Back to the lunch. Of the 14 bottles generously brought by the group only two were (just) from this century. The rest went back to the 1960s. The majority were reds with two vintage Champagnes doubling as dry whites. My contribution, by popular demand from the organiser, was my last bottle of Mas de L'Écriture, L'Écriture 2001 – a bend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre made around Jonquieres in the Terrasses du Larzac. It was partnered with no less than a Chave Hermitage 1998, a Penfolds Grange 1991 and a Beef en Daube. It was certainly not humbled despite the Chave being informally voted one of the wines of the lunch. I much preferred L'Écriture to the powerful Grange, an extraordinary wine in contrast to the line-up with the volume turned so high any Languedoc would seem meek. L'Écriture had a lovely ripe sweetness with elegant baked plums and waves of smoke. There was consensus that it didn’t come across as belonging in the Languedoc, something I’ve found less pronounced in more recent vintages. An interesting coincidence is that Mas de L'Écriture features strongly on the Medlar’s wine list. It’s also a restaurant I look forward to returning to.
The event was, for me these days, a rare foray into some mature classic wines. Something I'll muse on in my next post.
For the record the line-up was: -
Cheese choux puffs
Grilled bream with baby squid, risotto nero, gremolata and shaved fennel
Chapelle Chambertin Ponsot 1998
Chapelle Chambertin Ponsot 1997
Ruchottes Chambertin F Esmonin 2001
Middle white pork chop with celeriac puree, black cabbage, crackling and marjoram
Leoville Barton 1978
Vieux Chateau Certan 1998
Daube de boeuf with parsnip puree, parsnip crisps and bourguignon sauce
Le Mas de L'Ecriture 2001
Chave Hermitage 1998
Penfolds Grange 1991
Dom Ruinart 1996 (palate freshener)
Tarte tatin with crème fraîche ice cream
Chateau Pajzos Tokaji Aszu 1993
Huet Le Haut Lieux Moelleux 1989
Graham's 1966 (port).