You Ess Ay Wimps

A bit of bad diary planning meant that I really should not have been in Chiswick today but I’m mighty glad I was. Some very brief impressions

NV Egly-Ouriet Champagne Les Prémices
A cracking start. Pure and open on the nose, plenty of interest on the palate, nicely savoury

Served with a deep fried chicken wing which was perfectly executed.

2017 Chanin Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard
2016 Hanzell Chardonnay

With smoked salmon starter

Both of these were excellent and did not have that HELLO! I’m Californian CHARDONNAY! Thing that many do. The Hansel slightly fuller and rounder but both delicious

2018 Sine Qua Non Aperta
2013 Fog Monster Wines Chenin Blanc

None of us quite knew what to expect with the sqn perhaps least of all the winemaker. ‘Interesting’ can often be a polite tasting term for ‘a bit weird and not great’ but this was interesting in a good way. All of the elements appeared at different times (except perhaps the petit manseng which I’m personally not that well acquainted with). It is suggested that this would be better with serious age but there was enough development in the glass to argue for youthful consumption

The Chenin

Perhaps my lingering covid symptoms but this really did smell ‘interesting’ . TCA was floated but for me this was another issue. Certainly faulty. There was an industrial maritime memory floating about - neoprene? Ship welding? No, Tom S nailed it - epoxy resin/fibreglass. Not Chenin blanc. Bummer

2010 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon
Leon will give you a note here…

2010 Ridge Monte Bello
Full of beans. Powerful, structured cabernet. Clear quality. Perhaps more ‘Californian’ than I’m used to with ridge but then my experience here is limited. I asked if this in 20 years might develop into where a 1990 is now. The consensus was yes. I hope so.
1995 Ridge Monte Bello
A touch if Brettanomyces on the nose was surprising, but made for a great wine match with our Michelin burger.

I deconstructed mine. Truffle anyone? Foie gras? That’s without the superb Dexter beef and the pastry chef’s excellent bun. Lovely wine, lovely food

2002 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon

From Rutherford. Perhaps the shoutiest of all. Just a touch brash but still decent enough.

2011 Quady Winery Black Muscat Elysium

Fun! 11 years old and still fresh and entertaining. It wasn’t a match for the pecan pie but both the pie and the muscat both excellent.
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Some scratch notes below - I’m usually too slow!

Egly Ouriet Les Premices NV
Interesting nose balancing some creamy elements but an almost cucumber freshness.

Crisp and quite lean palate (more so that other more vinous EO’s I’ve had) some orange and lemon peel. Maybe more of a classical champagne. With time opens to more ripe apple notes. Enjoyable with a chicken wing

2017 Chanin Bien Nacido Chardonnay

Lovely balance of lime peel and vanilla - key lime pie? Fresh linen and sea spray.

Crisp and clean but with some coconut richness too. Very balanced.

2016 Hanzell Chardonnay

Initially a slightly volatile nose that reminds me of getting superglue on my fingers when assembling miniatures aged 10. But this blew off quickly and behind is some lovely Granny Smith apple freshness and some walnut.

Quite crisp on the palate with a long finish. Nice with smoked salmon.

2018 Sine Qua Non Aperta

Quite the nose - peach yoghurt for me but also a little white pepper.

Super rich and luscious, tangy and tart. Wears the 15.5% ABV pretty well.

2013 Fog Monster Chenin

Neoprene and nail polish remover, flat on the palate. Sadly faulty.

2010 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon
Classic Cabernet nose of green pepper mint, blackcurrant

Rich and deep but pretty young. For me a fair bit of alcohol here but great potential.

2010 Ridge Montebello

Deep rich cassis, bacon, wet stone, cedar. Some sweet red fruit. Wow!

Tangy sapid red fruit on the palate. Very elegant and tonnes of potential

1995 Ridge Montebello

Lovely nose - a little Brett for interest, graphite, fruit leather

More cassis and graphite on the palate. Still quite youthful in a way. Fresh and with good cut through

2002 Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep rich plummy nose, some mint, a little eucalyptus

Tangy bright red and blue fruit. Deft oak element but quite high alcohol

Random formatting and spelling errors above due to iOS notes and decreasing spatial control over the course of the meal!
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Fantastic day.

Turkey in pasta with chunks of pumpkin made me smile, then the burger turned up !! Utterly ridiculous but stunning.


Lovely Bolly 02 LGA to kick off with. Not over the hill like a few 02s
Chardonnays were excellent, the Racines very fresh, lean with grapefruits notes, 13%
ABC and Mayacamas a touch more Californian, the ABC Nuit-blanches a treat.

Pinots were light and full of partial / whole bunch, Light in alcohol and with grip / structure. Nose on The Domaine De La Cote was outrageous
The bigger reds consisted of a decent bunch, the Kapscandy was great but a 04 Ridge Geyserville was excellent, years to go on that one.
What a wonderful lunch! Huge thanks to Don, Donald and the kitchen - La T really is on a tear these days.

Huge thanks also to my tablemates for their generosity with their wine, knowledge and company. This really was a lunch to remember.

THANKSGIVING WIMPS 2022 - JAMES BALDWIN TABLE - La Trompette (24/11/2022)

Canapé - Fried Chicken
Very well done - perfectly cooked chicken, and so tasty.
  • NV Egly-Ouriet Champagne Les Prémices - France, Champagne
    Generous on the palate - not too "growery". On the nose - a slightly odd lactic note - sour cream perhaps? But only a hint - and a real linearity to it. A really good start to proceedings.
Maple Cured Salmon
  • 2017 Chanin Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Colour - pale straw. On the nose - lemon, almost candied lemon. On the palate - clearly new world rather than burgundy but...lovely acidity, in no way plush, a really good wine that just opened up over time. Just seen what this costs and - odd to say for a Californian but, really good value. Really enjoyed this.
  • 2016 Hanzell Chardonnay - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Compared to the 2017 Chanin which preceded it - a bit plumper, a bit yellower, a bit more candied lemon. Definitely more "Cali Chard" - decent stuff but as time went on it seemed to meander while the Chanin just became more sure of itself.
Tukey Raviolo, crushed pumpkin
Good grief this was an excellent course. Just perfectly done - deep and savoury but somehow elevated - was it sage that worked this magic? I don't know but absolutely glorious.
  • 2018 Sine Qua Non Aperta - USA, California, Central Coast
    What a nose! Some discussion of peach or peach stone - this seems right although i'm not sure it's not autosuggestion. Wonderful mouthfeel - this is like a really good (and also utterly fault free) white Chateauneuf. A truly special wine - and a privilege to drink - but unlike the chardonnays which preceded it, a couple of glasses would be enough.
  • 2013 Fog Monster Wines Chenin Blanc - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
    Deep gold - seemed super oxidised. Faulty but some discussion about which faults were in attendance. My sense is that there was TCA here, but other better tasters than me did not share that view. Either way - my sense is that another bottle would be better. NR (flawed)
Steak Haché, fois gras, sarladaise potatoes.
So the conceit here was - posh burger and chips. Good grief - i felt terrible for anyone in the restaurant who saw this being served and didn't get to taste it. I *love* a good burger, and this was head and shoulders the best burger I have ever tasted. Brioche bun. Truffle. Foie gras - I thought it might be superfluous but - well, goes to show that my thoughts are not always useful. Post modern chips kind of constructed out of dauphinois - you might want to scorn them but you can't because they're just too good. And the meat - good grief the meat. Wonderfully tasty - some discussion as to the provenance and the cuts - lots of delicious fat, hand cut I imagine, and wow - just such flavour.

I have long harboured sadness for missing the famous Ledbury "Kentucky Fried Chicken" - this, I think, makes up for that loss.

It is rare at these things for the main course, and the reds, to be the standout - but wow. Just wow.
  • 2010 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley
    I really enjoyed this. My tablemates commented on the fact that I didn't need to keep telling them this fact. Well what can i say - i really enjoyed this. 13.5% abv. On the nose - a bit of pencil lead, but also some vibrant fruits. On the palate - silky tannins, and a voluptuous mouthfeel, but super balanced - fruit / oak / alcohol all in balance. This sat alongside pretty distinguished company and showed well - i'll seek it out again.
  • 2010 Ridge Monte Bello - USA, California, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Really good stuff - a slightly elevated, ethereal take on MB - some discussion at the table as to whether this will be as good in 20 years as 90 year old Monte Bellos are today - my sense is very much yes, but I guess we will have to see. I intend to leave my remaining bottles for at least a little while - wish me luck!
  • 1995 Ridge Monte Bello - USA, California, Santa Cruz Mountains
    One of my fellow diners declared "finally some brett" - and they weren't wrong. This is a lovely, fully mature Monte Bello. I've had cleaner examples of this vintage - and this was great, while they were truly transcendent.
  • 2002 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon 20th Anniversary Selection - USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    14.8% abv, and clearly the bruiser of the flight. By this stage my handwritten notes are getting vague and indecipherable, but I have "gorgeous, mouth big, booze big" and - that's pretty much how it was. Alongside such refined company it felt a little clumsy - i suspect if one could contemplate this for what it is, without distraction, it would be a different experience.
Posted from CellarTracker
I am sure someone semi sensible will give some idea of the wines, but not surprisingly for me the whites bossed it.
Special mentions for The Kutch and The Hildegard, though any of these whites would deserve their slot at any Wimps.
Not sure many USA reds are for me.
Anyway it was a super day and Thanksgiving Wimps is alway special.
As well as thanking The Don and team LaT I would like to pass on John’s thanks to those of our friends who make these lunches an outing always to be chrished.

So a picture speaks a thousand words and here’s a couple of thousand from me……EB3C80FE-FAB7-4BC8-9FD0-4C09F6FBBA52.jpeg

Never mind about KFC at The Ledbury look at this burger!


Speaking of our prior Wimps home. From our table this looked like a “Séance from The Ledbury”
…..Lets all join hands and contact the living:eek:
Thanks to my table and to Don for organising... i really enjoyed the food today, and thought the kitchen showed a nice sense of fun with the menu. Favourite wines on our table were probably the ABC Nuit Blanche and the Ridge Geyserville, which never fails to impress with its longevity and ageworthyness. But all of the wines on our table were pretty elegant, and impressed in their own ways...


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Huge thanks to La T, Don, Donald - great food including a legendary burger - the theme was indeed knocked out the park by the kitchen.

Huge thanks also to my tablemates for their wit, wisdom and generosity. A wonderful lunch.

Below my notes from a crappy spreadsheet though it has to be said they were written towards the end of lunch rather than as the wines were poured. The wines were all highly commendable without any blowing my socks off.

But that's not what WIMPS is for!

YearChateauTasting NoteCuveeVineyard (if specific)
2007TaittingerDeep lemon gold. On the nose this is rounded, even a little loose, creamy. Slow mousse. This is fully ready and lacks a touch of line and acidity, but is a tasty mouthful and not the car crash depicted in other notes seen.Comtes
2013RhysPale lemon, clear and bright, clean. Reductive, new wave Chardonnay with a touch of wet walnut, hazelnuts perhaps and green leaf. Good line, and none of the heft of stereotypical Cali Chardonnay. Long-.ChardonnayAlpine
2006RidgeDeep gold. Clear and bright, clean. Nose of butterscotch, caramel, nuts. This is a little blowsy and perhaps on the downslope? Drink up.ChardonnayMontebello
2016Domaine de la CoteDeep garnet, clear and bright, clean. On the nose there Is vanilla oak and a richness that would probably lead you more to Syrah than Pinot. With air it softens to be richly ripe fruited but definitely youthful and needs time to settle in its skin.Pinot NoirMemorious
2010RhysDeep garnet, clear and bright, clean. Slightly reductive on opening, this has a leaner wild strawberry Pinot nose compared to the Memorious. Some black cherry on the palate reminds us this is the riper end of Pinot, and the finish is reasonably long.Pinot NoirBearwallow
2008RhysDeep garnet, clear and bright, clean. The sweetest nose of the three Pinots, with dark cherry fruit which becomes a little redder (strawberry, raspberry) with air. On the palate there is bright acids, a touch of tannins still and good length. Lovely, and certainly the best of the 3 Pinots today. VGI.Pinot NoirFamily Farm
2010DominusDeep ruby, clear and bright, clean. Fulsome black fruited nose develops a touch of green pepper with air. On the palate this is not overdone but also not hugely complex, the tannins still need time to resolve.Napanook
1996RidgeDeep purple still, opaque, clean. Rich, ripe fruited primary nose - still incredibly youthful. On the palate great depth and length, fine unresolved tannins. Fine wine - all the elements are there for this to be great in 20 (?) years time.Montebello
1994RidgePale ruby, clear and bright, clean. Gorgeous nose of ripe red and dark fruit but also secondary characteristics such as pencil, cedar and a touch of herb. On the palate this is much more interesting than the Merlot alongside it, with resolved tannins providing a framework for the fruit and acidity on the finish giving lift. Surprisingly long, and probably the WOTD in terms of being a point.Cabernet Sauvignon
1994RidgePale ruby, clear and bright, clean, This is evolved with tertiary notes alongside plummy fruit, mellowed by time. On the palate there is smooth mulberry flavours. Fleshy but starting to run out of length. Drink soon.Merlot
NVLarmandier BernierDeep salmon pink. Sweet red fruit nose, a touch of candied. The palate is light and refreshing after all today's reds with notes of cranberry, flowers and a touch of minerality. The acidity lifts the palate so there is no cloying note despite the aforementioned sweetness on the nose.Rose Saignee
Thank you Ian for your (predictably) excellent and honest notes. It was a great lunch and “O.Henry” certainly pumped up the volume!
I can’t disagree with your overall assessment Ian and only slightly differ on a few of the wines. In particular I was more impressed by the quality of the Rhys Alpine Chardonnay 2013 than you seemed to have been as well as liking the Ridge 2008 Chardonnay more. It was probably flattered more than was the Rhys by the rich salmon starter and for sure is no shrinking violet- but very satisfying and in excellent condition.
Of the reds I was surprised at the backwardness of the 96 Montebello and delighted by the quality of the Santa Cruz 1994.
Thank you Don, yet again, for your wonderful organising and to the rowdy table mates for their great company and generous wines. And of course a big thank you to La T!