Friday, 23 December 2011

My awards 2011 - Wine, Restaurant, Cigars & racing

So what would I do if I had my own awards?…don’t worry I realise this is highly unlikely!

Red Wine of the year: Lafleur 1966, didn’t think I’d say that at the beginning of the year, there have been a staggering amount of amazing bottles this year, many from Piedmont as you can imagine but if I had to pick just one, which I do, then this would be it. It was simply immaculate, balanced, eveolved but still fresh. I love Pomerol the most of all the Bordeaux regions and this was as near perfect as a wine needs to be.

White wine of the year: Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese GK 1983 from JJ Prum, incredible balance and poise, whether you know wines well or not you simply could not fail to be impressed by this, it has years, in fact decades, to go but is insanely good now.

Producer of the year: Giacomo Conterno - as I am totally biased, the more wines I have from this great estate the more I love it. Without question the fact that I have met Roberto several times now and am impressed by him and what he stands for obviously has an effect. There have been other strong showings from Coche Dury, Prum, Leflaive, Trotanoy, de Vogue and many more.

Meal of the year: Given that both my wines of the year above where from the same meal it won’t be a massive surprise that the meal wins this…full write up here

Restaurant of the year: No shocks here…Zucca but I will explain why, I have never had a poor meal there, the service is always friendly and never fussy, the food it fresh, kept just simple enough, always well cooked and digestible. This last point may seems a bit overly functional but it is seriously important in my book, I hate feeling stuffed or sleepy however large a meal. The wine list is superb and well-priced. I would also make a good mention on Koffmans at the Berkeley Hotel for traditional French food and good service.

Cigar of the year: Behike 52 – was brilliant, full write up here

Cigar Marque of the year: Partagas, quite simply because I have had four different sizes, in some cases many times, and they have been consistently excellent smokes. This has become by “go to” marque – SDN4, SPN2, Culebras (no Novelty) and shorts have all been excellent, there is a bit of everything about the brand in flavour, weight and complexity.

Racehorse of the year: It has to be Frankel, as there were stand out performances and well as a recovery mission after Ascot.

Race of the year: For pure emotion it would be Kauto winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock, not a dry eye on the house. Delighted by the Tatling winning his last race and Denman retiring in one piece.

And that is that...

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