookie dough, moist forest floor and expensive new leather. Very, very deep. This has a fantastic sweetness.
The taste is tight, compact and concentrated with a lovely purity and a gorgeous fruit. Notes of rasberry candy, sweet lingonberries, milk chocolate, cold coffe and licorice. The tannins storms through the finish and cleans up the mouth. Very, very young, but impressive! This is going places!
When we visited Scavino in 2007 and tasted this, I wasn´t that impressed. But time has really made wonders with this one.
95p (tasted 2012/02)
2001 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
The 2001 opens more withdrawn than the 2004, but after coaxing the glass, aromas of red cherries, milk chocolate, bay leaves and licorice emerges. They have more or less the same scent profile, but the 2001 seems to have tighten up more. Very, very good all the same.
The taste is also proof for that this one has gone into slumber. The tannins dominate the mouth, but there is lot of sweet fruit popping upp from time to time. A very long finish. Great structure. This definitely needs to be kept in the cellar for at least 5-8 years. But the stuffing is there for a real treat when you do open a bottle.
93p (tasted 2012/02)
1999 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
What an impressive nose! Lovely scents of red cherries, rosehips, licorice, mushrooms and coffee oozes up from the glass. The sweetness and purity is a delight! And you can sense the structure and subtleness under the hedonistic fruit. Just lovely.
The taste is somewhat stricter than the nose but displays all the same gorgeous fruit in the shape of lingonberries, red cherries and rosehips. Coffee, leather and licorice adds to the complexity. The finish goes on for over a minute, and only at the very end you feel the young, strappy tanninstructure. This is still young, but boy, this is going to be gooood!
96p (tasted 2012/02)
1996 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
And what a great way to finish the Barolis - with a stellar example of the 1996 vintage. The nose is impressive in its sweetness, purity and structure. Notes of chocolate covered rasberries, licorice, forest floor, cold coffee and mushrooms flows up from the glass. After some time in the glass there is a microscopic scent of eukaluptys. A pure class act. If this would be a painting, it would hang in the Tate!
The texture of the taste is the well known "an iron fist in a velvet glove". The sweetness of the fruit fools you up to the finish when the tannins hit you with all they got. This is built to last. But you can drink it today with lots of enjoyment if there is some food to go along. This is just a breathtaking example of a young Barolo. But I am gonna wait at least 5 years before doing the deed next time.
97p (tasted 2012/02)
The evening wasn´t over yet - with some different chocolate truffles we had two bottles of old port - a nice way to end a great evening...
1948 Calem Port
Since there were no information on the label of this bottle, I emailed Calem with some pictures of the bottle, and got a very nice answer from them. It seems that this is a single vintage Tawny. It has been aged in cask for a minimum of seven years. 1948 was a very hot year and the harvest consisted of very sweet and dried grapes.
Well, what´s in the glass then......the nose is big, wide open and sweet with notes of pecan nuts, dry dark chocolate, herbs and band aid. A touch volatile. Big and brawny and yummy!
The taste is intense, big and very sweet with lots of overripe rasberries, milk chocolate, pecan nuts and band aid notes. A very good structure. There is a mix of nougat and alcohol in the finish. A slugger of a wine, but I like it!
90p (tasted 2012/02)
1872 Ferreira Port
The same goes for this one, not a vintage port per se but something else...? I also emailed Ferreira but they couldn´t be as specific as Calem as to what it is. Well, we just have to open it and see.
Aaaaaaaah - this is good! A deep, penetrating, dark nose with notes of chocolate covered rasberries, old leather, white raisins, wet earth and assorted nuts. Very, very deep and captivating. Ethereal in the best sense of the word.
The taste is big, tight and semi sweet with notes of strawberries, rasberries, cocoa and detergents (in a positive way). Very, very long. The sweetness is there but the age has mellowed it down a bit. The structure is just stunning. This is an enchanting beverage to sit and sip while the evening turns into night.
94p (tasted 2012/02)
Thanks to Enrico, Enrica and Elisa Scavino for creating these magic wines and thanks to the boys for making saturday into a splendid evening of fun wine drinking!