A nice evening with friends and good wine
We had some friends over last night, new and old, which was a good excuse to open some bottles. James and Vicky have been chums for some time - Fiona worked with Vicky years back, and we've kept in contact since. Heather and Mathieu are long-term friends of theirs, but by a bizarre twist of coincidence, they've moved back from France and their son is in the same class at school as our youngest. So it seemed sensible to have a dinner party, especially since Mathieu has a wine connection: his family own a small 3.5 hectare domain in Pessac Leognan.
It's called Chateau Trigant, and we tried the 2006, which is pretty respectable stuff. It's well made, but it's not spoofy. Instead, it represents its terroir, with a nice gravelly structure under the focused blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Retail price in the UK is £13.50, which makes it very good value for Bordeaux.
Vinous highlights? Louis Jadot Meursault 2006 is really nicely balanced, with good depth and well judged fruit and oak. Domaine Gros' Nore Bandol 2000 is drinking brilliantly now. It's modern-styled, in that there's ripe fruit, but it also has that essence of Mourvedre: a peppery, dry, spicy structure. Lovely. Moving to the new world, Jim Barry's Lodge Hill Shiraz 2005 from Australia's Clare Valley is actually a brilliant wine. It's 15% alcohol, but the fruit shows beautiful focus and purity, with lovely vibrancy. We finished off with a Port: a cask sample of the 2007 Duorum Vintage Port, which is just fantastic, with dense fruit, good concentration and dense structure. It's tannic, but the fruit is so forward at the moment, it's not too hard to drink. Especially if, like me, you quite like young Vintage Port.