Thursday, 7 July 2011

Three do the Harwood Arms with some bottles...

Last thursday evening was a dinner I had been looking forward to for a while. A new venue to me but from the amount of people who know it well I am obviously in a minority there - famed for the venison scotch edge, which was excellent.
The three of us all took bottles along. I have to admit I was somewhat outgunned! Ian took to 2002 white Burgs from the village of Puligny, one a 1er Cru and one a Grand Cru. My Volnay was in the middle and then Peter brought two blind reds....The two whites where served up blind. We did relatively well on getting to Burgundy and getting to the level but beyond that it was just time to enjoy them, they were:

2002 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Garenne, Bize - More open and a rich than the Grand Cru that followed. A very nice bottle and I think roughly where you would want this wine to be on its evolution. It is not a producer I know at all really but was a lovely bottle.

2002 Bienvenues Batard Montrachet, Paul Pernot - This was a real step up, very clean and precise, with a way to go, lovely acidity and freshness, initially I had been thinking more Chablis Grand Cru than down in the heart of white Burgundy and I still think that was a decent logical conclusion. I would guess the oak was very under played here, it developed very well over the meal too, classy stuff.

Next up was my bottle served blind a fraction warmer than ideal which made it harder for the guys, they did well though.

Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets 2007, d'Angerville (not in the picture!) - The reason I chose this was that I like 2007's and love Volnay (Lafarge and Angerville being best IMO). I have recently had the Champans and Taillepieds 2007 and loved both so wanted to try this. No disappointment here. It was delicious fresh red fruit, pretty but with substance. It won't make "old bones" but is well worth a try.

It was then Peter's turn to preoduce his reds, both blind and both from decanters. The first was from a batch of 7 bottles he had bought, from the two he had had so far one was ok the other excellent.

1982 Clos de Beze, Rousseau - This bottle was a strange one to drink, ultimately it was wonderful fun and a good drink too. The initial nose had a touch of the cheese cloth about it. Ian and I both guessed it was much older than it was. We were back in the 60's or so. The nose was delicate and the palate a touch hidden initially but developed later. The one element that remained the whole time was a wonderful fresh and precise, delicately red fruit finish that was very fine. The bottle got a lot better with more time in glass and was fascinating. Just you try and find any to buy anywhere...

1989 Cote Rotie La Landonne 1989, Guigal - Just goes to show that time in the trade means nothing sometimes, Ian and I were both convinced that this was Haut Brion from a good maturing vintage like 89/90, I think I first said "that is Haut Brion" so I will shoulder most of the blame. A little like the Grand Cru Chablis that turned out to be Bienvenues Batard I am at least pleased with the logic here and can safely say I don't mind the mistake. The wine was exceptionally good, very youthful given it is/was 22 years old. The oak is still quite clearly there but not over powering, this wine is a puppy and will make a lot of people happy over a lot of years. It was my first "mature" La Landonne from Guigal.

We finished with a sweet from Bonny Doon but the evening had been all about the five wines above, great fun too, a lot of chat and banter, particularly when Ian and I debated (actually it was more a case of alternate rants) the future of the wine trade...all good stuff.

The Harwood Arms was very good, relaxed and had good service of food and wines!

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