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...
Acting Assistant Editor, Decanter
Domaine Hauvette, Les Baux de Provence, France 2000
How better to learn about and taste a range of wines than by joining 300 top winemakers for dinner, all seated along giant communal tables, swapping each other’s bottles. At Les Caves de Pyrènes’ annual dinner, Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac liberated a magnum of this Grenache, Cabernet and Syrah blend from its owner on a nearby table and it proved a real favourite with the roast pork. Leathery, smoky secondary aromas led to bright acidity and a full, juicy palate of earthy mushroom, black cherry and bramble fruit. An elegant wine with firm but ripe tannins and a lingering white pepper finish.
Esterhazy Estoras, Blaufrankisch Cabernet Sauvignon, Austria 2007
This blend, from the Neusiedlersee producer, has bright, lifted forest fruits with hints of winter spice. There’s a smoky edge to the palate, and some good grippy tannins and a lovely acid balance. An unusual and very enjoyable bottle, drunk at home with a rustic fish pie, and all the better for it
Deputy Editor, decanter.com
Bouchard Père & Fils, Bourgogne Rouge 2007
Quite a regular Burgundy here. Enjoyed with a plate of charcuterie at the bar of Clapham eatery Le Bouchon Bordelais, this isn’t exactly blow-you-away juice, simply a decent Pinot Noir from an unexceptional year. Nice fruit, soft and drinkable, it was hard to get very excited about this wine, especially with a £20 per bottle price tag. You can’t win ’em all…
Goose Ridge Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington 2006
I wasn’t quite sure about this wine. I wanted to like it – I’m all for smaller, characterful regions trying to break through, and Washington’s reds provide a welcome antidote to the blockbusting bullies of California. Its whites have equal promise, but this was betwixt and between. A touch of sweetness, then a floral, almost gewurztraminer attack, and a mellow, non-descript finish. Was it an aperitif, or an after dinner palate cleanser? A dessert wine or a cheese partner? There was nothing wrong with it, but it certainly didn’t do any favours for my home-made cod wrapped in bacon (a dish I’m very proud of). Perhaps that’s where I went wrong – maybe I was too proprietorial over my food – after all, it was the disconcerting feel of not getting what I’d expected that most perturbed me. But I thought that was the role of German Rieslings?