The cellars of Berry Bros & Rudd are a wonderful dinner venue (see the 3D view here). Last night I was there for a charity dinner in aid of Mercy Ships. I’d been invited as the wine dude (I don’t like the term ‘expert’) to give a brief introduction to each of the wines they were serving with each course (aside: these are very fairly priced at retail plus £10). As well as the atmospheric setting, the service was very professional and the catering of high quality. Before dinner we also had an introduction to the history of the shop from the well-spoken Demetri Walters—apparently, it was previously the site of one of Henry VIII’s real tennis courts.
We had some well chosen wines. Fizz was Berry’s cuvee of Le Mesnil Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, with is precise, delicate and very impressive (it retails at around £19, which is good value). Patrick Javiller’s Meursault Les Clous 2003 was utterly delicious. From the ripe 2003 vintage I reckon this is one to drink now. It’s plump and rich but still pretty elegant, like an sprinter with big but perfectly toned muscles. Château Batailley 1999 Pauillac was delicious. It’s a property that doesn’t get much attention; consequently it is well priced. It is also quite serious: the ripe berry fruit core was complemented nicely by some minerality, earthiness and structure. I’m going to check out a few 1999s from Bordeaux, I reckon. We finished off with a Bonnezeaux (La Montagne, Domaine du Petit Val, 2003) which was also pretty tasty.