I’ve realized why it is that we Brits love to talk about the weather. It’s because when we have a weekend like the one we’ve just had here in London, it’s hard not to have a good time. Temperatures have been tipping 30 degrees (about 80 in the old currency, Fahrenheit), but more than the heat, we’ve enjoyed lovely sunshine, and the vivid technicolour that this bright, focused light brings.
So on Saturday morning I take one of my sons to cricket, the other to football training in Twickenham. I hang around with some of the other parents, watching, and then sneak off to check on the grapevines (on the allotment). The last week of warm weather has come just in time: the vines have really begun growing vigorously (although not too vigorously), and if things stay settled through the next week, flowering should take place in ideal conditions. Pictured is a latent flower cluster on one of the young Pinot Noir vines.
Then it was time for a barbie back home (remarkably, the first of the year – which shows how appalling the weather has been until now…), and the footie. The big match. England’s first world cup game. A big let down. I can’t remember seeing a game with so few clear-cut chances in several years.
Saturday night we were out at some good friends for another barbie (very nice Ch des Sours Rose from Majestic worked very well), and today we’ve been at Legoland with the kids. As I write, I’m sitting outside on a balmy late evening, sipping a burly, rather oaky but otherwise very pleasant New Zealand red, and a decent Chablis (notes below). It’s fantastic having evenings where it’s warm enough to sit out until dusk. They’re a gift and we shouldn’t waste them.
Blason de Bourgogne Chablis 2005 Burgundy
Quite fresh and aromatic on the nose with a minerally, almost salty tang to the apple and lemon fruit. Typicity here. The palate is savoury and quite broad with good acidity and a perky lemon and grapefruit freshness. There’s a delicious zippiness here that makes this a perfect seafood wine. Really good balance of concentration and freshness. Very good+ 89/100 (£8.99 Somerfield)
Peacock Ridge Reserve Merlot 2002 Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Dark coloured. Ripe sweet blackcurrant fruit dominates with a nice, spicy, tarry, subtly gravelly character. Good concentration here and a smooth yet firm structure, coming in part from the noticeable (but reasonably integrated) oak. A good wine: rich, in a new world style, but still showing some sort of balance. Very good/excellent 90/100 (Hellion Wines)