At Decanter we all love our wine, and every week members of the Decanter team - from editorial assistant to publishing director - tell us what they've been enjoying at home and when they go out...
Dom Pérignon 2000
Fortnum & Mason recently laid on a tasting of the latest ‘vintage’ of Joselito Gran Reserva ham– 2007, alongside millennium vintage DP. As a comparison, we got to try the 2006 Joselito. The two, as it turned out, were completely different. While the ‘07 was light, silky and refined, the ‘06 was dark, rich and full of flavour. The delicacy of the ‘07 proved a better pairing for Dom Pérignon, with its floral aromas and light lemon lift. Subtle and refined, it showed elegance and finesse on the palate with wonderful freshness and delicate buttered biscuit aromas. Crisp, airy and rich in the mouth with honeyed nuances, the wine was surprisingly youthful for its nine years and had a long refreshing finish. Devastatingly drinkable.
Chief Sub Editor, Decanter
Heiwa Shuzou, Tsuru-ume Yuzu-shu, Wakayama, Japan
This was the last of 15 sakes tasted at a dinner hosted by the Sake Brewers Association to celebrate 150 years of friendship between Japan and the UK. As a welcome toast – of which there were many to follow – one of the 11 kuramoto (brewers) present jokingly warned us that if we had just one glass of each of the sakes on offer (with an average alcohol level of 16%), we would have consumed the equivalent of half a bottle of whisky by the end of the evening. Needless to say London’s black cabs were quite busy come midnight. This was the right kind of wine to finish on. Made like a traditional sake, it’s cut back from its original 20%abv to just 7.5%abv with the addition of yuzu juice – a puckeringly sour citrus fruit with the flavour of pink grapefruit and lime combined – but still with that earthy rice flavour behind. Described by the brewer as ‘Japan’s limoncello’, it’s lighter, less sweet and far more refreshing, and a great introduction to the versatility and complexity of sake for those who might otherwise be intimidated.
Penfolds Reserve Bin 07A Chardonnay 2007, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
I dedicate this tasting note to the Anything but Chardonnay brigade, honorary president former Prime Minister John Major (who gave the ‘ABC’ phrase its enduring popularity). Who’s to blame? The Aussies of course have to take some of the flak, but if there’s any wine which will redress the balance, it’s this one. I wasn’t going to serve it, but one of my guests can’t drink red, and it was already chilled…. She took one sip and pronounced it delicious, in italics. It took Gold at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, for its elegance, its cool citrus fruit and bright acidity, and its pure, direct palate. It’s an exquisite wine in all senses of the word – keen, bright sweetness tempered with acidity, incredibly long, and a lovely deep gold colour to boot. As always with Penfolds, you feel you’re in the hands of people who know exactly what they’re doing.
Saint Clair, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2007
Continuing my NZ Pinot odyssey… In truth I landed upon this bottle more because the producer (a perennial winner at the Decanter World Wine Awards) was among the most reliable on the eclectic list of a new (to me) and itself fairly eccentric restaurant (www.bumbles1950.com). The reaction of the waitress (‘Saint Clair Pinot – is that the red one?’) didn’t fill me with confidence, but I was rewarded with a typically stylish, earthy yet juicy number. Ultimately, though, the highlight of the evening was the food – innovative but not wacky, and reasonably priced. All thanks to the bold adventure of my Californian dining companion, who picked it blind. Maybe I should be more outgoing in my wine choices…