A mid-week lunch can be a real treat – you don’t always need ambitious, multi-star food to have a good time, just a couple of decent bottles and some excellent company will do it.
Mr Boom and I were joined by two great friends at the BI canteen St John (which, to be fair does sport 1*) for some extremely well-made but simple grub – green beans and shallot, cod roe on toast, roast lamb and plaice. Food the likes of which makes a perfect foil for some delicious wines.
We opened with a bottle of the increasingly-impressive Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2005. A real hit right from the first tasting, this wine has gained in weight and richness without losing any of its essential vibrancy and minerality. Toasted nuts, brioche, mandarin and papaya – shot through with a citric zip and shell-like mineral characters. Top drawer. 95pts BI
This was followed by a Boom favourite: Chateau de Beaucastel Roussanne Vieilles Vignes 2012. You could search this website and readily find us consuming this on many occasions in many places, and it’s hardly surprising when it’s as good as this showing. Incredibly viscosity without being cloying, floral without being blousy and rich without losing balance, it (successfully) walks a very dangerous line between ‘a lot’ and ‘too much’. One can only imagine they timed their picking to perfection and must have quietly punched the air when they tasted the ferments; right now it’s brim full of tropical fruit, hazelnut, butter and white flower perfume, balanced by a delightful olive-skin bitterness which keeps it away from becoming overblown. 95+pts BI
Latour 1981 is a good way to finish any meal and this bottle was a stunner. Direct from the historic cellar of Lord Northampton, it was everything you want Latour to be – focused, linear, gravelly and complex with wonderful soft and ripe black fruits and the merest whiff of leather. It developed in the glass over a couple of hours, having already been double decanted 3 hours previous, and it was going absolutely nowhere fast (in the best possible sense). Off-vintage? I’m a Dutchman. We’ve often said they don’t do off-vintage at Latour and this was the irrefutable evidence. If we had any left I’d beg you to go and buy some. 95pts BI (but in truth, I’m comparing this with the stellar vintages of Latour – the pleasure you’ll get from this bottle goes beyond mere points)
If you would like to get hold of these wines, please follow the links above.