Pizza,Truffles , Barbaresco and Barolo
I love pizza and my favorite place to eat pizza in New York is La Pizza Fresca. They make the best Neapolitan pizza in the city. The restaurant has one of the best Italian wine lists and it specializes in Barolo and Barbaresco from all the top names.
We received an e-mail from Brad Bonnewell the owner inviting us to a truffle dinner with “the appropriate wines”, Barbaresco and Barolo, the following week. He said it was tentative because the truffle was arriving that day. We were busy and prayed that the truffle did not make it on time. The truffle was two days late in arriving and the dinner was rescheduled. This time we were able to attend.
There were eight of us and the truffle was brought from Italy by Mark Fornatale of Micheal Skurnik Wines. It was a white truffle from Tuscany and it was very large. When I was in Siena this October I had dinner at the Enoteca Italiana in Siena and they served Tuscan white truffles on the risotto. They put truffles on a chocolate dessert which really did not work.
We started with a Sancere 2007 Les Cules de Braujea Francois Cotat Vicnerone a Chavignol Chev followed by the Chablis Premier cru “Cru La Forest” 2005, Dauvissat. I usually skip the white when there are so many good reds to follow but the Chablis was exceptional. It had everything one would expect from Chablis, dry, with mineral and steely undertones; it was so good I was holding the bottle and someone took a picture to prove I drink white wine.
Brad started us off with pizza bianco,(three of them) made with fontina cheese and as soon as they hit the table Mark was shaving the truffle on them. The aroma of the cheese and truffles was wonderful and I ate more than my share. We finished all of the pies.
The pizza here is so good that I seldom order anything else. However on two recent visits I did have a number of different dishes and they were excellent.
There are few dishes in the world better then risotto with white truffles and Barbaresco. This was the next course and once again Mark covered the risotto with the truffle shavings. What can I say about the aroma and taste…..! The wine was the 1996 Barbareco“Asili” from Bruno Giacosa, and to my great joy it was a magnum. It was all that a Barbaresco should be and more. This was the wine of the evening in my opinion and I kept going back for more.
The next course was pasta pappardella and more truffles and we had the Barbaresco Bricco Asili 1996 from Ceretto and Barbaresco “Comarossa” 1996 from Bruno Rocco.
1996 was a great vintage for Barolo and Barbaresco, the best since 1989. They are both “classical” vintages and the wines will last for many years
Then came the papandella pasta with fontina cheese and Mark put on the last of the Truffel, as I said it was a big truffle!
For the last course we had grilled lamb chops with the rest of the wine. I was still drinking the Giacosa.
Barolo La Sera 1996 Gianni Voerzoi and the Barolo “Cannubi” Chiara Boschis 1998. I liked the La Sera but found th Boschis to me much too modern for my taste.
I tasted number of Barolo and Barbaresco’s from the 1998 vintage when I was in Alba last May. They did not get great press and therefore command a lower price. I think they are a great value.
Barolo Riserva “Campe” 2003 La Spinetta and Barolo Riserva Vecchie vitidei Capalot e della Brunate 2003 Roberto Voerzoi followed
2003 was a very hot vintage in Piedmont as it was in most of Europe and many producers did not make a Riserva. The 2003 that we had seemed to be more developed, this was a combination of the vintage and wine making styles.
We all declined dessert.