Pio Cesare Barbaresco 1997 vs. Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 1997

By , 7 January 2013

For Auld Lang Syne.

The family tradition on New Year’s Eve is to gather around the table with some decent food and wine. The menu this year:

Beetroot and vanilla gravalax and rooibos smoked salmon from the Luke Dale-Roberts Woolworths range on wholewheat bread

Gosset Grand Milléssime 1996


Tomato and goat’s cheese tarts

CWG Flagstone Weather Girl 2006
The Berrio The Weathergirl 2009


Chantel Dartnell’s Sunburst Pomelo Salad

Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2009


Roast prime rib of beef with Mediterranean-style vegetables and potatoes

Pio Cesare Barbaresco 1997
Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 1997


Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 1996


Apple tart from Cassis Paris Boulangerie and Patisserie, Newlands

The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Mézes Mály 1995

Some notes on the wines. The Gosset was marvellous – rich and full but not nearly as oxidative as I suspected it might be; nice with rooibos smoked salmon but didn’t work with beetroot and vanilla gravalax

The two vintages of the Sauv-Sem blend that is Weather Girl were remarkably similar, the 2006 only ever so slightly richer and broader. Both strongly herbaceous, they loved the goat’s cheese in the tarts – if SA is going to carry making “green” Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon blends, then let’s at least pair them with appropriate food.

The pomelo salad as conceived of Chantel Dartnel of Mosaic Restaurant in Elandsfontein featured such ingredients as sautéed desiccated coconut, chicken, prawns, asparagus and peanuts and was an exotic but happy marriage with the excellent HRV Chardonnay.

The two wines from Pio Cesare were both impressive, though I think I tended to the Barbaresco, relatively less ambitious by virtue of featuring less new barrique.

The Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 showed its trademark touch of mint, quite refreshing as those assembled waited for mid-night.

The Tokaji was simply a delicious way to see out 2012.


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