Jonathan Hesford of Domaine Treloar in the Roussillon hosted a dinner at Le Café Anglais in Bayswater after the outstanding Outsiders tasting (see my November posts).
One Block Muscat 2009 (Muscat Petite Grains) was dry and refreshing with a clean muscat scent, a rare aromatic Languedoc white when the second glass was as enjoyable as the first. One comment on what differentiated this dry muscat from the pack was how well the finish held up. It has some lees age and I think this toned down the fruitiness a notch and helped the transition to the wine's finish.
The pickled squash salad with prawns was unfortunately not a particularly wine friendly dish.
La Terre Promise 2009 (50% Grenache Gris, 30% Macabeu, 20% Carignan Blanc) was fresh and minerally and yet had assertive layers of cooked fruits and garrigue. Apparently has less Macabeu than previous vintages which has calmed the tropical fruit notes to let the dry flavours of the other grapes come through. A wine to savour.
Duck paté en croute, actually a delicious posh meat loaf served warm, went well.
The reds were all served together with a deep flavoured Beef en Daube with mash.
Three Peaks 2007 (60% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache) is the red I'm most familiar with. Has a deceptive dry style and one needs to look for its brambly fruits with tobacco and some spice. Le Secret 2007 (80% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Grenache) struggled a bit against the heady Daube and may have benefited from decanting. Nevertheless, there was some classy blackcurrent in there and a nice structure. Tahi 2006 (50% Syrah 30% Mourvedre and 20% Grenache) has more oak, richness and perfume and did the best job at marching the Daube. While delicious now it needs a few years to integrate nicely.
Jonathan made the interesting comment that he makes three wines from similar blends to cover a broader spectrum of tastes. A fair point given I found the Tahi the least typical Roussillon red of the three.
Muscat de Rivesaltes 2009 served with roasted pineapple seasoned with ginger and chilli and panacotta was the food match of the evening. The sweetness of the muscat didn't dominate and the wine had a nice purity and balance.
Le Café Anglais gave us excellent food and service. They don't appear to have a professional Sommelier and were obviously not familiar with the wines, which may explain some of the questionable food matches. That said, for me this really didn't matter and it was a fine way to end a great day.