Collective nouns are great, aren’t they? A mischief of mice, a murder of crows and, my personal favourite, a spaghetti of worms. A “clutch” can refer to many things, in particular a group of female chickens - not to be confused with a hen party, which you could have easily mistaken us for (speak for yourself – Ed.) given the joviality with which we arrived at the suitably named Clutch Chicken – the new hipster East End eatery - for our beloved colleague Gaelle’s last night before fleeing the coop (which is BI) back to Bordeaux.
This was not refined or subtle cooking, which you may have come to expect from BI nights out, but it’s the kind that goes brilliantly with a noggin or three... For what the Chicken Clutch may have lacked with a sophisticated menu it more than made up for with its extensive wine list… who knew one could find such things in these parts: rare and exclusive wines made purely for the finest restaurants in Italy, large formats of ex-Châteaux Bordeaux, back vintages of Super Seconds and such like! The company, the food, the wines… smash (and indeed, bash)! The food was excellent and the wines, well… this is BI so the wines selected performed beautifully and were truly spectacular.
In all seriousness, many thanks must go to Gary Boom for generously providing the wines for the evening and of course, Gaelle ‘Bobby’ Le Ficher. Her hard work and negotiating persistence has, over the last couple of years, certainly contributed to our continued success with Bordeaux - rightfully recognised with the Bordeaux Specialist Merchant of the Year awards we received in 2014. We will all miss you Bob and whilst it is with sadness we wave her off, we wish her all the best in her endeavours in Bordeaux and look forward to when our paths cross again next which I am sure will be sooner rather than later.
A bientôt Bob and until next time, Clutch!
NV Vilmart Grand Cellier in Jero
Truly a luxury Champagne! Rich and luscious, with aromas of orange, mint, herbs and spice, this wine has fullness and great depth of flavour. A BI favourite! 94+ pts BI
2008 Sancerre Culs de Beaujeu, François Cotat, Chavignol
Very fine, classic Loire Valley sauvignon blanc from one of its finest appellations, with a seductive quality, long-lasting aftertaste and a hint of the flintiness that sets the best Loire sauvignon apart. 93+ pts BI
2007 Piantonaia, Podere Poggio Scalette
Produced entirely form Merlot grapes in a vineyard located on the higher part of the Ruffoli hill in the heart of Chianti Classico. It amazes for its originality and convinces with an aromatic impact on the palate; lovely richness and fullness. 93 pts
2000 Gruaud Larose in D-Mag
Still my favourite vintage of Gruaud Larose after the stunning ‘82 and ‘86, the fruit is ripe, concentrated and refined delivering a rich, mouthful of fresh, sweet berries with every taste. 95 pts BI
1986 Cos d'Estournel in Jero
Still relatively young –having it out of Jero helps – a big structure and a serious core of fruit. Rich, dense, blackcurrant, cassis, old wood and hints of underbrush and some subtle chocolate. 94+ pts