Posted by: jmbwineblog | April 19, 2010

Before the Ash; an Early Birthday Bash!

After the extravagence of the mighty La Conseillante dinner, I was invited to have dinner with some friends… primarily for my birthday (until the Icelandic Volcano woke up and said hello) as I was not going to be in the country! I was wandering around doing very little, which subsequently turned into a Cigar (only a small one; Bolivar Coronas Junior from Cuba) at my old favourite for a cheeky smoke… La Casa del Habano at 100 Wardour Street. Nice leathery, ashy, chocolate, expresso flavoured cigar with some lovely delicacy, a surprise for this cigar known primarily for its power and its punch!

The Bolivar!

After the cigar it was off to the Sampler to meet some culprits for a quick snifter and a chat before dinner. Some tasty whites of lesser value… apologies… I have forgotten what they are, but believe me they were nice!! (?) !!

The Reds started their journey at the Icons for some extravagant drinking! I popped in my Sampler Card into the Shiny Enomatic  Machine, pressed a very tiny botton and out popped some …



1971 and 1999 Latour; my drink... the '71!

An elegant as oppose to powerful wine… a tasty little drop, but not stellar, and not particularly Latour-esque, but still I would more than enjoy it and the complexity, and tobacco in this is a flavour spectrum that I very much like! Next up, I tried a very nice, round, soft and elegant 1985 Chateau Giscours. A wine to enjoy now, but will hold up for a good few years yet.

The next wine to come out of the  machines, was the first ever vintage of Tignanello, the 1971! A fantastically delicate wine, with excellent complexity, poise, balance and a Tuscan feel. A proper wine in every sense of the word. To finish before dinner, a big, silky, classic Napa Cab in the form of the 1997 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon… a really good wine.

And so it was off to dinner armed with some more wines we had purchased in the past and at the shop. To start I should probably say a Big Thank You to our host who produced a quite brilliant dinner… the Lamb Shank was absolutely to die for, as good as any big name Restaurant. First up was the exquisitely Champagne-like 1990 Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling Brut Sekt; Dr. Loosen, apple, flowers, chalk and oil, but delicate and belying its age! Next up was the already slightly developed, but still very enjoyable complex and expressive 2005 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons by Dauvissat. Stones, lanolin, citrus, nuts, stewed apples, and a lovely backbone of acidity. This barring Premox should hold and develop for another 5 to 10 years.

Swiftly moving on to Reds, we started with the very very young, but loveable, classic and drinkable 2000 Rioja Reserva, Vina Tondonio by Lopez de Heredia. Earthy, mineral, plum, wild strawberry and powerful wood, this will be absolutely gorgeous with more time in bottle. Next up was by a mile the wine of the day… deep, youthful, complex and on a path to greatness… peppermint, menthol, herbs, sweet crystaline black fruits, minerals, earth, cedar, tobacco. A simply brilliant wine, which will be extraordinary when fully mature! The wine a classic Bordeaux, a classic Margaux, a classic bottle of 1996 Chateau Palmer.

Our selection of Reds!

Next up was Robert Michel’s 1991 Cornas ‘Le Gaynale’ the brilliant single vineyard sight that is now looked after, turned into wine and bottled by the infinitely talented winemaker Vincent Paris. This was a super wine, but on the night, it was overshone by the Chateau Palmer, still it was classic, mature and ready to go with its earth, leather, plum, cherry, bretty, wild raspberry nature. Not to forget the meaty, gamey, cooked meat nature. Lovely! Last of all was the 1998 Chateau Monbousquet, St. Emilion Grand Cru and the less said about this glass full of strawberry and blackberry jam, the better…

…onto cake.

Cake... the star of the show!

…and then home to bed…

I had to be at Lords in the morning for the cricket!!!!!!



  1. Happy Birthday Jono,

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time and one surely to remember!..

    Got any of that cake left?.. :p

    • It was a lot of fun, but there is plenty more to follow.
      Unfortunately, I ate it all that night!

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