Dinner with Friends

November 2007

The highlight of this evening was a massive white truffle sourced from one of New York’s finest restaurants. Its very presence could be sensed by the profound aromatics that wafted throughout the dining room as we indulged in a delicious antipasto of meats, cheeses and roasted vegetables. When the homemade fettucini with white truffles arrived the table fell silent in appreciation of this splendidly rendered version of a timeless classic. I took great pleasure watching my 16-month old son eat truffle shavings off my plate. We followed the pasta with perfectly fried eggs topped with a second generous portion of truffles. If there is another better pairing for truffles I have yet to discover it. Both truffle dishes were of course magical with the wines.

I had never tasted Bruno Giacosa’s 1964 Barolo Riserva Speciale. It was a very beautiful, delicate Barolo with pretty notes of mint, anise, licorice and beef bouillon. It showed greater structure and power than the Bartolo Mascarello that followed. Unfortunately this wine was never better than when it was first opened. With time it lost some of its freshness and sheer sexiness. Bartolo Mascarello’s 1964 Barolo (1.9 liter magnum) was the exact opposite. Initially quite funky and rustic, it needed several hours of air to open up. When it did, it was a fantastic wine that captured the essence of this warm vintage in its ripe fruit and generous, enveloping personality. The 1964 is not one of the most complex or profound Mascarello Barolos, but this bottle provided plenty of enjoyment. With the large format, there was more than enough for everyone to taste the wine over the course of the night. Mastroberardino’s 1968 Taurasi Riserva Castelfranci was magnificent. Still deeply-colored, it offered a compelling array of caramel, spices, roasted coffee beans and layered, concentrated dark fruit. At nearly 40 years of age this remarkable wine still appeared to have another two decades of life ahead of it. This was an awesome showing by one of Italy’s legendary wines. Francesco Rinaldi’s 1945 Barolo was another revelation. Tasted from an exceptionally well-stored bottle, it revealed a ripe core of fruit with plenty of structure and power in reserve. It was another wine that appeared incredibly youthful considering its age. What can I say about Jacques Selosse’s NV Rosé? That it was superb? Phenomenal? Sublime? It was all that and so much more. An inspired choice to close this wonderful evening, the wine revealed compelling, seductive aromatics that melded seamlessly onto a palate of well-articulated fruit, with phenomenal length and a finish that lasted forever. This beautifully-balanced Champagne was the highlight of an incredible night.



Homemade fettucini with white truffles

Fried egg with white truffles



Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Speciale



Cantina (Bartolo) Mascarello Barolo (1.9 liter magnum)



Mastroberardino Taurasi Riserva Castelfranci



Francesco Rinaldi Barolo



Jacques Selosse Rosé


--Antonio Galloni