Fine Wine Friday… at Chez Bruce, Wandsworth Common, London

This Friday saw the meeting of our wine tasting group to taste, drink, and discuss fine wine, fine dining, the state of the nation and everything else inbetween! 

The venue was again Chez Bruce, one of my favourite restaurants in London – the Nigel Platts-Martin 1 Michelin star restaurant co-owned and operated with chef Bruce Poole.

As is customary, things kicked off with a serious white Burgundy flight, with all wines being tasted and scored blind.

The Ramonet Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Boudroitte 2013 kicked off proceedings. This was a youthful, vibrant effort with fantastic precision and a deft oaky touch, pithy lemon / lime citrus and a soft, elegant fleshy mineral core.(92/100) 

As I first observed previously on the straight Ramonet 2013 village Chassagne Montrachet some time ago, this vintage surprises with its gentle accessibility and fleshy open knit texture. None of the austere, acidic, pithy minerality and wound spring tension that we have gotten used to on previous vintages from this producer. An anomaly? Who knows.

A fantastic Domaine Roulot Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres 2007 followed, showing smokey struck match, wet chalk and taught lemon / lime briney complexity that needed coaxing out of the glass. A truly profound wine, and one of the finest of the day. (95+/100)

Then, yet another Ramonet, the Bienvenue Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2006 ended the white flight. This started with brilliant elegance, smokey lemon freshness, apple skins and a fine concentration with the most expensive French oak nuances. But again, like the 2013, this wine lacked the tension and wound spring energy and acidity you’d expect from a wine of this stature and price. Thoroughly enjoyable and beguiling nonetheless! (93+/100)

Next, a little red Burgunday flight starting with a Jean Marie Fourrier Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques 2001 and a Grivot Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Beaux Monts 1996 (91+/100). The CSJ showed tension, taughtness, acid nerve and clean, linear red foresty fruits, and accompanied the food superbly. Very much a wine focusing on texture, tannin and acid vibrancy with the fruit profile a secondary feature. (94+/100)

Next, a rare little Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts 2000. This was plush, lush, modern and youthfully opulent with blood orange, red cherry, choc spice and stewed strawberries. Less refined and nervy than the Fourrier but still an impressive, showy wine with a hefty price tag to match (93+/100)

A slightly controversial wine followed. A Chateau Margaux 1996 Bordeaux that was soooo youthful and backward almost to the point of a brutish young vintage 2000-like Pauillac, with masculine, monolithic rusticity. Perhaps just way too young and awkward but still showing a massive perfumed nose and an opulent, beefy, black berry and leather packed palate with sweet tobacco and spice. (94+/100) Plenty of potential here.

No picture, but a rare Barossa Shiraz 2004  red from Saltram estate in Australia was a fairly rare beast, showing ridiculous old vine fruit concentration and a sweet / sour kirsch cherry, confit intensity and length.  (93/100)

Last but not least, a vibrantly pure, fresh opulently sweet 1983 Sauternes from Chateau Rieussec, with dense caramelised apple purée notes, pear confit complexity and molasses, burnt sugar and fine textural peachiness. A very nice little effort with ample freshness and length. (93+/100)

Oh, did I mention the epic food to match the fine wines today? 

Brioche with black truffle 

Bruce Pools’s famous cod goujons

Grouse fagots with pearl barleyChicken and mash 😉

Chez Bruce, 2 Bellevue Road, London, SW17 7EG 

2 thoughts on “Fine Wine Friday… at Chez Bruce, Wandsworth Common, London

  1. That Margaux was VERY controversial and you were the only one who rated it higher than 90. I know you are rating on potential but on yesterday’s showing it needs 20 years plus . Some on the table who have drunk other 96 Margaux thought it faulty or at least badly stored.
    Nevertheless another fine lunch at the great Chez Bruce and we are privileged to be able to eat there so often

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While I acknowledge the unusual monolithic youth of this bottle, and certainly agree that it needs keeping at least another 20 years, I disagree that the wine was faulty in any way … and certainly has been stored perfectly since shipment ex-Chateau after release, to underbond storage in the UK. Not a wine for drinking now, or certainly not from this case.


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