Sunday in Piedmont during the truffle fair: let’s start the day with a visit to one of the top Barolo producers and lunch at the winery.
Oreste Brezza is a visionary winemaker: long before Barolo was on the map, he made it easy for bus travelers to visit his winery by encouraging the bus company to put a stop near his winery. Then he added a few rooms, then a small restaurant and over the years parlayed this into a 100 room deluxe hotel and a large restaurant.
Oreste, a sprightly 82 year Italian, joined us for a portion of the tour. Our tasting featured his unique Chardonnay, aged on the lees with a creaminess reminiscent of a white Burgundy; his outstanding Barbera and Nebbiolo d’Alba and the spectacular single vineyard Barolo Sarmassa ’07, a 3 Bicchieri award winner.
Our tasting was followed by a copious lunch consisting of 3 appetizers, 2 pasta courses, a main course and dessert, washed down by his Dolcetto d’Alba.
After a free afternoon, we ended a wonderful day with our blind tasting of 4 wines: a Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo d’Alba and either a Barolo or Barbaresco. Many were able to identify the Barbera and Dolcetto but the difficult part was determining which wine was either the Barolo or Barbaresco. I myself got that part incorrect: although I did identify the two wines that were Nebbiolo, I incorrectly labeled which one was Barbaresco and Nebbiolo, a mistake I should not have made since the Barbaresco ’07 was clearly lighter and browner on the edges. But that’s what blind tastings are all about: hone up your senses.
Tomorrow we leave for Como and our farewell dinner at Ristorante Rino with 2 truffle courses, a fitting way to end a truffle and wine tour.