Sunday, April 29, 2018

Weekend in the country

A couple of weeks ago, D and I caught the train from Kings Cross to an undisclosed location in middle England where G's parents' house is located. We arrived in the early afternoon feeling quite ravenous but things looked up when G presented us with a glass of excellent, very dry pre-war sherry.

I was then called upon to assist with the double magnum of Rully 1959 which G bought at auction in a moment of madness some time ago.

There was some debate as to whether it was red or white. I believe the auctioneers had described it as red, but looking at the colour, that seemed unlikely. We all tasted it and agreed it was very interesting and then the rest may or may not have been used for cooking.

Fortunately G had put a reserve white aside to accompany our wild smoked salmon for lunch. This in fact belonged to me, as I have a stash in the cellar which is out of sight, out of mind, thereby providing me with the pleasure of rediscovering it from time to time. The white wine in question was a Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Les Perrieres 2011 from Domaine Bzikot, which was bought from the wine shop in Puligny back in the day. This was rich and full and went very well with the food. Pity it was only a bottle and not a double magnum.

After lunch, we went for a walk into the nearby village and then returned to the house where the local felines were circling ready for their evening meal.

It was the first beautiful day of the year, and we sat outside and drank this bottle of Dom Perignon 2002, which was drinking perfectly now and went very nicely with a cheese straw.

With our dinner, an admirable cassoulet made by G's father, we had this bottle of Chapelle-Chambertin 2005 from Bouchard, which apparently I got in a mystery mixed bag from the Wine Society some time ago. Before tasting it, I had my doubts, as I have yet to drink a 2005 red Burgundy which I considered to be ready, but this proved to be the exception. It was muscular and rich and it was actually drinking. Our favourite wine merchant subsequently told us that Bouchard's style is more forward than others, so we shouldn't extrapolate from this.

Alongside the Chapelle-Chambertin, we had this 1934 Mazis-Chambertin Maison Jules Regnier, which G got at auction. This was quite remarkable, really lovely old burgundy, with a glorious nose, lovely texture and long finish. We drank it over about 45 minutes and it showed no sign of fading. Then we drank the dregs too, it was that good.

We rounded off the evening with a glass of  Dow 1963 which was in impeccable condition unlike some G has recently had. It was middleweight and not too sweet. "An old lady, but an attractive one" said G, sounding like a dreadful gold-digger.

On Sunday morning, after a breakfast of bacon sandwiches and coffee, we walked to Hambleton bakery which passed a pleasant hour, although I was gutted that the woman in front of us in the queue snaffled the last sausage roll. If only we'd walked a little faster... One could not however argue with the pricing of the coconut macaroons - 30p each - and they made a very fine accompaniment to a mid-morning glass of madeira.

On our return it was time for an inspection of the cellar...

G still hasn't worked out what to do with this magnum of Kummel! I suggested serving it like aquavit with some smoked salmon. Other suggestions welcome.

For lunch, we had an amazing roast capon which I imagine will feed G's father for the rest of the year, along with this bottle of 1983 Chateau Latour. It was the second bottle of the pair which I bought in December, and this one seemed weightier than the first, although that could be because it was drunk by itself rather than alongside a vibrant young Californian cabernet sauvignon.

The final line-up - spot the odd one out!

All in all, this was a fascinating weekend and we ate and drank very well indeed. Thanks to G's father for hosting, to to D for his congenial company and above all to G for organising everything and sharing these extraordinary wines with us.

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