Given the paltry number of miles run, I shall gloss over them very quickly, stopping merely to point out that it was a) Christmas b) snowing and C) I felt pretty lazy. In consequence the impact of the festive eating frenzy is felt more keenly than usual. There is some statistic about the number of calories eaten and drunk on Christmas day. Reader, I ate them.
So, on to the wines - and what is Christmas if not a time for family, relaxation and plundering the cellar?! We were six for Christmas day, which commenced with a bottle of our usual Champagne, Pol Roger Brut, ably followed by Laurent-Perrier 2000, an exceptional addition from Janet's uncle and aunt Alan and Rosemary - one of three bottles of same which they brought, I should point out - the others of which slipped down very nicely on Boxing day when the rest of the family arrived. Happy days. Then on to the main feast, for which we went very 'classic' with claret, burgundy, Sancerre, Rhone and port. The Volnay 1er Cru Potel 2002 was just lovely, silky-smooth, the perfect drop for those who want something with a bit of juiciness but not too heavy. The Phelan Segur 2003 performed well after a good 3 hours of breathing, with plenty of pencil lead and cedar oak. To my mind, a bit too dry. Better still was the Vieux Telegraphe 2001, just right now, ripe, sweet fruit, like drinking redcurrant sauce with your turkey! Christmas pud was flamed with a Janneau 8 year old armagnac - and yes we did also imbibe some alongside it. Then, the Graham's 1983 to complement the Silton. My, that wine is just perfect - a big flavour but no rough edges, just smooth, ripe porty notes. Alan and I pretty much polished the whole bottle off (as my head found out the next morning) because everyone esle was either 'taking it easy' or 'feeling a bit unwell'. Thank goodness I didn't decant the Quinta do Vesuvio as well...
Two brews that missed the picture were the Sancerre, Les Baudrières' 2009 Dominique Baud (delightfully crisp) and the beer, a Flack's Double Drop from a new brewery in Romsey (www.flackmanor.co.uk). Yes, I tried them all, some more than a try..
One final wine to mention is from Monday. Nobody here, a day to relax - so we had a simple lamb hotpot with a bottle of d'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (Fareham Wine Cellar £25 amongst others). Truly one of the most 'cabernet' wines I have tasted for a while, all blackcurrants. Glorious at the start, though it did cloy towards the end of the bottle. But no matter. We were watching 'The Holiday' and we were toasty at home. How schmaltzy is that?!
ps (and only read on if you are into wine-buffery...) not my words - borrowed from Parker...makes sense of why it is so Cabernet-y!
The grapes for this wine come largely from a near extinct clone of Cabernet Sauvignon. This unnamed clone yields no more than one tonne per acre because of its very poor setting ability and the tiny size of its berries - thus the quality of the grapes is far superior, with wonderful violet and blackcurrant aromas, great acidity and long, intense fine grain tannins.This wine has a deep dark vibrant colour. The nose shows intense blackcurrant and cranberry fruits, subtle cedary cinnamon spice, barrel-ferment and controlled oak derived aromas with violet and mint scents, as well as liquorice and chocolate smells. Intertwined is this wonderful green edge that lifts the wine into a cool climate spectrum (McLaren Vale) which typifies the cool year. These aromas combine with some cassis, blueberry and cranberry with lingering mocha and plumy fruit are just showing through amongst a long, intense, vibrant, gritty fruit tannin finish.
"The spicy 2003 Coppermine Road Cabernet (aged in equal parts new French and new American oak) reveals copious qualities of blackcurrants, cedar, vanilla, and white chocolate aromas, followed by spicy, tannic, full-bodied, powerful, dense, well-structured flavours." 94 points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, October 2005.