Nebbiolo I love you. Thanks for being so awesome.

For everything that everyone says about their favorite meals, fine dining, and all that, at the end of the day there really is noting better than a good pizza.  And pizza tends to be even better when you make it yourself.  My buddy Kevin and I fancy ourselves to be a couple of pretty serious aspiring Pizzaiolas.  And I can honestly say that we are not half bad!  So on a quiet night over the holidays we got some folks together and he and I traded making pies for the crowd and we drank some serious Piedmontese Nebbiolo based wines:  a Barbaresco, a Barolo, and a Boca!

Nebbiolo is my favorite grape.  And it really only shines brightly in one place in the world:  Piedmont.  Barolo and Barbaresco are first thing that most folks think of when they think of Nebbiolo.  And rightly so.  But further north the Nebbiolo grape shines in areas like Boca, Carema, Ghemme, Gattinara, etc.  In fact, the more northerly Nebbiolo’s can be quite surprising in their grace, relative affordability, and their longevity.  All the wines were very lovely.

The Silvio Giamello 2006 Barbaresco “Vicenziana” was maybe too young to be drinking quite yet.  But it was decanted and opened nicely.  Silvio Giamello is a great classic small producer.  One of my new favorites, and still under the radar enough to not get too pricey!  As for Fratelli Alessandria, I don’t know that much about this producer but had purchased the wine upon recommendation.  I loved the 2005 Barolo; yet again it was maybe too young to drink, but with time in the decanter it was singing.  The wine was everything a classic Barolo should be, balanced and elegant.  I want to try more from this producer based on how fantastic this bottle was.  And finally, one of my favorites, the 1985 Conti Boca.  I have written about this wine and this producer before, and was lucky to be invited to a dinner at Il Buco with the wine maker Elena Conti earlier this year.  The Conti Boca wines age very well, as the 1985 has proven on the several occasions I have tied it.

Bocconcini mozzarella, Gorgonzola Piccante, and Parmigianino with marinated mushrooms from Bedford Cheese Shop. I usually prefer sauce on my pies, but this white pizza was insane!

Silvio Giamello 2006 Barbaresco “Vincenziana”

Fresh sweet cherries and menthol and violets and cola.  Tannins are still a bit firm and there is great bright acidity.  Needs time in cellar, but this is promising stuff from a fantastic classic producer that is under the radar.  RECOMMENDED

Fratelli Alessandria 2005 Barolo

A classic Barolo blended from their own vineyard holdings, the 2005 was initially pretty tight, but it opened beautifully.  Dark tart cherry fruit mixes with a distinct liquorish note.  Balanced, elegant, and classic.  Text book Barolo that leaves me wanting more from this producer.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Conti 1985 Boca

An admitted favorite, this was the most advanced bottle of 1985 Conti Boca I have yet tasted.  The dark tart fruit is there with the acidity and the elegance and the balance.  But also now finding the notes of cured olives emerging, and I like it.  The stuff dreams are made of.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Calabrese salami with Bocconcini mozzarella and red sauce. A classic with a spicy twist!