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What we’ve been drinking (15 May – 22 May 2009)

At Decanter we all love our wine, and every week members of the Decanter team - from editorial assistants to publishing director Sarah Kemp - tell us what they've been enjoying at home and when they go out...

What we’ve been drinking index

Tina Gellie

Acting Assistant Editor, Decanter

   Mildara, Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, South Australia 1976

Kettner’s (est 1867) is one of London’s oldest restaurants, a favourite of Oscar Wilde and even has a secret passage between it and the Palace Theatre. When the Soho premises were recently refurbished, some vinous rarities were found in the cellar, including a 1982 Paul Masson sparkling from California and a 1967 Borgogno Barolo – both of which were past their peak, but still steeped in history. What was still lively was this Coonawarra Cabernet, from one of the pioneers of the terra rossa region. Mature notes of dates, currants, damsons and figs, with a liberal dusting of sweet spice and cocoa. Soft, leathery tannins and a surprising lift of acidity made this a real buried treasure.

Oliver Styles

Deputy Editor, decanter.com

   Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, 1986

Enjoyed over a Krug lunch with the exceptionally polished Olivier Krug and ebullient Bordeaux Index boss Gary Boom. Highlights included the Krug Clos du Mesnil 1998 (Nutty, almost Amontillado nose; clean and fresh attack developing into a fabulous body with great weight yet maintaining great precision) and Krug ’98 (Roasted almonds, nuts, hints of autolysis with great acidity and definition). This was the only non-Krug wine served alongside Monica Schuster’s fantastic cooking. Typically aged Bordeaux nose (horsey) but still with a whiff of dark berry fruits, this had a great body, richness and class. It maintains an amazing juiciness. I never tasted it in its youth but I am reliably informed that the ’86s were a bit awkward at the start. It’s coming together beautifully now. And you get three notes for the price of one.

Christelle Guibert

Tastings Director, Decanter

   Luddite Shiraz, Western Cape 2005

Coming directly from South Africa, Luddite is a new discovery for me. Despite the high alcohol (at least 15%), this Syrah was packed with restrained black fruit, spice and some smokey characters. The wine overall was in perfect harmony and supported by a fresh acidity, elegant weight and a lingering finish. In my view, a name to watch out for.

Adam Lechmere

Editor, decanter.com

   Chateau Marsyas 2007, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot has all the exotic spice and fruit we’ve come to expect from the Bekaa Valley. Long sunny days and cool nights give the wine splendid spicy acids and gripping tannins. Lots of plums, minty blackcurrant and raspberry leaf. Delicious. Drunk at home with cold meats, chorizo, new potatoes and tomato salad.

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