Sometimes a wine catches you by surprise.  The afternoon I was lucky enough to stick my nose into a glass of La Spinetta Barbaresco Valeirano, 2003, I almost fell off my chair.

This is an impressive wine- an opus to the huge possibilities of Nebbiolo at the hands of a master like Giorgio Rivetti.

2003 was a warmer vintage- but the wine is still feminine, still a monument to the elegance and grace of Barbaresco.  Full of the haunting aromas of white truffles and steely, wet rocks.  On the palate it is generous and slick- this is a wine to match beautifully marbled cuts of beef, grilled pork chops, or braised short ribs.

Of course, it’s also a wine I want to enjoy all on its own- sinfully lip-smacking and aromatically complex.  Just me, a bottle of Barbaresco and a deserted beach somewhere at midnight.