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Wine & Spirits / WINE OF THE WEEK

2001 Vietti Barolo Castiglione

August 22, 2007|S. Irene Virbila

There aren't many bargains left in Piedmont, particularly when it comes to Barolo. But this village wine from Luca Currado at Vietti in Castiglione, one of the region's greatest Barolo estates, is one, especially the terrific 1991 vintage. Austerely elegant, the Barolo Castiglione is round and lush, with ripe tannins and scents of red berries, leather and spice.

Prices, though, are all over the place, from a low of $30 to a high of $47, so it pays to shop around.

The 2001 is very drinkable right now, but it will be even better if you can bear to put it away for a few years. Pour it with bold, highly flavored dishes: It can stand up for itself. But it will show best with simple roasts and grilled meats or charcuterie. Think grilled sausages, steaks and chops. Or, Piedmont's piatto forte (strong dish) -- brasato al Barolo, which is beef braised in Barolo. Winemakers have enough of the stuff around to actually cook with Barolo. Restaurant cooks generally use something less expensive, such as a Barbera or, in this country, a Zinfandel.

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Quick swirl

Region: Piedmont

Price: About $35

Style: Ripe and round

Food it goes with: Simple roasts and grilled meats

Where you find it: Liquorama in Upland, (877) 981-9044, www.finewinehouse.com; Vendome Wine & Spirits in Studio City, (818) 766-5272; Wally's Wine & Spirits in West L.A., (310) 475-0606, www.wallywine.com; the Wine Club in Santa Ana, (714) 835-6485, www.thewineclub.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 and (800) 769-4639, www.winex.com; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.com.

-- S. Irene Virbila

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