I could not resist posting this picture of my youthful encounter with the juice of the grain Doomed, clearly from an early age.
Well, what a week for wine! On Saturday, a group of dear friends joined us for a 'best of the cellar;' tasting, in which we took a lively canter through the wines that constitute my favourites. Also, a great chance to try some wines that I had long cellared for this occasion.
So, here we go..
We started with the excellent Pol Roger Brut NV, always a delight, and a homage to our wedding wine. Of course, also Winston Churchills' favourite, so we were in good company! That went down very well, a tribute to the lovely extra bit of bottle age that the 'White Foil' offers. In quick succession we tackled Knappstein Ackland Watervale Riesling 2008 (petrolly, limes, dry, oily - well received), Falanghina Feudi di San Gregorio 2008 (a real winner with the crowd, such a lush body and texture) and a Chablis Vielles Vignes Vocoret 2008 (classic but perhaps not enough of the 'cut' you expect. Good though - and on its own you'd be pleased).
Then with a buffet supper (excellently prepared by Janet) a lovely Spanish wine, Albarino Martin Codax 2009, very much the grape du moment in the polite circles. Dry, with a chalky, deep finish. I pulled a random unplanned bottle of Fiano from the 'fridge which ended up being white of the evening for many..
..and then the reds..
Firstly Volnay 1er Cru Clos Chapelle 2002, N. Potel, which I can't deny was a bit disappointing. Yes, it was medium weight, good fruit, but it lacked..presence. After that another shock - the Chateau Talbot 1996 was corked - or faulty, anyway. Very disappointing. Last of a case I bought 10 years ago - the others had been lovely, Cellared too long, I wonder?? Anyway, I spotted it before pouring so it became an 'educational' bottle.
Now it started to step up a gear with Brunello di Montalcino 1999, Brunelli. Oh yes - rich, warm, that lovely wash of sangiovese. Tuscany come to us please! We hurtled on to Cote Rotie Cordeloux 2004, Benetiere, a great example, with the weighty syrah balanced with a touch of viognier. Truly lovely. Finally, for the chunky red lover, a Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2004, looking remarkably good. The reds did me proud.
Janet wheeled out a fantastic lemon pudding, which was perfectly balanced by Chateau Rieussec 1996, Sauternes, from a case bought at Christies about 15 years ago I reckon. Not perhaps the greatest Sauternes, but pretty good.
And finally, with cheese, a wine I bought about 5 years ago with this in mind, Taylor’s 1970 Vintage Port. The debate was - which is holding up better after 40 years - me or the wine- and the wine won that contest! Truly excellent..
..and thus ends a great birthday tasting. My deepest thanks to Janet, and to our dear friends for joining us - and a call out to those that could not attend - we will make amends!
Dear reader, my apologies for the delay in the posting.