Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Transformer

with 5 comments

Langhe Nebbiolo 2013, Produttori del Barbaresco ($24.35, 11383617)
100% Nebbiolo from young vines, all of which are located within the Barbaresco DOC. Fermented with selected “Barolo” yeasts at 28ºC in stainless steel tanks. Macerated on the skins for 24 days. Matured six months in very large oak barrels. No fining, light filtering, minimal sulphur dioxide. Reducing sugar: 1.6 g/l. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Typical cherry, sandalwood and turned earth aromas and a faint dried rose petal note. A supple middleweight remarkable for its silky texture, smooth acidity, fine tannins and overall balance. The clean and very dry fruit is infused with a light astringency and deepened by a mineral underlay. A woody – not oaky – taste colours the long finish. Vintage in, vintage out, this is one of the most consistently delicious, fairly priced wines made. (Buy again? By the case.)

Another Schwartza as miracle fruit-like moment here. Spurred by a rave about the pairing from occasional commenter thomasein, I served this with pepper steak made according to a New York Times recipe, whose stroke of genius is that it calls for a mix of black and Szechuan peppercorns. I don’t know whether it was the magical numbingness of the Chinese spice, the bland richness of the fillet steak (beef is a classic Nebbiolo pairing) or the soothing softness of the cream – though based on the Schwartza experience, I suspect it’s the cream – but the dish tamed the wine’s astringency, debauched its droiture and projected its fruit in Technicolor. Brilliant.

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Written by carswell

September 3, 2015 at 12:47

5 Responses

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  1. More research is required, but I believe the szechuan peppercorns to be responsible for the transformative pairing.

    thomasein

    September 3, 2015 at 13:32

    • So the peppercorns are responsible? Well, what do you know? You’re talking as if you were the guy who discovered the pairing.

      Oh, wait…

      carswell

      September 4, 2015 at 12:12

  2. Great! A recipe to use my szchuan pepper whose box gathers dust on my spice shelf. I still have a 2012 of this wine, maybe I’ll try with this vintage…

    Monsieur Antoine

    September 3, 2015 at 13:47

    • The 2013 is a very good wine but the 2012 is the best vintage of the Langhe I’ve tasted. What’s more, it’s drinking beautifully these days.

      Whichever one you pop the cork on, let us know how you find the pairing!

      carswell

      September 4, 2015 at 12:15

  3. […] on Brett happens: – Transformer (the 2013 + recipe) – Baby Barbaresco (the 2012) – Striking gold at Orange Rouge (the 2012) – […]


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