Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Recent drinking round-up

It all started a couple of weeks ago, when I took some of my team to Artesian, the bar at the Langham Hotel. They have all sorts of weird concoctions there which tempted the others, but for some reason I fancied a Negroni. My only previous encounter with this drink was tasting one that ACC ordered at the Perseverance a few years ago and as I hadn't known what to expect I'd been taken aback by its bitterness. At Artesian I fancied having another go. It was served in a glass with an ice cube like a golf ball - I suspect it's some kind of fake ice cube, and it was slightly annoying as it got in the way, the further down I went. But the drink itself very much hit the spot.

I decided to get the ingredients to make them at home, and since then G and I have had several! I bought this extra-wanky expensive red vermouth from Waitrose to go with the gin and Campari, as I wasn't sure if Martini Rosso was sweet or dry. We've been very pleased with the results and it's certainly bracing. Just the thing after a difficult day in the office.

In other news, I was favourably impressed by this Domaine de Trevallon 2005 which G came across, which is from the Rhone. It's 50% syrah and 50% cabernet sauvignon which means it has to be called "Red Table Wine" (got to love those French labelling laws!) and I found it very appealing. But the price isn't as low as I'd hoped, so realistically we probably won't be rushing to have it again.

Then, as it was quarter end, we had our occasional treat of a bottle of Latour. This time, the 1976 vintage. We were intending to have the 1950 but it turned out to have died - the first time a Latour has let us down. Never mind. 1976 is famously the year of a massive heat wave....

Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images
cue photo of Pitsford Reservoir, just down from the family home back in the day
... and we could taste the effect on the wine, which was very rich and ripe, and relatively low in tannin. It was surprisingly easy-drinking, and less cerebral than some, while retaining that powerful Latour thing. Although approaching 40, it showed no sign of losing its vigour - a good role model.

On Saturday night we broached the bottle of Pommard 1er cru L'Argilliere 2008 from La Maison Romane which I'd bought after being so impressed with it at ACC's place a few weeks ago. I wanted G to try it. Once again, it had a heavenly nose of wild strawberries and an earthy, rustic character which I loved. G awarded it an instant dix points.

But then, the following evening, we had this bottle of village Vosne-Romanee 2007 from Odoul-Coquard, which G had brought back from his cellar the previous weekend. This stuff is just delicious and drinking wonderfully now. It has that rich, flash Odoul-Coquard style - very polished, very smooth and an absolute pleasure to drink. When you consider that it's a village wine, not a premier cru, it's really quite exceptional. We both thought it was different from, but as good as, the Pommard from the night before.

So I guess we haven't done too badly of late, and there are a few things coming up in May which I'm looking forward to, including a trip to Lyon!

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