Great news for those who love Hearth in NY and NY's Terroir Wine Bar. The partners have opened up a new Terroir in Tribeca and it's great. The list is filled with little known treats from around the globe and excellent small plates to pair. I was brought there by my ever-food obsessed friend, O (now of Notes & Scones fame) to taste Swiss wines. Terroir's owner, Paul Grico has an affinity for Swiss wines and had two to turn me on to. First was the 2006 Amigne de Vetroz from Cave Jean-René Germanier with a sweetness level "2-Bees", which is about the sweetness of a demi-sec Vouvray. The Swiss use a label with one, two, or three bees. This wine has great acidity to balance the sweetness, like a great Riesling, and grows more floral and wonderous in the glass every passing minute. It's also extremely food friendly and paired well with the pig trotter and frisee salad and crunchy beet and orange salad that Chef Marco prepared. Paul also brought out a 2007 Heida Vispertraminer which was a bone dry traminer, delicious and extremely mineral-focused. A visit to Terroir should leave you wanting more of Paul's bottomless knowledge of wine and thirsty for another glass of something magical.
Then off to dinner at L'Artusi in the West Village and some spectacular Piedmonte wines, courtesy of Joe, hand carried back from Italy, one of which is unavailable in this country. What a treat! We started with some Crudi. Paper-thin slices of scallop with a sprinkling of chile was up first, then tiny raw cubes of hamachi with scallions and lemon. Both were great. We drank a white from Val d'Aosta with the crudi that was bracing.
Next up, some wonderful pastas; all homemade, of course to go with the reds. Taglarini (pronounce tah-reen in Piedmontese) with speck, butter and cheese, Cavatelli with lamb sausage ragu, and Rigatoni with beef ragu. All were excellent.
Mains were a huge pork chop with some nice potatoes roasted with it and an excellent chicken with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms.
First up was the 1996 Barbaresco Vigneto Brich Ronchi from Rocca Albino. Brich refers to hillside. At first this was one of the most massively licorice-scented wines I have ever had, but over time that tamed down a bit and elegant blackberry aromas and tar came out. (It's tarry in a good way!) The tannins hit the palate hard, then melt in your mouth leaving a minute-long brilliant finish. A thrilling wine.
Next was the 1996 Barolo Vigneto Rocchette from Giovanni Accomasso. This is one of those wines that makes one understand the power and glory of Nebbiolo. It has super-bright tannins, even after 14 years, and on the nose delivers on and on. At one point the wine was giving off what I can only describe as Indian Market - scents of sandlewood, cumin, and maybe a little sweat! Another huge treat. Look for this next time you're in Europe. I don't believe it comes to the states.