What we’ve been drinking (19 February)

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... What we've been drinking index

Lucy Shaw

Editorial assistant, Decanter

   The FMC Forrester Meinert Chenin 2008

Being a fan of liquid pleasure by the measure, last Thursday I headed to the Kensington Wine Rooms, voted Newcomer of the Year 2010 in our February issue. Set up in May 2009 by Icelandic entrepreneur Thor Gudmunsson, KWR boasts five Enomatic machines – gumball machines for grown-ups – that allow imbibers to chose from 40 wines by the glass. It also offers Sampler style cash cards, which you can top up like an Oyster card. I was excited to see the FMC on the list. I’d only ever tried it once before, during a dinner held two years ago by Ken Forrester at South African restaurant Vivat Bacchus in London Bridge. I was blown away – it was the best South African white I’d ever tried by miles. Luckily, the 2008 was on equally good form – smooth, creamy, rich and delicious with layers of honey, apricot and vanilla. Drinking it was an almost transcendental experience that took me right back to the Forrester dinner. It’s gratifying to revisit a wine and get as much pleasure the second time round as the liquid memory that persists in the mind. There’s something comforting about knowing you can have that experience again at the push of a button.

Tina Gellie

Chief Sub Editor, Decanter

   Chateau de Beaucastel Blanc, Châteauneuf du Pape, Rhône, France 2002

Thinking it would be nice to walk to The Harrow at Little Bedwyn along the canal, we hadn’t gambled on so much mud. Or the Wiltshire hikers who laughed at us ‘Londoners’ in our dresses and heels squelching along the boggy bank. But we got there, eventually, then used up all the hand-towels in the bathroom cleaning our shoes, finally settling in for a Michelin-starred lunch, supported by the seven bottles of wine we brought (well, there were two of us). Before I get inundated with mail, let me say that we did take two bottles back home with us, and of the five we opened, we didn’t finish any; sharing them with chef-patron Roger Jones, his wife Sue and other guests. The 2001 Leeuwin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River almost stole the show (Roger thought it a cru classé Bordeaux), but this white, from arguably Châteauneuf’s top estate, pipped it to the post. Sue decanted it and thought it had oxidised, so golden was the colour, but the nose showed fresh but very rich, ripe waxy melon and peach fruit with smoky minerals and almonds. The palate was fat and oily with more stone fruit and quince with that creamy almond character again, enlivened by a mineral zing. Amazingly complex and drinking beautifully, particularly with the cod and bacon.

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