Lunch at Providores, focusing on Trinity Hill Syrah

Lunch at Providores today, London’s fantastic Kiwi-inspired restaurant. It was with John Hancock of Hawkes Bay producer Trinity Hill, and as well as John, in attendance were Ben Smith (of Enotria), Jancis Robinson, Andrew Neather and Peter McCombie.

The food was, as is usual here, fantastic, relying on very good basic ingredients fused with Asian-inspired flavours. The wine focus was on John’s wonderful Syrahs.

We tried the white label Syrah from 2008 (fresh, with some Viognier perfume and a bit of spicy, peppery bite – brilliant value at just over £10 retail); the Gimblett Gravels Syrah (2008, 2006, 2002) and the high-end Hommage (2007, 2002).

The Gimblett Syrah was brilliant in all three vintages, with my preference being for the beautifully focused, balanced 2006, combining ripe sweet fruit with a lovely savoury, peppery, subtly meaty dimension. 2002 was more animal and obviously savoury, which made me think of Brettanomyces, but it was still a delicious drink.

The Hommage is probably a little silkier and more refined. The 2007 was quite lush and smooth, but had some nice dark cherry fruit and a hint of iodine-like minerality. 2002 trumped it (slightly) with freshness and spiciness as well as some savoury complexity to the dark cherry fruit.

These are all quite serious wines. It’s amazing to think that New Zealand has relatively little Syrah planted when it can achieve such heights.

I haven’t been into town in a while, and caught my first glimpse of the ‘Boris Bikes’. Here’s the rack outside the BBC in Portland Place – it looks pretty full.

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