Last Thursday I made the short train journey down to Petersfield for lunch and racing with a legend of the wine trade (Bazdad), his wonderful and long serving wife Dot and fellow “fourwaller” Chas. Having been picked up it was off to my very kind hosts for lunch in his garden under some brilliant sun. It was a Seafood feast – Oysters, Crab and Lobster, all with salads and Dot’s mayonnaise – and to go with these treats we had three mature white wines from three very special producers.
Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese 1997, Egon Müller – a great time to drink this, fresh but developing, I think it will be best from now and over the next five years. The 1997’s are a little flashy sometimes and I see them as mid-range wines from the Mosel. This was very balanced, a lovely sweetness level (Kabinetts and Spatleses are my sort of thing!) that means it is very flexible, before or with food. Revisiting at the very end it was still terrific, with almost mint leaf freshness still there.
Meursault Les Rougeot 2001, J-F Coche-Dury – The greatest producer of White Burgundy in my book, others come close on occasion but never consistently. This had a dark colour (the premox pessimist brigade would have written it off) but it was all Meursault on the nose, smoked bacon fat and depth, not light but not heavy either, the palate was weighty and textured but the finish was lifted and had a citrus kick. I would say it was a little more evolved than you might expect from 2001 but it was good maturity if that makes sense.
Meursault Les Tessons Clos de Mon Plaisir 1999, G.Roulot – This was a fascinating contrast to the Coche as in many ways the wines appeared to be the wrong way round. You would have had this as younger. It was lovely in its finesse and poise, if I had to criticise (which I don’t) it would be to say that it was a touch too lean, like it was picked a wee bit early. It was like a Meursault that wanted to be Puligny. This is picking holes though to be honest. having had the 2008 of this (see a couple of blogs ago) it is the style of the wine.

Gathering, just couldn’t quite get it done

So having had a wonderful lunch we were picked up and headed, ten minutes down the road, to Goodwood. Now this is their May Festival, more three days in a row racing than a real festival but the weather was ready for their meeting in July/August i.e. Glorious. I had three bets on the way down as it is often easier and better that way but topped this up with one more on the course and another due to a tip on the 4.05 at Haydock from a reliable source (since supplied Franciscan, a winner at York yesterday). Sadly nothing quite worked out, several in the frame but no winners. “Gathering” was my main bet and he was given every chance under a good ride from William Buick but when the opening came and the race was there to be won he just couldn’t see it through…oh well. Yair Hill of John Dunlop’s went into the note book as a potential “next time out” winner after a good run for the seemingly out of form trainer, when the race was not won he seemed to be “looked after”, we’ll see.
One other treat during this cracking day was a cigar – Por Larranaga Robusto (Asia Pacific release 2007)  with a couple of glasses of the very nice, Veuve Clicquot 2002. This is a smoke I know quite well now, this was the last of the five I had, it is a great daytime Robusto, mellow and on the hay/straw side of the spectrum. The Veuve was lovely, quite high dosage I imagine but it gets away with it because that 02 richness is there. What a splendid day, nice to be out of the office in the week and always a joy to go racing, many many thanks to Bazdad and Dot.
I hope La Collina can bring home the bacon in the Irish 1000 Guineas this afternoon.