9 Oct 2006

Review Reconaissance

I HAVE JUST returned from enormously enjoyable restaurant review-reconaissance with Matthew Norman, critic for The Guardian. We went to The Havelock Tavern, near Shepherd's Bush, a "girl next door" with international, but cosy cuisine, recently reopened after fire.
I contributed a clutch of adjectives, including "quivering" panna cotta. The review is scheduled for publication in two weeks.
Incidentally, like myself, Matthew harbours an aversion to duck tongues (evil things thankfully not present on this twice daily changing menu).
I enjoyed Alsatian sausages (regionally styled rather than dog-filled) with wine importing confrere Robert yesterday. A Mersault - Les Vivenils '04 posessed a warm Linden tea aroma with some toast on the nose (what an image). Full, yet focussed. A Condrieu '04 from Dider Morian supplied caramel and typically confected pineapple. A (perhaps selfish) presence - very full, powerful, slow to leave. Viognier this intense is like a supermodel - highly desirable but perhaps only in small quantities.
Santa Barbara Pinot Noir from Au Bon Climat, this time '03, supplied a big smile to proocedings.
A bottle of '92 sweet German Riesling from Michael Schafer followed, still in bright condition two weeks after we first uncorked it.

We finished with a platter of exotic fruits from Borough Market supplied by Billie, an Australian/South African, including succulent beetroot coloured Dragon Fruit. The Riesling bit through.
Robert and I are going to Chablis and central Burgundy over the next few days to see the last of the harvesting and the first of the fermentations. More will follow...