Had a great lunch at The Glasshouse restaurant in Kew yesterday, hosted by Keith Prothero. In attendance: Malcolm Thwaites, Greg Sherwood and me. The Glasshouse is such a great restaurant. I have never been disappointed with the food there: really beautifully presented, but also perfectly judged flavours. And the service is super – we were looked after so well, and new-ish sommelier Milena Francisco (pictured above) has really shaped the list there nicely.
We had eight exceptional wines, which I will write up in three posts, because they deserve the attention. It is so great to be able to actually drink wines like these: a quarter of a bottle each, rather than the small pours you get at a larger gathering. There’s only limited joy in a single mouthful of truly great wine. So I’ll start with the three Rhones. We tasted everything blind, so my notes are a mix of blind and sighted descriptors.
Chave Hermitage Blanc 1990 Northern Rhone, France
Quite deep yellow in colour. Mature nose with toast, apricot, nuts and some honey. The palate is rich, and although it is dry, it has a sort of resolved sweetness, and attractive crystalline fruits, with a broad texture and low acidity. Beautifully expressive with a lovely mineral core to the sweet fruit. 94/100
Chave Hermitage 1983 Northern Rhone, France
Very mineral with notes of tar, mint, herbs and spice on the nose. This is probably the best example of this vintage that I’ve tried. Savoury and spicy on the palate with good detail and nice acidity. Linear and precise with good purity, and hints of earth. Showing real finesse. 95/100
Guigal La Turque Cote Rotie 1986 Northern Rhone, France
This took quite a while to reveal itself, initially coming across as shy and reserved. It’s quite iodine with savoury spices and minerals, as well as some earthiness, but very nicely focused cherry and raspberry fruit. Sanguine, with notes of blood and iron filings adding interest to the fresh fruit and more mineral characters. Worth the wait to see it come round. 95/100
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