One of the great joys of the wine trade is bringing kindred sprits together to share bottles and stories, this was one of those occasions. A few wines were blind but most weren’t and the food and service was as immaculate as ever at Noize Restaurant. It is such a good place to enjoy great wine and food, friendly, approachable and not remotely stuffy. I am just not sure why it has only featured on my blog once before, may be because I just relax there.
So the “team” for this lunch was Halifax, Mr P and a new member who I will call the Jockey. A few of you will know that one thing I love about any lunch of dinner is when you feel that you might be the only people on the planet (ok a bit dramatic) enjoying exactly these wines at the time. Certainly the case here – there were also no clashes, no competitions, a lovely line up that darted around.
It is never a bad thing to start with Salon and we were on a late disgorgement of the 1997. The nose has both a lovely mellow almost opulent yellow fruit edge with just a dash of saline and none of the cocoa that I find can dominate late disgorgements at times. Served in white wine glasses is was joyously easy to embrace. Certainly life ahead of it too, just depends how you like things as to when to drink it.
Brandstatt Elsarner Ried Riesling 2016 from Veyder-Malberg was to be our fist white as we salivated over the menu (if you love sweetbreads always have them at Noize!). I had seen the label before, quite recently actually, but not had the wine. I love Riesling and whilst the Mosel may be where I have most experienced I am loving the dry but elegant wines from Pfalz and Austria and other places. Obviously Alsace is another home to Riesling but I love the 11.5-12.5% alcohol ease of these other producers. This managed to be both steely and generous on the nose and palate respectively. It also has a lovely texture, very moreish – a real find. With quite a few reds lined up we decided to overlap the whites.
Next was Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2015 from Domaine Jacques Prieur which is a wine I know quite well but haven’t had for a couple of years. There is a toastiness to the nose and quite a bit of richness, the nose is not as generously fruited as I remember, I think it in a slightly tight phase. The palate though shows you all the Grand Cru quality and no little depth of richness and class. If you own it I would give it at least 2-3yrs to meld a little more.
So into the red zone with none other than Echezeaux Grand Cru 2010 from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti which had been opened a couple of hours previously when apparently it was quite muted well that opening decision had been a good one as it was signing when we started it. Red fruits and no little spice but not overpowering. The balance was exquisite and with more air the fruit turned a little darker, this is clearly a wine at the beginning of its window and one with quite a journey ahead, A real treat and very exciting.
So then Bordeaux with Chateau Margaux 1996 and Pavilion Rouge de Chateau Margaux 2005 (half bottle) side by side, served blind. I often find Bordeaux the trickiest region when served blind. All we knew was that they weren’t the same vintage but that there was “a link” which without any more info coming from Halifax was about as much use as chocolate teapot. The wines themselves – Chateau Margaux 1996 was superb – effortless, alive and yet grounded, loads of fruit but in no way “fruity”. The structure is one of stealth. The balance in the wine comes from the depth of fruit being counterbalanced by this lovely streak of iron and savoury bite. The Pavilion was impressive if in a different way and at a different stage of maturity. It was that bit tighter and more compact, a little smokier. A fascinating pair – I can well see why Margaux 1996 is much lauded.
With pudding, Noize being one of the few places where I partake, we had the Wehlener Sonnenuhr Beerenaulsese 1999 from JJ Prum – it was a delight, it’s not a style I have often but the hedonistically intense fruit combined with the zip of acidity and low alcohol really does make it a specific style. It’s one of those wines that will certainly outlive me.
As is compulsory at any good lunch we had one more wine than we had either planned or needed – this was from the (very good) list – Champagne La Closerie Les Beguines NV Extra Brut from Jerome Prevost a Champagne from 100% Pinot Meunier this is tangy and savoury – without massive yeastiness it somehow makes me think of Fino Sherry, there is a saline moreishness that is both long and plate cleansing.
And that was that…very generous bottles, much good chat, I look forward to the next installment!