Following on from the First of last suppers post of a week ago this was the last but one meal I will have at Zucca. The last is this coming Tuesday (22nd), if you are there then pop in and say hello. I was a lovely gathering of eight pulled together by a customer and friend who goes by the moniker of “Mr Magnum”, so the theme? Well “bring a magnum” of course.

We simply ordered off the menu keeping things as classically Zucca as possible – from the Zucca Friti through the Taglierini to the Veal Chop. The wines – with nothing corked, hurrah – were all rather splendid.

Krug Grand Cuvee, is there a more sensible thing a wine buyer can do than buy the Champagne/s they like and lay them down? Especially when it is magnums and it is Krug. This Grand Cuvee magnum was purchased (I know he has more!) in around 2010 and was just delicious. Moreish and a dash toasty but with the drive to be lovely on its own…with a couple of our number being late this just disappeared amongst the six of us in no time at all. A lovely start.

As we sat down we moved onto a pair of whites:

St.Joseph Blanc Les Granits 2009 from Chapoutier got a conversation going about what a good, and some times under rated, producer this is. There was real richness that came out more and more as the wine went from cold to just right. There was a ripe apricot note as well as a slightly waxy texture. A nice stage to be drinking it from my perspective. I liked this and it was nicely different from it’s “partner”. 

Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2007 from Domaine Leflaive showed a lovely combination of the richness and broad shoulders you want, and expect, of Batard but with the drive and focus you want in a 2007. There was a little reduction and a dash of saline too but ultimately you had a wine in lovely balance. I am sure it will age well but on this form it is cracking now.

And so to reds…

Barolo Brunate 2004 from Marcarini this was my contribution and formed the first of two barolo 2004’s. I had taken it to a recent Zucca dinner where a few of us had taken a look at Barolo 2004 in general. It was youthfully nervous and precise, got giving quite as much as I remember but drinking well. Somehow, and rather stupidly, I did not pay as much attention as it was my magnum so my notes are rather hopeless.

Barolo Falletto di Serralunga d’Alba 2004 from Giacosa was in all honesty a step up on mine. With cracking texture and richness combined with freshness and a lovely balance of fruit and some, just evolving, more earthy aromas. Still young of course but not indecently so. This reminded me of
visiting there back in May as part of what will be right up there as the trip of the year if I get round to doing a retrospective at the year’s end. Lovely balance to this wine.

From here we went to Bordeaux.

Magdelaine 2001, this was superb straight out of the magnum and took me back to a Magnum lunch this time last year where the 1985 pretty much stole the show. I understand why this estate has been “rolled into” (for want of a better phrase) Belair-Monange (which is actually about 75% Magdelaine as a wine at the moment) but a part of me is sad that the name is going as for me it encapsulates what St.Emilion, the most bi-polar of Bordeaux Communes, can be: Serious, savoury, age worthy and so tasty without being over the top. I’ll be looking to scoop up bottles and mags where I can find them.

Lynch Bages 1988, was a little green initially but what I sometimes refer to as good green, it adds an edge of freshness and vibrancy. The blacker fruits and more classical tobacco and leather appeared later and made this a lovely foil for the Magdelaine.

It was time then for one last bottle and it was a bottle off the Zucca list that I had been eyeing up for as long as I can remember:

Brunello Di Montalcion 2003 from Soldera and the only non Magnum. I have been lucky enough to visit this great estate (we look after the wines in Asia) on four or five occasions now and I always find the prospect so very exciting (I have the most recent visit to write up – possibly today). The man – Gianfranco – is as wonderful as he is misunderstood. The wines are often otherworldly and I do not say that lightly. I can’t think of any producer who is further ahead of the field in quality terms with the wine he produces from their specific grape – Sangiovese in his case. This was a lovely bottle that is just moving from the primary to the best stage, red fruit, iron and a fresh savoury edge.

A wonderful dinner with longstanding friends over equally good wine and food…what “it” is all about.