All wines (except the bianco) were decanted at different stages. The 1974 Barolo Riserva, 1998 La Bogliona Barbera were decanted for half an hour and poured back into the bottle. The pair of 1999 nebbiolo were decanted for 2 hours at 5pm, whereas the rest was allowed to breathe for 1 hour prior to serving. The dinner started promptly when all 22 guests took their seats and the first wine of the night was being served. The Monferrato Bianco Scarpa 2004(a blend of 90% Trebbiano and 10% Cortese) caught everyone by surprise by it’s exquisite balance between fruit (ripe melon and ornage peel) and acidity, freshness and natural style. This was quickly followed by Monferrato RossoScarpa 2005(90% dolcetto and 10% rouchet) whose soft fruitiness from the dolcetto and aromatics of the rouchet were in perfect harmony and silky texture. My past experience with this wine is that if given more time, it will develop even further in terms of balance and softness. One of the favourite wine of the night was the Barbera d’Asti I Bricchi 2001 which everyone agrees it is drinking perfectly now. The bouquet was fresh with the purity and focus of the barbera grape showing through. On the palate, it delivered great body, harmony and clean focus flavours with great finish. Everyone was impressed. Next up was the Barbera d’Asti La Bogliona 1998. Here, we were talking about complexity. The colour were dark ruby and showing off pretty much deep and ripe red fruit, spice, mint and full body. Nice acidity cleaning off the long finish. The pair of nebbiolo(Barbaresco and Barolo 1999)shows what real traditional winemaking is all about. The nose was ethereal, full of spice, mint, rose petals and tobacco. Colour was light ruby with slight orange tinge on the rims, as nebbiolo should be. Both wines went superbly well with the fillet steak, with the barolo showing more muscle and depth of flavour and complexity. The BriccoRossa Rouchet 2003 was in fine form, showing off pure rose aromas, the fruit was ripe and soft and extremely elegant.
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