Saturday, 27 July 2013

BBQ chez Duvault Blochet

I was long over due to host the Fine Wine Team at mine, finally a date was set and we all gathered for a thursday night BBQ and bring a bottle evening. The food was basic and simple (we were 13 in number! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) and cooked on the BBQ my son Charlie. The wine theme was anything except Bordeaux or Burgundy. This meant we had a barrage of aromatic whites and strangely not one Chardonnay or Sauvignon featured and a lot of Italians.
Early on, nothing wrong with Child Labour!!
After a corona (beer) or two it was straight to the fizz and a nice complementary pair of Champagnes - Delamotte Blanc de Blancs NV mag & Pol Roger 2002 - the former had a little bottle age, was mellow and lovely but still with plenty of finesse. The Pol Roger was an altogether richer fuller, more biscuity glass, lovely, clearly with a serious future but no reason not to drink it now as well. A few more bubbles went down with the Prosecco Le Coulture NV, always solidly hitting the spot. Next it was time for our resident honorary Aussie to unleash a couple of bottles - Pikes 1997 Riesling, Clare Valley & Howard Park 1997 Riesling, W.Australia - the former was oily waxy and nicer on the nose than on the slightly weary palate. The latter I really liked, it evolved from kerosine and oily stink to citrus and waxiness before than becoming toffeed..really lovely and perfect now, an almost luminous colour too.
Steps to...
Next up was always going to be the hardest as our MW student was at the helm, we went everywhere from northern Italy to Austria and back but it was actually - Emphasis Assyrtiko 2012 - amazingly cool climate in style, fresh and aromatic, delicious. Next was Albarinho de Fefinane 2012, I know I liked it but I'm not going to lie and say I remember it much as I as trying to help my son with his slave labour of cooking. The Loibner Steinertal 2008 from FX Pichler was a really great, very complex and perfect now, we mucked about trying to get it and I remember wondering if it was dry German, impressive. Coulee de Serrant 2001 from N.Joly was next and sadly it wasn't a good bottle, not corked but over evolved, it may come right, anything is possible but I felt it was tired and on its way to oxidation. The final dry whites was a delicious Soave 2011 Inane, Vigneti di Foscarino, savoury but with fruit, complex and nuanced, really good.
Food appeared so it was red time, Martinborough Pinot Noir Reserve 1994 kicked us off and it was interesting, fully mature, may be the fruit and tannin had separated themselves from each other but perfectly enjoyable. We stayed with 1994 next and had Barolo Bussia "Vigna Rocche" 1994 Parusso sadly my guess was in Coonawarra Cabernet and I like to think I know my nebbiolo to a degree. This was modern in style and the vintage was a fairly poor one, what had happened was that while it was fine as a wine, if tired, it had lost it's identity. The next wine made me think of St.Estephe or Pauillac but knowing that it couldn't be I was a bit stuck, someone got us to Tannat and therefore Madiran, it was Ch Montus 1995. I really liked it and thought it had guts and class to go with the black fruit...a lot of fun and no novelty.
Night Cricket!
I had promised a few Barolos and decided on the theme of 2007's mostly because my cellar has Barolo from 2004 onwards and 2007 is definitely the vintage to open. First up was Barolo Brunate 2007 from Marcarini, nicely balanced and ready to appreciated, good fruit, red and a little black, nicely loose structure, it had avoided the potential mistake in 2007 of being too bruised. For the next one I went to the same vineyard but different producer Barolo Brunate 2007 from F.Rinaldi, I was really impressed by this, very red and pure, like Volnay on steroids, poised, perfumed and elegant. The third 2007 was a different vineyard Barolo Villero 2007 from Brovia, I'll be honest, it was disappointing, a little bruised and some how a little muddled and muddied in texture. It wasn't bad but was just a bit muted...look forward to trying it again later in it's life. Cheese was up next so a sweetie came out Clos de Sainte Catherine 1996, Coteau du Layon and just reminded me that I should drink so much more Loire sweet. It has a lovely, a complex apple-like nose and then a bracing acidity that just makes it so drinkable, really delightful. Having brought the cheese Mr Pym also brought a bottle of Port the only weird thing being he didn't know exactly what it was! From the mid/late 1970's for sure and by Fonseca, it was good with development but also with red fruit and lots of sediment. We still needed a few bits so next up was Nebbiolo d'Alba 2008 from Giacosa which I have had nearly a case of, it's decent but not getting better, the first bottle a year so ago was pure red fruit and lovely, it's a little bruised now. Then one last red, the stunning Barbera Cascina Francia 2009, G.Conterno it is the perfect wine for anyone who doesn't realise just how good Barbera can has ripeness, fruit and texture...I love it.
Many a cigar was smoked, I had one of my last Bolivar Gold medals from 2008, simply awesome, and my first Rafael Gonzalez Perla, good/decent.
And that as they say, was that!
The light has gone but nobody has moved!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Tasting and dinner with Roberto Conterno of Cantina Giacomo Conterno...

For the last three years it has been a real privilege to travel out to Piedmont and taste with Roberto Conterno of Cantina Giacomo Conterno, in many ways my favourite estate in the world of wine, not that one needs to have a favourite. I look forward to it like a child does Christmas. The fact that some of the wines see large neutral botti for 4 to 7 years means you often get to taste the same wine again and compare notes. The wines below in italics are those that are next to hit the market, the others will follow in the next year or two.
So the Barbera's first:
Barbera Cerretta 2012 (barrel), the age of the Barbera vines in Cerretta is approximately 20 years, this is the vineyard that Roberto took over part-way through the 2008 growing season. Crimson with saturated colour then purple and black fruits on the nose, expressive. Almost blackcurrant meets damson. Purity and clarity of flavour, not overly "big"with a little gentle spice and good medium weight. 17/20.
Barbera Cascina Francia 2012 (barrel) the Barbera in Cascina Francia was planted in 1974 with a little more in 2001 when the Cantina decided to stop production of Dolcetto and Freisa. This always has a darker colour and darker more intense fruit type than Cerretta. More blackcurrant but less sweet, more savoury as always. There is a lovely creamy texture but at the same time a far more tannic structure than Cerretta. A very good, drier but long, finish with a little saline edge, again medium in weight. 17.5/20
Barbera Cerretta 2011 Deep colour, strong and persistent to the rim, inky but fresh, excitingly lifted, full on but not at all over the top, very ripe tannins, the fruit I would say in 70% black and 30% red. The very best Cerretta Barbera yet, feminine, fresh and forceful. 18/20. 2014-2019
Barbera Cascina Francia 2011 A mighty wine and simply put the best young Barbera I have ever tasted. Arterial and full of colour, fruit almost prune like, juicy fresh prunes with acidity (if they exist), blackcurrant and mineral, hot stones, and a definite saline edge so typical of Cascina Francia. Serious, structured and with a potentially massive drinking window. Stunning. 18.5/20. 2015-2021++
The two 2011's are incredible wines, some of the reasoning is that the flowering in the growing season had been early and then mid-August was very hot so the harvest was early. Roberto likened them to 2007 but with more acidity.

It was now time to move from Barbera to Nebbiolo:
Barolo Cerretta 2011 (barrel) My notebook starts - Strawberry, strawberry then raspberry on the nose - there is such amazing precision. A little like Volnay on steroids. Tannins are evident and will soften before bottling next year. Needs time, very promising. 17-18/20. 2020-2030.
Barolo Cascina Francia 2011 (barrel) Fresh and redder than Cascina often is but still deeper and darker than Cerretta, lots of fruit, showing big tannins that are persistent but ripe and ease their way off the palate. Proper. 18-18+/20. 2021-2032.
Barolo Cascina Francia 2009 There is no Monfortino in 2009 and the barrel that would have been Monfortino was blended into this wine about 4 months ago, with bottling been done very recently. The decision not to release Monfortino was purely because the barrel, whilst the best, was not different enough in character and quality. As Roberto puts it, you drink the Barolo but chew Monfortino. The wine itself is mightily impressive. Pale almost auburn in colour, beautiful soft red fruits on the nose, such finesse and elegance, a little savoury edge to the palate, structured and very fine. 18.5/20. 2019-2031+.
Barolo Cascina Francia 2010 (barrel) Deeper than the 2009 in colour, a little spice on the attack almost pepper. A difficult wine to describe but incredibly complete. Both red and black fruit that had weight but is currently under the tannin. Incredible potential. 18.5-19/20. 2019-2033+.
Barolo Cerretta 2010 (barrel) Sweet red fruits coat the mouth, red cherry and strawberry, very promising and you can plainly see Roberto is very very excited about the developments in Cerretta.18/20. 2018-2030+.
Monfortino 2008 (barrel) Roberto is so excited about this wine. He describes it as unique, the reason being that in September 2008 there was a sudden drop in temperature to nearly zero and the vines seemed to stop and then things got going again. The picking was then a week later. Roberto may well give this Monfortino six years in barrel rather than the normal seven. The nose is profoundly complex, bovril and beef stock with masses of red fruit, all of which is a little degraded, in an good way. Leather, menthol and even a little liquorice. A fascinating wine all round. 18.5-19/20. 2017-2040.
Monfortino 2006 Lovely red dashed mahogany in colour. Iodine and fresh red fruit as well as prunes and bruised fruit, so much complexity, savoury but so so lively and fresh, stunning. The wine manages to be refreshing and light-footed as well as deep and profound. 19.5-20/20. 2016-2040.

The tasting lasted nearly two hours without feeling much more than 45 minutes, always a good sign, so it was time to drop bags off at the hotel and then dinner. Roberto kindly picked us up and we went of to Trattoria della Posta of Massolino Gianfranco in Monforte d'Alba for a delicious dinner with many of the local treats; Carne Crudo, Vitello Tonnato and many more. Almost every topic under the sun seemed to get covered including, surprisingly, cricket. We started with a bottle we took along, Corton-Charlemagne 2009, Bonneau du Martray, which was showing well, a little reductive but with lovely ripe fruit and very subservient use of oak. The two Barolo's were Barolo Bussia Riserva 1978, A.Prunotto which Roberto picked off the list and Monfortino 1987. The former was mature but from a cracking vintage, meaty and savoury but not overly old, very good. The Monfortino was from a most difficult vintage when few great wines were made but Monfortino was all in and picked before the rain came. The wine was lovely now, bruised, brown fruit with sweetness, medium weight, refined and complex, good acidity and perfect now!
It was a simply brilliant day which left me even more obsessed with Piedmont than I was before, if that is possible.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Lunch time perfection at Koffman's

The last gathering of "The Gang" - Mr G, Irish Peat, Nobby, Chewy, Young Will, and the sadly absent this time Ronaldinho - was for a simply stunning Petrus Dinner back in February and up in the north so it was the turn of London to host, "Irish Peat" got us organised, no easy task, and the Venue was to be Koffmann's at the Berkeley - somewhere I have always enjoyed since first being introduced. The only sadness was that Ronaldinho could not make it as he was locking people up on jury service. We did have a new diner with us, as yet un-nicknamed.
As everyone gathered and after a little bottle of "grain" to focus the mind we were onto the grape! All wines were served blind and very well by the Koffmann's team who did us proud. I won't mention the food too much but all the courses were superb and worked very well with the wines.
The first bottle, or rather magnum, was Ruinart 1998, soft open and ready to go but with good balance, a little biscuit, a little yeast and some citrus fruit and white flower, very nice. As we received our Squid Bolognese-Style we were poured two whites that took us out of our comfort zone, although "Irish" was spot on with getting, St Peray 2010 from Domaine de Tunnel, as white Rhone. It was 100% Roussane and had depth, spice and a little toastiness, whilst a broad wine it had focus and was good not just interesting. We performed less well with the other white in the pairing, trying a few grape varieties before coming to unoaked Chardonnay, this one was Northern-Italian, Franco Toros Collio Chardonnay 2011, clean crisp and with soft but clear fruits, two good palate awakeners.
With the next course of Gascony-style black pudding croque monsieur with egg on the way we were off to more conventional climes - White Burgundy. Both blind as mentioned above these were two wines are of very good quality indeed. Between us we got pretty close without lingering too long. Our "newcomer" was definite on the first being Corton-Charlemagne and despite me trying to put him off he, rightly, stuck to his guns. It was Corton-Charlemagne 1990 from Bonneau du Martray this showed a lot of class, mature, widening out with a little yeasty complexity and a depth of creamy greek yoghurt and honey, a waxy texture and moreish finish, nice, very nice. However the second of these was whilst obviously younger even more exciting for it's potential. It had that trade mark Coche-Dury reduction, the classiest of "struck matches" and was the Meursault Perrieres 2002. A wine of incredible class and potential, taut and steely but at the same time showing the lurking intensity and depth you would only really expect to find from one of the very greatest domaines. The colour, particularly in comparison to the richer Corton-Charlemagne, gave no real suggestion of 11-12 years of age. A very great wine.
Burgundy was up again with a brilliant Langoustine tortellini with langoustine broth but this time of the red variety. Once we had established it was the same wine in two different vintages we set to work on guessing what and there was a sort of consensus that it was 1996 or 1998 and a 1990 but we were wrong (not massively but still wrong). The wine was Nuits-St-Georges "Boudots" from Leroy and the vintages were 1997 and 1993. The 1997 had a bit of bricky decay (I know what I mean and can never quite describe it) with the fruit in one place then the acidity and a little tannin at the end, it had a very particular texture too. The fruit was black but not too dark (light black?), I loved it despite how that note sounds, it was old school and evolved and just right now. The 1993 by contrast was at an altogether different, earlier, stage in its life. Primary almost, brooding, darker rich colour, long with black fruit, may be holding a little back for itself, brooding and then finally, as my note says, "bloody good". A great pairing.
With Turbot with Shellfish and fennel Puree we went Italian, Ugo Lequio Barbaresco 2007 from Gallina and Barolo Cannubi S.Lorenzo-Ravera 1996 from Guiseppe Rinaldi. Two very different wines and not just because of the 11 years between them. The Gallina was more delicate, red fruited with almost strawberry or cherry fruit, clean and pure (not always easy in 2007), it has finesse and elegance, will be fascinating to follow it over the coming years. The Rinaldi, my bottle and one of my favourite producers, was earthy with minerality, leather and bruised fruit, it is still a little young but showed well, it has the saline quality that I like just starting to appear, impressive.
On the food front a real signature dish was up next, Pig's trotter stuffed with sweetbreads and morels, and delicious it was too but I have to say the wines stole the show. It was one of those pairings that I write this blog for, I just don't want to forget it. The glass on the left was poised, gentle even, with pure and persistent beautiful fruit, red and a little black, amazing length for a wine of this finesse, the balance so good that you could have had in 10 years ago or in 20 years and get the same enjoyment. By contrast the glass on the right was a different animal altogether. More brooding and dense with deeper darker, black fruit, my notes says "brilliant, depth, depth". Whatever they were they were wonderful wines, contrasting so well. Preferring one is ultimately pointless. The left was La Tache 1991, DRC the right was Chambertin 1991, Rousseau. It all goes to show what a great vintage 1991 was (and 1993 from the previous wines as well), the charms of Burgundy seem to me to be too often missed as people focus in the, perceived to be, stellar vintages (90, 02, 05, 09 and 10). These wines just made me what to have more of them and in turn to look out for the likes of 2001 where the balance is superb but may be the volume is turned down a little, I'm starting (?) to waffle but what I am saying it look at balance not power.
There was still a red pairing to go before the last two sweet wines. And it was a pairing to give any a run for their money. The pair was, La Tache 1999DRC and Clos de la Roche 1990 from Ponsot the La Tache was one of the purest expressions of Pinot Noir I think I have ever come across, poised, red fruited, delicate yet firm, this wine is balanced but still essentially primary, still in phase one of it's life but in no way is it unapproachable, amazing. The Ponsot had a rich, lavish almost hedonistic side to it, very 1990, fruit a little bruised (in a good way) there was a little spice as well, delicious.
It had been a brilliant set so far but there was one lesson still to learn Yquem 1975 and 
Yquem 1976. I have had both of these before both courtesy of the same source but there is no getting away from the fact that these two vintages in many ways, I think, show you what Yquem is all about. The 1975 has, to my mind, everything, perfect poise and balance, freshness, sweetness but also a savoury edge, it is precise, delicious but still in very much middle age, I absolutely love it and if I had (I don't!) case I would want to drink it every 5 years as it has a long and fascinating life ahead of it. The 1976 is an altogether different style, rich, almost toffeed, rancio, like the richest creme brulee in a glass, a slight leathery, almost tobacco edge, if you want an idea of what older Yquem is like and want the full on hedonism of the Chateau then go for 1976. Either way they go perfectly alongside each other.
I have said this after a few "gang" meals but really how do we carry on bettering these? But then actually it isn't about bigger or better just the very best bottles with the best of friends! Until next time...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Trade at Goodman...many a magnum...

A bit of a trade gathering, ten or so of us, met at Goodman in Maddox Street for a friday lunch, with a Gin and Tonic done it was time for the wine to flow. Everyone was in generous form so amazingly a couple of wines were not opened.
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!

Ahh yes!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Medlar...the gang has finally done the big three...

There are quite a few restaurants that have become wine trade haunts over the years. I'd like to think it is a good sign when the wine trade like a restaurant, it tends to mean that the food is good, the service unstuffy and the attitude to wine and corkage a positive one. About a year ago a group of us decide to have impromptu dinners at three of the most popular restaurants that fitted this bill. Namely ZuccaTrinity and Medlar. Thursday just gone was the final leg at Medlar. I had been once before but that was just after it opened. As the team arrived it was time for a glass of Manzanilla, such a good way to start on a warm and slightly muggy evening.
The real action started with two contrasting white Burgundies Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes 2008 from Sauzet and Puligny Montrachet Folatieres 1999 from Leflaive. Both were showing well. The Sauzet showing a good dollop of that Combettes richness, I often think Combettes has the weight to be a Grand Cru. This was a lovely expression, not too big but starting to drink really well, refined. The Leflaive I was excited about as I have had a lot of joy with Leflaive 99's. There was the "struck match" reduction and quite a generously serious nose, this was a little more evolved than Pucelles 99 is at the same stage, dense and complex but not too heavy, delicious.
From white Burgundies we were onto a pair - Trotanoy 1997 and Dominus 1987 - that made a lot of sense together as they are made by - under the control off - the same man, Christian Moueix. Now it is often said that Dominus is a Bordeaux-like Napa wine but actually that is something Mr Moueix has a bit (he is a very gentle yet firm man) of an issue with, he has always said Dominus tastes how Napa valley wines should. The Trotanoy had a bruised fruit character, good balance of fruit and savoury, poised. Just enough sweetness to make it very complete, perfect now, it is a good 1997, a tricky vintage for a Chateau like Trotanoy where masculine power is more the terroir's style. The Dominus was a gentle wine of real savoury complexity; iodine, inky spiced bovril and a little bacon, not frazzles yet, it was a soft wine on the palate and very graceful if possibly starting to fade a little, a fun pairing.
Over to italy now, Barbaresco Asili Riserva 1996 from Giacosa was arguably the wine of the night. Just such a gentle yet firm and proper nose, the right amount of clean fruit and bruised loveliness, alluring, thrilling and almost so good to smell you didn't need to drink it. The palate though had grip and a more 1996 shape about it. The question, as with almost all serious wines in northern Europe made in 1996, is will the structure ever soften enough to allow the fruit "over the top"? Who knows but this was stunning. Brunello di Montalcino 2001 from Sesti was good, intense, rich with black fruits this wine has a way to go, an exctiting future. It was good to have it along side the Giacosa as it was so different that it did not suffer by comparison.
With some cheese and then pudding we had a couple of sweeter wines. The Hocheimer Domdechaney Rielsing Spatlese 1997 from Kunstler was evolved soft and seriously enjoyable, I drink a lot of Mosel and need to remember to get some Rhinegau. It was spot on now. The Raymond Lafon 1989 was rounded and slightly rancio in style, a dense and not overly subtle sauternes it did the job nicely. We didn't really get too geeky with the food but the three courses, we opted for the two starter tactic, I had were very good:

 - Sea bream carpaccio with sauce vierge, cucumber, seaweed purée and a tempura prawn.
 - Crab raviolo with samphire, brown shrimps, fondue of leeks and bisque sauce.
 - Under blade fillet with café de paris snails, salad, triple cooked chips and béarnaise.
With Dinner done it was round to the Sporting Page for one last drink and a cigar. Three smokes were fired up: Partagas Serie D No4, Partagas Short and a Bolivar Royal Corona. The Later was the one I smoked, rich if a little under filled, after so much good food and wine it was nice to have a smoke with some decent body and not too much complexity....until next time!

Monday, 1 July 2013


Halifax, he's appeared on here a good few times, was in town last Wednesday so it seemed silly to miss the chance to grab a quickish lunch at Otto's in the Gay's Inn road. He kindly insisted on bringing most of the bottles but I managed to squeeze in a red. The opener was Dom Perignon 1996 which is in a beautiful spot right now if you ask me, just starting to develop a little on the finish but still light in colour, vibrant and refreshing with a little lemon sherbet. I am sure it is going to age wonderfully but if you haven't had any and own a few cases then definitely get going as it's lovely now.
The white was then served blind but I had an advantage over Paul (Marus) as I was almost certain it was going to be a white Bordeaux. I was a little way out with the vintage plumbing for late 80's when actually it was Laville Haut Brion 1995 but it was good. Complex, evolved, quite tropical but also waxy. The finish was a little short would be the only negative, it needs drinking in the next 2-3 years to be at it's best I would say.
Another blind wine followed and this time we were clearly in Bordeaux, Halifax professed that this was not the best bottle of this wine he has had but I liked it anyhow, very much evolved "Lunchtime Claret" but with enough life and acidity to make it very pleasant. We were clearly on the left back and Paul and I both plumbed for St.Julien and later 80's but it was in fact Pichon-Lalande 1981. As with the Laville I see no point in keeping it further but it's a lovely drink now, very mellow and fragrant.
The food was good as ever, we all went for the Crab Ravioli and then Steak. Both were just as they should be. The Final red was a possible case of infanticide but a delicious one at that. Echezeaux 2007, Domaine de La Romanee Conti. 2007 Red Burgundies divide opinion generally some people feeling they are a little weedy and even under ripe at a times, I am far more of a fan and love the pure Pinot freshness and elegance. Yes generally they will not make "old bones" but they are delicious and pure. This was exactly that but with some classy grip and structure underneath. I love drinking great wines when they are just opening up, you get excited about where they are going and you get a strong sense of their personality. We followed the Echezeaux with an 1993 Icewine that was clearly a good wine but was ever so slightly corked..a real shame as you could see there was an intensity of sweet ripeness and also a very crisp acidity. A delicious lunch all round.