Weekend Wines and a Final Thought

The guy who was supposed to deliver the Jamon actually did not. So he was voted out of the island. I was left in good company with 4 of my closest friends. Waiting for Andrea, who’s always late in typical italian fashion and can’t stand residual sugar, I wanted to check where 2008 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Joh. Jos. Pruem was, having drunk the 1969 a couple of days earlier. It looks to me that 2008 could be on par to 2009 for the Mittel Mosel. The wine put on some weight in a effortless manner and the vineyard is so gentle and delicate that made it for a perfect opening.

With Feta from Neal’s Yard Diary and olives we had NV Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Spumante Extra Dry ‘Col dell‘Orso’ . Bramley apple and Maldon Sea Salt make a very strange combination but this wine is weightless and with little doubt at the pinnacle of hierarchy for Prosecco. Certainly very little to do with what’s served around London (save for Terroir).

We moved on to a small pasta dish (50g each!) with Riccotta, Mint and Courgetts. We drank a Magnum of 1999 Ponsot Mont Luisants 1er Blanc. It was magnificent, entering in its prime drinking windows. Almost a touch too complex for the dish. Who would have thought for Aligote’!

Before the meet we checked on both 2004 and 1996 Cornas Chaillot Allemand. Both very primary and unevolved, they were good wines but I have feeling I do not understand the hype around these. The more Cornas I drink the more perplexed I get: possibly because of the olive overtones or because these wines are too sauvage and I am a city boy.

With the Ginger Pig Cote du Boef and roasted new potatoes in goose fat (1h45 at 190 degrees to get them crunchy!), we could not enjoy the 1985 Lynch Bages as the bottle was not in good shape. On the other had 1985 Domaine de Chevalier was thrilling, balanced and elegant, I have to thank Richard Zambuni for this wine.

With cheeses also from Neal’s Yard Diary (sorry but can’t recollect the name) we went for **Tuborg Gold[/] imported directly from Danmark. A strong golden ale that washes out all the fat.

The first palate cleanser was another very emotional wine 2005 Braunberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auselse #9 Fritz Haag. This was a splendid Mosel riesling that shed some of the excess power over the last few years and now is revealing itself as a true beauty. It’s only Oliver’s 2nd vintage. Weightless yet extremely powerful given the vineyard, it will be a legend in 50 years time.

We wrapped it up with 2001 Rieussec which came across as a little clumsy and not as elegant as the Haag. To me it was overly powerful and almost out of balance, lacking some acidity to counter the sheer mass. I am glad I just another two bottles which I will sell right away or will age for at least another 10 years or maybe 20.

For many reasons when I prepare these dinners my energies get drained and I am spacing them out more and more. I am down to 2 a year and in 2012 probably will have just one. This is also because I would like to focus on 1/2 wines per dinner but drink a little more often. As a consequence I am really thinking of thinning down the cellar (some 50% reduction at the least but most likely 75% down) but I will think about it over the next 3 months.

Less is more (maybe).


Thanks for listening**