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2 Reds – Old vs. New World

January 10, 2008

Ghisolfi Langhe Pinay 2005

~$15US, 100% Pinot Noir, Langhe, Italy
Medium-transparent ruby. Very intriguing old-skool nose: chamomile, barnyard, wet leather, violets, strawberries burried in the dirt. Tight mouthfeel, strong acidity and medium-to-firm tannins. Became more simple with air time -the initial impression was the most profound for me. The fruit was definitely secondary. Good with my pasta, but not great. Maybe better with something like a mushroom risotto or braised pork shoulder. I had high hopes from the fascinating initial nose – but it fell a little short overall. Not bad, but not outstanding. I would suspect more bottle time would  help it flesh out.

Barrel 27 Central Coast Syrah 2005

~$15US, 100% Syrah, Central Coast California
Black-Magenta. Perfumed. This transformed in the decanter – initially blueberries, cloves, and tobacco on the nose – over time developing into the most profound expression of green olives I’ve ever come across in a wine – nearly usurping the fruit. I mean close your eyes and you’d think you were hovering over the olive bar. Very rich, round and mouth-coating. Softer tannins, and medium acidity. Initially overpowering for food( didn’t even try to pair it before an hour in the decanter)- as the fruit character receded, it became increasingly food friendly and added dimensions to the simple pasta dish. A big surprise.

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