Degustation

East London

By billn on February 12, 2004 #degustation

swiss reI had a really great Tuesday this week.

It started with the first of two opportunities to taste the new release from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the 2001’s. This was courtesy of Corney and Barrow at their splendid new home close to the Tower of London.

More about the wines in due course in the Burgundy-Report.

It was the first time I’ve spent any time in this part of London and it’s quite unlike the the major shopping bits, history and great architecture (new and old) all around you. I spent an absorbing 3 hours just wandering… aimlessly but enjoyably.   It was just a short walk to Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and then into the ‘real’ City of the exchanges and banks – superb architecture from the Orwellian (1984) Adelaide House to Sir Norman Fosters new piece of penis envy – the Swiss Re building – actually more like a patchwork marrow, but striking all the same. Then there’s the history of the old churches – St Dunstans and St. Magnus the Martyr. Then onto the Sir Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren Monument to the Great Fire of London – a mini Nelson’s column surmounted by what looks like a golden thistle – actually flames rendered in copper. I spent close to two hours in the tasting room then another three wandering through the streets – despite the cold weather a great day.

Luncheon

By billn on January 10, 2004 #degustation

arnoux suchotsThe Devonshire Arms.

That Sunday lunch was going to be a real treat was instantly confirmed as I tucked into the amuse bouche; a tiny Shepherds Pie!

Of course the 2000+ bin wine selection – a ‘tome’ roughly as thick as a breeze block – had already whetted the appetite and I chose a half bottle of 1999 Saint Aubin to be followed by the 1988 Vosne-Romanée 1er Suchots from Robert Arnoux.

The 3 course menu (plus an intermediate veloute of white beans) had plenty of choice and came in at quite a reasonable £27.50 – reasonable for a place with a Michelin star anyway!

I had dourade followed by venison and a vanilla-thing desert – very nice.

The wine was pretty good, but not up to the standard of the (Robert Arnoux) domaine’s current reputation.

Definitely worth a trip

Dinner in Glasgow

By billn on October 11, 2003 #degustation#travel

Well, not only did they let me into the UK, they even let me into Scotland too. Seems there’s also a chance for me to go home on Sunday – so that was nice! Last night there was a trace of indulgement – 1* Michelin Restaurant – Braidwoods – just beautifully cooked food with lovely flavours. Oh and did I forget to mention: ’91 Ravennau Chablis, Haut-Brion Blanc et rouge, ’91 de Vogüé Musigny, ’90 DRC Richebourg, ’61 Montrose, ’82 Pichon, ’86 Hill of Grace, ’83 Yquem – and others. Today and I’ll try and reduce my intake – yeah right!!!

Immigration…

By billn on October 10, 2003 #degustation#travel

I’m sat in the departure lounge of Basel airport – without my passport (don’t ask) but it looks like the Brits will still let me in – be a shame if not, I’ve 10 bottles of Griotte-Chambertin for a tasting for up to 40 people at wine-pages.com’s SuperBOWL 2003 event in Glasgow – I suppose I could drink it the cell if they don’t le me in!

Oaky Wine & En Primeur

By billn on September 08, 2003 #degustation

lambraysJust in case you didn’t know, there’s a big problem with en-primeur tastings;

Back in January 2002 the 2000 Grand Cru of Clos des Lambrays really stood out for me at a tasting organised by the UK merchant Howard Ripley.

The problem is that the wines are sometimes not representitive of what eventually gets bottled. I drank a bottle of the retail ‘version’ this week and despite lovely fruit, the palate is like chewing wood – very disappointed – this will probably be affecting the wine in 10 years time – Given that there’s a 6-pack in storage, I hope this is just an isolated batch…

tough day!

By billn on June 20, 2003 #degustation

On Wednesday this week I had the really tough job of visiting Joseph De Bucy – a nice man who makes very tasty Meursaults, and Nicolas Potel for a marathon tasting of 2002’s. In between I had to shoe-horn a 3 hour lunch and afterwards a pizza and lots of water to ensure full concentration for the 2 hour drive home. And the wines? – well you’ll have to look at issue two of the www.burgundy-report.com won’t you – only 2 weeks to go – but suffice to say I’m already making enquiries about some of Mr Potel’s wines 🙂

Burgundy Report

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