Northern Rhone series 13, Jaboulet Thalabert 1985 and cricket

Great day today. It was Wine Trade vs Further Friars, down at Keevil in Wiltshire, on a perfect late summer’s day.

The game was great – more on that later – and ended perfectly with Jasper Morris MW, one of the Friars, bringing out a magnum of Jaboulet’s Thalabert Croze Hermitage, in the 1985. We drank it from plastic cups. It was superb.

Here’s my note:

Jaboulet ‘Thalabert’ Crozes-Hermitage 1985 (magnum)
On opening, there’s worrying tinge of brown to the colour, but the perfumed aromatics show there’s nothing wrong here. Wonderfully meaty, spicy, aromatic with lovely exotic sweet meatiness combined with a delicious savouriness. A lovely elegant, fabulously balanced mature northern rhone syrah that just shouts its origins. Brilliant for current drinking, but do open it now if you have some – it won’t last much longer. 95/100

The match itself was great fun. We bowled first and had them all out for 162. John Thorne had one of those magic arm days everyone craves, where he just picked up wickets with the ball moving around dramatically. He ended up with 5-26 – a top performance. I opened at the other end and was wicketless from my first spell, but then came back later and took three wickets in three overs – all bowled – finishing with 3-35.

We fancied our chances, but lost wickets on a regular basis. Elder son was playing and he hit 19 – and was looking fluent – before getting bowled. James Wyatt top-scored, hitting a very good-looking 31. When I came in, last but one, we needed about 20, with plenty of time. They had some brisk bowlers on, but the pitch was true and I felt pretty comfortable, even pulling one for four. But I forgot I wasn’t a proper batsman, and played a shot to a ball I should have blocked, getting caught at mid on. Our last pair took us close, but we ended up two short. A great day’s cricket.

And Jasper’s wonderful mature Thalabert meant that even defeat tasted good.

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