Mar 21, 2010
Restaurant: Jacob’s Bar & Kjøkken
Date: Saturday, March 13th 2010
I have done a producer profile on Bressan in past posts, but nothing I have written could have prepared me for such a down to earth warm person such as Fulvio. Energetic and outgoing, Fulvio entertained everyone at our table and the other tables as we made our rounds to introduce him to our guests. I thought I was going to have my work cut out for me with the translating from Italian, but it turns out that Fulvio’s grasp of English is very good, making my job a little easier. The turn out was better than anticipated with a completely full restaurant with even a few tables being turned.. for quaint little Bergen, this is quite a feat!
Bressan not only entertained the guests’ questions, he even managed to sneak over to the bar guests who stopped in after the local football (soccer) game and befriend them! Behind this outgoing, down to earth person, lies an amazing wine maker, even more amazing is his approach to viticulture. Although he is as natural as he can be, their is a lot of science going on here, especially when it comes to harvest. The effect that the harvest of healthy grapes has on the final wine is tremendous! In fact, harvesting even one day “too soon” or one day “too late” can make a significant difference on the final wine. (click on the images below to enlarge)
Fulvio spoke of how much one or two days effect the maturity of the grape, what climate does to the maturation curve (sugar versus phenolic maturity), volatile acidity relating to date of harvest, and hours of light exposure effecting grape maturity. He even spent a few minutes discussing oxygen exchange differences between different size oak barrels, the smaller the barrel, the thinner the wall diameter, the greater the oxygen exchange (and oak influence). The most important thing to understand here is that most of his science, and the most important part of it, is out in the vineyards – especially when it comes to the exact date to harvest – probably the single most important. He also mentioned that the only thing he does out in the vineyards is the copper and sulfur treatment, but never after the 31st of July. And, he never harvests before it has rained, so that the grapes can be rinsed.
Enough said, now on to the dinner and the pairings!
Comments: The delicate dried apricot aromas in the wine matched perfectly with the compote.
Comments: When I spoke to Fulvio on the phone about pairing his Pignol with a fish dish, he thought we were crazy. When he tasted the dish, he was stunned! The combination of fish, burned leeks and mushrooms created the link between the wine and the dish.
Comments: The pepper notes in this wine and good acidity paired especially well with the green lentils and liver
Comments: Although I rarely use a dry red wine with cheese, this wine was great with the cheese and tomato sorbet (slightly sweet). We got mixed reviews on this dish. Many guests expected the “dessert” to be something sweet, rather this was an Umami filled dish which was for many of us at our table, one of the best pairings of the meal.