Reds (mostly) and lamb for dinner
Sunday dinner at mine. Rack of lamb, good friends and lots of fab wine. Ayesha, John and I provided the food and everyone else had to bring a wine.
The aperitifs - ’02 Blin vintage champagne and the Balfour Brut Sparkling Rose. The Balfour again getting rave reviews, Penny said that it could easily be confused with the Taittanger Rose. The Balfour was great with the bacon wrapped chestnuts but not so good with the chili olives – live and learn…
I twittered the evening so I have some record of what we drank. Here are the highlights. Starting off with Albert Bichot ’06 Puligny Montrachet and garlic prawns. A lovely village level wine from the Cote de Beaune, still quite fresh and lemony with a great balance of fruit and alcohol, washed down those prawns in no time.
What to have with the rack of lamb? I started with Penny and Paul’s contibution, the Rene Bouvier ’03 Cote de Nuits-Village, fantastic gamey, savoury, meaty pinot noir with plush raspberry and other red berry fruits - perfect with the lamb. According to my tweets, the next wine was the Qupé Los Olivos Cuvee ’06. A Rhone style blend from the Santa Ynez Valley that I had picked up when I was CA for the WBC in Oct. Comments on the Qupé – black fruits, a bit alcholic, slightly unbalanced we thought because of that but full and rich with hints of sweet spice and a licorice finish. Penny said it was a bit scatterbrained, still needed time to age but the potential was definitely there. Great structure with a long lasting finish.
Back to the Old World with a St. Julien, Ch. Lagrange ’96 that James dug up. Amazing nose on this bordeaux, it smelled like a butcher shop, dried blood, mint, wood spice, cigar box notes - Ana observed lots of secondary characteristics. It was excellent with the food, the tannins still quite evident but not harsh and standing up to the lamb beautifully.
Jumping across the Atlantic, the Chilean Domus Aurea ’03 cabernet sauvignon, courtesy of Ana, was the next one opened. What do the tweets say? “Very up front black fruit, hot,smells like roast beef, loads of prunes and cooked black fruit on the palate, soft tannins”, with a hot cocoa finish. Ana’s take - earthy with soy sauce notes. Boy, she’s good at picking those things out. Other comments, concentrated cassis, eucalyptus, minty on the palate, tobaccoy and smoky, vanilla, ripe tannins. Between the two New World wines the Qupé was fresher and lighter then the Domus but to be fair, it was much younger.
Next dessert wines, port and digestifs (it was a long night).