Bryan's Dinner Party Offline

The Ledbury, London

Tasted July 7, 2010 by SimonG with 358 views

Introduction

As others have commented the perfect setting for enjoying fine wine. It felt a little rushed at the start with the fizz flight only just being started when the first course and the Chablis arrived, but after that it settled to a very comfortable pace allowing us to enjoy some lovely bottles in their proper context - at the table with fine food and knowledgable fellow diners.

Flight 1 - Aperitif (2 notes)

A fishy puree on a crispy tuille base

White - Sparkling
2005 Roses de Jeanne / Cédric Bouchard Pinot Blanc Champagne Blanc de Blancs La Bolorée France, Champagne, Côte des Bars (Aube), Champagne
Pale colour. Very rounded. Just a touch of honey on the finish. A wine of depth and interest that somehowmanages to combine weight and a degree of richness with minerality, lightness and freshness. My favourite of this excellent flight. ****1/2
White - Sparkling
1990 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année France, Champagne
Quite a full, gold. Floral, honeyed nose with a touch of something lighter and sweeter that reminds me of slight maderisation. No sign of this on the palate though. Good body and richness. Very smooth and balanced. Long. Very good indeed. Top ****.

Flight 2 - Paupiette of Turbot with almond praline and crab (2 notes)

Stunning nutty texture and flavour here - very much like a slightly sweet satay.

White
1999 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
Deepish gold but slightly lighter than the 96 Rav Clos alongside. Leaner nose, though this is starting to open up just as I've finished my glass. Mineral, slightly saline. Rounder, more generous on the attack, fruit properly ripe. Shows a more classic mineral middle and finish with decent grip. Lacks a little weight and intensity of minerality cf previous bottles, possibly because not decanter or given the chance to open up as previous bottles have. Good though. ***1/2
White
1996 François Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
Slightly fuller yellow than the Fevre 99 Preuses. A slightly honied nose with richness and depth behind it. More body here. Rich, mineral and saline palate. Good grip and length. Proper. Just getting there. First time a Raveneau had really wowed me. ****

Flight 3 - Fillet of sea trout with hispi cabbage and smoked bone marrow (2 notes)

Red
1991 Louis Jadot Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
Lovely maturing, farmyardy nose, a touch of sousbois starting to develop. Fresh, good grip, a touch of tannin. Mineral. Good depth of fruit. Quite long. Very nice indeed. Proper. Shows far more depth and poise than a sample of Jadot's 88 Ruchottes from the other table. Finer too. Would have benefited from being served in a glass with a
wider bowl ****1/2
Red
1991 Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons Faiveley France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
flawed
Corked and not served.

Flight 4 - Breast of guinea fowl with aubergine glazed in black sugar and garlic (2 notes)

Red
1983 Marc Sorrel Hermitage Le Gréal France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
Full ruby to deep garnet. Slightly bloody, meaty, sweet-fruited nose. Lots of fine sediment. Sweet old syrah fruit, crying out for game. Old fashioned, uncompromising, slightly rustic and very lovely. ****
Red
1990 Marc Sorrel Hermitage Le Gréal France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
Almost purple on the rim, this looks far younger than it should. Quite a subdued nose. Very very young. Quite a tannic grip. Needs
years on this showing ***(*?)

Flight 5 - Suckling pig with grilled onions, girolles and truffle (2 notes)

Red
1978 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Deep garnet to ruby. Slightly cheesey, refreshing green edge. Very complete and tasty. Refreshing, proper wine. ****1/2
Red
1989 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Quite a full purple-ruby. Savoury character, dry tannins, good structure, needs time. The 78 alongside is a clear favourite for current enjoyment. ***(*)+?

Flight 6 - Sauternes custard with apricot, passion fruit and dried orange (2 notes)

Couldn't have had a better match for the 89 Climens

White - Sweet/Dessert
1989 Château Climens France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
Riper nose, slightly volatile. Gorgeous palate though. Sweet, ripe, long, luscious, lovely. Stunning match with the pudding. ****1/2
White - Sweet/Dessert
1996 Château Climens France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
Quite a full colour, barley sugar nose, just a little heavy and simplistic on the nose really. Bette ron the palate. More linear, sweet, decent line. Good ***1/2

Flight 7 - Quick Sips from the other table's wines (9 notes)

White - Sparkling
1990 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut France, Champagne
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Full, rich, smooth, rounded, long and with great depth. So complete. ***** impression.
White - Sparkling
1990 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Coeur de Cuvée France, Champagne
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Seemed very pleasant but a couple of levels below the Krug. Clearly hard to evaluate on one tiny sip but ***1/2 impression with room for upside.
White
1997 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Lighter nose than the 99 but richer bodied on the palate. Good. **** Impression
White
1999 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Stunning toasted hazelnut nose, just stunning. Palate can't quite match, probably a bit too warm by now but seems to lack a bit pf precision and line. Keep coming back to that nose though. **** impression.
Red
1988 Louis Jadot Ruchottes-Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Very 88. Not as fine or as silky as the 91 Suchots. Decent but no more. *** impression
Red
1982 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Very round and full, not a pruney 82. long, full, slightly lactic. Impressive rather than necessarily lovely. Very good indeed. ****1/2 impression
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Red
1990 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Seemed decent, quite a nice spicy nose but a bit under-powered and lacking cf the 82. ***1/2 to **** impression.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1981 Château Rieussec France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Lovely ****1/2 impression
White - Sweet/Dessert
1996 Château Doisy-Daëne France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Quick sniff and taste from the other table: Decent. ***1/2 impression

Closing

My WOTN from Table 1 was a close run thing but I think the 91 Suchots very closely followed by the 78 Leoville B. But then there was the Raveneau, and the Rose de Jeanne, and the Bolly and the 83 Sorrel. Invidious really to pick one out. Suffice to say it was a very very good selection of wines served in a hard to better setting. Bravo Bryan. I'll hope for another one.