Review Of A Pricey Red Gattinara Riserva Wine

Travaglini Gattinara Riserva DOCG 1999 13.5% alcohol about $33

This wine was very rich and mouth-filling. A little bit went a long way. I tasted tobacco, leather, and black cherries, but essentially I tasted a very fine wine. I donít think that I am kidding myself when I say that I could tell the difference between this wine, and the non-Riserva 2001 vintage, which I also found excellent. I felt that the Riserva was even more powerful and complex than its younger cousin.

I tasted it with rib steak and potatoes, and with slow-cooked beef ribs as in my previous tasting. (I wasnít going to waste any of it on a more plebian dish such as a lasagna.) The food pairings were great, as was the wine on its own. My only regret was that the bottle was empty before I tasted it with any cheese. Frankly I wonder if a wine of this quality wouldnít be a bit wasted with cheese.

Final verdict. Iíd have to think very hard to find something negative about this wine. Iím not convinced that it should be cellared until 2015-2020, which at this point seems a long way off. But for now, and certainly the next few years, this wine is excellent, and is somewhat of a bargain. For this particular wine, and undoubtedly many others, Riserva means more than just additional aging.

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