jamie goode's wine blog: Cricket (again), Meerlust and Rose

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cricket (again), Meerlust and Rose

I'm tired at the end of an interesting day. This afternoon I played cricket at Hampton Wick: it was the Wine Trade XI versus Balls Brothers for a fun 20/20 game. I was donated to Balls Brothers as a guest player - technically this was because I was the last to sign up; perhaps, though, the Wine Trade XI fancied some easy runs off my bowling.

I took second over, mixing it up a bit (not deliberately) and going for a few runs. Just two overs though: everyone bar the wicket keeper gets to bowl two overs in these games, which makes for some great comedy bowling moments. The wine trade struck lustily and ended up with 150-odd. In response, Balls Bros fell short by 20 or so, to which my contribution was two (I went in at the rarified position of 7 - perhaps I was suffering from altitude sickness - and was lbw).

A barbecue and much London Pride plus various donated wines followed. Interestingly, one of the wine trade team was Chris Williams, winemaker for Meerlust and also his own venture, The Foundry, which I have written about in the past. Chris is rubbish at cricket, but extremely talented at winemaking. We tried two Meerlust wines which he didn't make, but did blend - the 2003 Merlot and 2003 Red. They're impressive in a distinctive Meerlust style: spicy, quite dense, a little earthy and nicely savoury.

Chris has been changing the wines a bit, but not too much, giving them a bit more generosity and focus. Under the terms of his employment he is able to make 2000 cases of The Foundry wines, a project he operates in tandem with a silent partner. He's invested the equivalent of 50 000 so far, and with the last vintage just began to break even. His commitment is to Meerlust for the forseeable future, but he hopes one day for The Foundry to become the focus of his whole attention.
Now I'm relaxing with a glass of rose, nursing three cricket-ball inflicted injuries, two on my right hand and one on my right foot (a full blooded cover drive). It's Ochoa's Rosado de Lagrima 'Finca el Bosque' Single Vineyard 2006 Navarra. A blend of cabernet and garnacha, this is quite deep coloured. It has a bright, bittersweet nose of cherry and cranberry, which leads to a palate of juicy, savoury cranberry fruit with a spicy finish. This is juicy, full flavoured and refreshing, and extremely food friendly. A hint of seriousness even? 86/100 (7.99 Abbey Wines, 6.99 Taurus Wines, 6.65 Bretby Wines)

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At 10:56 PM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...

7 is where Frediie Flintoff should be batting in ODIs and 20/20s I reckon. Our (New Zealand's) most punishing lower order batsman, Brendon McCullum, bats at no. 7. So it is starring spot I reckon!

Congrats England on another great Test victory. I wish our Black Caps could play Test cricket as well as your guys!

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

When Flintoff is back, what will the line-up be? Straight swap for Sidebottom? That seems the most obvious choice, but if Prior carries on with his impressive batting, then we could lose one of the specialist bastmen - perhaps Strauss, with Vaughan opening, and Bell at no. 3? Flintoff needs to sort his batting out, really.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Cru Master said...

Either way you got a lot of South Africans in that side - none more important than Pietersen himself.

Great to hear that you were sampling Meerlust Merlot - which incidentally remains my most memorable bottle of vino - here is the link to the anecdote for interests sake:


At 1:54 PM, Blogger Salil said...

Flintoff's not good enough to hold a place in lieu of a batsman for my money, and his recent record since the 05 Ashes seems to reflect that. For tests, I'd go with him as a bowler who bats a bit, either at 7 or 8 (with Prior in the other role). It might also help his batting, with a lot less pressure on him and a chance to focus on his real strength, pace bowling. Leave the top 6 as it is; it's the best England has seen in a long time.

And Bell's becoming the perfect number 6. Capable of opening out and attacking if need be, capable of hogging the strike in the company of the tail, and a far more depressing sight to any opposition supporter than Flintoff at 6.

BTW Jamie, have you had any experiences with the Meerlust Rubicon? Heard a couple of good things about it from a friend - know there are a couple of stores in Chicago who list it on their online inventories at a reasonable price, so I'm thinking of giving it a go.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Yes, the Rubicon is a distinctive, ageworthy wine - it's usually quite dense and spicy, with a hint of rusticity (but not bad rusticity) - certainly more a traditional sort of style rather than a fleshy, ripe one.

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

Where's Prothero? ;-)

There was a recent vertical of Rubicon that a Google would probably find. Apparently Chris Williams was supposed to be there but went AWOL in mysterious circumstances....

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Prothero has just got back from San Francisco and yes I am still waiting for Chris Williams to apologise for his non appearance at the offline,organised for Pebbles.
Frankly,I shall not be drinking or recommending his Foundry wines,until he has the decency to explain his abscence and give a suitable donation to Pebbles.
Bloody SA winemakers seem to not want to market their own wines---with the honorable exception of Rustenberg

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