Tanners Wines Blog
Just how many vintages of the millennium can you have? It certainly seems that every vintage coming out of Bordeaux is routinely touted as such and while modern techniques can ensure that there is unlikely to be a repetition of 1972 for example, there will still be differences in style and quality.
Still, the first noises to come out of Bordeaux since the harvest seem to be suggesting that, once again, they do have something special and the weather patterns would certainly support this argument although there may well be some very alcoholic Merlots on the right bank. Still, what would a Bordeaux campaign be if we can’t complain about some over-extracted and alcoholic Saint-Emilions? The main issue is going to be price once again. All the suggestions at the moment seem to be that prices will remain at the same level as the 2009's due to the smaller quantities (generally about 30% down on 2009) and the reluctance of owners to suggest that the wine might not be as good or even that the previous vintage was too highly priced.
There’s a long way to go yet until all the wines have been tasted and judgement passed but it will certainly not be easy for this market to accept another vintage at 2009 price levels.
One of our Area Sales Managers, Steve Harris, was recently set a challenging task of matching wines to a gourmet menu at Brockencote Hall. Not only was he up against a complex menu and 60 wine enthusiasts, but also journalist, Laurence McCoy from the Birmingham Mail, was on hand to review the evening! Here's how he got on...
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by Alison Petijean, the owner of the beautiful Brockencote Hall, situated in lovely Worcestershire countryside at Chaddesley Corbett, to host a gourmet evening, for a gathering of over 60 of their very discerning customers. A challenge, I thought, but, one I was prepared to tackle. I suggested a Bordeaux theme, to compliment the French influenced architecture of the hall, and the owners’ French roots. With instant agreement, I began to warm to the task. Then, I received a copy of the menu. To say that chef had set me a challenge was an understatement!
But, let’s keep a cool head, and not panic. Just think of the array of wines from Bordeaux I have to choose from the Tanners’ list. I tried to think like one of Lord Sugar’s apprentices - “outside the box”, and, although I will concede to a very minor hiccup with the first wine, the others performed more than admirably. But, hey, give a guy a chance - pickled cherries and gingerbread…..!!
The challenging but delightful menu was:
1. Mosaic of duck, pickled cherries, Jerusalem artichoke, gingerbread.
2. Scallop, cauliflower, capers and raisins.
3. Butter poached guinea fowl, leeks, salsify, perigord truffle and Madeira.
4. Vieux Gruyere, walnuts, pear and rocket.
5. Cream tart of passion fruit, blood orange and bitter chocolate sorbet.
The wines that I suggested for the evening were as follows:-
1.Château Cru Cantermerle 2008
Soft and rounded, mainly Merlot, and great with most red meat dishes. Faired well against the mighty flavours of duck, pickled cherries and gingerbread.
2. Château Bel Air, Perponcher 2009
Fresh and zesty, super with fish, or enjoy as an appertif. Off the ropes, with a succession of flavours to tame the capers and raisins.
3.Château Doisy-Daëne Bordeaux Grand Vin Sec 2007
A great alternative to white Burgundy, has the complexity and depth to accompany most white meats and fish with creamy sauces. Now onto the attack, the wine perfectly balanced with the food.
4. Château du Breuil 2006
Old vines add complexity to this charming wine. Drink with red meat or with cheese. The mature cheese a delight with this elegant claret.
5. Tanners Sauternes 50cl
Stunning value for money – wonderful honeyed sweetness, with the correct freshness – a final flurry and a match for any dessert or cheese board.
I am pleased to say that it was not a points victory but a convincing knockout!
You can read Laurence McCoy's review of the evening on the Birmingham Mail website here...
Starting to line up your Christmas wine wish list? Well a great place to start would be to take Richard Mayson's & Sarah-Jane Evans' advice from Decanter Magazine's December edition. In their Port & Sherry feature, they've highlighted their picks from Tanners large range of Port & Sherry.Churchill's Dry White (17 pts/20)
'The first duty of Port is to be red', said Ernest Cockburn and I agree - except when it has been given extended age in wood like this wine. The pale amber colour gives it away, together with the delicate, off dry, toasted almond character. Delicious served chilled and, in case you were wondering, 'the second duty of Port is to be drunk.'
Richard MaysonQuinta do Noval 2003 (19pts)
'Opaque, dense, closed, still raw but well built for the future, with fleshy fruit, powerful tannins and a peacock's tail of a finish. Now entering that awkward phase that all vintage Ports go through, so one to lay down for future enjoyment.'
'Delgado Zuleta is a longstanding family winery in the low-lying town closest of all the Sherry regions to the sea. Their sweet oloroso is round and nutty, with notes of roasted coffee and dried figs.'
This post was posted in Press Recommended Wines and was tagged with Churchill's Port, Decanter Magazine, Delgado Zuleta, Oloroso, Port, Quinta do Noval 2003, Richard Mayson, Sarah-Jane Evans, Sherry, White Port