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Showing posts from September, 2011

Fabrizio Battaglino's 2009 Roero

Having - at last - got round to ordering some of Fabrizio Battaglino's wines, I have done what I always do: opened a bottle to celebrate. Having opened the Roero Arneis and Bric Bastia for an Italian-themed meal with friends at the weekend, it is the turn of the (red) 2009 Roero "Sergentin".

This has really developed since I tasted it at the estate only a few weeks ago. Clearly in need of time to open up but some breathing should do the trick (I will report back later if I remember!). There is a hint of the barrel but overall the impression is one of really delicious fruit. I would be interested to taste this alongside the same vintage of a Barolo or Barbaresco as I think it would perform extremely well. That said, as a Roero, it really is a different expression of Nebbiolo.

Quite plummy fruit and the flavour of the barrel is more apparent than I have noticed before but not in an obtrusive way. This wine exudes class and, whilst it would be somewhat masochistic of me to …

An Italian themed meal

Some friends who spend a lot of time in Piedmont came over last night. Having forgotten it was International Grenache Day, I had planned an Italian-themed meal even going so far as to make pomodoro al forno (three hours in the oven) and a chocolate panforte. Oh, and some chocolate almonds (I had blanched around 200 almonds the previous evening: TV schedulers take note: you really need to put something interesting on!)


We started with two whites from Fabrizio Battaglino and Nada Giuseppe, both excellent. Fabrizio's 2010 Roero Arneis was more poised and clearly defined; Enrico's 2010 Langhe Bianco "Armonia" more exuberant. Both were quite distinctive and, for once, I couldn't say I enjoyed one more than the other. Fabrizio's wine was  used as an aperitif whilst Fabrizio's lasted until we sat down to eat so that may have had some bearing on it (would the pure and focused Arneis have worked so well with the flavoursome first course, I wonder?).

With the simpl…

Bordeaux Dinner at By Appointment

I will be presenting a selection of Bordeaux (and other) wines at By Appointment in Norwich on 7th October.

The current line-up is:

Pre-dinner: Michel Rocourt, Champagne "Non dose"
Starter of mackerel wellington with a red pepper pesto: Pezat Blanc and Pezat Rose
Main course of lamb: Pezat Rouge 2005 and Chateau Teyssier 2006
Dessert of lemon curd tart with raspberry coulis and spiced mascarpone/cheese course: Domaine Berthoumieu's sweet Pacherenc wines (Charles de Batz and Symphonie d'Automne)

Post-script (Monday 10th October):

The Rocourt was extremely well received with even those who professed to disliking un-dosed Champagnes admitting they enjoyed this one, probably due to the extended ageing of this wine. It was enjoyed both on its own and with a turnip and vanilla veloute. With the mackerel, the white was well received but the rose was, on this occasion, too soft to cope with the fish (and, perhaps, it was subdued by the white). The two reds served with the la…

Chateauneuf 2009 in Decanter

I can't remember which upcoming edition of Decanter will feature the results of their Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009 tasting but it seems our friends have done rather well with seven high scoring wines between them. No reviews yet, only star ratings.

Raymond Usseglio picked up four stars for Stef's brilliant new cuvee, "La Part des Anges", a 70% Mourvedre wine which is as exotic as it is original. This is only the second vintage for this wine which was first made in 2007 (no 2008, obviously) and named after the portion of the barrel which evaporates (the angels' share). Stef has re-interpreted the expression and has given them the very best he has to offer in terms of both viticulture and vinification. A great wine that needs time.

Domaine de Cristia must have submitted all three cuvees as they all picked up some good scores. We enjoyed a bottle of the 2005 last night so I am looking forward to the even better 2009s being ready.

Christophe Coste's Chateau Capucine wa…

Treloar white: Terre Promise

Wow, Domaine Treloar's "Terre Promise" is serious stuff. I - stupidly - took the bottle from the fridge and poured but, like any really good white wine, this made it far too cold. After a few minutes and some appreciative swirls, the wine started to open up, slightly disjointed at first (hey, it's only been in the bottle a couple of months) but then really together, integrating the fruit from the different grapes with the subtle oak. There's something weird and exotic on the finish I can't quite place but it only serves to make me want to come back for more. It's one of those wines you just know is going to be even better in a few years time - or just tomorrow night.

Note: the next day, the nose reveals more liquorice character. It promises a good future development in the same way as Mas de Daumas Gassac's white or one of the top old-vine Roussanne Chateauneufs.

Bordeaux dinner at the Lido

The wines of Chateau Teyssier featured heavily at a Bordeaux-themed wine dinner which took place last night at the Lido Cafe in London's Brockwell Park sponsored by the CIVB (Bordeaux promo body).  There was a three course meal with appropriate wines as follows:
Seafood starter with Pezat Blanc and Rose Lamb with Lacroix, Pezat Rouge and Chateau Teyssier Cheese (to help mop up the reds) Peach tart with Rieussec Sauternes
Note: Pezat is, in effect, the second label of wines from Teyssier, comprising a range of high quality generic Bordeaux wines (all three colours). Lacroix is the everyday winem from the same stable. The actor and comedian Frog Stone presented the wines for us and, as always, she did a great job. The wines were on top form - Pezat Rose, Pezat Red and of course that amazing Sauternes proving the most popular.
Food pairings also worked really well - so, an all round success. There will be another Bordeaux-themed dinner soon, this time at By Appointment in Norwich on 7th…

Domaine Treloar - here at last

Jon Hesford's wines arrived in London a few days ago and today I got my hands on them at last. TNs posted over the next few days:

One Block 2009 14% ABV. Composite cork.
Rich and sweet with a good mouthfeel and quite tannic. This has a good balance between sweet fruit and structure. Presumably quite old vines to achieve this level of concentration (or is this a Roussillon thing?). Almost over-ripe, reminiscent of a 90% Grenache Sablet I had around 10 years ago which, when left to age a couple more years was more Chateauneuf-like than many Chateauneufs! Texturally, there is a suggestion of old oak but no toast here, just pure, ripe fruit. Will be better in 6/12 months (note: over the following two nights it evolved but only very gradually) and will drink well until 2016.

Three Peaks 2008 13.5% ABV. Composite cork. Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre/Carignan.
Quite a meaty nose at first (the fruit appeared only after 24 hours!) but the palate is very fruity and quite oaky too (in harmony with t…