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

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Harrow, Little Bedwyn – another great dinner

Great treat on Friday evening – dinner with good friends at The Harrow, Little Bedwyn. We chose the Set 6 Course Tasting Menu. Having taken the precaution of ordering our wines in advance we were served the Wiston Estate Sugrue-Pierre "The Trouble with Dreams" English sparkler very soon after our arrival in the busy restaurant. Made from 55% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 5% Pinot Meunier, this is a lovely fresh sparkling wine with mineral acidity in the finish.

 Langoustine bisque with grilled sourdough

 Citrus cured salmon & Torbay crab with Exmoor caviar salt
(this dish was especially good)

 Cornish line caught turbot with Dorset clams & leeks

2004 Bin 7, Riesling, Clare Valley

Looking through The Harrow's wine list the 2004 Leasingham Riesling stood out. An Australian Riesling with 12 years bottle age and furthermore at a very reasonable price. I had no idea when I emailed Roger and Sue with my choice that I was ordering their last bottle of this wine. The screwcapped Leasingham certainly met expectations from the lovely evocative nose and flavour of lightly evolved Riesling – some lemon and lime, floral notes and peachy. Overall it was the purity of fruit and the wine's vibrantly fresh finish that was memorable. 

Back in 1999 tasting a Yalumba screwcapped Riesling from the mid 1970s was an epiphany. This 2004 is further confirmation that Riesling – Oztralian certainly – ages brilliantly under screwcap.    

 Northumberland roc venison,
black pudding (
Charles Macleod from Stornaway), parsnip and morels
(above and below)

1996 Chinon, Domaine de la Noblaie 

Roger kindly invited to bring our own bottles along, so I chose to take on – this 1996 Chinon from Domaine de la Noblaie. It showed brightly with enticingly spicy aromas and generous soft fruit and a long balanced finish. Furthermore it turned out that the 96 Chinon and the venison were made for each other. 

The 1996 was made by François Billard, whose main job as the time was teaching oenology at Lycée Viticole at Montreil-Bellay. It wasn't until 2003 that his son Jérôme returned to the domaine after his studies and working in various parts of the world to take over.   

Selection of five English cheeses
– we shared this between the five of us 

 Boiled egg & soldier 
– very inventive pre-dessert

Orchestrated chocolate but 
including a cherry parfait  

The Harrow is highly recommended both the food and the wine list are wonderful. The service is very efficient, while being friendly and relaxed. A delight! 

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