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

Friday, 23 December 2016

Neighbourhood Christmas soirée de la modération

2015 Goutte de Rosé, Chinon, Domaine de la Noblaie

Last Sunday we had a pre-Christmas celebration meal with some of our neighbours. Opting out of fizz, we chose to kick off with Jérôme Billard's excellent 2015 Goutte de Rosé (100% Cabernet Franc) – a fine combination of fruit texture and freshness. One important reason that Jérôme's Rosé is so good is that he sets aside specific sectors of vines for his rosé – young vines and vines on lower slopes where the fruit often will not be quite ripe enough to make good red Chinon.

12 YO Amontillado, Sainsbury's Taste the Difference  
From Emilio Lustau
(above and below)

With mushroom soup, made from a variety of different mushrooms and vaguely following an Elizabeth David recipe which uses bread as a thickener, we served some 12 YO Amontillado Taste the Difference from Emilio Lustau

2010 Cuvée Prestige, Bourgueil, Lamé Delisle Boucard  
(above and below)

Main course was slow roasted leg of lamb – sourced from the excellent Billings in Sydenham's High Street. Using a herb, mustard, anchovy, garlic crust with a dash soy sauce the lamb was roasted for a little over three hours. The meat remained succulent and wonderfully tendered.

2010 Cuvée Prestige Bourgueil from Lamé Delisle Boucard has proved to be fatally delicious – so delicious that supplies are fast running out. 2010 is a fine red vintage Loire Cabernet Franc and this was a fine match with the gently roasted lamb. Will be sending Lamé an SOS for more supplies!

We followed that with the impressively softly structured 2013 Syrah made by John Hancock of Trinity Hill in Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand. More evidence that Syrah is well adapted to Hawkes Bay. This was one of a selection of New Zealand wines from The Wine Society.   

John Hancock, Trinity Hill

2012 Majorum, Pouilly-Fumé, Michel Redde et Fils

With a small selection of UK cheeses we offer a choice of continuing with the Trinity Hill Syrah or changing colour and opting for the 2012 Majorum, Pouilly-Fumé from Michel Redde et Fils. One of our guests, who was dubious about white wine with cheese, was converting on trying this well balanced and mineral 2012 Majorum with some raw milk Caerphilly and Montgomery Cheddar.    

1967 Château Fayau, Cadillac  

With CRM's fine bread pudding we thought it was time and appropriate to try this 1967 Château Fayau AC Cadillac – a sweet wine appellation on the north bank of the Garonne across from Barsac-Sauternes. We must have bought this some time in the late 1970s or early 1980s – probably in London though it might have been in France. Mid to deep gold colour, this has delicate, attractive sweetness with some evolution but showing no oxidation. It does, however, lack the complexity one would expect from a good Barsac or Sauternes from this vintage.   

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