Last night I finally managed to catch up with my mega-jet setting wine journo buddy Jamie Goode for a festive food and wine session. It’s a busy time of year of course which made it all the more precious. Also lovely having Anne Burchett (ex-Sopexa) over as well for a cosy foursome. Plenty of fine saucy banter, some lovely food from the Chez Sherwood kitchen and of course some fabulous wines were enjoyed.
Taittinger Prelude Grand Cru Brut NV Lovely opener to the evening. One of the best value Champagnes on the market, being a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Vibrant, rich layers of brioche, caramelised lemons, and toffee apples with a super creamy mousse and long finish. (94/100)
A fine expression of Pinot Noir from the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Savoury, vibrant, earthy red berry fruit coat the mouth, suitably lifted by a juicy acidity and forest strawberry fruit finish. (91/100)
This was just pitch perfect Sauvignon – Semillon for me. True to form, characterful with waxy lemon and pineapple fruits, incense, gooseberry and a wonderfully full, textural palate. Class! (93+/100)
A lovely wine from ex-Saffer Canadian Norm Hardie, brought by Jamie Goode. Tasted blind and placed as either South African or New Zealand Chardonnay from 2013. Tough, but there is lovely complexity here, struck match reduction, caramelised lemon and limes, fresh acids and a fine linear texture. (94/100)
Having recently visited Rudi at Weingut Furst, it was fun tasting this blind. Definite crisp Sauvignon Blancish notes with vibrant acids and stoney minerality and a hint of spearmint. Beautiful wine. (91/100)
Again, tasted blind in a pair, this wine had so much energy, vibrant cassis blackberry fruits, savoury plum and smoked meats, with a subtle peppery finish. So ripe indeed people thought it was new world. Lovely precision and concentration for a straight Cotes du Rhone! (94/100)
The gnarled 8(ish) year old vineyard in Noordhoek was showing hints of reduction, taught black berry and spicy savoury back plum depth. Vibrant linear acids guide the palate to a long, mineral finish. Beautiful wine. (95/100)
Tasted blind, this wine was incredibly youthful with such sweet forest berry fruits, earth, leather, cedar and spice. Some tertiary notes but not 50 years worth! A contender for one of my favourite wines of the year. (96+/100)
Jocelyn Hogan Chenin Blanc 2015
A worthy follow up act to Jocelyn’s 2014 maiden release. This is serious kit with plenty of tension, power and drive. Lovely concentration, balancing mineral stoney fruits, and long length. Bit too young now but give this beauty 5+ years. (95/100)
Cheese was served so this Moscato came out to clean the palate. Sleek, elegantly sweet, but possessing beautiful balancing grapey acidity. Yum yum! (92/100)
Liquid of the gods! If the Barbaresco Grappa is this good, no wonder their Barbaresco red is legendary! (95/100)
What a wonderful selection of wines and great company. Blessed to have such lovely wine trade friends.