Funny how the olde quarantine pushes one into a reflective mood, now and then. Sometimes with the great surprises at hand. An example for you, I never thought about the Scotch Egg and pickles served at the bar in 67 PM until the other day, and I began to really crave for one or two of those wee beasties. By the way there is nothing about a Scotch Egg that has to do with Scotland. The real name, description is a Scotched Egg as the process of mincing the meat to go around the egg (runny please) is known as ‘Scotching’.
At dinner last night, we were six, and a fellow diner, down here in the bottom of the world, asked the table what had been one of the most memorable wines of the year for us. So we went around the table and finally it came to me, and spontaneously I mentioned that I had a red and a white to put up, two wines that absolutely stood out over the last 12 months for me. Obviously we have all tasted and drunk rather a lot of wine during this year, some of them alone, but this was my last bottle, and a great bottle at that of 2005 Ch.Tertre-Roteboeuf, St.Emillion purchased by me ‘en primeur’. It totally blew me away again just like the other 11 bottles from the same case that have been well knocked on the head over the past fifteen years. Now, the other wine had to be a white that I almost dream constantly about as I don’t have any more in my private cellar.
It’s a French white, from the village of the Saint-Péray, 2018 vintage and made by A. Clape over there in the Rhone. So there we go, two Frenchie’s, short and to the point as ever, and who would have guessed that one eh. The Claret is more or less available if one hunts around a bit, but the latter is as rare as hen’s teeth to find. It’s a blend of Marsanne & Roussanne, my two grapes to go to heaven with, and in 2018 Clape made almost 3.999 bottles of this nectar. As anyone in the Trade will tell you, it’s the only white wine produced at the legendary Domaine Auguste Clape, and it hails from the tiny (65 hectares) appellation of Saint-Péray on the West bank of the Rhône opposite Valence. I would love to tell all Clape followers to buy as much as possible, alas ..! From the scribbled napkin note that I made I can tell you that it had a pale, glistening gold sheen. Vibrant, minerally citrus with orchard fruits on the nose. Fennel, nectarine and some white flowers. It’s so elegant & juicy, with a seamless texture of pear, tangerine & honeysuckle. Rather & pleasantly long, but clean and leaves you lingering in a bowl of flowery Marsanne & Roussanne soup.
For the vino-techno-freaks, one third of the juice is raised in oak foudres, one third in steel tanks and one third in cement vats for a minimum of 6 months prior to blending and final bottling. Unfiltered!
All week we have heard about someone’s top ten, or someone else’s top 50 wines of the year. A real mish-mash, but I am very content with my two wines and look forward to kicking off the new year with more finds, old friends and many good surprises.
May I take this opportunity to thank you dear reader, customer, supplier for your support during the year, and if the plague doesn’t get me or get you over Christmas we can toast a bright 2021 at the end of December. See you all then, Adios!
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