We all ran off to the Ledbury for a Northern Rhone shindig!
We started with a fresh, taut Jamet Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2010. Lovely bouquet of pears, quince, and fennel. Fresh, textured, taut, crisp and nicely weighted; very good finish, this was a super way to start the lunch. A rare treat, as this Marsanne/Rousanne blend is not available in the UK. We brought some back in June, when we stumbled across Jamet and were kindly shown a few of their exquisite Cote Roties. Up next, the majestic Verset Cornas 1995. This is a serious wine; a lovely and alluring nose (dried plums, pepper), and the palate delivers. It needs perhaps more time to open up, as it is still quite tannic and youthful, but it exhibits all the attributes one comes to expect from a Verset: simply delicious, and distinctive.
All the team enjoyed dollops of lamb and grouse to accompany these wonderful wines.
Then, onto the Giles Barge Cote Rotie, Cote Brune 1994. This came across as rather more quirky than a previous bottle I had experienced a few months back. It had a distinctive nose which led to a discussion as to whether there was a note of plasticine or fresh window putty –something oily about the nose. Faint and not off putting at all.
And for the final two: Jasmin Cote Rotie 1990 - Terribly shy on nose to start. The palate failed to reach the level of complexity and intensity experienced in a previous bottle, that said, a very pleasurable experience. It is a very precise wine that will surely improve with time. It also needed more time to open up than it had. And to finish, we had Jaboulet La Chapelle 1985, now what a contrast to the Jasmin: striking nose of roasted coffee beans, dark fruits and very meaty.