at Paprika Restaurant, NYC (6/28/2010)

This dinner is one in a series of Barolo dinners organized by Leo Frokic and Eric Guido.

The Restaurant

Paprika is a terrific restaurant and an amazing value in the East Village.
Chef/Owner Egidio Donagrandi is from Valtellina in far northern Italy.
His food includes some of the distinctive specialties of that region.
(Photo courtesy of Eric Guido.)

The Wines

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2007 J. Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc Estate Grown (Russian River Valley)
Crisp flowers and minerals in the nose. Tart and appealing. Long finish. Nice. 89 points.

1998 Albino Rocca Barbaresco Riserva Vigneto Brich Ronchi
[Pop and pour.] Expansive complex. Roses in nose. No sign of oak. Ready and very tasty. 92 points.
1998 Conterno Fantino Barolo Riserva Sorì Ginestra
Black fruits with a touch of Oxidation. Tart, sour. Cooked? NR

1998 Elio Altare Barolo Vigneto Arborina
[DD at 6pm] Muted nose of tar and chocolate. Thick, still tannic and young. Not sure if this just needs more time or what. It's quite good, but it seems like there's more here. 92-? points.
1998 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric d&eulm;l Fiasc
[DD at 2pm] Tar and black cherries. Expansive, complex. Surprisingly classic tannins for a 1998 from this producer. Great length. I am really impressed.
10pm: Kicking ass! Incredible black fruit and tar. Wow! 95 points. My #2 WOTN.

1998 Domenico Clerico Barolo Pajana
[DD at 11am] Muted tarry nose. Quite backward and tannic. Very good, but needs 5-10 years. 92-94 points.
1998 Luigi Pira Barolo Marenca
[DD at 4:30pm. Photo courtesy Eric Guido.] Warm and tannic dark red fruit. Complex. Would benefit from 4-8 years of further aging. 93-95 points.

1998 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto di Serralunga d'Alba
[Decanted at 7pm] Tight but still expressive nose of truffles, spice, and black fruits. Smooth, silky with gobs of black cherry fruit in the middle. Loads of tannin on the finish. 93-95 points.
1998 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto di Serralunga d'Alba
[DD at 10am] Ethereal nose of tar, roses, white truffle. Expands though my head. Dark black fruit. Exquisite. Young, but beautiful. Has amazing fruit. Should drink beautifully for 20 years, but needs many hours of air at this point. My WOTN 97 points.

I must say I was very impressed by these 1998 Barolos. I have always considered 1998 to be a not-so-serious vintage because so many of them drank well young. Now, I wonder if 1998 Barolo is more like 1982 Bordeaux, a vintage that fools a lot of people into thinking the wines won't age well, but they do.

You can also see Eric's notes on this tasting in his blog, The VIP Table.

The Food

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Homemade Eggplant Parmigiana with Pesto. Delicious! Different from the typical Southern Italian version.

Beef Carpaccio, Arugula, Truffle Oil and Parmigiano.

Two types of Risotto and Homemade Pappardelle with Braised Oxtail Ragu.

Homemade Gnocchi. A fabulous Valtellina dish made with Buckwheat pasta.

Grilled Butcher Steak with Roasted Winter Vegetables (Potatoes, Cipollotti).

Tiramisu. Panna Cotta.

The People

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Eric, Tom, Ali, Aya.

Eric, Tom, Ali, Aya.

Nancy, Walt, Leo.

Leo really wants to take my picture, but he doesn't want me in the center. I'm not sure why. ;)

Floor Manager Aya (who arranged our dinner) and Executive Chef Egidio Donagrandi.




All original content © Ken Vastola