My first visit to Jackson Boxer’s characterful and cheerful conversion of part of Lasscos architecture salvage showroom was not quite what I expected. Largely as I was only due to be there for an hour or two before heading north for another meal, not as it turned out, stumbling into a taxi close to midnight after drinking wine what seemed like hectolitres of red wine. As the lips stained, dignity turned pale.
Jackson joined us for a few glasses and very generously pulled some beautiful bottles from his personal cellar proving his adage: ‘As I get older, I like my food simpler and my wine better’. The wine list here is a cracker with lots of mature vintages and quirky, well chosen small producers.
2011 Tous Ensemble Copain
I’ve loved these wines since I first tried them. A few years ago I visited the winery with a view to persuading them (and the company I was with) that they needed to be in the UK and we in turn, needed to buy them. I love the cool, peppery style that is married with the seemingly natural exuberance of US fruit. Exceptionally stylish wines all, especially the top Pinot. This was very good, but lacking the polish and sophistication you find in their top vineyard bottlings. Which I would, in truth save my money and go for.
2004 Blanc Fume de Dagueneau
Apparently some peeps from Admit brought this wine from the list a few weeks ago and sent it back saying it was flawed. Old Dagueneau has its followers but I am not one. The bottle was not flawed but it is one of Didier lesser bottling and I think perhaps should have been drunk a little earlier. Bruised, apple, toffee and nice complexity but just showing too much oxidation for me.
2004 Coteau de Loire, Domaine de Belleviere
Powerful style, bit too powerful for me as I find ripe dry Chenin Blanc a bit heavy going. just a personal thing really.
2009 Clos Rougeard Poyeaux
Well, I’ve not tried as much Poyeaux as I’d like (who has?) but this was flat-out amazing. Open for business but delivering such phenomenally complex yet joyous cab franc it was one of the best bottles of wine I’ve had all year and just blows all but the very best first and super second Bordeaux out of the water.
1995 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos Mont Olivet
This sort of maturity on CNDP I love as the best wines shed their youthful Grenache eagerness to please and become more roasted and complex in style with the total primacy of fruit that one sees in the more young wines receding into the background. Nice peppery notes gave a character of something a bit more Northern.
Was quite pleased with myself as I guessed this as an early eighties right bank Bordeaux and at this point I was really working for my hangover the next day. A nice value vintage Conseillante, on the rustic side but that appeals to me more than more recent, modernvintages of this wine.
2009 ‘Muntada’ Gauby
Spicy and warming with nice Provencal flavour. A bit modern and full, more then that I can’t remember.
2011 Vin des Amis Augustus Clape
I’ve had a few bottles of this in the past few months, as I hang around with a lot of people that share my Clape addiction. Made from young Cote Rotie vines, this is is pure joy and exuberance, not something that you’d always say about his Cornas that can resemble a grumpy old man woken from a long sleep if drunk at the wrong time.