What are we drinking weekend 26th - 28th Feb

With a chippy tea, last night I poured the second of my Jobard BB ‘14 down the sink (that’s 2/5 poxed, thank god for the TWS refund policy) and replaced it with this...

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It was lovely. Obvs pretty big given the vintage and terroir but I enjoyed the bruised apples and minerals. There was enough acidity there to suggest no rush.

Tonight while watching England lose again I enjoyed another Piuze Chablis with some smoked salmon blinis

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I’m enjoying this producer, which is a recent discovery. Relatively rich, a touch of honey and then the classic oyster shell and appley acidity. Very good for about £20 I think.

Then with a chateau Briand the vinous highlight of the weekend (so far). The first of a case I’ve been itching to try for a while. It was glorious. Violets, dark berries and soft chalky tannins. Burgundian poise. I may struggle to keep my hands off the rest.

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39E78A5F-5587-4890-99C3-3C32A72F0AA0.jpegI don’t think I’ve ever had a Drouhin Volnay of any description before, and I may have had a ‘79 burgundy but cannot recall. Anyway, this Drouhin Volnay Clos des Chenes 1979, picked up at Hedonism earlier this week, is in remarkably good nick, especially considering that it’s been back and forth across the Atlantic (label states it’s a US import, for Dreyfus Ashby).

The main point is that it’s not over the hill by any means, and very clearly of 1er cru quality. The colour is pretty clear and translucent (and indeed it was the promising colour evident in the shop, through the very pale, almost clear glass of the bottle, that persuaded me it was worth a punt). Not an especially beguiling bouquet, but certainly nothing offputting or even funky. It’s the palate that is the most surprising, in that there’s still some fruit, and if tasting blind I’d have put this in the 90s. A nice line of acidity still, and not too much of a sense of this being past it, in fact it improves in the glass. It’s fully mature but with a surprisingly modern elegance.

Hedonism is generally rather overpriced, but I think that this at £128 represents something approaching value, given that’s the same retail price as a Lafarge Clos des Chenes in a lesser recent vintage such as ‘11 or ‘13. Hedonism has had a run of mature burgundies in recent months, they tell me more are coming, another recent surprising success from them was a Bouchard Nuits St Georges Clos des Argillieres 1997, which was c.£70 if I recall. They also have the ‘79 Drouhin village Volnay (at £66), which is what I had spotted on their website, but that looked rather brown and cloudy compared to this one which was next to it on the shelf. Very pleased I decided to trade up to this.
 
Bara NV to start tonight - an old faithful and always delicious. I bought a slab (!) of Brill for dinner and thought I'd chance the slightly improbable recipe I found which involves a garlic/anchovy/chilli/cream/rosemary sauce. Worked brilliantly. A bottle of the 2013 Tio Pepe En Rama was my chosen match and is a lovely wine; relatively delicate, floral, apple, acetaldehyde- definitely things in common with the fizz - eminently drinkable. A fino-amontillado would be better though. Also had a glass of 2010 Oakridge Duck Lane Chardonnay left over from last weekend. What a change - toasted hazelnuts, melted butter, peach. Explosive and exciting. A step change from last weekend.
 
2011 Camille Giroud Volnay - one of a few bottles picked up under £20 from Berry's warehouse a while back. Medium red colour, still pinkish at rim; strawberry, cherry fruit, just a little touch of sous-bois, some tannins still showing on the palate, and a bit of acidity making itself felt on the finish, to keep everything lively. No hurry to drink up.
 
2011 Camille Giroud Volnay - one of a few bottles picked up under £20 from Berry's warehouse a while back. Medium red colour, still pinkish at rim; strawberry, cherry fruit, just a little touch of sous-bois, some tannins still showing on the palate, and a bit of acidity making itself felt on the finish, to keep everything lively. No hurry to drink up.

Village burgundy with 10 years on the dial for under 20 quid. Hurray to that!

I had another excellent Rebourgeon Mure Bourgogne Cuvee de Maison Dieu '18 last night. Takes longer to say it than it did for me to drink it - bright red fruits, sweet and fresh, elegantly framed just enough to let one imagine it's Volnay in the glass. RM are now officially on the must start to buy list.
 
  • 2017 Domaine Stephane Magnien Morey St. Denis Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis (27/2/2021)
    Many Magniens around, some with modernist reputations but this was a clean and transparent wine. Very pure blue and purple fruit, not much depth but enjoyable for a weekday drink. Unbelievable value and a pleasant surprise when you still can find a village for under S$70.

 
Leoville-Las Cases 1986. Saturated mid-crimson colour, no bricking. To look at, I would have guessed it was at least 20 years younger. Sumptuous crushed fruits and pencil nose. To taste, there is an undeniable burly tannic thwack up front which tells you to pay attention. What follows is magnificent: all the classical flavour elements of mature claret in complete harmony. Very long. A thrilling essay in the tension between gentleness and power. A clear 100 pointer for me and perhaps even now still a little way off its plateau.

Earlier in the week, we enjoyed:

Morgon Cote du Py 2014, J-M Burgaud. 6 months ago I thought this was just beginning to emerge from a protracted surly spell. It has now pinotted charmingly. Lovely fine mature Morgon

Chateau de Beaulieu, Cotes du Marmandais 2010. Appetising, gouleyant right bank-a-like which TWS were selling for pennies a couple of years. One of the best 'values' I have ever come across.
 
This was yesterday afternoon. Bolly with exactly the right amount of age for me, still lots of fizz, clean, just delicious.

My first ever Langoa Barton, having sampled a variety of all 3 Leovilles over the last year or so. This represents great VFM in my view - definitely can be drunk younger, and definitely not as refined as it’s older brother, but very yummy nonetheless!03A862C2-BEDA-4E5D-AB7F-AFBAC48A7D53.jpeg
 
  • 2017 Domaine Stephane Magnien Morey St. Denis Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis (27/2/2021)
    Many Magniens around, some with modernist reputations but this was a clean and transparent wine. Very pure blue and purple fruit, not much depth but enjoyable for a weekday drink. Unbelievable value and a pleasant surprise when you still can find a village for under S$70.

I enjoyed the 2009 straight Chambolle earlier in the week, vastly improved over previous showings though not aspiring to greatness. Its 12% alcohol makes for a notably digestible drink.
From the last great Bordeaux Index sale.
 
Village burgundy with 10 years on the dial for under 20 quid. Hurray to that!

I had another excellent Rebourgeon Mure Bourgogne Cuvee de Maison Dieu '18 last night. Takes longer to say it than it did for me to drink it - bright red fruits, sweet and fresh, elegantly framed just enough to let one imagine it's Volnay in the glass. RM are now officially on the must start to buy list.

I bought a case of the 05 Pommard, and wish I had seen the wines again after that!
 
2016 Sylvain Pataille Marsannay Clos du Roy - A perfect companion to the St John at home box last night (4 bone marrow pieces and 1 eccles cake for those following the other thread).

I thought this was in a really nice place, heady perfumed nose and really silky on the palate but with mouth watering crunchy red fruit. Oak present but not distracting. Great with the braised duck course. Probably a good thing I only took one out of TWS reserves as I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off them. Will be really upset if these start getting too expensive for me.
 
Cracked open a beautiful wine from the Cotes de Bordeaux - Le Puy 2017. This is lovely stuff. Crackles with energy and gritty tannins - a tickle of natural style which works really really well....grippy finish. I'm impressed. It has a beautiful mid-weight feel to it...

We are turning the cheese up to 11 today - mega raclette tonight with a Vin Jaune (amazingly, I've never had one before so just craked the bottle - amazing flavours! This will be amazizng with racelette)

Because my wife is super French she is also eating a load of brie to get her cheese fix in while she waits for the raclette later.
 
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