Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Chez Bruce: a tough day at the office with Keith Prothero, Nicolette Waterford and others

Nicolette Waterford: Keith's guest of honour 
Nicolette looks after PR for The Chenin Blanc Association 
and a number of other accounts 

Yesterday was definitely one of those tough days at the office – lunch at Chez Bruce stretching from around midday to 17.30. A small group of us – Christelle Guibert, Neil Beckett, Jamie Goode, Nigel Platts-Martin, Neleen Strauss and Greg Sherwood – invited by Keith Prothero – the luncheon legend plus director and shareholder in The Sampler – to welcome Nicolette Waterford, who runs the PR for The Chenin Blanc Association and various other PR accounts, to London.

Most of the party were welcomed with the 1996 Bollinger RD Extra Brut Champagne from magnum. However, as I'm not drinking Champagne because of their shameful treatment of 'Champagne Jayne' and Champagne is far from his favourite beverage, Keith kindly allowed me bring a bottle of 2004 Les Cormiers Saumur Blanc Château de Villeneuve for our apéro

 Young Keith Prothero considering
 the 2004 Saumur Blanc 

Keith Prothero

Greg Sherwood (Handford Wines)

Dr Neil Beckett (editor of World of Fine Wine) @work

Is Neil about to take the pledge ....

Nigel Platts-Martin, London's leading restaurateur 
giving the flight of red Burgundy serious thought 

Dr Jamie Goode, sans anorak! 

Christelle Guibert

Limbering up for the off ...
(above and below)

First flight: 
2004 Meursault J-F Coche-Dury 
wonderfully expressive with complex nose, vibrant wine 
One of my top wines of the lunch   

2008 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru Domaine Leflaive
currently less expressive than the Meursault

2007 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Bonneau de Martray 
Initially closed but opened up in glass showing 
increased complexity and length

Accompanied by: crab tartlet with thinly sliced scallop salad, 
bisque vinaigrette and chives  

Second flight:  

 The red Burgundy flight 

2001 Chambertin Grand Cru, Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils
– bricky with lovely delicacy

2001 Musigny Grand Cru Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier; 
2001 Clos St Denis Grand Cru Domaine Dujac
1942 Castillo d'Ygay Gran Reserva Especial Bodegas Murrieta (served blind)
Musigny – silky texture and increasingly seductive as it opened up 
Clos St D: silky concentration 
Blind – d'Ygay: bricky to orange colour but markedly more 
dense than the 2001s, this vibrant 1942 
still had lovely texture with tones of balsamic. What a treat!
if bought young there is no way HMRC would 
agree that this 72-year-old is a 'wasting asset' 
ie a life of less than 50 years       

Accompanied by: Rare-roast venison loin with rocket, 
truffle, Coolea and hazelnuts   

Third flight:    

 1978 Château La Mission Haut-Brion, Graves; 1982 Château Haut Brion, Graves;
(today these two would be Pessac-Leognan an AC that started in 1987)
1986 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac (served blind)
(1982 La Mission – corked) 
1986 Mouton noticeably more youthful than 1978 and 1982
Though aging enjoyed the delicacy of the 1978 La Mission

Accompanied by: Roast veal and sweetbread with 
lyonnaise fondant potato and wild mushrooms 

Fourth flight: 

1986 Château d'Yquem, Luc-Saluces, Sauternes 
 (Unfortunately I failed to take a pic of the bottle!) 

 1989 Le Marigny Selection de Grands Nobles, Vouvray
Domaine des Aubuisières, Bernard Fouquet 

Bernard Fouquet's 1989 showed brilliantly with its 
passerilage fruit and character to the fore
rich concentration but marvellously vibrant and long
Keith and some others thought it superior to the d'Yquem
though to be fair 1989 is the superior vintage, 
while the Fouquet was only a small fraction of the price of the Yquem 

Accompanied by: vanilla mille-feuille with Yorkshire rhubarb, 
blood orange sorbet and lemon curd

Undoubtedly a great occasion, very privileged to be there and very spoilt by Keith's generosity. The food was just excellent – not flashy but of a very high quality. My thanks to Sara Bichiorri, Chez Bruce's sommelier and her staff, who looked after us so well. 

Quote of the lunch (Nigel Platts-Martin):
"I don't want wines that want to be my best friend!" 

and what was off the record? That would be telling....! 

Keith making sure he doesn't neglect the essentials 


GaynorB said...


A tough day, indeed... ;o)

Jim Budd said...

As you say Gaynor!