Weekend drinking 30 July 2021

Another Cholet Pelletier Les Enseigneres 2017: bit oxidative, bit quiet even after some hours from opening. As a last resort I try the Fourier shake et voila the duckling is transformed into a lovely swan. Had initially been worried about pox with this bottle, didn't think it would in fact be reduced given the nose. Maybe we should shake poxed bottles as well ?
 
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I managed pick up some reduced black summer truffle from Bethnal Green. Nice and firm smells lovely. Only £13 for 50g!

Also picked up some unpasteurised Epoisses from Paxtons.

Part of this has been stuffed under the breast skin the rest will go on some linguine.

Wine wise we have a Paul Bara 2008, followed by a Keller Von Der Fels 2012 and then a Sadie Columella 2005. Should be fun!
 
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I managed pick up some reduced black summer truffle from Bethnal Green. Nice and firm smells lovely. Only £13 for 50g!

Also picked up some unpasteurised Epoisses from Paxtons.

Part of this has been stuffed under the breast skin the rest will go on some linguine.

Wine wise we have a Paul Bara 2008, followed by a Keller Von Der Fels 2012 and then a Sadie Columella 2005. Should be fun!
You don’t do anything by halves Gareth…
 
To wash down burgers, just opened a bottle left from a bbq we hosted - Dark Horse Malbec, from California, 2019 vintage (for what its worth)

Shipped by Gallo, bottled in CH2 4LF (Ellesmere Port) I’m astonish to find this retails at around £9 a bottle. Flat, with no fruit flavours, or indeed any Malbec characteristics. Not going to persist; this one is for cooking, but despair that people will chalk it up as ‘good’ because it’s cost them nearly a tenner.
 
That truffle with never fit inside the bird @Gareth Powell - (I presume both photos are to scale!!)

Today - first day back in the office at Cannon street. Loved it.

Benefits:
- face to face meetings
- chats
- 3pm "meetings" in the wine bar opposite the office with lots of wine

Down side:
- Cannon street - no service to Blackheath due to train problems
- the walk to London Bridge then the tube to North Greenwich then the taxi rank being shit then the 30 minute wait for the bus
- the sticky handles on the bus
- the sneezing shouting man next to me

Ahhh.. commuting - I missed you

Now? A cup of tea followed by an glass full of ice topped up with Vermut and staring into the middle distance
 
On the Champagne theme, DP 2009 in magnum is drinking beautifully. Always quite forward the 2009 in a bottle was useful as a fine drink in restaurants. Magnums were more backward but this is now approaching a lovely state. I wonder if this gives me more pleasure than more vaunted vintages … probably does.
Is this a trait across the vintage? I’ve had a few 09s that seem very open and approachable. I have the 09 Cristal in Mag also that I was going to hold, but I’m now thinking they are shorter term propositions and ready to go when I am.
 
Domaine Ramonet Bourgogne Rouge 2014.
I think this may only be my second-ever Ramonet, but I'm struggling to think of a better Bourgogne Rouge that I've tasted. It reminded me immediately of the '99 Coche-Dury BR that I was lucky to find in Paris in the early 2000s on a work trip, which together with a whole rotisserie chicken provided me with the most single-minded (and wonderful) dîner à un I've ever had.
Just perfectly judged, simple but not simplistic, only 12.5%, such clear, well-defined fruit, taut yet welcoming. A Burgundy Kabinett, perhaps. Wish I had more.
 
The wines advertised above all showed well last night. The Taittinger Champagne Brut Folies de la Marquetterie NV (a single vineyard wine) was nicely secondary and substantial without any heaviness. This delivered creamy, pinot noir dominated fruit with a touch of ginger for interest. Fully mature to my palate (with 3-4 years extra age), so my final bottle will be drunk over the next twelve months. In the end we opened two Le Grappin white burgundies. The Santenay 1er cru Les Gravieres had that extra layer of richness that Andrew's 2014s nearly always show - the length was good and the wine was framed by the house precision. A 2013 Savigny-les-Beaune blanc was also good - just a little leaner and a tad more evolved. I'd be drinking up the Savigny on this showing as further evolution may not be beneficial. The 2014 has plenty of time in hand I think. The Rioja Reserva Vina Ardanza la Rioja Alta 2005 was its usual excellent self - deeply fruited on the nose with the oak in the background leading to long, creamy, very poised fruit on the palate. Finishes emphatically and here you do sense the elevage, but not in a negative manner. At the beginning of its drinking window really - could it be as good as the 2001? I think it might be.

Edited to add that CT rates the Vina Ardanza 2005 at 91.3, and the Reserva Especial 2001 at 91.0, so perhaps the masses are on to something. Personally I'd have them both somewhere in the low to mid nineties.
 
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Last night was my first visit to La Trompette (I doubt it’ll be my last). 9 weeks of sobriety kicks in tomorrow, so decided to go out with a bang.

The DP96 is just sublime. Really buttery and well balanced. Was great out of the gate and got even better over the course of the meals.

The Haut Brion 98 was an absolute class act. This is about the pinnacle of claret for me - faultless.
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Location
London
Have been away in Norfolk with friends this week, here are some of the more interesting wines we drank. The Ardanza with three differently-seasoned Tomahawk steaks was a definite highlight!

  • 2012 Chapelle St. Theodoric Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (7/30/2021)
    This is great: wonderfully poised on the cusp of full maturity, with an addictive combination of sweet red fruit and musky game. The nose was quite earthy, with some honeysuckle and ripe strawberry, with the wine's animale side fully expressed on the palate, along with lilac and liquorice. The finish was long and dominated by succulent, tangy red and black fruit. Marred very slightly by the sense of the high (14.5%) alcohol, but nevertheless extremely delicious and drinkable. (93 pts.)
  • 2016 Alheit Vineyards Hemelrand Vine Garden - South Africa, Western Cape (7/29/2021)
    Very good. The fact this is predominantly Roussanne came across very clearly, with stony minerality meeting a creamy body, plenty of intensity and sufficient acidity. This bottle seemed surprisingly mature and there was plenty of golden apple, verging on nuttiness; based on this example, I'd say these should be drunk in the next year or two. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Selección Especial - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (7/28/2021)
    First bottle of 18 (including six magnums). Very happy with the purchases, especially given I've recently had some LRA wines with offputting amounts of dill pickle-ish American oak. Decanted a few hours in advance, based on some recent experiences posted here, but that didn't seem necessary as the wine was broadly (and deliciously) the same both before and after. Really vivid and addictive on the nose, with plenty of ultra-ripe fruit and a lovely aromatic framing from the oak. The sense of concentration carried through onto the palate, with huge weight of fruit, hints of leathery interest and the sort of gourmet, truffley quality one seeks in Pomerol. Long, long palate-staining finish. (93 pts.)
  • 2018 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Dundee Hills - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills (7/28/2021)
    Very pure, without the astringency of the '17. Straightforward, quaffable, tasty, and pretty young still. We drank it as an aperitif, with gusto. (90 pts.)
  • 2018 Franck Balthazar Crozes-Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage (7/28/2021)
    Not what I expected based on my previous (more full-bodied and savoury) experience of this wine - really clean brambly fruit, fresh and flirtatious - I've had Beaujolais that reminded me of Northern Rhone, but this is the first Rhone I've had that seemed like a Brouilly. Disappeared in no time. (90 pts.)
  • 2019 Cantina Della Volta Lambrusco di Sorbara Rimosso - Italy, Emilia-Romagna, Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC (7/28/2021)
    A delicate orangey-red pastel colour, with mild petillance. Quintessentially Italian, with rhubarb-bitterness, herbs and a sense of inherent sophistication. Yes, it was a good match for the food (buffet of salads, meats and cheeses). (90 pts.)
  • 2019 Domaines Ott Côtes de Provence Rosé Clos Mireille - France, Provence, Côtes de Provence (7/28/2021)
    Classic Provencal rose - the problem with that being that I'm not sure I particularly like such wines (at least, not when I'm in Norfolk rather than Provence!). Floral nose, almost too heady and candied, then lacking excitement, or indeed much of anything, on the palate. Give me rosato or orange wine please! (88 pts.)
  • 2018 Lismore Viognier The age of grace - South Africa, Cape South Coast (7/27/2021)
    Excellent wine, so obviously well-made, and appealingly concentrated without being heavy. A glorious tropical nose, with the palate kept ramrod-straight by a jolt of juicy acidity, and with just enough firmness. Moreish and created quite a stir. Lismore does it again... (92 pts.)
  • 2009 Nyetimber Classic Cuvée - United Kingdom, England, Sussex, West Sussex (7/27/2021)
    An interesting combination of mushroomy maturity and citric freshness. Very tasty, and had lots of interest on the nose, but another year will probably knock off some of the sharp corners and make it easier to drink. (91 pts.)
  • 2017 Vie di Romans Friuli Isonzo Pinot Grigio Dessimis - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Friuli Isonzo (7/26/2021)
    Slightly fresher than my last bottle, but still showed some maturity, being amber, spicy and supple. Perhaps more of an orange than a rose wine - and definitely not much like a typical white, even though that is theoretically its category. Geeky appeal as well as delicious! (92 pts.)
  • 2015 Azienda Agricola Rivella Silvia Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (7/26/2021)
    Enjoyable, easy-going Barbaresco. Classic tar and roses on the nose, plus more new oak than I remembered from trying this before (although this was pleasant in context). Silky-textured and already very drinkable. (91 pts.)
 
Last night was my first visit to La Trompette (I doubt it’ll be my last). 9 weeks of sobriety kicks in tomorrow, so decided to go out with a bang.

The DP96 is just sublime. Really buttery and well balanced. Was great out of the gate and got even better over the course of the meals.

The Haut Brion 98 was an absolute class act. This is about the pinnacle of claret for me - faultless.
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I think you win this weeks WP Ronseal Trophy - LaT - DP96 - HB98 - Job done
 
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