It is always a pleasure to be invited to the home of Tom Maresca and Diane Darrow for dinner. We began with Champagne.
IChampagne “Elegance” Vincent Couche NV made from 80% Pinot Noir and 20 % Chardonnay from 13 hectares in the Cote des Bar. The soil is clay and limestone. The Couche family picks the grapes by taste and touch. Harvest is a week later than most. Vincent Couche farms biodynamically, uses native yeast and does not add sulfur. The wine spent 5 years on the lees. This has a 2g/L dosage-the wine lets them know how much to add. The wine has hints of raspberry, red apple and a toasty richness.
With the Champagne we had
Chicken Liver Crostini
At the table, our first wine was:
Terre Alte Collio Orientali del Friuli 2007 Livio Felluga a blend of estate grown grapes: Friulano, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon Blanc from the vineyards in the Rosazzo zone. The soil is marl and sandstone and the training system is guyot. The bunches of grapes are carefully destemmed and left to macerate for a short period of time before crushing. The must is then allowed to settle. Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon are fermented at controlled temperatures in stainless steel tanks. The Friulano is fermented and aged in small casks of French (no new oak is used) oak. The Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon mature in stainless steel tanks. After aging for ten months the wines are blended. The bottled wine is aged in temperature controlled binning cellars for 9 months before release. The wine has a touch of sage, hints of pear, and apricot and peach and fresh almonds.
Homemade Trenette Pasta with Peas and Prosciutto, a perfect springtime pasta.
Barbaresco 2004 Produttori del Barbaresco made from 100% Nebbiolo from various vineyards in the DOCG zone. The soil is limestone and clay, rich in calcium with sandy veins. Vinification in stainless steel at a controlled temperature. There is 30 days of skin contact and pumping over 2 to 3 times a day. The wine is aged for two years i large oak barrels. The wine has hints of black raspberries, cherries, leather, tea and a hint of spice. It was showing very well and will age for a number of years. .Produttori del Barbaresco is a wine cooperative, arguably the best in Italy.
Rolled and Stuffed Flank Steak with zucchini and potatoes. The roulade had a savory sauce, which should have been included in the photograph.
Chianti Classico 2004 Volpaia made from 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot- vines planted 1972-2004. Light soil consisting of sandstone except for the Castellino and Santa Maria vineyards, which have clay and Montanino which is sandstone and clay. Vineyards are on slopes 397 /570 meters and the exposure is southern. There are 2,564 to 5,683 wines/hectares and the training system is guyot. The wine is aged in Slavonian casks for 12 months. A few days before I had the 2019 vintage of this wine at the Classico Classico Connection a tasting of almost 300 Chianti Classico. When I tasted the wine I knew it could age and the 2004 proves it. The wine has hints of red berries, cherry, mint, a touch of licorice and a note of violets.
We finished the wine with some lovely cheeses
Dessert was a delicious apple cake with Panna Cotta Gelato.
Tom always has a large selection of Grappa and this is one of my favorites Grappa Marolo “Dedicata Al Padre” Made from several grape pomances from the Roero hills and rests in stainless steel. It is crystal clear, full bodied, warm flavored- it other words it is GRAPPA