Casa Tartufo, Singapore

Bruno Giacosa 2005 SpumanteBruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano di Neive 1996

Food was pretty good in spite of all the not-so-stellar reviews on this establishment. The Capesante (seared scallops) and Burrata were excellent – both went down quite well with the vintage 2005 spumante by Bruno Giacosa. S pointed out that the spumante was a little rough on the edges as far as effervescence is concerned and I must say he nailed it. The Tajarin with white Alba truffles were good, but sadly, the Tortelli was overpowered by the bacon bits, taking away the limelight from what little shavings of tartufo there were on the plate. The Risotto Casa was admittedly a little fishy (with the sea-urchin) but still went down fairly well with the Barbaresco, contrary to what the restaurant’s sommelier had to say about the pairing. The cheese platter was a letdown and all 5 cheeses tasted as though they were bought off the shelves from a supermarket. The parmiggiano and pecorino were quite disappointing for an Italian restaurant. Anyway, they managed to salvage some of that with an impressive trio of well-made tartufo, hazelnut and dark choc gelato. What truly marred the experience here was the somewhat condescending tone of the sommelier. However, I do applaud his courage and confidence in imposing his views on his customers. Personally, it’s a huge no-no for me. The thing is – if you think a particular dish on the menu doesn’t really work with the theme of the restaurant, why not get the dish removed instead of criticizing it in front of your dine-in customers? I wasn’t sure if he was trying to be charming but that tactic definitely backfired.

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2007 Barbaresco, Produttori del Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy

Barbaresco 2007, Produttori del BarbarescoDeep ruby core with a bright red cherry rim and a thin, clear meniscus. Lifted aromas of sweet, ripe dark cherries and rose water on the nose with pronounced oak componenets in the background  (I would have thought this was a well-made new world pinot noir!). Similar flavors can be found on the palate with med+ acidity, med+ to long finish and a somewhat spicy aftertaste. Robust but ripe tannin structure here: needs time to evolve into a beauty. Drunk too soon but I just can’t help it – I’ve been dying to try it for ages! Pleasing at this juncture but should develop nicely in the cellar. Nevertheless, I felt the style was a little too “new world” to my liking – perhaps I’m wrong…

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco 1995

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco 1995
A little cloudy at first and had plenty of sediment, the nebbiolo settled into a crystal clear medium garnet core with an orange-reddish meniscus. Beautiful aromas of dried mandarin peel, red berries and liquorice greeted the first whiff on the nose that slowly exhibited some cinnamon and chinese five spice. Somewhat earthy on the palate, which reminded me of dried shitake mushrooms, coffee grounds, and caramelized sugar (like those used in vietnamese cooking). A long and powerful finish with a substantial (and important) tannic grip. What a beauty!