While hot dogs and hamburgers are traditional for some on the Fourth of July, our celebration this year had an Italian accent.
We spent the day with friends in New Jersey, enjoying the great weather in the beautiful garden.
Champagne Oiry Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra-Brut NV Suenen made from 100% Chardonnay from a 1.5 hectare plot in the Grand Cru village of Cramant. The soil is chalky. The clear wine is fermented partially in barrel with 9 months on the lees and the dosage is 2g/l. It is delicate and dry with hints of lemon, quinine, floral notes and a trace of minerals.
Champagne Brut Grand Cru Millésime Brut 2005 Egly-Ouriet made from 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay from the oldest Grand Cru vines in Ambonnay. Fermentation and aging is in barrels. Malolactic fermentation does not take place. The wine was disgorged after 54 months in January 2014. Dosage of 3/gl. This is a complex elegant and balanced Champagne and I was very impressed by it.
The menu was eclectic. With the Champagne we had Michele’s smoked whitefish pate which she served with both pita chips and potato chips.
Aglianico Riserve 1998 “Cappellaccio” Rivera made from 100% Aglianico grown on the limestone hills of the DOC Castel del Monte, Puglia. Harvest takes place in Mid-October. Maceration lasts for 12 to 14 days with pumpover and delestage. The wine is aged in French oak barriques-50% and 30hl French oak barrels-50%. Then 12 months in bottle before release. The wine has hints of red berries, leather, tobacco and spice. It was showing very well.
Next we had several pizzas, beginning with a simple Marinara with an oregano-spiked tomato sauce.
A Margarita topped with prosciutto, arugula, and flakes of Parmigano-Reggiano was next.
A second Margarita with sausages followed.
Our final pizza was topped with mozzarella, sausages and peppers.
Barbaresco 1978 Produttori del Barbaresco made from 100% 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 in large oak barrels. It has hints of black raspberries, cherries, leather, tea and a hint of spice.
Produttori del Barbaresco is a wine cooperative, arguably the best in Italy. The wine was still drinkable but was showing its age. It has hints of wet leaves, tobacco, balsamic notes and a touch of spice.
Barolo 1978 Grand Riserva Marchesi di Barolo made from vineyards located in the municipality of Barolo: Cannubi, Sarmassa, Coste di Rose, Castellero, Boschetti, Preda and Ravera. The soil contains substantial amounts of quartz sand and the training system is guyot. Hand harvested grapes. The wine was fermented and aged in large Slovenian oak barrels. This is traditional Barolo with hints of tar, licorice, leather balsamic notes. It was drinking very well.
A big bowl of sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic and anchovies accompanied our main course.
With the Barolo we had roasted sweet and hot pork sausages and chicken sausages with peppers, onions and potatoes.
For dessert, Michele made a mixed berry crisp which we ate with vanilla ice cream.
There were also homemade chocolate chip cookies but we ate them before I could take a picture!