Fried Chick Peas @ MozzaSome days you just wake up craving something super specific.  Today is one of those days.  I really just want this: Fried Chick Peas and Sage from Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach.  That’s all.

Well, a glass of this wouldn’t hurt either…

Produttori Barbaresco 2007Light on its feet, racy and mineral.  Delicate, perfumed and chaotically powerful.  I love the wines of Produttori Barbaresco.  This specific blend of potency and elegance is found only in Nebbiolo, and specifically from these gorgeous Barbaresco vineyards, shepherded by the Great Bastion of Nebbiolo, Aldo Vacca.Aldo Vaca, Nebbiolo Man

If you ever get the chance to hear Aldo Vacca speak about Nebbiolo and Barbaresco, prepare yourself for a transcendental experience.  He is truly steeped in knowledge about the area, and is intimately acquainted with the many facets of Nebbiolo through his work with Produttori Barbaresco.  To listen to him speak about the world-famous cooperative, it seems it would have been impossible for him to work in any other position.  Aldo told a group of us travelling with the Piemonte Land of Perfection tour last fall “I don’t own the business, but the business owns the family”.  His great-grandfather was a grower in 1894, then his father in 1952…

Terroir alla BarbarescoTerroir by Barbaresco, Hand by Ted Glennon.

The most incredible thing about visiting Produttori Barbaresco (aside from meeting Aldo Vacca), was seeing the soil, and physically standing in the vineyards.  The ground is light and crumbly, full of calcareous deposits, and then deeper underground, striated by a yellow sandy vein.  This kind of obvious minerality and opportunity for good drainage speaks volumes for the amazing potential for grape-growing here.

Nebbiolo!The exposition of the Barbaresco vineyards is interesting as well.  To illustrate this, I would compare it to Barolo, where when you look around you feel as if you are surrounded by hills.  However in Barbaresco you are on top of a hill, but at a similar elevation.  Fascinating.  According to Aldo Vacca, this only adds to the vineyards’ fertility and increases elegance in the wines.

Aldo Vaca MesmerizesI love this image, because it perfectly encapsulates the ability of a man like Aldo Vacca to completely transfix a room full of people.

The wines are guaranteed to do the same.  Especially with a handful of crispy chick peas.

Nebbiolo not QuiteNebbiolo from Produttori Barbaresco, a few weeks before harvest…