The kick off was Krug 1996 with amazing richness and bready, yeasty depth at the same time as citrus acidity, impressive and clearly going to be quite something in older age. It is a very "Krug" Krug, refined but uncompromising...quite something.
As everyone got there orders organised, or not, we started on the whites Que Bonito Cacaraeba 2009 from Benjamin Romeo good, rich, acidity a little pronounced a rounded and generous wine. The tempura prawns, a bit of a signature dish, went spectacularly with the Ramey Chardonnay 2007 Hyde Vineyard. The wine had great weight, lovely richness but with freshness and lift, shortbread, generous and focussed too, moreish. The next wine was a bit of a mystery as nobody knows what the vintage was/is. Wachenheimer Fuchsmatel Scheurebe Spatlese, Helmers & Sohnne, there were two bottles, both slightly different but good, rich but also with hints of orange peel and strangely, nettles, nose far better than palate but both interesting.
A clean and precise bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2010 from Beaucastel followed, it was very good, very young, some waxy weight but it will only put on more weight in time, promising. Interestingly we had a different vintage, 2010 of Que Bonito Cacaraeba from Benjamin Romeo, it was fresher and more complete than the 2009 in my opinion. This is a wine that will last and age and improve a lot.
The steaks were on their way now so we moved to the reds, first up Chambertin Clos de Beze 2004, Groffier. A lovely wine now, with development to come. The fruit is red and black compote with a little creamy texture and some cheesecloth. The vintage is one that people like to knock to be honest, I feel that while it is not a stunning vintage or one that will make old bones those producers who have not forced things have made good and charming wines with fruit and good acidity, this is a good example and a good wine.
Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 in magnum was up next as a nice slab of meat arrived. Not quite as striking as the Ramey Chardonnay but good, balanced and savoury rather than sweet.
The "lightest coloured red of the day" award certainly went to Passopisicario 2009 in magnum made by Andrea Franchetti on Sicily from Nerello Mascalese. It was a lovely elegant wine, delicate even, the colour an almost translucent raspberry.
I have to say that from here the notes dried up, I do remember the magnum of Montebello 1997 from Ridge being lovely, rich but elegant which is not easy to do. Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 1995 from magnum was poised and at a lovely stage, very easy to drink. Willamette Valley, Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008, Shea Wine Cellars was a little confected although my palate by now was not at it's best.
The "big bottle of the day" award went to a Jeroboam of Chateauneuf du Pape 1978, Mont-Redon which was a little muted and "whiffy" to start but settled out as a nice medium weighted mature wine with a little spice and a good balance. And so with the table emptying one last wine Coutet 1971 was served. I have had a few 1971 Sauternes and this is a good one, not over the top, elegant and charming but also serious. It was a terrific lunch!
|The Tempura prawns are wonderfully meaty!|