On Thursday I had lunch at one of London’s most exciting new wine destinations: Mission E2, the second venue from Sager & Wilde. It’s a beautiful space in a nicely converted railway arch near Bethnal Green tube station. Lots of dark wood, good natural light and a palm tree! The food was really good. I had a grouse terrine that was superb, followed by lamb shoulder, chickpeas and raita. We also had a new dish, not on the menu, with razor clam and pearl barley – this was also excellent.
As for wine? The list is superb, brave, eclectic, and the margins used are among the most generous for punters in the UK on-trade. Michael buys from 45 different suppliers, and is able to snap up parcels as small as a 12 bottle case. He’s got some rare stuff, too – how often do you see Arnot Roberts Chardonnay on a list in London? (Answer: never.) Lots of wines are on by the glass; an enormous number are available by the bottle. There’s a strong emphasis on wines from California, which is the theme here, but there’s other stuff too.
Château Beaux Hauts En Tirage RD 1992 Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
17 years on the lees! Toasty, rich and dense with pear and peach fruit, as well as notes of pear and spice. Rich, but with lovely density and focus. Nuts, honey and spice with a hint of fruit sweetness. Brilliant stuff. 93/100
Skylark Pinot Blanc 2012 Mendocino, California
Very fresh and lively with crisp citrus fruit and a bit of pithiness. Lively and pure. 89/100
Copain Trousseau 2013 Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
Lovely lighter red with fine cherries, spice and herbs. Some plummy notes, too, plus a hint of sappiness. So expressive – a lovely wine. 93/100
Arnot Roberts Watson Ranch Chardonnay 2012 Napa Valley, California
Fresh, fine an focused with citrus and spice nuts with some spice and subtle nut notes. Fresh and focused with lovely delicacy and crispness. Needs time to show its best. 94/100
Mount Eden Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Lovely chalky blackcurrant fruit with some spice and earth notes. Nice grip and some sweetness. This is beautifully evolved: it’s quite ripe, but has definition. 93/100
Ojai Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2005 Santa Maria Valley, California
This is from when Adam made his wines in a slightly bigger style, but it’s still lovely. Dense, powerful and structured with meat, olives, blackberry and black cherry notes, and nice grippy structure. Hints of chalk and mint. Ripe (14.5% alcohol) but delicious. 93/100
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