Lunch yesterday at Otto’s, 3 times in 8 days it isn’t quite my new Zucca but is very good, was a catch up with a customer who shares my enthusiam for drinking “the good stuff” and has firmly shifted from customer customer to friend customer. There aren’t many professions like this and it is a fundamental appeal of the wine world for me and I am sure many many others. The more automated wine becomes, websites, mass email offers, trading platforms etc the more I think the personal contact is essential, may be I’m just getting older…

Anyway the food at Otto’s was great, mushrooms, steak, apple pie, just the job for a cold midweek february day. But this is about the wines.

First up was the white which I cruelly served blind, the stab at it was good with white Rhone the shout…in fact it was white Rioja – Que Bonito Cacaraeba 2008 from Benjamin Romeo – but I like to think I’d have said the same, the texture and waxy peach-like fruit reminded me of rhone. Either way it was a good start. The blend is Viura, Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca in what may as well be equal thirds. From white we were on to the real deal…my guests very kind contribution…Richebourg 1998 from Domaine de la Romanee Conti. I have tasted this before but not since release 11 years ago and certainly only to sniff back then.

The wine openend up over the hours or so that we had it in the glass. As an aside a wine like this between 2 or may be 3 people is perfect, you could miss some of the charm and evolution if you had one glass. Also having a decent amount of wine in the glass makes a big difference to the way a wine comes across. The colour was deepish and almost consistent to the rim. There was powerful, masculine texture and weight as you’d expect from Richebourg but an elegance too. Curried spice (it’s a cliche but it is there) did develop and there was s nice bit of grip, also good acidity. I think it was geat now but certainly has legs. If you are in the nice position of having some then have a bottle soon, if I had one bottle I’d probably be tempted to drink it just before it’s 20th birthday. A rare treat and a great bottle.
We finished with a half of a delicious Vin santo, I didn’t catch the producer, after a DRC bottle is seems a little much to worry about however obnoxious that sounds…nearly time for a week off but first…a cigar at 10 Manchester street this evening.