Instead of our usual Thursday article from our archives, today we are publishing a photographic report on our third Barolo Night. We will be publishing the tasting notes Julia and I took on the night in due course.
Almost 100 of us Barolo enthusiasts had a lovely time on Sunday night at Caravan King's Cross tasting 41 Barolo 2011s hand picked by Walter (who was suffering terrible laryngitis) and some excellent food. We are delighted to have been able to donate £2,000 to Marie Curie Cancer Care as a result.
The whole thing was made possible by Federico Scarzello (above, checking the bottles for TCA before the start of the event) and his team at the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo. We were rather shocked to find a total of five bottles out of almost 130 opened were affected by TCA, the compound responsible for cork taint. Federico pointed out that he did not know of any similar showing of so many top-quality Baroli anywhere in the world.
Our subscriptions supremo Rachel Shaughnessy helped to put out the bottles in the right order. Walter carefully ordered them by increasing body and tannin and several attendees remarked on how interesting it was to see this progression. Rachel's husband Lee, a professional photographer, was kind enough to take all these pictures.
Emily Percival, who helps Tam with the complex business of uploading our thousands of tasting notes and is a WSET Diploma student, had a quiet go through the wines before the crowds arrived.
This year for a change we offered everyone who came as an aperitif a choice of six different traditional-method fizzes from the Langhe, including Federico's delicate pink Erpacrife 2010 made from Nebbiolo grapes. We'll be publishing our notes on these too.
We were very pleased by how many women attended the tasting. Note the Riedel Burgundy glasses that Walter insists on, efficiently delivered, along with all the wines, spittoons etc, by Sensible Wine Services.
There were men of all ages ...
... and this group had come specially all the way from Hanover in Germany.
Nick Burstin, above, wrote afterwards, 'It was quite extraordinary to taste such a collection of Barolos (Baroli?) and the convivial atmosphere says a lot about both those organising and the members. Congratulations and thanks for all your hard work.'
Smiles replaced more serious expressions as the evening wore on. And we packed off the last guests with their goody bags of top-quality Langhe chocolates and Barolo map soon after 9, having offered a glass of a rather special vermouth to see them on their way. Julia and I signed more than 20 copies of the new, 4th edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine.
As one of the last to leave put it, the evening (which has to be on a Sunday, I'm afraid, because that is the only time Caravan King's Cross closes) was 'bloody fantastic'.