The ‘Brexit’ din­ner

Decanter - - BUYING GUIDE -

For a good many years now I have se­lected the wines for a din­ner held at Ri­p­ley Cas­tle in North York­shire. This year the theme was ‘Brexit’: B for Bri­tain, R for Rhône, E for Echezeaux, X for Xérès, I for Ibe­ria and T for Tus­cany. As an aper­i­tif, my Bride Val­ley, Brut Re­serve 2014 showed its chalky soil. With had­dock and pars­ley fish­cakes (the menu was also Bri­tish), a very good white Rioja, Finca La Em­per­a­triz, Viura Cepas Vie­jas 2013 was out­classed by the De­las, Mar­quise de la Tourette, Her­mitage 2006, which was de­scribed by De­can­ter’s Rhône ex­pert John Liv­ing­stoneLear­month as ‘typ­i­cal Marsanne with a lit­tle skip in its step’. With the roast beef and York­shire pud­ding, La Rioja Alta’s ex­cel­lent Viña Ar­danza 2007 gave way to Rocca di Mon­te­grossi’s su­perb Vigneto San Mar­cellino, Chi­anti Clas­sico Gran Selezione 2007 with 5% Pug­nitello to tem­per the San­giovese’s firm fruit and struc­ture – ro­bust at 14.9% al­co­hol, but el­e­gant. With Bri­tish cheese, a Joseph Drouhin, Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005 showed silky fi­nesse – the per­fect com­pan­ion to Michel Chapoutier’s more mas­cu­line Le Méal, Er­mitage 2003. Fi­nally, with sherry tri­fle, Os­borne’s Ven­er­a­ble Pe­dro Ximénez VORS sent us richly re­warded on our way.

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