Thursday, November 22, 2012

Impressions from my trip to Piemonte - November 2012

Sunday - November 4th

Arrived on the overnight flight from EWR.  Picked up the rental car at MXP airport and headed for La Morra.  The drive was relatively easy until we got close to Alba, then the GPS started getting confused with all the changes to the roads in the area.  Make sure you have an up to date GPS when traveling in Piemonte. We reached our hotel Corte Gondina and met Bruno.  I had to laugh when I first met him because he probably thinks I am slightly mad.  There was a lot of back and forth about appointments, dates, times, changes and questions.  Lots of questions.

Lunch was at the local Osteria More e Macine.  A very cool and boisterous place with the menu written on a chalkboard.  The wine list was deep and reasonably priced backed up by a large walk-in wine cellar.  Food was very good all around.  The white truffles here looked fantastic and the pricing was reasonable.  I wish we had come back for dinner here.  The vibe was really fun.

Our first wine visit was in Barbaresco at Produttori di Barbaresco.  The distance from La Morra to Barbaresco isn't much but with all the twisting roads it takes about 25 minutes or so.  Barbaresco is a tiny little hill town.  The main strip holds a few places to taste wine and two Michelin starred restaurants.  The tasting room at Produttori di Barbaresco is open to the public and doesn't cost anything.  We tasted through a range of wines that included a 2007 Riserva.  The most impressive wine of the tasting was the 2005 Barbaresco, it was the most expressive of that group.  The Riserva was a close second as it showed the most polish and potential of the bunch.  Pricing to buy the wines was much lower than in the US - this would be theme throughout the trip.

Dinner was at Bovio in La Morra.  This is an impressive restaurant that is not to be missed.  The service, decor and wine list were my favorites of the trip.  The food was good but short of excellent for the most part.  My brasato al Barolo was slightly disappointing.  The wine list was a thing of beauty though with excellent stemware and polished wine service.  We had our wine of the trip here 2008 Elio Grasso Barolo Vigna Chiniera.  What an extraordinary wine!  From the moment the cork was pulled this wine was explosive.  The waiter put the wine into a fancy decanter but that wasn't really necessary.  This is a wine of considerable elegance and I'm going to be buying several of these.

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