Weekend drinking 30 July 2021

St. Veran Haute Cuvee 2018, Rijckaert/Rouve. This is quite excellent for village and vintage, shapely and racy with proper cut and acidity, one of the nicest southern white Burgundies I've drunk.
My Friday evening got off to a bad start. What was I thinking? Ch. Ducru Beaucaillou 1986. Bound to be corked, like the last eight bottles from this case. So I switched to my back up bottle. Robert Chevillon NSG Cailles, 2006, the wine TWS says is already over the hill! Well the last bottle was painfully young, and this bottle was terribly corked. Much worse than the Ducru. In my frustration I reached for a bottle of VillaBogdano 1880: Refosco Lison Pramaggiore Riserva 2017, 13% abv, from Veneto. This redolent and resplendent wine, predominantly merlot, was certainly not corked and was a pleasure to drink. This estate is owned by one of my Italian work colleagues and is a World Heritage site.

On Saturday we drank my last, or possibly penultimate, bottle of Michel Niellon Chassagne Vergers 2014, an absolute superstar and stalwart throughout and on top form with spicy prawns from M&S. During the week, curiosity killed the cat and I opened Grasso Tiziano Barolo Briccolina, 2013. All I would say is that this is an impressive big-framed Serralunga. Watch this space. Meanwhile back to the Ducru 1986: turns out it wasn’t corked. It was just my mind playing tricks on me. I was expecting it to be corked and, even though I thought it was, its strong performance on days two and three showed it wasn‘t. This is a fully mature Ducru showing plenty of secondary and tertiary evolution, but also structure to age for another decade or more.

How was the Moet, Ray?
Still a bit sleepy, probably exhausted with all the wonderful showing off that marked the first 18 mths post release.
Quite pale and Debbi thought it was a bit diluted compared to say the 2012.
I think Moët have their own version of Mytik as this seemed to have paralleled similar to a conventional cork.
Still it seems any development is glacial, I will have another in a few years, but am not convinced we may not have seen the best of this when it was a youthful show off.
Friends round for a hangover creation do on Saturday night. We drank Boizel 2012 from mag which was gorgeous. Bone dry and very precise. Really good if a little young. I then opened some Boxler Riesling 2016 to go with a terrine which worked well. The wine was in a perfect place to drink now. Then with a Fennel Risotto a couple of bottles of Francois Feuillet NSG Thorey 2011 - quite old fashioned I suppose. A little fruit showing through and a nice chewy texture. I like 11's currently. Then a couple of 04 Barolo's - Pio Cesare Ornato and Paolo Scavino Cannubi. The Cannubi was slightly the fresher of the 2 but both were on song, long and mouth filling with not much tannin to speak of. Then a Mullineux Straw Wine 2015 and a bottle of Hudelot Baillet BR 2015 to finish off. A good night and a surprisingly okay morning after.
We had a bit of a blow out food wise in London following a ten day isolation (very frustrating process when you test negative every other day but are still having to isolate).

We had a lovely lunch in Claridges because I was keen to try their Cornish lobster risotto.. I was not disappointed, neither was Paula with the chicken pie. A reasonably priced 2010 Fleurie “la dot” from Domaine du Clos de Mez tasted surprisingly young and enjoyable. The Claridges classical ‘yesteryear‘ experience was lovely.

Reading Graham’s report of The Portland Restaurant the other week convinced us to book a table for lunch. We took along my penultimate bottle of Ch. Lagune 1991 and it was lovely.. quite Margaux stylistic.. very floral. The restaurant was great and I did try the mutton tartare (yum!).

The next day we went to LaT for lunch and to drop off the wines for August WIMPS. LaT perfect as usual. We took our last bottle of GPL 2004 that has underwhelmed previously and whilst it is no 2005.. it was actually very agreeable, must have been the setting and the food!

We also had evening drinks in 67PM on a few nights and that was nice with the candles on the tables and a leisurely walk back through St James Park, over the bridge, to the hotel.

An enjoyable few days.
Wife's 60th so the family decided a Champagne taste was on the cards! The Ruinart was off however. Smelt of mushrooms and tasted awful. Cork was ok, I wondered if the shop had it in their display window. They are happy for us to take it back though. The Comtes was special though.View attachment 20416

Sounds like classic light-strike with the Ruinart.

Agree about Comtes 07, shrugged off its initial disgorgement awkwardness, then went through reductive toasty bouquet, to finally emerge in its first drinking window of succulent, poised fruit. Plenty of dry extract for a decent life ahead during this and the next two phases.
Bit of a random selection over the last few days:

Guy Charlemagne Coulmets 2012. Love this stuff. Every bottle of 7-8 consumed has been superb. Some richness and weight but still the verve I want from Le Mesnil. At peak I would say.

PYCM BB17 was flipping marvellous. Cannot recall enjoying any vintage more. Could happily drink this every night by the magnum.

Dauvissat Chablis 13 has lost the clunkiness of its youth. Excellent wine with real stuffing and cut. No rush though and probably still some upside. Justifies the hype.

Musar 81 was rather excellent. Fully mature.

Aleth Girardin Pommard Epenots 2000. Superb mature Pommard. This bottle was just starting to think about creaking a fraction…but just held back from doing so. Who knows what the last couple from the case will show like.

Charvin CdP 1999. Fully mature. Lovely. Nuff said.
At Ferran Adrià’s favourite beach bar today. It should have been better than it was. But two quite significantly undercooked Turbot is two too many.
We will try again probably but it’s not the easiest place to reach.

There’s not much chateauneuf in my cellar and the 2000 Pegau Cuvée Reservee makes me wonder why there isn’t more - it has evolved to a thoroughly enjoyable meaty earthy stockpot place and isn’t in any way a big or muscular wine. All very nicely integrated and drinking very well now.
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2006 Taupenot-Merme Mazoyeres Chambertin, not corked like the 1st bottle from the case, has proper GC presence and weight. It has the rounded fruit I associate with the vintage, unlike 1 or 2 other 2006s I’ve opened recently. Not much evolution here yet, this is still fruit-dominated but it’s classily finely textured and very charming. It has enough enough acidity but it’s not positively racy, making me think this is more a medium-term proposition. Enjoyable now but I’m expecting more as it unfolds and evolves.
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Still a bit sleepy, probably exhausted with all the wonderful showing off that marked the first 18 mths post release.
Quite pale and Debbi thought it was a bit diluted compared to say the 2012.
I think Moët have their own version of Mytik as this seemed to have paralleled similar to a conventional cork.
Still it seems any development is glacial, I will have another in a few years, but am not convinced we may not have seen the best of this when it was a youthful show off.
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Not wishing to sound like a broken record (but I will), Moet 2008 is not the wine I thought it would be on release, and I am siding with BG's view that it is a little underripe to be truly classic. The '09 is certainly better, and the '12 / '13 definitely better!
A rather boring Cava. But we went to a pretty decent wine shop and deli. Kind of like Majestic but still good and with a lot of ham, cheese and tinned fish.

I realised that I know almost nothing about Spanish wine and I don’t want to drink 90% of the reds when it’s almost 30 degrees out.
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Looking at this picture makes me feel distinctly queasy!
A couple of Fleuries
  • 2013 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie (2/8/2021)
    Wild and feral, definitely on the bretty side but thankfully it wasn’t overly so. A little advanced for the age in terms of colour and taste so it was difficult to guess its origins. I would have thought Burg but with more drying tannins than expected, someone said Piedmont. Lacks a little charm but this was a good drink.
  • 2019 Jean Foillard Fleurie - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie (2/8/2021)
    Still very primary. Inky and purple fruit that tasted like grape juice. A little alcoholic, better with air but not sure if it’ll come into balance. Think I prefer Foillard’s Morgons based on this showing.

Blind tasting for the reds so obviously got all the wines wrong - I guessed the La Mondotte to be the LPT based on it being the odd one out in terms of colour and taste, clearly underestimated the LPT. Kudos to the host who guessed all of them right.

But it was the BAMA which stole my heart, first time trying it and definitely won’t be the last. Love such wines that are full of character, but at the same time so transparent and speak of their origins.
  • 2015 Azienda Agricola Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo - Italy, Abruzzi, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
    Definitely infanticide here. Very reticent and showed only glimpses of its potential and complexity. Zesty lemon with a lovely waxy texture and mouthfeel. Just a little flabby at the moment and lacked a little acidity, not as impressive as a spellbinding 2013 I had a couple of years back.
  • 2000 Château Bel Air-Marquis d'Aligre - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Needs a lot of air. A nose that I absolutely adore, savoury and meaty but still packed with fruit and lift. Some secondary characteristics on the palate of leather and sous bois. Herbaceousness that drove the finish. No new oak, staunchly traditionalist Bordeaux with no make-up at all. Even better and more expressive on the third day.
  • 1999 Azienda Agricola Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    One-third soaked cork. Very good, but lacked the x-factor of the 2006 I had earlier this year. Some VA on the nose and ripe plum on the nose, rather soft and velvety tannins. Still a lovely balance with an elegant finish but not as seductive as the 2006.
  • 1999 La Mondotte - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    A very dark hue with a nose of vanilla. Over-extracted and plummy, rather modern and fruit-forward. Almost port-like, has a chocolate note that I really don’t like in wines. Stood up to the beef well though.