An evening of Piedmont and Grand Cru White Burgundy certainly makes for the most unusual but exciting dinner setting, quite like no other!
Our second foray into Piedmont brought out an exceptional array of wines, both in quality and in the thought that had gone into the choosing.
Our Chef for the evening Francis Percival prepared a superb Welsh black sirloin that was desperately needed with the intensity and power of the wines in the opening line up. There were no chinks in this back four and what an experience it would be to sit at the same table in twenty years with exactly the same wines in front of us. These were the wines with the greatest potential of the night, and we were left to reflect on the ageing potential of Nebbiolo with these eighteen-year-old babies to enjoy. It would be nit-picking to fault any of them, and the voting on the flight reflected that. Giacosa stole victory in this flight, but there was nothing lost in defeat and thank you to everyone who brought them to the table.
Four different growers and a little more age in the second flight gave us wines to enjoy that had reached the peak in their drinking window . SF produced the Robert Parker notes on the Rinaldi that suggested that it might be now over the hill. Given the showing of last night that would be hard to argue because the Barolo Brunate Le Coste was in such a harmonious place. Almost as enjoyable was the celebration of SF in taking his first flight. The Accomasso showed the bottle variation, but the best of the three bottles had one side of the table enthralled with the Burgundian character. Both of the Gaja wines provided a comparison between modern and traditional – both wines showed extremely well. They continued to evolve in the glass and possibly didn’t quite get the full plaudits that they deserved.
Moving into flight three the rabbit with chanterelles was an inspired vehicle for the oldest wines of the night, and special mention must go to the 1947 from Borgogno and the sublime 1985 Giacosa wine. Again, there was some discussion about bottle variation with the two Giacosa bottles, but both were superb, and a few of the guests argued the merits of each bottle. Given the quality and age of the wines in this flight, it didn’t come as a great surprise that the wine of the night should come from these. Some feared that the recent event in New York might have dented the arsenal of IM. Still, these worries were unfounded. “the King is Dead, long live the King” reverberated around Kennington as the 1985 Giacosa of IM took the spoils by a comfortable margin. Thank you again.
And then the final flight of white Burgundy and one that gave us a well-timed lift to end on a high. The Stannary policy of “we must vote” was severely tested because these were two fabulous examples of white Burgundy from such very differing styles. Both from domaines loved by the whole table and both from bottles on top form. Brilliant examples and to pitch them against one another seemed foolish. Both wonderful.