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 3/23/2013 (The Papies, Elizabeth St, London)


A dinner at home, with the usual recipe of good friends, good food and some great bottles.

Champagne was served in Zaalto Champagne glasses and reds in Zaalto Universal (GPL) and Riedel Bordeaux ( LLC). Desert wines were served in standard tulip tasting glasses.


To Begin

Bresaola, figs and Olives from Puglia
Indian spiced lamb tacos

  • 2007 Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Terre de Vertus Premier Cru - France, Champagne, Côte des Blancs, Champagne
    We expected this to be a lot sharper given its a zero dosage but it it had, even at this young age, a surprising relative roundness to it with no sharp edges what so ever. Firm and focussed but nowhere close to the run of the mill zero dosage. A testament to good wine making. Light n colour, light gold and glossy, light yeasty notes, very mineral and with citrus notes across. Solid and very nice. Drinks very well now but we would love to see how this evolves over time. 92-93 (92 pts.)

To get serious

The Foie gras

  • N.V. Jacques Selosse Champagne Brut Initiale - France, Champagne
    Disgorged 13 May 2011
    Following on from a Selosse tasing this week where we absolutely loved this (rated 95) this , although same disgorgement date, did not strike us as high. Not sure why to be honest but this was relatively muted and not showing the elegance we saw earlier this week. Bottle variation or just a bad bottle?

The main

Slow roasted (6 hrs at 60C) Rib of Beef with bone marrow sauce (Thank you Mr Blumenthal) with a Potato,Sweet Potato & Parnsnip smoky mash

  • 1989 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Another solid performance from this ugly duckling. This is the fourth bottle we have had of this over the last 3 years and it continues to perform. We decanted for about 2 hours (1 hour really needed). Still very much alive, round and fleshy with good ripe fruit (surprising for an 89 but this is St Julien after all). The nose is more fruit driven light secondary. Another great bottle so maybe this is Swan after all. 93 again (93 pts.)
  • 1989 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Very dry brittle cork so we question how well this wine was kept.
    Required some decanting too and we would suggest 1hr minimum. Showing quite a bit of bricking and age in colour terms. The nose is ever so classic pauillac, well secondary, lots of cedar and light spice along with red fruit. The palate though does not follow and here is where we wonder if bad keeping has taken its toll. It felt astringent and out of sync with harsh edges which are not consistent with our earlier note. Tonight is was maybe a 89-91 range but we are not sure how representative this is so we will not include rating today.

The Deserts

  • 2005 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Just takes one of this bottles to remind us the beauty of effortless beauty and complexity these wines can achieve. It has a lightness to it much aking to a formula 1 car but still can do 200mph. Beautiful nose, light petrol and ripe fruit. It dances on the palate, light and effortless but seriuos and complex with an elegance that makes one smile. We loved it once again! 94-95 (94 pts.)
  • 2007 Anama - Cyprus
    2 weeks since we first opened it and left about half in bottle. What a difference here! The transformation the aeriation has caused only compares to a madeira wine.
    The wine has evolved, opened up and revealed a very elegant character. Good fruit, balanced, good ripe sweet core and a beautful nose to go with it. So we apologise to the winemaker for our previous note (88) cause this is truly a wine to be proud of... and under the current crisis.. probably among the very few things our poor Cyprus can be proud of.

    Long decant is essential here. (93 pts.)
  • 1991 M. Chapoutier Hermitage Vin de Paille - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
    To be honest we should have kept this for another 10 years but...
    Orange tint to the colour. On the nose, orange peel and hazelnuts dominite. On the palate it has weight but nowhere near to what we expected and lacks the depth and complexity promised. Has the structure and acidity to make it another 30years easily but not as inspiring as the parker score suggests. 92 at best from us at the moment. (92 pts.)


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