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The RDFW team descended upon Chapel Place behind Oxford Street last night, not to say a quiet prayer at St.peter’s Church, but to worship something else: Meat and Wine. You can read more about the restaurant in my blog post from June but last night was all about the wine! We had collected together a few bottles that needed drinking so we hit The Beast for crab, beef and more. I’m not sure if we could agree on which was the best wine of the evening but these are my thoughts…

2008 Meursault Genevrieres Hospices de Beaune, Colin-Morey – A really surprising wine and more developed than is typical of 2008. A beautiful golden colour, nose of candied pecans with a backbone of citrus. Really bright, seamless acidity on the palate, a hallmark of this producer. A very fine Meursault that raised a few eyebrows.

1982 Chateau Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande – It’s hard to know what to expect from a 32-year old bottle. The level was at the very base of the neck and, whilst it wasn’t a perfect specimen, the calibre of the vintage shone through. A wonderful, deep colour and the most defined nose of blackcurrant and blackcurrant leaf supported by spice and leather notes. The palate wasn’t as forward as the nose but it was a most enjoyable claret. If you find a perfect specimen, don’t hesitate.

1982 Chateau La Lagune – What I would describe as Old School claret. Far less fruit evident on the nose than the Lalande, more earthy and spicy. It took a little while to come out of its shell and turned into a cracking wine. Impressive in its own right, but more so when you consider that this would have cost pennies when it was released. Smoky, earthy and juicy. 

1999 Cote Rotie La Landonne, Rostaing – Still an infant. Bursting out of the glass with notes of liquorice, cherries, chocolate, truffles and smoked meat. We decanted this a few hours before and it was still opening up in the glass. Anyone with a few bottles in the cellar should be reassured that this has a long future ahead of it. The finish went on and on and was enjoyed by all and sundry.

2007 Corton “Clos des Cortons”, Faiveley – The epitome of modern Faiveley. Gone are the tough, impenetrable, austere wines of the past. Instead, the new breed of glossy, modern wines have replaced them. This was almost new world on the nose, without the heat but plenty of oak. Plenty of jammy red fruit on the palate. 2007, if done well, will provide a lot of pleasure over the short and medium term.

2007 Pahlmeyer – This icon of Napa hit the table around the same time as the second rib-eye. This was fortunate, as only a mouthful of protein could break down the plentiful (if fine and polished) tannins to reveal the whopping core of dark fruit. Clearly well made and worth revisiting in another decade or more.

2005 Valpolicella Superiore, Quintarelli – The 7th and perhaps least necessary bottle of the evening was one of the most enjoyable, in my opinion. Much softer than the equivalent wine from the other contender for Heavyweight Champion of Veneto, Dal Forno. Dried herbs, dark fruit, liquorice and smoky notes filled the glass. Despite spending 6 years in barrel, oak was not overly evident. I really like his wines.

So, there we have it. An eclectic mix of great wines, each of which would shine if shown on its own. Shown together, they divided opinion. Personally, I thought the La Landonne was absolutely stunning. Either way, they provided the centrepiece for a most enjoyable evening – isn’t that what it’s all about? 

Will Evered