Quite tired this evening. Had to drive down to Devon and back again, to pick up elder son who rather sillily got himself excluded from school for three days. Listened to a lot of Radio 4, which is fantastic, but almost fell asleep at the wheel three times on the way back. Not ideal.
Tomorrow I'm off to Lyon for the day. I'm flying out of Heathrow's Terminal 5, which I haven't experienced before.
The puppies are a week old today. This time a last week they were in the middle of popping out. They've doubled in weight over the last seven days and all appear to be doing well. With eight to place, any assistance in finding loving homes will be welcomed. Labradoodles are the BEST breed of dogs EVER.
Tonight, a few wines open. Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux 2005 Languedoc, a beautifully packaged wine, is dense and spicy, with a delicious earthiness underpinning the grippy, slightly peppery dark cherry fruit. There's lots of savoury structure here, and I reckon it will age well. A nice fusion of modern winemaking (ripe sweet fruit) with tradition (peppery, spicy tannic structure). Part of the AXA portfolio, quality is definitely on the rise here, and I'd cellar this for five years, I reckon. 14.5% alcohol is a little on the high side though. 90/100
It's Day 2 with the John Duval Entity Shiraz blogged on yesterday, and this is drinking very nicely tonight with more typical Barossa Shiraz aromatics and a bit more spicy definition on the palate.
Moving to fortifieds, the Fortnum & Mason 30 year old Oloroso from Bodegas Tradicion is stunning (it has now been open for a couple of months). It's a lighter style with amazing aromatic complexity and one of those eternal finishes that very old Sherries seem to have. One sip lasts for minutes. I'm now getting to the last few slugs from my Hidalgo Oloroso Viejo, another 30 year old wine. A little richer in style than the Tradicion, it is incredibly complex stuff with really lively acidity and amazing spicy, cedary intensity. While it isn't as complex as these two old Sherries, the Andresen Royal Choice 20 Year Old Tawny Port (£25 Laithwaites) is still complex enough: pale coloured, this has lovely elegant, smooth spicy warmth to it, and it's quite delicious.