PG goes a little “Attenborough”

So the invite to a bit of a trade get together at the new Farr Vintners offices reads:

“It’s “bring a bottle” and there are 17 of us at the moment so don’t bring anything too flash as you won’t get to drink it! In fact, a magnum would probably be better, but either way, there will be plenty to drink.”

What followed was entirely predictable, EVERYONE turned up with at least one magnum…just as predictable was the fact that it was a fun evening with everyone interested to try all the wines and the “chat” (banter becoming over-used) was obviously of top quality…So lest I forget, a big thank you to Mark  and Alastair – our kind hosts. Below are just a few notes on the wines, nothing technical, selfishly for my benefit as much as anything. Anything served from bottle rather than mag is noted as such.

Fizz and early whites:
Coeur de Cuvee 2005, Vilmart – nicely balanced from this good if not spectacular vintage, being stuck in and around ’02, ’04, ’06, ’07 is a tough gig. 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir from 55 year old vines. This clearly has a life ahead of it but is not wasted now. A nice start.

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2003
– My colleague, Joe Muller, brought this along, definitely best served after the Vilmart, good ripeness and just spot on now. Biscuits just starting to show. Would love to serve this blind to any English sparkling wine sceptics.

Meursault Narvaux 2002, Domaine Michelot – I liked this, has only evolved slowly, magnum factor, good minerality and no overuse of oak at all, mellow and balanced.

Guardiola Bianco 2013, Tenuta di Passopisciaro – My magnum, I figured unoaked Etna Chardonnay might be a niche that nobody would clash with. Saline and stones on the nose, clean and pure not really a fruit wine, more a texture thing.

Those all saw us very nicely through a Salmon and Scallop ceviche.

Reds – roughly in weight order:
Savigny 1er Cru Les Dominode 2008, Bruno Clair – a site I had never heard of. Quite bold colour for 2008, good texture. I liked this, robust but not over the top. Good darker fruits.

Conseillante 2007 – went down very well, balanced and will keep but why would you? Good soft fruit and a balanced light structure, nice wine.

Chambolle Musigny 1991, Roumier (bt) – this was a trickier one to pour round the group. Degraded reddish fruit but with sweetness and a pure enough fruit character. Soft and elegant and right there to drink. A treat and nicely different.

Pesquera Reserva Especial 2003 – good balance of fruit and structure here, no decayed 2003 character, Quite ferrous and earthy but with good fruit and body, a good showing.

Barolo Bussia 2001, Parusso – embarrassingly a producer I do not know at all. Judging by this I should. A good mulled fruit character with good balance, not showing obvious oak, though I think there is some in the background but only framing the wine. Good wine and overall well received as it should have been.

Brunello di Montalcino 2004, Ciacci Piccolomini – this was a ripe, full and bold but not unbalanced Brunello from this good vintage, quite extracted but kept in check. Rich dark fruits and very much still young. Would like to try this again from bottle in 2-3 years.

Ridge Estate Cabernet 2011 – I found this to have good richness, more than I expect from the lovely, always balanced, Ridge wines and certainly more than I’d expect from the 2011 vintage. Impressive for it!

Raymond Rutherford Cabernet 2006
 – “out the traps” this was a little bit of a monster or so it appeared, but actually, it got better and better, full on may be but in really good balance, I’d love to drink it again sometime to see if it was a little bit of a “one glass wonder” but I think not, rich fruit but not over the top alcohol.

Sociando Mallet 1990 – this had an eggy coating of sulphur to the nose. Unreservedly from a time when quality and quantity could go hand in hand. A good decant could have corrected that but regardless this was a good rich, dark fruit and floral lift wine. Really quite typical of Margaux in its own way. 

Lynch Bages 1982 – in a different style to the Sociando this is a wine that speaks of a different generation in Bordeaux, there is a sense, in a good way, of “throw it all in”. The fruit is balanced with the structure, there is some “good green” character and a great drinkability, deliciously honest.

Deer In The Headlights Syrah 2003, Two Hands – big bold and uncompromising, I didn’t make many notes here. Sorry.

Vouvray Mont Moelleux 1er Trie 2003, Huet  (2 x bt) – very good, bright, orange fruits and lovely with cheese or pudding, good acidity as you’d expect.
Crozes-Hermitage Thalabert 1989, Jaboulet
 – saline, soy, good acidity, a little astringent but good enough, probably a little past it in bottle format but still there in magnum. Propper older wine for all that.

Main course of Veal, Lentils and Spinach

After dinner whites:
Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay 2013, Sandhi – tiny production (only about 100 cases), old vine, planted in 1971, Chardonnay. I have wanted to try this for a while and would love to do so again, good salinity and not over the top fruit or oak, nicely balanced.

Meursault Grands Charrons 2010, Boisson-Vadot (bt) – a very classic B-V nose, not as extrovert as their good 2009’s, more classical and focused, a good wine with a long life ahead.

And I think that…was that…good fun! (and nice offices!)