An evening with The Prince and A-Prentice meant a lovely dinner in the works. SWMBO gathered some high quality cheeses and nibbles and we saw the evening in with bubbles and in fine style. Some local seafood patties with classy, modern Chardonnay, and then onto the main reason for the night, some lovely pan-seared lamb backstraps, new potatoes and fresh salad from the garden. Two reasonably serious reds were lined up to match the lamb. What else could one ask for?
First up the 2004 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello being the top expression of Sangiovese. Fuligni is just a few kilometres out of Montalcino, in the highly prized northern district, and makes supremely elegant, floral and supple expressions. 2004 was a great year, but this bottling, not the Riserva should have been approaching some semblance of accessibility. The finesse of tannins made it so, but as one sipped on it, the structure grew in prominence. This has a concentrated, dense and intense core. Gorgeously succulent fruit with dusty, savoury, leathery cherry fruit. No bitterness, but great extract. With the lamb, a stunner, as the protein absorbed the tannins. A wow wine that unopened bottles could see another two decades easily.
Then the 2009 E. Pira di Chiara Boschis ‘Via Nuova’ Barolo. The famous Pira firm run by dynamic Chiara Boschis. Based in Cannubi, she’s expanded the estate and the ‘Via Nuova’ is a 6-vineyard blend rather than single vineyard. Modern Nebbiolo for sure, but this should have been all about structure encasing the fruit. But no, this was sweet-fruited and bold with it. Sure, there are enough tannins to demonstrate its provenance, but it is delicious now. The sweetness making the lamb even juicier, and the tannins melting away. This behaved the way I thought the Brunello would, and vice versa. The roles were reversed.