Sunday, 23 September 2012

Gaja & Giacosa at The Dock Kitchen

Great venue
I was delighted to be asked to join several members of the trade at a lunch hosted by the agents for both Gaja and Bruno Giacosa on friday at The Dock Kitchen. A great venue and as ever I won't go on too much about the food, but can safely say it is well worth a visit. We started with a few glasses of Spumante Extra Brut 2006, Bruno Giacosa on the sun deck. It is a soft and aromatic fizz, good and enjoyable if not complex, I am amazed it is 6 years old as it is so elegant and fresh. We were then seated and started to dig into Proscuitto, black figs & basil Frigatelli peppers, olives & ricotta all supported with Toasts: white beans, chopped beef & tomato. The two whites to accompany these were
Nice whites!
Roero Arneis 2011, Bruno Giacosa & Rossj-Bass Chardonnay 2011, Gaja. I really enjoyed both, Arneis is sometimes a bit tricky I find but this had enough lush fruit to go with the tartness that the grape gives, good food wine and about as good as Arneis gets. The Rossj-Bass was very good indeed, the fact it sees used oak and is therefore subtle as well as ripe works really well. The dash of Sauvignon that is added probably helps to lift the aromas too, an impressive lunchtime white that I'd like to drink again.
It was now time for reds with a very enjoyable Delica pumpkin & pancetta risotto. The two reds were
Barbaresco Rabajà 1998, Bruno Giacosa & Sorì San Lorenzo 2001, Gaja. This pair showed a lovely contrast. To take the Gaja first it was rich and bold but not without freshness and subtlety. Still a young wine but lovely even now. It had the Gaja stamp on it but not overpoweringly so. Impressive. The Giacosa was, as expected, lighter in colour and in extraction. It was good but almost a little too evolved for what should still be a youthful wine, an enjoyable delicate drink now wine that is only a dash disappointing because it is more forward than you'd expect. It is a real shame that the wine can no longer be called Rabaja.
It was now time for the main meat feast in the shape of 30 day aged Longhorn sirloin with Tuscan roast potatoes, rocket & salsa verde, a delicious piece of meat it was too, really great tasting fat on it (the key for me if not my cholesterol). The two wines to accompany were going to be interesting, Barolo Falletto di Serralunga 2007, Bruno Giacosa (from double magnum - at least) & 
This works!
Conteisa 1999, Gaja both were enjoyable but as you would expect could not have been more different. The Giacosa was an elegant and feminine expression especially for Barolo but I think this is a good way to have dealt with the 2007 harvest. It was easy to make almost overripe, late harvest type, bruised fruit, wines and whilst this may not make old bones I feel it is a good wine for the vintage. The Gaja was a foursquare wine with an angular structure, good but probably never going to loosen up enough to be charming, proper stuff though and great with the beef. We then had what read on the menu as one of those "this'll never work" combunations - Salt caramel ice cream with Vigna Seré IGT Veneto 2003 Romano Dal Forno but do yo know what? It was awesome, both the brilliant richness of the ice cream and the elegant ripeness of the Dal Forno, a real tour de force. There was of course coffee to follow but by now it was most certainly cigar time, so courtesy of Eric it was time for a Hoyo Epicure No2 from 2001, mellow and lovely, I smoked it down to my fingers and then had a possibly even better Hoyo du Depute also, I think, from 2001. I felt slightly guilty for not trying the Grappa - Gaia & Rey NV but in reality it had been a splendid enough long lunch without the need for the hard stuff...
Really fascinating...

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