So Ferran Centelles, super somm from Spain, was in town. Seeing as he treated Richard Hemming, Xavier Rousset and me when we were in San Sebastian last year, we thought it was appropriate to reciprocate with dinner at The Quality Chop House.
This was my first visit to Quality Chop, which has a deservedly good reputation. It is run by Will Lander (above, son of Jancis Robinson) and Josie Stead (niece of Stephen Browett), so it has a very strong wine pedigree, evidenced by the lovely wine list with wine-geek-friendly mark-ups. The four of us enjoyed a lovely evening with some nice wines.
Shaw & Smith M3 2000 Adelaide Hills, Australia
Great to be able to try the first vintage of this Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills stars Shaw & Smith, at age 14. It’s a full gold colour, and is rich and quite oxidative, with notes of spice, nuts, honey, lemon and minerals. No longer fruit driven, this is a lovely savoury style, with nice acidity and complexity. Better on the palate than the nose. 92/100
Cune Rioja Gran Reserva 1990 Spain
This was served blind by Xavier from a decanter. Immediately, we all felt it was something quite special. Sweetly spiced and warm, with some fine herbal notes, this is mellow with real finesse. There’s a hint of toffee, and fine spices. It’s mature but beautiful. 93/100
Qupe Bien Nacido Syrah 1995 California
Just 13.5% alcohol. A ripe, sweet Syrah with notes of meat, spice, herbs and warm cherries. Unexpectedly youthful, ripe and perfumed. Not profound, but really attractive, and ageing very well. 92/100
Herve Souhaut Saint Joseph 2010 Northern Rhone, France
12.5% alcohol. Pure, fresh, lively, tangy black cherry and plum fruit, together with spiciness and good acidity. This is a lovely fresh Syrah with peppery freshness and lovely purity. 93/100