Arrived on a very cold night to the very swanky ‘Modern Pantry’, in Farringdon, London. We were shown upstairs to a private room where Lisa (Tesco), Patrick and James were waiting. Lisa led the introductions, first thing that struck me was what a giant of a man Patrick is, I consider myself fairly tall but he seemed to dwarf everyone in the room. After a few minutes everyone else arrived including two new faces to the Community (Ronthewine and Brett) and their guests. Also good to meet the enthusiastic Author Helen McGinn from the wine blog ‘Knackered Mothers Wine Club’
We were all greeted with a fabulous glass of Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Brut NV which seemed to be going down extremely easily with everyone. Served chilled it was a glass of lively fizz with all the grassy, mineral and tropical fruit flavours that you would expect from Sauvignon Blanc. Nice to start the evening off with an alternative to Champagne and a big hit with my wife.
Great chatting with Patrick before sitting down to eat and his enthusiasm for his wines was evident as he answered all my questions with an easy knowledgeable and friendly manner.
Sitting waiting for the first course we were served with two Sauvignon Blancs, the standard 2012 vintage and the Letter Range ‘B’ 2011. Patrick gave an informative talk on both wines as the starters were arriving. Wild coconut Sea Bass, golden beetroot and walnut salad, pink peppercorn and lemongrass dressing.
The Standard 2012, a pretty good vintage according to Patrick and it was everything I expected having sampled a bottle a few days ago, aromas of Tropical fruit, grass, nettles leaping out of the glass, tasting crisp with bracing acidity. The ‘B’ 2011 was beautiful, more refined aromas again with tropical fruit, lovely and smooth, according to Patrick a more oily taste but still with that herbal note. Split roughly 50/50 around the table on which we preferred but for me the ‘B’ took the honours.
The main course was roasted Pork Belly, lemon& rosemary potatoes, roasted red onion and fig relish and with this Patrick selected two Pinot noirs, the standard 2011 and the Terraces ‘T’ 2010 Pinot Noir, again Patrick introduced them before tasting. Both were very good in their own way, the 2011 was a great everyday drink with bags of sweetish strawberry fruits and an underlying smokiness. The Terraces ‘T’ was sublime with rich dark berries and plums and spicy oak.
As the evening unfolded everyone around the table seemed to be enjoying themselves as the wines flowed, noise level increased, photographs taken all having a really good time.
Lastly, the dessert which was a selection of cheeses, chutney and oatcakes , for this Patrick selected a Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2011 sweet wine something I had not tasted before and I must say it didn’t disappoint. Honey, butterscotch, caramel along with a hint of lime, all those flavours just seemed to compliment the cheeses.
To sum up, another well organised and thoroughly enjoyable evening well done to Patrick and James for being great guests of honour and I wish them luck for the future, well done again to all at Team Tesco