A chance to catch up with a former colleague at Zucca turned into a terrific lunch with the addition of a few truffles. We started on a bottle of 2003 by Bollinger. I had not had this before. Very few, if anyone made an 2003 and in a way Bollinger didn’t either, well not under the “Grande Annee” label anyway. The wine had a good and persistent bubble (I never like the word Mousse). It was quite vinous, acidity was there but not piercingly so. This reminded me of a bottle of older Champagne that was a little worse for wear but that had then been “pepped” up by a dash of a young non vintage. This is a great trick, in fact I would rarely risk opening an old Champagne without a pepping agent at the ready. Anyway back to the 2003, it went well with the various starters, sea bream Capaccio, Salt cod and Zucca Fritti. It is not a wine I am desperate to buy but certainly one I think you should try.
Up next was a bottle of, yes you guessed it, a Giacomo Conterno wine. This time the 2008 Barbera from the vineyard Robert acquired in June 2008, Cerretta. The personality of this vineyard is more forward and feminine than the mighty and serious Cascina Francia. The two are a great foil for one another. This 2008 a similar vintage for Barbera to the 2010 is just starting to really shine, I love the dense red fruit and focussing acidity. I would love to do a big Barbera tasting at some stage, it is such an under appreciated variety. The main course we both went for was divine. As pictured just simple truffled linguine but it was one of those dishes that just shouts “simplicity is best”. With the two wines, a good catch up, and the food it was a simple and enjoyable lunch. Zucca being a perfect 20 minute walk from the office there was just time for the second Por Larranaga Petit Corona from a 50 stick cabinet I bought with some mates recently. A cracking full-on smaller smoke, dark chocolate and milky coffee, too young for sure but delicious, I have 20 more so will try to leave most for 12-18 months, not sure how well I will do with that…