The quest for quality BYO restaurants in my area (Sydney’s northern beaches) is an endless pursuit.
Sure, there are plenty of quality restaurants. There are also plenty of BYO restaurants. But there are precious few that are both…
Friday night was my birthday, and to kick off the week-long festivities (one night is never enough) it was Manly’s The Herring Room Manly’s turn for the BYO roadtest. It went ok too, even if I’m not convinced it’s great value, particularly when somewhere like Pilu is reasonably close and only a little dearer. Anyway, the BYO option was just $6/person, which is simply outstanding – and I took full advantage…
I think I drank most of these wines. Sorry family.
These notes then are more impressions (hence no scores), and luckily I actual wrote things down about the Bordeaux as the memory is less clear towards the end of the eve…
Krug Grande Cuvee Champagne NV
I love Krug. Love. I can’t afford to drink it, but hey, when it’s your birthday there are no limits. This bottle came direct from Moet Hennessey so provenance was (theoretically) assured. According to the Krug ID this went under cork in spring 2014. It was in rude health too, carrying that magical combination of intense, driving acidity and the richness of barrel fermentation and long lees ageing (circa 6 years). I been smashing through loads of more table-wine like grower Champagne lately (including a delicious Huguenot Tassin on Saturday night) and this looked much more traditional, less wild, more linear. Seriously great Champagne, that tastes like classic Champagne, and well up the Krug standard. More please.
Rippon Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2014
Curiously this looked a little flatter than expected, that trademark Gewurtz lychee goodness fading and the palate just looking a bit broad. A bad bottle (it did come back in my suitcase from NZ last year) or a dumb phase? Either way I didn’t love this.
Chanson Clos de Mouches Beaune 1er Cru Blanc 2011
I picked this up in Beaune on a visit to the Bastion back in 2014. Only wish I had more space in the suitcase to bring home more, as it looked only a smidgen below the Grand Cru wines in quality back then and no difference now. Backward, slightly reductive and still carrying some oak tannin through the finish, this is still embryonic. It was almost too dry, too firm to drink now, the acid a slap about your face, the length and carry pure glory. I enjoyed drinking this as much more the latent glory than anything else.
Chateau La Mondotte St Emilion 1981
My birth year and, by all accounts, an ‘ornery vintage. I’ve had a few ’81s that were in good health, but few and far between (and standouts sadly lacking). Balls. Anyway, this bottle was in pristine nick save for some label damage, the levels great (not even base of neck), the colour blindingly youthful looking. Bravo d’Or to Door for clearly picking up a good bottle. Dark maroon red. There’s brick in the colour and brick on the nose – wet bricks and old Chesterfields, the nose hanging onto plenty of ripe fruit for a rubbish vintage. Noticeable high acidity, the finish slightly bitter and abrupt with high acid and drying tannins. Still there is life and fruit in there – plenty! Bravo birth year. I wonder if this was picked before the October rains that marred the ’81 Bordeaux vintage?