Wednesday was a good day from the eating and drinking standpoint first up was lunch with MrMead. As he is off to HK soon to join the C&B team out there it seemed a good idea to have a catch up over a couple of bottles and where better than my favorite…Zucca? So with a selection of courses we had the two bottles photographed. Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras 1990 from Barthod (a kind donation from Meado), the wine was a little closed but very good. The cheesecloth nose left and you had a good dollop of red fruit on the palate. It was one of those bottles that made you keeping questioning it to see it develop. I don’t know the house style but I enjoyed this a lot without it really singing, to be fair we were chatting away so it worked well. Next up was a bottle off the list – if you have not been and love Italian wine thengo, awesome list at great prices and this is not a “suppliers view – Barolo Margheria 1996 Massolini. The sommelier said very honestly that the last bottle of this he had served was a bit tired but that it may have been just the bottle. I was keen to try this producer so we decided to risk it. The colour instantly suggested this was not tired, a strong but honest colour. It was closed and started me wondering what sort of a tasting day it was. As with the Chambolle it was very honest and had good fruit but it never quite sang. Very good balance and the structure you would expect of a “classical” (overused wine word but there you go) Barolo vintage like the 1996. The food with these was great as usual, fresh, varied flavors and always interesting without trying to be novel for the sake of it. The thing I also love about the food is however much you eat you never leave stuffed and sleepy… something I do when I eat very traditional french food at lunchtime, reduction sauces etc. A very good meal and personally a nice send off for Meado even though he doesn’t go for a month or so.

The evening was a different venue – Pearl. I had not been before. I was dining with a German wine merchant who was in town and who I had not met before. It turned out to be a great evening. A lot of chat a lot of similarities between his business and the one I work in and therefore a lot of people we both knew. Meeting interesting people is, for me, aside from the wine, the great thing about the wine trade. We’ll be staying in touch as it is always good to have allies to bounce ideas off. What did we drink? A glass each of Deutz Blanc de Blancs NV which was excellent, not a house I know well but a lovely style and from the taste not skimping on a bit of time in the bottle which should be applauded loudly. We followed this with a bottle of Hyde de Villaine Chardonnay 2007 which (I am biased as we are agents) I am loving at the moment (not to say it won’t age, it will). The style is more Burgundian that most US Chardonnays or at least the perceived style…I’d like to the think things are changing on the over oaked style. The food was good but for me a little fussy. I think we chose well as we stuck to fish dishes. I had then wanted to have the Volnay 1er Cru Champans 2004 from d’Angerville – I think they make good wines in more difficult years and 2004 was that for reds – but sadly the bottle had sold earlier that day. Instead we had a safe but unremarkable Chambolle 1er Cru 2006, unremarkable enough that I can not remember the Cru or the grower..shame on me but as with lunch the chat on this day out shone the bottle.
Anyway next week is holiday in northern Spain I can’t wait, after a slog through En primeur 2010 it’ll be good to relax…corkscrew, cigars and flip flops are packed so I’m ready!