jamie goode's wine blog: A nice wine dinner

Friday, February 27, 2009

A nice wine dinner

Andrew Reed (of William Reed, who runs the International Wine Challenge) and his wife hosted a nice wine dinner last night at Berry Bros & Rudd, with Jancis Robinson presenting the wines. It was an interesting crowd: also present were Mike Florence (IWC), Sarah Florence (of Cube, and wife of Mike), Ray O'Connor (IWC), Lee Sharkey (publisher of the William Reed titles), Steve Lewis (Chief Executive of Majestic) and Sue Glasgow (Spear Communications).

The wines were:

JL Chave Sélection Hermitage Blanche 2004 Northern Rhône, France
Mainly Marsanne. This is a lovely, rich-textured, soft wine with real intensity and a bit of spicy wood. Really deep and bold with a hint of tangerine and fat melony fruit. Remarkable stuff. 90/100

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard 2004 Santa Ynez Valley, California
Oaty, lean, minerally and quite spicy, with lovely freshness and nice lemony acidity. Nicely savoury, this – a million miles from fat, overblown Californian Chardonnay. 89/100

Domaine René Engel Vosné-Romanée 1er Cru Les Brulées 2004 Burgundy, France
Really aromatic sweet cherry fruit nose with a sappy, green herby edge. Floral and sweet but also a tiny bit green. Smooth, lush, sweet palate with some savoury, grippy structure under the fruit. Quite complex and long, finishing dry and savoury. 93/100

Tignanello 1999 IGT Toscana, Italy
This is great: Jancis describes it as a ‘Tuscan claret’, and notes that these days it could probably be called Chianti Classico, because it has the required 80% Sangiovese, with the balance the Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc. Complex earthy, spicy brooding nose with some tarry notes. The palate has some sweet dark fruit and dense yet smooth structure with lovely refined earthiness. It’s really complex and stylish, it’s distinctly Italian, and it’s ageing beautifully. 94/100

Château Léoville-Poyferré 2eme Cru Classé St Julien 1999 Bordeaux (from magnum)
Dense, spicy and earthy with hints of farmyard and meat. Lovely savoury, gravelly depth here with lots of earthy spiciness. Burly rather than elegant, but quite delicious, still. 91/100

Fonseca 1970 Vintage Port
I find it’s quite hard to describe and rate older Vintage Ports. This is mellow yet concentrated with lovely smooth plummy, spicy fruit. Warm, rich and harmonious without any edges sticking out. 92/100


At 7:39 PM, Blogger Nerval said...

Thanks for the report Jamie.
Not a bad dinner apparently.
Do you know what exactly Jancis meant by 'Tuscan claret'?
It would make sense to use this term with regard to a Bordeaux blend from Tuscany, but since as you remark Tignanello is 80% Sangiovese and technically a Chianti, what is the point? Chianti has hardly much to do with claret.
Best, Nerval

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I think she meant that this has a similar refinement and flavour profile to a top Bordeaux red.


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