An amazing fine wine lunch at Chez Bruce

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This was one of the most remarkable lunches I’ve experienced – and I’ve been to quite a few special lunches. The food, company and wines were all just perfect. The pace was ideal, too: there was no need to rush these special bottles: we started at 1215 and finished at 1730.

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Keith and Greg

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Jim and NeilOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Neleen and Nigel

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Nicolette and Keith

It was hosted by Keith Prothero, whose cellar we were depleting, and guest of honour was Nicolette Waterford, who was over from South Africa on business. Also present: Nigel Platts-Martin, Neleen Strauss, Greg Sherwood, Christelle Guibert, Neil Beckett and Jim Budd. It’s an ideal number for a lunch, because you get a decent pour from each bottle, and it’s possible all to take part in the same conversation over the table.

Chez Bruce was at it’s usual best, and sommelier Sara Bachiorri did a great job with the wines. The conversation was ALL off the record, which is a good thing for all concerned.

Wines like these deserve to be drunk in a setting like this. They shouldn’t just be tasted.

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Champagne Bollinger RD 1996 France (magnum)
This was the 2011 disgorgement. So tight, linear and fine with trademark 1996 acidity that, in this case, is well integrated. Lemony, linear and precise with such purity. This will probably be immortal, especially in magnum. 94/100

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Coche-Dury Meursault 2004 Burgundy, France
Village level, but exceptional. So pure, fine, elegant and linear with lemony fruit, distinct but subtle mineral/matchstick hints and a bit of spiciness. Everything just works together so perfectly, it’s a really lovely beguiling wine. 96/100

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Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru 2008 Burgundy, France
Creamy, slightly buttery nose with lovely pear and white peach fruit. Soft textured and concentrated, but there’s a bit of minerally freshness on the finish. 93/100

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Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2007 Burgundy, France
Lovely taut, lemony and mineral nose. Real finesse and purity. Detail and minerality on the palate with fine acidity and lovely precision. A very fine, linear wine. 95/100

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Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru 2001 Burgundy, France
This is incredibly beautiful. Textured, elegant and pure with refined, seductive red cherry fruit and a bit of meatiness. Lovely finesse and purity, with some subtle leafy greenness in the background. Such a pure wine. 97/100

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Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Musigny Grand Cru 2001 Burgundy, France
Subtle, textured and warm with fine red cherry fruit and some plumminess. Silky with a bit of fine spiciness and elegant sweet fruit. Lovely elegance here. 95/100

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Domaine Dujac Clos St Denis Grand Cru 2001 Burgundy, France
A wine that combines power with finesse. Taut with lovely cherry and raspberry fruit, showing nice structure and density. Slightly stern and intellectual: a tutorial rather than a date. 95/100

Château La Mission Haut Brion 1978 Graves, Bordeaux, FranceElegant, sweet and pure, with blackcurrant bud, spice and some subtle herbal notes. Mouthfilling, silky and with a fine-grained structure, this is a mature wine with a fine, sweet personality. Lovely finesse here. 96/100

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Château Haut Brion 1982 Graves, Bordeaux, France
Warm, sweet and ripe with smooth cherries, plums and blackberries. Quite smooth and yet there’s some intensity here, as well as some grip. A very nice, mature wine, although it wasn’t quite as compelling as we were expecting it to be. 94/100

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Château Mouton Rothschild 1986 Bordeaux, France
This was served blind. Aromatic, pure, fine red cherry fruit core, with lovely freshness and precision. It’s quite elegant, and it tastes much younger than it actually is. Ageing beautifully. I had it down as right bank rather than left, which tells you a bit about the personality of this amazing wine. 96/100

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Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay 1942 Rioja, Spain
This was served blind. It’s mature, malty, sweet and bold with a warmth to the sweet fruit, yet it’s elegant and quite beautiful. We had no idea of its age: for an 73 year old wine, this is astonishing. So complete, elegant and assured, with all the flavours beautifully integrated, and still with a sweet core of fruit. 95/100

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Château d’Yquem 1986 Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
I just love this wine. Stylish, silky, pure and sweet with viscous, creamy texture and complex pear, peach and apricot fruit with some savoury waxy notes. Complex and beautiful. 96/100

Domaine des Aubuisières Le Marigny Selection de Grains Nobiles Vouvray Moelleux 1989 Loire, France
A beautiful Vouvray that will probably outlive me. Complex lemon, apricot and marmalade notes with powerful acidity and incredible vitality. Sweet but not too sweet. Fabulous. 95/100

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Crab tartlet with thinly sliced scallop salad, bisque vinaigrette and chives

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Rare roast venison loin with rocket, truffle, coolea and hazelnuts

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Roast veal and sweetbread with lyonnaise fondant potato and wild mushrooms

4 comments to An amazing fine wine lunch at Chez Bruce

  • Bob Parsons Alberta

    KP has to be the most generous guy out there!

  • Keith Prothero

    Thanks Bob but it’s nice to share fine wine with people who you admire and respect

  • Anita Streicher Nel

    How much do these wines cost? That Rioja is my mother’s age, it’s unbelievable! Wish I was there tasting history with you guys!

  • keith prothero

    Anita—-the market value of the bottles was in the region of £6000 but of course I did not pay that much for them as have had most of them in my cellar for a few years. The exception was the 42 Ygay , a case of which I only purchased a week or so ago,following a recommendation from Jamie !!
    It was quite expensive but well worth it

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