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An intimate affair….

Host: Janet Borges – Speaker: Anthony Borges – Chef: Tony Bell

This was a bit different: a mid-week wine-tasting dinner, table of ten (and Anthony as speaker). We liked it. Where our table of eighteen with the long table has a banquet feel about it, the square table on Wednesday was perhaps more intimate. We might have been in our own dining room entertaining friends. Tony Bell provided the sustenance which was of superb quality, and the wines on offer were our pick from Mentzendorff from the old world. Anthony talked at length about the great man, Michel Chapoutier, and his wines, before going on to discuss Chanson (burgundy) and finally Madeira. The subjects he touched on included the following:

Michel Chapoutier

The Man: a remarkable story – making his mark

The Label: in Braille

The Wines: governed by terroir with no particular signature taste

(Wine & Food)

Sur Lie

Chanson

The Family: since 1750 (bought by Bollinger in 1999)

The Wines: elegance, purity & minerality

(Wine & Food)

Madeira

The Island: 400 miles off the coast of Portugal – volcanic – sub-tropical

The History – starting with the seven year fire 

The Wines: Sercial, Verdelho, Terrantez, Bual, Malvasia (Tinta Negra)

(Wine & Food)

Host: Janet Borges – Speaker: Anthony Borges – Chef: Tony Bell

 Old World Wines from Mentzendorff

 La Ciboise Blanc, Luberon, M. Chapoutier 2012, £9.99 – aperitif

Pale, with green and yellow tints with aromas of white blossom, lemons and exotic fruits. This wine has a great great balance between the freshness and roundness, with a great length.

 Muscadet de Sevres Sur Lie, Domaine Grand Maison 2012, £12.99

Muscadet de Sèvres et Maine is matured on its lees to retain its freshness while giving the wine a fatness and ability to age. Delicate aromas of fruit and citrus fruit with a forthright taste with sharp length and a lasting finish a great example of Muscadet from the Champagne Bollinger owned Langlois-Chateau.

 Schieferkopf Sylvaner, Alsace 2012 £13.99

Citrus and floral aromas lead to an attack of freshness to the palate with a refined minerality and fatness. Michel Chapoutier Alsace arm is producing some amazing wines.

 Rully Blanc, Chanson, Burgundy 2010, £19.9

Floral fragrances mixed with exotic fruit and green almond. Linear, tight and well-balanced. Beautiful aromatic freshness with a delicate minerality.

 Beaune Greves 1er Cru, Chanson, Burgundy 2010, £43.99

Excellent premier cru wine from this great vintage. Beautiful aromatic combination, well-integrated oak and fine tannins developing into an excellent long finish.

 Saint Joseph, Les Granilites Rouge, M. Chapouier, Rhone, 2011 £26.99 Intense aromas of dark berries underscored by a lovely smooth oakiness and fine, tight tannins, beautiful mineral tautness derived from the granite. Amazing wine from this great and sometime underrated appellation.

 We will finish the evening with three fabulous 20-year old Madeiras by Henriques & Henriques, the perfect accompaniments to our cheeseboard and the last of them (the Malmsey) an ideal match with Christmas pudding and Tony`s famous Sticky Toffee Pudding! Tasting notes as follows:

Henriques & Henriques 20 Year Old Verdelho Madeira, £59.99

Gold coloured with green hues. On the nose citrus fruits, melon and a tropical note, together with spicy scents of nutmeg and smoky oak. On the palate tropical fruits, dried fruits, honey and pear, with nutty flavours, caramel, coffee and some delicate spices – and a refreshing acidity which gives the wine a tangy vibrancy and long aftertaste. A fine example of the Verdelho grape, still retaining its fruit quality after 20 years. An aperitif style, it is highly recommended as a pairing with tapas style dishes, seafood, soups and hard cheeses.

Henriques & Henriques 20 Year Old Terrantez Madeira, £77.00

Lovely colour, pale tawny with a saffron rim. The nose is of spicy chutney, tomato plant and tobacco leaf. The palate is medium-dry and unctuous, with bracing acidity, sweet and sour fruits – of berries and plums – and green pepper – again the spiced Chutney, plenty of dried fruits and oak mid-palate as well, and a nutty presence, of bitter almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts. Finally a lasting, tangy aftertaste, typical of Madeira made from this rare grape variety; and definitely one to enjoy with our mature cheddar!

 Henriques & Henriques 20 Year Old Malvasia, £59.99

Dark tawny, almost mahogany brown, with a rich timbre to its sweet and spicy nose. On the palate it is super-rich and unctuous – the sweetest of the Madeiras –  with flavours of dried fruit, orange peel, dates, caramel, tamarind, and toffee. Though rich it is balanced by the wine`s mouth watering acidity.  Enjoy with Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, mince pies, Plum Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Treacle Tart, chocolate – alternatively delicious with dried fruits and cheeses, particularly blue cheeses.

 Menu

Moules marinieres
Prawn salad

fillet of salmon, beurre blanc

New season pheasant, cavolo nero, bean and chorizo ragu, quince jus

Cheese board

Sticky toffee pudding