|Our good friend Emiliano called to ask if we were into a little Mr. Wok. Yes we answered " we are always into a little Mr. Wok" particularly when it is Emiliano who is inviting us. Mr Wok ( if you are not familiar) is a sensational BYOB in Plano which serves an exquisite Peking Duck. Emiliano ( Monchiero) is the Italian specialist Somm with the national import portfolio Kobrand. The combination of food and wine at this lunch could only be avoided by the gastronomically impaired. We are many things, but gastronomically impaired is not one. We tasted 9 wines that day, all beautiful. We are featuring two of those today because we believe THIS IS THE MOST BANG FOR THE BUCK!
All of the very best,
Rex and Michele
2014 Tenute del Cabreo La Pietra Chardonnay di Toscana IGT
1. Both of the wines we will be writing about today are so Italian that they taste of French influence. We happen to enjoy great Chassagne Montrachet and Puligny Montrachet and Mersault. The problem is we are not yet millionIares. Cabreo La Pietra has all of the technical and traditional influences used in the making of white Burgundy. Pruning, oaking, age of vines and soil composition is all there and formidable. The Cabreo Il Pietra is big with a naturally ( not winemaker induced ) butter component hidden within tropical fruit including apricot mango and papaya. This Chard is only 20% new oak consequently great mineral components show through. We tasted this one with Jack's ( Chef and Owner- The Actual Mr Wok ) salt and pepper shrimp . The Cabreo La Pietra took on a crispness we had not seen without food and which electrified the crunch and spice of the shrimp. Life is good. The 2014 will age beautiful and take on some almond characteristics over the next few years and should be a cellar star for another 7 years minimum. If you like opulent Chard with age ability and great Character- this one is a bargain at $35.00
Normal $45, tODAY $35 PER
A rich and intense white with dried apple, toffee, lemon character and a citrus undertone. Full and rich with so much character. Goes on for minutes. One of the
greatest dry whites ever made in Tuscany. And an excellent value for the great quality. Competes with top white Burgundy and Sonoma chardonnay. James Suckling,
Floral, peach, lemon and baking spice notes mark this fresh white. Verges on a creamy texture, with a long, citrusy finish. (02/2017) Bruce Sanderson
2011 Michele Chiarlo "Tortoniano" Barolo
Normal $49, tODAY $42.50 PER
2. 2011 Michele Chiarlo Barolo, single vineyard Tortoniano
This 2011 shows incredibly today. This is an example of great Nebbiolo - not in the future, but on the table tonight. There are rich red plums combined with cherry. There is violets, smoke and tangerine peel in the nose and at the finish. The mid palate is dark raspberry, but this wild berry shows finesse, so much that orange zest pops through.
Though many Italians might publicly scoff at us saying that this Barolo reminds us of Nuit St George or Chambolle Musigny, but privately and not to be repeated Emiliano confirmed he saw great similarities in style and character, so please don't repeat that he admitted that. More importantly, wow what a bottle with Peking Duck! $42.50 is not cheap, but cheap by comparison.
*Cellar Selection* Crushed violet, herb, wild berry, leather, exotic incense, eucalyptus and balsamic aromas carry over to the elegantly structured palate underscored by a mineral vein. It's bright and fresh, with young, tightly wound tannins that need time to unfurl. Drink 2018-2031. (KO) (2/2016)
Very solid and rich center palate here with dried berry and chocolate character and hints of hazelnuts. Full and velvety. Give this two or three years to soften. (4/2015)
The 2011 Barolo Tortoniano shows savory characteristics of cured meat and spice with some balsam herb intensity to lift the bouquet. The mouthfeel is streamlined and tight. This wine clearly reflects the warmer conditions of the 2011 growing season and you easily recognize that extra intensity and concentration throughout this wine. The results are softer, rounder and more generous than you normally get from Michele Chiarlo's Barolo Tortoniano. (ML) (6/2016)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Michele Chiarlo's 2011 Barolo Tortoniano makes for a great introduction to the year. Soft, supple and impeccably polished, the 2011 impresses for its balance. Silky tannins support a refined finish laced with rose petal, mint, plum and sweet red cherries. There is a lot to like, including the wine's open, fruit-driven personality. (AG) (3/2015) Vinous