It’s Wednesday so there might be a small chance that you’ve been pious and not touched a drop of vino since the weekend (well done you if so).
I on the other hand have no such scruples, I work funny hours so spent my Monday tracking down as much great vino possible.
Monday started by meeting a couple of Marx Brothers loving mates for lunch at the aptly named Duck Soup in Soho, this stream-line spot is more bar than restaurant but if you’re in Soho on your tod or with one or two mates (or a date) it’s a great little lunch or dinner spot.
Service here matches the wine, natural, honest with no extra bullshit, the beautiful, husky voiced, dusty tanned girl that was looking after us was not backward in coming forward and gave us a good idea of how much funk should be expected on any of the wines we considered.
Starting off with some clean as a whistle, green apple Muscadet we moved on to a sous-voile Chardonnay from the Jura and a couple I’d not come across before.
Decent stuff and did the job, from a number of dishes the clear stand out (especially with the wine) was a plate of perfectly cooked lamb chops with salted lemon and curry leaves, a combo that lingered on the taste buds for hours after.
The other dish I really liked was the cold braised octopus, red wine & peas, cold octopus is a new one on me but really worked, tender and delicious.
Shout to Rory who runs the place and let us sample the ‘In Duck We Trust’ before scooting off, won’t divulge what it was but tasty stuff from the lads at Tutto, give it a go if you visit.
Anyway, let’s us get back to the wine at hand!
R. Lopez de Herdia Vina Gravonia Blanco Crianza 2005
This is a wine that I absolutely adore! With so many amazing wines available it’s rare that I go back and drink the same wine on a regular basis but this is one of them.
In my humble opinion it is one of the best value white wines going, Dvine Cellars sell it for under £20, maybe not cheap but a truly excellent wine for the money, so complex! Now I love this wine but it has an oxidative edge to it that may not be for everyone but to be honest, if you don’t like it it I’ll drink the rest of yours, no quibbles.
Gravonia is made by one of Spain’s most traditional producers, Lopes de Herdia. Based in Haro, Rioja, this wine is made from 100% Viura with an average age of 45 years and an altitude of 340m. The vineyard is called Zaconia and covers 24ha on the banks of the river Ebro just 200m from the bodega. In the past sweet wines have been made from this plot following noble rot, they were known as Sauternia in homage to the sweet wines of Bordeaux.
It’s the nuts, it smells of nuts and stewed apples and almonds & has a liquid mineral core with waxy lemon, golden syrup, Mr. Tom bars (remember them?), also smells of honey, acacia, toffee popcorn & lemon oil. Has a wonderfully fat palate with a chewy nuttiness along with rich lemon rind, peach & apricots (specially the skins), juicy, long and complex finish. Works great with fish (tonight with smoked haddock in a cheddar & chive sauce, butter braised samphire, edamame & butter bean salad with giant couscous n feta). A superb, food friendly wine that would work with a large number of fish dishes as well as chicken, pork and turkey. 93/100pts.