Since the closure of Zucca just over a year ago I have been to a lot of restaurants and many are brilliant – Kitchen W8, Medlar, Trompette etc – but none made me instantly like them (it!) quite as much as Six Portland Road which I visited with two wine loving friends in the week before Christmas.
We just agreed we’d all bring a bottle which was divided up into a white and two reds, not exactly rocket science. What struck me about the restaurant was a lovely simple menu – I eat anything and hate choosing. We all had different things and had a go at each others without quite entering the world of full-on sharing. The menu was classically proportioned and sat on that sensible, but tricky to pull off, border between French and British. Salmon followed by Boudin Noir and then Cheese all hitting the spot for me. The other had two different steaks which were superb and had great frites to accompany. Service was excellent in a “unfussy, we like to say yes” sort of fashion.
So the wines, all served briefly blind. The two of us guessing/deducing the white both thought White Burgundy on hitting the glass then both agreed it was richer waxier and more rounded. I was tempted towards the possibility of serious white Rioja but decided that my colleague here was right and that a southern Rhone varietal was the way forward. It turned out to be Lillian California Roussanne 2012 from Maggie Harrison in Dundee Oregon. A lovely rich and waxy citrus and tropical fruited wine but with a good mellow edge, rich but not too much at all. A confident start.
My bottle followed – Barolo Cannubi S.Lorenzo – Ravera 2008 from G.Rinaldi which you may well know is an estate I know quite well from previous drinking but also from two rather great verticals. Barolo Cannubi San Lorenzo-Ravera Vertical – Beppe Rinaldi & Beppe Rinaldi…Brunate-Le Coste a vertical…. The chaps realised quickly that as it was me it would most likely be Italian and they did well getting near the year and being split; one Brunello, one Barolo. I though it showed well though I could have made sure it was a shade cooler.
On to the second red and both of us who had it blind were trying to workout where in Bordeaux it was from. One shout was for Pauillac, whilst I was oddly quite confident of the 1985 Pessac/Graves call I made. The wine was perfectly mature, gentle tobacco and leather with a little bit of dark fruit and light structure. It turned out to be Ornellaia 1990 and a much more impressive bottle than the one I had in this line up – Ornellaia – 1990-2010 It just shows how well Ornellaia does, and can, age.
We did have one more surprise but not blind, a half of Yquem 1998. This will undoubtedly age well but to my mind is perfect now, full and succulent but with enough zip…I admire Sauternes when it ages but I find it so much more drinkable like this, in adolescence and not much beyond.
A cracking evening in great company, I will certainly be back to this spot. I just wish it were nearer work or home. The ONLY thing that would make it better was if the glasses, which are good quality etc, could be a little larger…but then that really is just a wine merchant thing…