Hungry and thirsty members of the Lower Falls Expeditionary & Gastronomic Team arrived in Turin on a recent Sunday.  Straight away we headed south towards Alba arriving at Ristorante Il Falstaff in Verduno for proper nourishment.  Chef Franco and Sommelier side-kick Maurizio greeted us and we descended directly into the wine cellar to plot our lunch.  We were a few minutes late, but we're in Europe, so the table is ours for the duration. Bottles were selected and courses composed.  Three hours and eight dishes later, the trio of Josh, Phil plus our driver John were ready to roam....

Over the ensuing three action-packed days, we enjoyed informative and thought-provoking visits in both Barolo and Barbaresco.   Our stops included Ca' del Baio - G.B. Burlotto, - Cavallatto - G. Conterno - Case Corini - Poderi Conterno - Gaja - Bart. Mascarello - Ca' del Pino - Gui. Rinaldi - Reverdito -G. Vajra -  Roberto Voerzio.  And we ate well, quite well in fact.

Lest armchair travelers consider this all fun and games, we challenge you to dart around and cram this into the allotted span.  Consider an errant ash cloud could botch the whole operation.  One major hint, forgo sleep....

John and Phil are veterans of these sort of surgical strikes.  Which is not to say we don't get excited when Maurilio whips out his order pad at Ristorante La Cantinetta (Barolo).  You know you're going to have a virtuoso meal.  Watching the palpable delight of Josh, our rookie compatriot, reminded the old-timers there are worse methods to pay the mortgage.

Bottom line, 2007 is one humdinger of a nebbiolo vintage.  And Roberto Conterno's Monfortino 2002 may well be one of the great wines of our generation.  [Release date, autumn 2010.]

Comment