This was a fun night of delicious charcuteries, marvelous pastas and Maialino's famous suckling pig, which was prepared perfectly and was really tasty.

We started with the house Champagne, although I'm not sure of the name as I got there late and only had a tiny sip. Then we moved to a magnum of the 2013 Aubert Chardonnay Cix, which was gorgeous and honeyed with caramelized citrus, orange blossoms, great acidity, and wonderful intensity and richness. Despite the fact that Aubert uses 100% new oak, it is incredibly well concealed in his wine. The first red was horribly corked and a sad experience - a magnum from my cellar of the 2000 Bruno Giacosa Red Label Riserva Asili Barbaresco. I was really looking forward to this, and you could taste some fruit coming through the mold, but it just got worse as it sat in the glass. We then moved to a 2001 Cappellano Barolo Pie Franco, which was fully mature, but certainly capable of lasting another decade or more. This is a traditional Barolo, with loads of rose petal, tar, dried herbs, and red and darker fruits. We also had the 1997 Monprivato Barolo from Mascarello, which was beautiful, supple, rich, full-bodied and rather extravagantly rich. Then we moved to the 2000 La Conseillante out of a magnum, which was one of the few 2000s already showing plenty of character at age 15. (Most of the Left Bank Médoc wines are still closed.) That was a beauty and was sucked down fairly fast by The Wine Advocate wine-writing team. We then moved to the 2010 Saint Préfert Châteauneuf du Pape Charles Giraud (another magnum from my cellar). This wine was not as concentrated and rich as their perfect 2007, but it is an absolutely magnificent wine. It had a dense ruby/purple color with loads of Provençal garrigue, licorice and kirsch liqueur in a full-bodied, beautifully pure style. This is a blend of 40% étaged in demi-muids and 60% old-vine Grenache aged in concrete.

We finished with the 2005 Clos Saint Jean La Combe des Fous Châteauneuf du Pape, which was beautifully rich and fragrant, with flowery notes woven with blackcurrants, blackberry and kirsch. This is a darker, more primordial wine than the Saint Préfert, with much more Grenache, but also offering fragrant, floral Cinsault.

All things considered, this was a beautiful night with The Wine Advocate team.

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