Ego. (Narcissistic, or just plain delicious?)

I found an very curious bottle of wine the other day at the Wine House in Los Angeles.  It had no label- just a hand-scrawled winemaker’s signature and a vintage “2001”.  The little capsule around the neck of the bottle had the name of the wine “Ego”, by Fulvio Bressan– one of my favorite Friulian producers.

Here was my thought process in the store:

Bressan.  Cabernet and Schioppettino.  2001?  Bressan.  Sold.

We decided to open the bottle last night to taste with our good friends and Fellow Food and Wine Adventurers, the Loudys.  Pam and “The Captain” Bob Loudy made a delicious roast leg of lamb, rosemary-ed polenta, asparagus- it was quite a spread, and a perfect match for the traditional and powerfully rustic wines of Bressan.

The wine was brick red with a dark orange rim- perhaps the only mark of its age- a 2001 vintage, but still vibrant and concentrated even at 11 years old.  On the nose Pam promptly proclaimed “black pepper”, which is my favorite hallmark for the Schioppettino grape.  Leave it to Bressan to craft a Schioppettino that can age gracefully and still retain its identity.

On the palate the wine was silky, balanced and full of bright forest fruits- currants, wild raspberries- all wrapped up in  toasty mushrooms and damp earth.  If there ever were a wine that deserved to be called “Ego”, this is it.

Bressan is a master of Friulian terroir- a winery with nine generations of wine making experience, and a serious passion for the autochthonous grapes of the area.  If you find these wines on a wine list, on a shelf in a store, you owe it to yourself to taste them.  They are a gateway into thousands of years of Friulian wine making.  And they’re delicious too.

(If you’d like to taste the Bressan Ego from 2001, there are a few bottles left: Click HERE)