Portal dinner at Ransome's Dock
A late night post: just back from a Quinta do Portal (Portuguese producer from the Douro) dinner at Ransome's Dock in Battersea. The most remarkable thing about this evening was my journey home. Ransome's Dock is a fantastic restuarant in the middle of nowhere - I can't think of anywhere in central London further from a Tube or mainline station. Yet my journey home was one of the quickest ever. I caught a bus to Clapham Junction (although there was no indication that we'd arrived there, I guessed and got off, and fortunately got it right), and immediately there was a train to Feltham, which meant a door-to-door time of less than 40 minutes. Wonderful.
The food was great, and the Quinta do Portal wines and Ports were really good. I think the quality has risen here since I last tasted through the range. I really enjoyed the two 2003 vintage Ports, which had lovely structure and balance. Of the table wines, the 2003 Grande Reserva was showing very well, with tight tannic structure that made me think of Italy, and the 2005 Reserva was focused, dark and fresh with nice structural definition. 2000 Grande Reserva was showing very well, too, and the 2006 Grande Reserva was quite aromatic and fruit forward. All were deliciously good.