Thursday, 16 August 2012

A midweek mixture at The Salt Yard


Last evening was a good chance to have a relaxed midweek wine dinner at The Salt Yard in Goodge street, what I will call good European tapas. Very wine friendly with good, not over fussy, service and a nice atmosphere. Sussex (you can seem him in other posts) supplied all but one of the wines, which was the Prum brought by Burdhoud. We were six in total which was a great number for the seven wines we had. We kicked off with a magnum of Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese 2009 from Prum, these mags are seriously splendid looking bottles, not easily chilled down but visually great and a bottle of Riesling is never enough! The wine was just open enough, not reductive (stinky) which Prums can be when young. I really enjoyed the balance and completeness of the wine, it has a way to go but there is no harm in drinking it now.
Up next was a pair of 1er Cru Burgundies  - Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrieres 2007, L.Carillion and Meursault 1er Cru Le Porusot 2008, G.Roulot. Whilst both are young and a tiny bit closed it was a great comparison with both showing the characteristics you’d expect from both the vintages and the appellations. The Puligny was taught and focussed, almost under oaked (a good thing!), very refined with a long future but cracking now. The Meursault from one of the villages greatest names was more closed on the nose with a tell-tale weight from both the site and the vintage, there was considerable texture here. The rich, honeyed, smokey Meursault character you would expect is there it is just held in check at the moment. 
Next up was a trio of 2000 Barolo’s. None of them are growers I know well, all three are more modern, using new barriques. I find 2000’s to be a good, 4 star, but not necessarily serious vintage with most of the wines open for business and accessible without the potential to make “old bones”. These three: Barolo Cannubi 2000 from E.Pira, Barolo Cannubi 2000 from Damilano and Barolo Rocche 2000 from Vietti did conform to those thoughts. The Vietti was the one wine that will repay a bit more time the others were in no way declining but are not worth extended cellaring, enjoy then from now on. The Damilano was the most overtly intense with a good density of fruit, the Liquorice and tar you expect of the modern producers was evident but not too much, a good wine. The Pira was harder to assess, I couldn’t quite decide whether it was more elegant or just a little bit of a lightweight, a decent glass but slightly stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Vietti was the most serious, they grow good fruit and you can see this, I do just find it a shame they use the oak but this is purely a personal thing…it was great to get the chance to drink these.
With a little cheese to finish we had Gew├╝rztraminer Cuvee Laurence 1998 from Weinbach. I loved this bottle, ever since tasting the Zind-Humbrecht’s (a few blogs ago) I have been finding a lot to like in Alsace. This showed enough Gewurztraminer fruit, spice and ripeness without being over the top. It was off dry but not to a VT or SGN level. Just a really good wine with balance and elegance, drinking perfectly from now onwards and versatile enough to have at beginning or end of a meal. One note on the venue, it is definitely best to be a group, four to six I would say and get one person to do the ordering…the just relax and enjoy, I’ll be going back…

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