This is going to be one of those posts that I will need to read over and over as I can’t quite believe the amazing line up…I have never wanted this to be a show off blog. It is about sharing some opinions on my various hobbies and in this case some very great wines that I was fortunate enough to try. Our generous host knows Royal Hospital Road very well and Clare Smyth, the chef had kindly co-ordinated a menu with Jan the Sommelier (of the year!). So let’s get going.
First up was a lovely bottle of Delamotte 1990, fully mature and not with masses of mousse but a delicious bottle that had real poise and balance, not over biscuity but just showing pure bottle age, it worked well with the Risotto and black truffle.

The Whites

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese GK1983 was then the wine to go with a cracking Sweetbreads dish. The wine was at a lovely stage of it evolution, rich marmalade golden orange in colour. The sweetness was not at all overpowering in fact it had started to become more “dried-fruits” in style, it got better and better in the glass, would have been interesting to have had it decanted (I am a massive fan of decanting Riesling). The next pair of wines were fascinating with a simply brilliant truffle linguine. They were Meursault-Charmes 1992 from Lafon and Meursault-Perrieres 2000 from Coche-Dury. Both were in great condition and showed as you would hope. The Lafon was more masculine in style, quite broad but not at all clumsy, very true to Meursault and not showing any signs of tiredness especially in this very fine vintage for whites. The Coche was unsurprisingly spectacular. A genuine wine of the day candidate. I am always waiting to be disappointed by a Coche-Dury but it has, as yet, not happened. Often with wine “expectation is the mother of all disappointments” but not here. The wine was young, with a dash of reduction, I love that, a youthful colour and a lovely gun-flint nose, so refined, grand cru in quality and some. We all savoured the Coche as long as we could.

Linguine to die for…

From a pair of great white Burgundies we moved to red Romanee-St-Vivant 1993 from Leroy
and Romanee-St-Vivant 1991 from Domaine de la Romanee Conti. Now whilst the Coche stole the show a little from the Lafon this was a very fair fight. Both wines were delicious but with different nuances and profiles. The Leroy was the wine with a long long future, a little more taut. Cheesecloth, a little iodine and truffles (we’d eaten enough of them!) then the fruit was kirsh or cherry, lively but not over expressive, a hell of a wine. The DRC by contrast was a more full fruited wine, lashings of red and black fruit with a herbal almost pot pourri element. This is a great time to drink it but it has much to offer into the future too. Both were very much RSV in style with a soft feminine edge but both an absolute joy to drink. Anyone who owns either has themselves a gem. The two vintages are still a little under appreciated, mostly because 1991 & 1993 did not really produce great wines through the rest of France (northern Rhone aside).

The mags…

As Duck, and duck side “salad”, made its way out of the kitchen it was Bordeaux-time, both wines being from magnum Petrus 1979 and Lafite 1975. After such amazing Burgundies it was was a worry that the Bordeaux from less stella vintages may struggle to compete but actually as a pair they did well. Both were in good condition and certainly good wines to have in magnum. The Petrus was initially a little closed but fruit came out more and more with a little exotic fruit showing. The seductive Pomerol-round-fruitedness showed more and more. The Lafite  was classically proportioned, a little harder and a little less giving of fruit, slightly drier too. I feel that is too mean a note really but also that it is correct. With little regard to an bias I may have I thought the Petrus was the greater wine but the Lafite showed well.

Tatin-tastic (poor but I can’t resist)

With the end of the Bordeaux and then some Taylor 1977 we had a selection of cheeses. The Taylor was so youthful, spiced, still primary, some of this will have been emphasised by the mature wines that preceded it.
The final food and wine pairing was simply brilliant, not rocket science by any stretch but when something works why change – Yquem 1967 and the RHR Tarte Tatin is magic. I have never had the 1967 before and it was stunningly impressive even by the hight standards of Yquem. There was a sweetness and density but neither overpowering, the complexity of the nose and the balance of the palate both being very hard to describe but fabulous to taste. There was a intensely rich and hedonistic Krug Collection 1985 to finish but I was beyond notes at that stage. I do remember think it was very much a food champagne, the Risotto would have worked well and there we are back at the beginning again…
A Epic occasion…

GC…playing “host”