The annual Old Shirburnian wine trade luncheon is fast becoming a favourite day. 2015 was at the mighty Zucca but alas there was no write-up…the next two are on these links – 2016 & 2017 – and this is the fourth. With Meals having got us organised we were back at Andrew Edmunds.

There was a rendition of the school song in Latin – as much of a cliche as it was inevitable. Much fun and many great stories. The wines are below taken one by one.


Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2010, Domaine Weinbach – A cracking start, yeasty with good depth, I don’t drink enough Alsace bottles. This is dry and tangy though you feel it almost wants to be sweet.


Langham Brut, En Magnum – I really enjoyed this. Hadn’t had it before – a good nutty feel and a proper dosage (the older I get the less I like very low dosage) – would look out for this again. Unpretentious in a very good way.


Paramos de Nicasia 2016 – I’ve often (relatively) seen this label before but never had it. Rich, full with a nice, moreish, astringency, has a real depth of fibrous texture. Red fruit to the core. Very interesting but also good.

Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2012, Raveneau – Good as you would expect but not quite as exciting as it could have been. The very low yields of 2012 mean there is a lot of intensity and possibly this now just needs a bit of time.


Aristos Duquesa d’A 2008 – Unctuous, bold, golden, lovely reduction, honey and richness, almost Meursault-esque – pretty special. Not sure I will ever have this with age again.


Condrieu Terrasses de L’Empire 2016, Domaine Georges Vernay – Floral, proper, a little spice great energy which is the one thing I always feel can be lacking with Condrieu. Impressive from this lauded producer.


Hermitage 2001, Bernard Faurie – Iron and grit, boldly uncompromising. Herbal and flavoursome but with a light(ish) alcohol, perfect now to my thinking.


Hollerin’ M Pinot Noir 2002, Shea Vineyard, Sine Qua Non – I loved this and served blind it was a most puzzling one to try and pick. A dash of grey pepper but essentially a sweet red fruit. There were two possibilities to my mind – Grenache or Pinot Noir – I wrongly picked the former. Really very good and very generous too.

Terrific, unpretentious menu. 

Barolo Tartufaia 2010, Giulia Negri – A wine I know very well, good on this showing though I feel Giulia has made even better wines in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Did well with the food, very much a proper Nebbiolo.


Rauzan Segla 2000 – I’ve not had a 2000 Bordeaux for a little bit and we had a pair here. The Rauzan is lovely now, no rush of course. Darker fruit with a structure like soft iron, in a very good place and balanced just as I like it.

Troplong Mondot 2000 – Dark deep fruit and a fair bit of the (now changing, since 2017 vintage) extraction that the property is pretty well known for. Not a monster by any stretch. Good wine.

Warre 1970 – This was a recently released bottle and really excitingly good, energy but maturity, precision but suitably degraded too. Just what we needed before the moving on to whisky!


Port Charlotte, Heavily Peated Islay Single Malt MRC:01 – I used to be a biggish and regular drinker of whisky and when I was it was always the Islay ones that grabbed me the most. This was pungent and full-on, fiery too! A wake up to the senses.

Anyway that’s the wines – the spirit with which it is enjoyed is the key element – Olim fuit monachorum – and all that…