I AM INHALING the slowly-scorched dark earth / iron ore vapours of Whale Haven's Merlot '98 from Elgin, an area believed to be near Burgundian in climate, east of studenty Stellenbosch. According to the winemaker's notes, this should have given up the goût some years ago. -Tripe sausage! This evolving entity has a taught, never fraught frame lovingly shaped with satin soft tannins, integrated rose petal perfume, cream-lacquered berries and a judicious French oak presence somehow akin to an efficient but never intrusive maître d'. Very interesting to note the calm 13.5p/c of this wine compared with the '05 version which bombs in at a raucous 15p/c+.
I feel like a miscreant rubbishing Silka, a wood-striped tank with pergatory lighting burrowed somewhere below Borough Market. Someone's livelihood has been sunk into this spiced-confusion after all.
Conceived as a '...calm and soothing antidote to London's hectic life...' this Indian actually antagonised. I sat in pronounced isolation, consuming greviously battered butterfly prawns with Ketchup coulis, ingesting noduled Lassi through a helter-skelter straw, my strip-lit food glowing green in the 'meat slab' sheen. The turmeric marinated machine cubed Tilapia which followed was unemotive, accompanied by a phlegm noise from the Chef chez open plan kitchen. Faced with the option, I would rather eat sautéed hair, which here is a real possibility! Indeed the most appetising morcel was the lukewarm wet-wipe Finale! A bolshy winelist of tannic beasts highlighted the need for agile wines with verve in this culinary genre.
Ascending the stairs towards the sunlight, London's hectic life in fact provided the craved for antidote to Silka...
My latest Southwark News article, 'Vary Your Wine Diet' may be found on the MAIN SITE.