Restaurant: Oliverio [1, 2, 3]
Location: 9400 W Olympic Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90212. (310) 407-7791
Date: May 8, 2013
Rating: Awesome Amarone
The summer Hedonist season is heating up and brings us to the Avalon Hotel’s poolside Italian, Oliverio for a special Amarone dinner.
The atmosphere is tres LA and top notch.
Sharon holds down are giant table before the festivities begin.
This is our custom menu, but as you’ll see below we nearly doubled the number of courses!
2010 Giovanni Almondo Roero Arneis Vigne Sparse. The nose showed white flowers, almond skins and a spritz of lemon. On the palate, I found sweet apple, floral notes and hints of peach. The finish was clean, fresh and highly enjoyable.
Antipasto. Crudo di Pesce. Santa Barbara Uni, amachi, santa barbara prawns, yellowfin tuna. Nice fresh fish in the (new) Italian tradition.
2000 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne. Burghound 91. Explosive notes of green apple and obvious minerality plus a touch of wood toast lead to elegant, intense and long medium weight, beautifully textured flavors. This stains the palate and though this is not an especially powerful wine, it packs plenty of flavor authority.
Our bottle was fairly oxidized with strong creme brule flavors.
Roasted Bone Marrow. Fava beans, fresh radish, salsa verde. Really a knock out.
Cauliflower flan with black truffles.
1980 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella. Brick red. Nose of dried flowers, tea leaves, camomile, licuorice. Full bodied, ripe. Finish of plum peel. Still a lot of spice.
1981 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella. Deep ruby color with browning edges. Potent nose of tar, black licorice and sweet prunes. Deep and creamy with spicy black prune and raisiny fruit. Still loaded with acidity that is almost overwhelming. Finishes with an earthy complexity and a hint of alcohol. Much younger tasting than the 1980 (even though that wasn’t tired).
2004 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella. Parker 94. The 2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is flat-out gorgeous. Why can’t all the Bertani wines be this good? The 2004 is a superb, elegant Amarone graced with expressive dark red fruit, flowers, tobacco and spices, all supported by finessed, silky tannins. Sweet roses, tar and licorice are woven into the layered, sublime finish. Deceptively medium in body, the 2004 has the stuffing to age well for decades. This is a terrific showing from Bertani.
Primo. Risotto. Pioppini mushroom, braised Sonoma lamb neck. Tasted just like a great Osso Bucco. Awesome!
Tommaso Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Tb Vigneto Alto. Deep ruby. Opulent, sexy aromas off red cherry syrup, strawberry jelly, marzipan, cardamom and cinnamon. Dense, sweet and seamless, offering a lovely multilayered mouthful of red fruits, jam and spices. Finishes extremely long, with powerful grip and building tannins that stay silky-smooth. This clocks in at 47.8 g/l total dry extract, 11.1 g/l residual sugar and 6.45 g/l total acidity.
A vegetarian risotto with mushrooms and saffron.
2005 Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. Nose: Dark berries, sage, mint, maybe some tomato. A hint of vinegar. Taste: It has a tomato and liqueur-y kind of note. The slightest hint of sweetness with some brandy notes on the back. My friend who enjoys Amarone gives this an 89… I’m not enjoying the style but lets go with her thoughts.
Secondi. Porchetta. Roasted korobuta pork belly, frigitelli pepper, porcini mushroom.
Not actually that fatty (considering) but with a really nice rich flavor and a bit of heat from the pepper.
2006 Monti Coroni Amarone della Valpolicella Classico.
Seabass with tomatoes and olives.
2003 Bolla Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. Surprised by this wine. Still very young, and quite tannic, with nice deep red fruit characteristics, with no raisin component at all. Nice, interesting wine that was very enjoyable. Give it time.
Salmon with fennel and potatoes.
1996 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta. Deep, rich red wine, erupting with pure, and intense aromas of cedar, black currants, dried cherries, basil, earth, spices, and hints of leather and tobacco on the back-end. The palate is pure, focused, concentrated, ad extremely elegant with mirroring brightness of fruit and a savoriness that leads into an unbelievably deep and rich 60 second finish with the kind of finesse that most winemakers only dream of. This is only the second time I have had the pleasure of trying this incredible wine, and I relished every moment of it. This is easily the best Valpolicela in the market. Anyone, If you come across this wine anywhere, buy it and drink it, because you need to try what a truly great valpolicela holds beneath its cork.
This isn’t technically an Amarone, but a wine made in the same region with the same grapes without the ripasso method (drying into raisons).
Quail in wine reduction sauce with polenta. Really nice.
1997 Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Mazzano. This beautiful mouth filling wine had a port-like nose and guess what….the first sip exhibited a lovely, mature, extracted port-like taste. The wine had Valpo flavors at just the right intensity, not as large as Port, but the correct stature for the grapes that make up the blend. The bottle was consumed over three days and each day I thought that the intensity, ripeness and mouth feel would decrease but it maintained a wonderful flavor to the end of the bottle. A real treat.
2001 Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Campolongo di Torbe. Parker 91. The palate is very soft, graceful, matured, powerful and really broad. Overall the wine seems really dry, although there is a hint of sweetness at the tip of the tongue. Soft yet brawny tannic structure. Dried cherries, figs, earthiness, leather, dark-roasted coffee and raisins in an impeccable balance; none of these flavors dominate the complex palate, everything is in its right place. Lengthy finish with round, sweet taste of figs, moccha and wooden oak. A spectacular wine, this is. It is so powerful its high alc. (16,6%) doesn’t show at all, bar a slight touch of heat in the throat. One of the best wines I have ever tasted, probably even the best. Impressive now, but has a powerful body that’ll hold easily for another decade.
La Casola. Traditional duck and sausage stew with cabbage.
Almost like a French Cassolette. Rich meat, rich sausage, and rich sauce!
1999 Allegrini Amarone Classico (in 3L!). Parker 91-95. The impressive 1999 Amarone della Valpolicella is from a vintage which was anything but easy, but apparently created few problems here. Rich, jammy, and spicy aromas are followed by full and voluminous flavors, broad and warmly alcoholic with abundant super-ripe fruit and notes of chocolate, solid but voluptuous and extremely long on the finish.
Tomato, basil, and burrata pizza. Somehow the crust is made from potato? Anywhichway, it was a great pizza, very chewy.
1980 Castello di Cacchiano Vin Santo del Chianti Classico. A mid sweet Vin Santo, very pleasant.
Chocolate cake with creme fraiche and passionfruit sauce.
Overall, this was another knock out knight. The food was fantastic, even if we had no pasta! and was well paired with the rich heavy Amarones. That atmosphere outside by the pool really added as well and Oliverio, its staff, and chef, took fantastic care of us.
More crazy Hedonist adventures or