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Showing posts from June, 2010

Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2008: a mini-horizontal

With some in the press talking the vintage down, what is 2008 really like?

Sandwiched between the glorious 2007 and possibly even better 2009 vintages, 2008 was always the ugly duckling but are comparisons with 2002 justified? Not at all if this trio is anything to go by. All three were tasted separately at the domaines around Easter but I wanted to compare them and only a mini-horizontal tasting would achieve this. One thing about all these wines: in top vintages, all these estates make prestige cuvees; in 2008 they started to make these wines but decided the economy and the reputation of the vintage rendered this self-defeating so blended them back into the "Tradition" cuvees. This gives the wine the potential to be much better than it would otherwise be.

With no other criteria to go by, the wines were tasted according to alcohol strength so at 14%, Raymond Usseglio was first up. This wine has changed the blend over the last few years from a straightforward GSM blend (75% …

Wines with spit-roasted lamb

Saturday started as a baking hot day in the high twenties - not ideal for the morning after the night before, especially when the party hasn't even started yet! A very leisurely walk around the Barton Mills Scarecrow Festival for the benefit of the children who had spied opportunities for us to part with some cash in the ice-cream vans and bouncy castleswas followed by an ever more relaxed afternoon with the fire being lit around 1.30pm.
The lamb was stuffed with different marinades and put on the spit around 2pm being turned diligently by college friends Saki and Adam under my insistent but only occasional supervision whilst others turned up from time to time and needed help erecting tents. Beer was the drink of choice at this point.
We did eventually - inevitably - move onto wine as the evening approached with the first glasses being filled with Domaine de Cristia's VDP Grenache from 2009 but tasting so advanced for a wine only seven months old. This wine astounds me - it sell…