Cricket and a strange Ridge
Played cricket today for the wine trade down in Keevil, Wiltshire, against Further Friars. The pitch was a little damp after all the recent rain, but we had good conditions to play in. Batting first, the wine trade team did well against some good bowling, and headed in to lunch at 80-3. After lunch, the wickets fell quite steadily, and I came in at no. 8 only to catch a ball full in the face off a top edge. There was quite a bit of blood, but fortunately I didn't lose any teeth, which would have been expensive. I carried on, but was last out bowled for 3, with our total at 126.
We then bowled well and got Further Friars out for just under 100. I had a long spell where despite my swollen face I was quite accurate, and came away with nice figures of 9-3-13-3. It was a good game on a tricky pitch. Afterwards Jasper Morris (who was captaining the wine trade side) opened several bottles, including a Ridge Alicante Bouschet 1995. It was dense, dark and incredibly intense, with some spicy American oak adding a rich, almost medicinal note to the bold fruit. Not terribly fine, but really striking, and potentially long lived. I don't think this wine was ever released commercially.
The state of my face plus bad traffic on the M3 meant that I wasn't able to make it for tonight's Roederer Awards ceremony at Somerset House. I was shortlisted for the online category, as was Jancis Robinson - but it was Tom Cannavan (of wine-pages.com) who won. Congratulations to him.