jamie goode's wine blog: A great weekend, and New Zealand's top Sauvignon Blanc?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A great weekend, and New Zealand's top Sauvignon Blanc?

So, Fiona and I were given a nice present by our good friends Karl and Kate. The deal was they would get to look after our lovely children and RTL for the weekend; we would get to go to a five star hotel in London at their expense. Very generous of them, especially if you've met our children and hound.

We kicked off our 30-ish hours of liberation by a long lunch at the Tate Britain. The food here is solidly good - simple and effective, with a modern-British feel. The wine list is sensational and fairly priced. The surroundings are nice, too.

I struck gold ordering the wines: a bottle of 2006 Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough (29), and a half of Crozes Hermitage Vieilles Vignes 2005 from Domaine du Murinais (12). The Clos Henri was simply the best Marlborough Sauvignon I've ever tried - big, multidimensional, rich but precise. The Murinais Crozes was all that you could ever expect from a modestly expensive Syrah - pure, sweet fruit with lovely definition and an almost Burgundian elegance. No hint of rusticity.

We wandered the gallery a bit. Turner is the dominant force here - and you can understand why, because his work is remarkable. Afterwards we headed off to the hotel (Renaissance Chancery Court, Holborn) where we slobbed out, with the help of some Pol Roger NV. Then this morning we got up late before finding a fantastic breakfast spot a short walk away from the Charing Cross Road. Now we are home, and the kids and RTL shall shortly be returning. It's been a brilliant weekend.

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At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Alastair Bathgate said...

They say that hunger is a great sauce. Do you think the taste of the wines was in any way influenced by the thrill of freedom?

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Alastair, yes, it's possible - but the Sauvignon really was very impressive indeed.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...


2007 Clos Henri has recently been released. I must say that I have a fondness for the 06, purely from a stylistic expression. but the 07 is still impressive and Clos Henri are undoubtedly one of the top two or three producers of the variety here.

I am currently working on an article about Clos Henri and I will drop you a line when it appears.


At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

The 07 Clos Henri is available in this country as well (we ship around 1/3 of the entire production). It is released later than most New Zealand Sauvignons because it spends a considerable period of the lees (just like the Sancerres from Domaine Henri Bourgeois). The 07 has superb focus already, but the 06 reveals that, with a little bottle age, the wine gains some weight and complexity.

The yields for the very first vintage (2003) were a miserly 10hl/ha and ever since then there has been a fantastic dedication to quality.

Clos Henri also make a very good Pinot. The 05 is drinking beautifully and the 06 may be even better.


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