Grande Renato Ratti!
Love his wines and the labels
How was the Langhe?
Grande Renato Ratti!
I don’t know yet Rafa, I was thinking to leave it a little while yet. It was very close to the Vinissimus price so couldn’t resist. It is a great label.
Opened my first ‘museum’ bottle this week and if the rest are as good as this I’m in for a treat.
An unusual 100% Syrah southern CdR, it’s got far more personality than you’d expect from a £10 bottle. Plush red fruits are balanced against tarry, earthy depths. Heavy sediment too.
This is drinking beautifully now. I’ve got so many bottles clogging up my house waiting (seemingly at a glacial pace) for the 3-4 years they need to be at their best: it’s fantastic to be able to buy bottles already at their peak at effectively new-release prices, or even below.
Disappointed but not surprised to see this sold out. Hope TWS also has some 2016s squirrelled away for future release!
I got a case of Langhe 2019 from Giovanni Rosso and planning to try one in the coming weeks. I will let you know how it is
Dinner for ten at 28-50 Covent Garden last night and I was in charge of the wine. The menu was a bit of a challenge, with most people choosing ceviche with a ginger, chilli and avocado dressing to start, the main options being trout with white daal and miso butter, roast poussin with ‘provencal tomato’ or steak, and pudding being fig tart or bourbon chocolate mousse (we had some debate about whether ‘bourbon’ was a reference to the biscuit or the whisky, which wasn’t entirely resolved when it actually turned up. Very tasty though).
2016 Cave de Ribeauville Riesling Osterberg, Alsace - several bottles of
Chateau de Chamirey 1er cru Mercurey Blanc (can’t remember the vintage)
2012 Remelluri Rioja Reserva
1991 Barros Vintage Port
All the wines were about £60, not a bad mark-up, most seem to retail around £25-30. We were sold the port at a vulnerable moment (ie after we’d drunk everything else) - it was on the list at £160 but the sommelier flogged it to us for £100, apparently keen to be shot of it.
Both the Riesling and the Mercurey were delicious and the former would have worked OK with the ceviche I think, but by the time I’d debated options with the sommelier, he’d disappeared for no obvious reason for ten minutes, and a waitress had smashed one of our fizz glasses causing a certain amount of chaos, most people had finished their starters by the time we got any wine.
The sommelier was generally not very impressive. First he tried to tell me that Morgon was in the Loire, then that his Alsace Riesling (which wasn’t on the list) was from Dirler-Cade (it wasn’t), then that his Sauternes was Suidurat (it wasn’t). Bit odd for somewhere that’s supposed to be a specialist wine restaurant. But none of which detracted from the pleasure of a good dinner with old friends.
A glass of the 2018 The Liberator - Thunderbirds Are Go, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsaut. Lip smacking stuff, significant self restrain required.
Love that label!
In a more decadent week than planned I ended up in Le Relais de Venise (the city one) last night for mid-priced steak (x2). To keep it from getting too silly we just had the house Bordeaux.
Did exactly what it said on the tin. Merlot led “luncheon claret” which slipped down alarmingly easily with the steak covered in “special sauce” with more fries than anyone should it (which didn’t stop me, I really shouldn’t eat out on gym days!). Medium everything, with some red and black fruits and something slightly chocolatey. Completely un-special and nothing to write home about but at £20 a bottle in a restaurant in the city did a lot more than expected (i.e, it was both drinkable and smashable).
Off to Brasserie Zedel tonight too.
This was absolutely spot on with a Moroccan lamb tagine. Perfectly balanced, plenty of dark brambly fruit, lovely oak, balanced acidity. Nice to get something with some age on it too. Highly recommended. Have 2 left and will be interesting to see the development.
Back label said 80% Cab, 19.5% Merl, 0.5% PV
Not too sure what that half a % added but must have done the job.
Just me, myself and I this evening, which is a good opportunity to open an orange wine (the husband is not a fan):
Not a style of wine I usually gravitate towards, but the odd ones I had - I really liked, and this is no exception. It’s a pretty straight-forward example I would say, but it’s still intriguing and actually rather delicious too! I feel the two negative reviews on the website a bit unfair, in fact!
A pretty amber hue in the glass (maybe ever copper-like?), the nose is a fascinating melange of apricots, orange peel, mellow honey and - I kid you not - Lipton Ice tea (peach flavour ).
Similar notes on the palate - lovely, fresh apricots - the sort I used to consume by the bucketload in the old country, as well as citrus pith, stem ginger, maybe some hazelnuts and that ice tea again. The (slightly furry) tannins are delightful - maybe because it always feels strange to detect tannins in a white, and acidity is medium and keeps it feeling fresh and appetising.
Not an everyday wine in this house, but this is a very pleasing example!
To celebrate using several slightly old bits of food to make a surprisingly passable rendang curry, I’ve tucked into a nice old Riesling.
Such a good wine. It really captures the joy of aged Riesling. Mouth-tingling acidity (still!) joins with a big hit of honey and nuts/edible seeds, with some lychee or passion fruit in the mix. Goes well with the food.
I bought a few cases (of 3) of this, as I liked it so much, and no regrets.
Do like an orange wine. Enjoy.
Beef Rendang. Food of the gods, and surprisingly available on the Hull-Rotterdam ferry.
I would have never imagined a Reisling - but it does seem to make sense.
Do you know, it is indeed beef rendang (with leftover roast rib of beef from several days ago because I can’t bear not to use it) and it’s lush.
The Riesling was because it called to me from the wine rack, and the fact that they seem to be complementing each other surprised me.
Wine and food - love em.
After the yellowtail, which tastes vile, it was from the ridiculous to the sublime, with Castel serranova from Vallone. Aromas of fig and plenty of depth. Then the society’s claret 2019, which I wasn’t expecting much from, but which is actually a bit of a bargain fruit-forward unoaked everyday drinker. Not special, but very good at what it is.
Still trying to get the memory of the yellowtail out of my head - a syrupy raspberry thing followed by a harsh and somewhat metallic aftertaste.
Had to host a dinner for colleagues this evening, fully funded by work which was rather nice. We went to Cabotte which has an excellent wine list (my choice!).
I was probably the only wine enthusiast, but that didn’t bother me…
To start we had a couple of bottles of Kumeu River Estate 2017. Lovely, easy drinking chardonnay and I’m glad I nabbed a mixed case of the 2020s recently.
Pretty much everyone had steak for main and we matched with the below on a recommendation from staff. I have to confess to having never really ‘got’ Bergundy, but i have to say this was delightful. 2 x bottles despatched.
Then it was time for pud and I couldn’t resist the below with creme brulee. Delightful.
My only regret? Leaving £200 in the budget… Inexcusable for an accountant.
Enjoyed another one of these last night.
Only one corked so far, this was the 4th of twelve, wonder how much longer to keep on the rack? It’s beens fabulous for the price and possibly my buy of the year if this is style of wine you like.
My mid-week-in-Paris-only-actually-still-in-London continued with Brasserie Zedel last night. Drinks in Bar Americain first with a cocktail week special of Singleton 12 y.o. Whisky, Amontillado Sherry and Ginger Oleo-Saccharum, followed by a French 75 (Brandy, not gin) which came through into the restaurant with me.
Oysters to start (with the French 75, didn’t work as badly as it could have!).
Main course was steak tartar, more frites and salad. Wine was a bit of a farce. A Croze-Hermitage, the first bottle was fizzy, so we tried to send it back. Somewhere lost in translation between different staff this became “freezy” and there was a very puzzled waitress who’d been checking all the bottle temperatures by the time a new bottle turned up and I was able to explain what was actually wrong. The new bottle was fine, unfortunately she accidentally took the new bottle with her and then left the old bottle. Once we finally got our wine, it was… OK.
Reasonably typical young Croze, but really nothing special. Didn’t bother taking a photo/checking what it was and in the same vein it feels like a proper tasting note isn’t a thing. It was pretty tannic and acidic with a bit of dark fruit and red meat, very little length. Put the previous nights house red into perspective (it was more than twice the price and definitely while clearly a better wine, it was less drinkable).
Round of cocktails knocked off the bill because of the wine farce (and it was all honest mistakes so I really didn’t mind/need them to do that!). The food/service was good enough to make me agree with Jay Rayner’s trolling article a few weeks ago where he said you can get better French food in London than Paris.