Roll out the Barolo

Some of my happiest times in Italy have been in the Piedmont (including my honeymoon), so when my favorite Italian restaurant, Enoteca Turi, announced a Nebbiolo dinner, I moved a lot more quickly than usual—the food is dependably excellent, but also, owner Giuseppe Turi is as knowledgeable as he is passionate about wine. With a superb five-course meal, we enjoyed six wines from the Piedmont (a Spanna, three Barbarescos, and two Barolos, notably from the 2001 vintage—classic, still nicely developing—and the 2004, which is at once sensuous and powerful, fulfilling all the promise of a fine vintage; best of all, though, was a 2003 Barbaresco Asili from Bruno Giacosa).
       There was an anomaly included, and a marvelous one at that: a Valtellina Superiore (DOCG) “Ca Morei” 2006 from Sandro Fay, in Lombardy, up in the mountains north of Bergamo. The vineyards are high-altitude, steeply terraced, in a beautiful alpine landscape, and the wine is a tart, vibrant, even slightly nervy rendition of Nebbiolo’s classic aromas and flavors (a little less tar and more roses). It’s definitely a wine worth searching for, and a good reminder of why we trust great sommeliers: they know more than we do.

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