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Another year has passed, and so has another 2022 Blend he came, punctual as an early autumn dream. A dream, like that of Umberto Cosmo, in which I read the desire to create a sustainable alternative to the usual events in the world of wine. And a certainty, the Dolada restaurant in Alpago - 1 Michelin star - led by the chef Riccardo De Pra and his delightful family. Every year a journalist is at the table with a producer and (also) this year I felt really lucky because I met a (another) intelligent and very pleasant man: Riku Väänänen of Chateau Puybarbe (Bordeaux).

You know, when it comes to Bordeaux, I always get excited. I have magical memories of when I won the Millésima Blog Awards and I have been around the Primeur and have visited some of the châmost beautiful teau. Thus, in this welcoming and elegant environment dominated by the lit fireplace, I met the passion and expertise of Riku Väänänen.

Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

Dolada Restaurant: the aperitif with the Prosecco "Sei Uno" by Bellenda

But let's go in order ... and let's start with the aperitif. This year we started with the “You are One”, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco DOCG Rive di Carpesica di Bellenda. Six One is a prosecco that goes out of the local schemes both for the refermentation in the bottle (aging on the lees 12 months), and for the very low dosage. I like it because it brings back the classic aromas of prosecco, like apple, mint and lime blossom, while in the mouth it is consistent, structured, crunchy and with a good persistence of fresh hazelnut.

Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

This year, as an aperitif, chef Riccardo De Prà offered us a very concentrated pigeon broth. In Alpago it is quite cool in the evening even when it is hot in the rest of Italy, and the Albergo Ristorante Dolada is located in Plois, a hamlet almost 900 meters above sea level. I love the pigeon and still dream what he prepared for us last year, so I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

Dolada Restaurant, Alpago: cod with Roger Coulon's “L'Hommée” Champagne

The food. A perfectly cooked codfish croquette with a soft and crunchy dough that rests on a cream of potatoes in which, from an organoleptic point of view, squid ink and parsley stand out.

The wine. It has an intense and brilliant straw yellow with a very fine, very numerous and persistent perlage. Intense and elegant honeyy notes of white chocolate and candied cedar on the nose. In the mouth it is fresh, coherent, structured and with an excellent drinkability. Particularly crunchy, it is probably a recent disgorgement.

The pairing. Perfect, the bubble degreases the croquette, the good aroma of the champagne enhances the squid ink and parsley while the dosage balances the flavor of the cod.

Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

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Dolada restaurant, Alpago: sedanini with cuttlefish, mushrooms and truffles with the verdeja 2018 by Bodegas Menade

The food. A lot of truffles and many mushrooms cover a little the taste of the cuttlefish, despite this the taste works and the dish is very pleasant. I did the second lap and I would have done the third and fourth as well.

The wine. It has a pale and brilliant straw yellow. On the nose, even if it is very closed, it reveals interesting aromas. In the mouth it is balanced, fresh, savory and very vertical. Certainly not one of his best vintages, even if it remains a wine that I adore.

The pairing. The wine, also due to not being in its best expression, does not stand up to the aromaticity of the dish.

Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

Dolada restaurant, Alpago: Artusi veal with tuna sauce with Chateau Puybarbe's Côtes de Bourg 2018

The food. Well, I didn't think I would ever eat a vitello tonnato like this in my life: I need to learn more about this recipe by Artusi. The veal is cooked to perfection, very tender inside and with a crust on the outside that also gives that delicious toasted note due to a perfectly carried out Maillard Reaction. Vegetables, perhaps steamed, have their natural taste. The tuna sauce is perfect in texture and taste, very balanced. I especially liked the meat served in piece and not sliced.

The wine. It has an intense and impenetrable ruby ​​red, consistent. The nose is very intense, with a large bouquet of different spices, a balsamic note, a light note of freshly ground coffee and an intense scent of undergrowth. In the mouth it is consistent, very soft, tannic, balanced and with a long toasted finish.

The pairing. A successful pairing to perfection, as happens when wine and food enhance each other.

Dolada Restaurant, Alpago: Chantilly pear, caramel and pistachio with Traminac 2016 by Ilok Cellars

The food. I'm not a fan of sweets, but this is likely to be the best dessert I've ever eaten. It was just missing a touch of salt in the caramel (oh my, I try to picture it with the salted caramel and I enjoy!). The pear is cooked to perfection, the Chantilly cream has a delicate and not too sweet taste and underneath there is a paste base that is almost impalpable in the mouth. Pistachios give aromaticity and crunchiness. An original and successful reinterpretation of the classic combination of cheese and pears.

The wine. It has an intense antique golden yellow with amber hues, bright and consistent. The nose is intense, broad, with notes of candied orange, honey, medicinal herbs and chocolate. In the mouth it is coherent, very pleasant, soft, there is little sugar and it is so voluptuous that it envelops the palate. Balanced, structured and with a savory vein. Very long finish. EXTRAORDINARY.

The pairing. When you have two products as perfect as this dessert and this wine it's hard to go wrong. I did the second round of the wine and I really enjoyed it together with the pistachio pear.

Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

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Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

Dolada Restaurant, Alpago: caramelized fruit with the Saussignac of Chateau Le Payral

The food. Fruits are special: the caramel is cooked to perfection and not at all bitter. The layer is so thin that it delicately wraps the fruit giving it crunchiness without altering the flavor too much with sweet or bitter notes (depending on how well the caramel is cooked).

The wine. It has a beautiful intense and brilliant golden yellow color with amber shades at the edges, consistent. On the nose, Botrytis cinerea is very evident with its characteristic aromas. Intense notes of caramel, acacia honey, fresh apricot and jam and candied mandarin. Long nutty finish. CRAZY.

The pairing. An unexpected combination, which I made when this wonderful wine to taste arrived at our table. I must say that it was a very pleasant food-wine combination, even if a Saussignac like this should be enhanced with oysters, blue cheeses, foie gras and undercooked goose or duck. With a goose ham it would create a contrast between flavor and sweetness that I get excited just thinking about it.

Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

After the caramelized fruits, a classic of the Dolada restaurant: chestnuts cooked in the fireplace during dinner. A cuddle that, again this year, I enjoyed very much, partly because I love roasted chestnuts, partly because it always makes me feel at home. Thank you. Just a pity that I was full and I ate them mostly with my eyes.

Dolada Alpago blend 2022 restaurant

A delicious dinner that - together with a long tub with red fruit herbal tea in my splendid room at the Mosto Fiore di Conegliano - prepared me for the next day: 2022 Blend. But I'll tell you this in another article!

Cheers

Chiara

PS I invite you to read this article too Alpago: Pre-Blend 2021 wine symmetries which talks about the dinner and the combinations of the last edition.

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