Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back from London

(Picture from

I visit London at least once a year on business. I’ll spare you with details from my business meetings and stick to the wine stuff, as I do get something to eat and drink while I am away from home.

I tasted and “old relative” the first evening there; the 1986 Cos d'Estournel. Even though I rarely taste Bordeaux and have stopped buying it since 1995 – I still recognize the quality of the wines. The 1986 Cos d’Estournel was dead handsome and perfectly mature for my palate.

London is packed with fine restaurants, but apparently I always end up at The Ledbury in Notting Hill The food is spot on and very tasteful. It’s not in the same league as my two favourites here in Copenhagen; Noma Geranium – but it’s definitely nice. The service is dedicated, professional and the sort you never really notice, but it’s there. The restaurant is located in a very cosy neighbourhood, with good shopping opportunities. Even the Diane von Fustenberg shop is just few meters away – if we have any females in the audience. Also, a brilliant bar there; Beach Blanket Babylon which makes the best Apple martini in town.
But, as yours truly is a wine nerd, the best thing about The Ledbury is their fair priced Wine list – and especially the Champagne selection. I had set my eyes on the Vouette et Sorbée “Blanc d’Argile” on magnum, but unfortunately it was sold out. We then tried the Selosse Rosé – which is not a favourite of mine, but I really wanted to try it again. Definitely better than my previous bottle, but I still think it’s missing out of the purity and fragile account and it’s a bit too sweet with warmth in the glass. I understand that Selosse is seeking to lower the dosage in future on his Rosé and from my view it’s a good choice. We also had the Contraste from Selosse – a Champagne I have tasted many times. For me it never fails and it’s certainly among my favourite of the Selosse portfolio and it did exceptional well with the cheese. But we had a third Champagne, and a real knock out one for me. The very limited D’ailleurs from Jerome Prevost. A wine, according to Peter Liem, only made two times – in 2000 and 2003. Basically it’s the same wine as "La Closerie", but it spends another year on oak. The interesting thing about this wine was that it had some bottle age and it’s the first time I get the chance to see how bottle ages infects the wines from Prevost. The wine was mysterious, vinous and had an uncompromising energy of loaded deep fruit with brilliant freshness – simply stunning stuff.

We had no white wines that evening, but once again we had an interesting wine from SQN – the 1998 Sine Qua Non “Veiled”, Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard. You have to have a lexicon to keep track of the SQN wines – but the wine was really delicious. It had a sweet seducing Pinot Noir nose – really cool tempered and easy to drink. I sometimes find these overseas Pinot Noir wines to hold too much alcohol and have an almost plastic sweetness – which is the result of a smooth and sweet fruit core, blended with alcohol. In this case, everything was beautiful integrated with age and it was the best red of the evening.
Other reds; 2002 Clos Vougeot, Robert Arnoux – seemed somewhat closed on the nose, but showed potential on the palate.
Also another US wine; 2006 Saxum Broken Stones (63% Syrah, 24% Grenache, and 13% Mourvedre). When having drunk such elegant wines over the evening, this wine seemed a bit clumsy in my opinion – it didn’t fancy it – but it could easily benefit from a lot more decanting and cellaring.



good food said...


The Ledbury, really? You know that's funny. At my last visit to noma I go approached by a young chef from The Ledbury. He had done a stage at noma, it was his last day there and he had enjoyed lunch. Of course, he suggested I should visit the restaurant. Maybe I should next month when I'm in London on business. I guess you recommend it?


Thomas said...

Hi Trine,

Well yes – I recommend it.

The food is good – aromatic well composed, but don’t compare it to Geranium – (just saw you post btw, yummy), it’s simply not in the same league.

Service is good and as I said in the post it’s simply a great area of London – don’t forget to have an Apple Martini .


Ps. I was @ Noma yesterday….hmmm…problematic…I will comment on your blog if I have the time.

PPS. Pontus strongly recommended me to join the football tournament – so maybe I should.

good food said...

Hi Thomas

Yay, you should join the five-a-side game! I'll send you the latest info I've got. Fat Duck is coming - did you know?

noma, problematic? Oh no. Why? Hope you'll find time to explain.

And thanks for the Martini tip. Hehe. Have you ever been to the River Café?