What does a winemaker drink, when she’s not drinking her own wine?
Two of my favorite things. My dog, Mugsy, and Barolo. And not just any Barolo: Paolo Scavino’s Bricco Ambrogio Barolo from 2006. The Bricco Ambrogio vineyard is in Roddi, one of the lesser-known townships in Barolo. However, Mugsy was happy to find out that Roddi is home to the historic Truffle-Dog Training School. Now he wants to go to Italy, too.
Bricco Ambrogio’s marly, limestone soils have an unlimited potential to produce stunning Nebbiolo, and we are only beginning to see its potential as a cru from the Scavino family. Clearly, this 2006 single-cru Barolo is still a baby. However after it was open for several hours (and had been sloshing around in my wine bag all day), it developed that unique, dried-rose-petals and mineral quality so many of Scavino’s Baroli share. The tannins had also just begun to unwind themselves, unveiling a more luxurious texture, and flavors of silky-smooth cherries and tobacco. This is a beautiful wine from a serious vintage- it will age gracefully for another 40 years. Maybe even longer.
*I am employed by Banville & Jones Wine Merchants, and sell the Paolo Scavino wines. I also happen to love the wines, too! Also, please pardon the gratuitous dog photography. I am in love with this mutt!*
I was invited to a dinner party hosted by some good friends recently, and I knew (thanks to “The Captain” Bob Loudy) that there would be copious amounts of roasted beef for dinner.
Without hesitation I concluded immediately we needed Barolo. Paolo Scavino to the rescue! What I didn’t know was that my little Barolo would be up against some of California’s heaviest hitters… Continue reading
My company, Banville & Jones, sponsored an Italian Wine Tasting a few weeks ago at A16 in San Francisco. Our winemakers came from Italy to showcase their wines, and A16′s chef David Taylor’s food provided the perfect backdrop… especially when he and his team started breaking down a whole hog on the other side of the kitchen counter. Continue reading
I love stumbling on a hidden gem on the back rack of a wine shop… forgotten older vintages are like familiar old friends. These are the wines you always remember- they mark a time and a place in your life you never forget.
I had a bit of wonderful luck in Seattle when I rescued a 2001 Paolo Scavino Barolo Carobric, from the shelves of a local retailer. We decided to open it at Sitka and Spruce, where we shared it with anyone who was willing to taste. When you feel this good, you have to spread the love around. Continue reading
Paolo Scavino’s Legendary Barolo.
There is a mythic power that surrounds the Nebbiolo grape. What is is about the lovely, perfumed fingers that dance up out of the glass- delicate, aromatic and elegant? From where is this innate power, this live-wire of acidity and violent assertiveness, delivered? I have been reading an awesome book called Barolo, given to me by one of the most inspiring people I know. The novel chronicles one man’s journey as grape-picker for the great Luciano Sandrone. I can’t help but see the parallels in my own life- my discovery of Italian wine has been a journey of self-revelation as well.
These are wines that facilitate this kind of introspection, this kind of awe. Mysterious, alluring, omnipotent. Nebbiolo.
Lately I am loving soup. At some point every week it seems I find myself rooting around in my refrigerator, pulling out all kinds of odds and ends, and throwing them together in a big stock pot. The result is a hot meal we are happy eating for a few days, freeing me up to cook less, and drink more. Here’s one of my favorite methods for making a fast chicken soup, and a favorite wine recommendation as well… Continue reading