Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park in Beacon Hill marked the start of this weekend’s food adventures, a thoroughly pleasurable fine dining event that included the 2017 Castello di Neive Barbaresco “Santo Stefano.” I had the inside track to this powerhouse restaurant, with its James Beard Award-winning wine list and recognitions from Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston and 50 Best Restaurants list. The entire experience was meticulously curated, delivered in the decor, the ambiance, staff, and certainly the wine and food that were the star attractions.
Our meal kicked off with hors d’eouvres that included hers and his steak tartare (with charred onion aioli and pine nuts) and prune-stuffed gnocchi, which we swapped throughout. Absolutely LOVED the foie gras that was served with the gnocchi—Cara said this appetizer has been on the menu since the beginning and I fully understand why. Faroe Island salmon, with asparagus, crème fraiche, and beets was the entree each of us selected. Your host is a big fan of all these elements, and for the most part they added up to a healthy dinner.
But this is a wine blog first and foremost, so let me share a bit more on this 2017 Castello di Neive Barbaresco. It’s not the first Piedmont wine covered in Notes, but it’s likely the first Barbaresco. (I think the only one I’ve had previously goes years back to a Buffalo work trip with the Ivoclar team [Dr. Tysowsky picked one, as I recall…]) I selected the Santo Stefano from No. 9 Park’s extensive wine list, which included a number of old world wines from boutique vintners. In the glass I thought it poured light, ultimately showing a brick red garnet, and shared notes of strawberry at first. Certainly it tilted more to strawberry and raspberry rather than dark cherry or dark fruits.
Castello di Neive crafts this bottle from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, and the wine is very well balanced overall with an even, tannic finish. While my tastes traditionally run more to Bordeaux-style blends and Napa Cabs, this Barbaresco was great accompaniment to the start of our weekend in Boston. We began it in good fashion, tucked away in the restaurant’s cozy back dining room, glad for excellent foodstuffs, wine, and the exciting days ahead.
A final thought—I suspect most reading Notes are not looking for a recommended buy or shopping Italian red wines. If you are, though, then the 2017 Castello di Neive Barbaresco Santo Stefano would be an excellent choice.