Recently, one of our suppliers invited a few of us to their head office over looking the Thames to join them for an evening of wine, food and chat.
We kicked off the evening with magnums of Bollinger Special Cuvee and they set the tone perfectly with plenty of the signature Bollinger ‘oxidative’ style; out of magnum it not only impressed, but shone - perhaps all Champagne should be poured from large format? (92 Pts TC) Whilst the Bollinger flowed we were treated to a hugely interesting potted history of the company which captivated us all. How wonderful to know the history and heritage of such a successful company and understand how the roots of yesterday have not only flourished but blossomed.
We sat down to one of my favourite dishes, scallops. This was accompanied by a brace of whites:
2010 Tapanappa Tiers Chardonnay
Established over a decade ago by the highly regarded winemaker / viticulturalist Brian Croser (ex Petaluma) and Jean-Michel Cazes from Chateau Lynch Bages. This single vineyard wine from mature vines was stunning with pear and grapefruit aromas, great purity of fruit in the mouth with beautiful acidity. 94 Pts TC
2007 Chapoutier, Ermitage De L’Oree blanc
Made from tiny yields this must certainly stand head and shoulders with some of the greatest dry white wines of the world. rich aromas of flowers intermixed with honey suckle and apricots, this is beautiful now but one can only imagine how truly exotic this will become in years to come. 95 Pts TC
Then we moved onto the reds.
2009 Chanson, Beaune Clos des Feves 1er Cru
A ‘monopole’ in the very heart of the finest vineyards of Beaune, lovely bright colour, herbs, red berries and spices on the nose leading to a structured and concentrated finish. 91 Pts TC
This was beautifully matched with guinea fowl and paired with the second red - Roda 1
2005 Roda 1, Rioja
Rioja has been a huge success for us over the last 18 months and the appetite has been feverish. Founded in 1987 Roda showcases the importance of individual plot selection, of which they own 17, and mature vines. Black cherries, tobacco and toasty oak follow through on to the palate, the structure and concentration are tempered by its fresh acidity making for a succulent and complex wine. Coming into its own now this will be evolving for another 10 – 15 years. 92 Pts TC
Then to round up the evening...
2007 and 2008 Vin de Constance
BI are firm favourites of this most wonderful elixir and whilst the 2007 just edges it for me they are both truly beautiful wines. Aromas of Seville oranges leap out of the glass so much so you feel like you’ve been ‘tangoed’. This is a wine to drink at any time of day and will definitely put a big smile on your face. Aromatic, fresh and simply delicious. I’d wager no-one could refuse a second glass. 96 Pts TC
The evening ended with a few glasses of the lesser spotted Kummel, or as my wife calls it – Tom’s snoring juice!
I love this drink made from caraway seeds, one doesn’t have to say much more – pop it in the freezer and Bob’s your Uncle – but be warned: 2 glasses is fantastic, much more and it’s good night Vienna. 95 Pts TC
We were treated to a wonderful evening of glorious food, sensational wines and the glue to any great evening, good company and laughter.
Thank you to our hosts for the wonderful hospitality.