Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tale of Two Opus's (Opii?)

The boss was in tonight for a business meeting with the new chairman of SLH (Small Leading Hotels - a marketing consortium of which we are a part) and the hotels solicitor. Its the first time he's been in since we started the new menu, so everyone was on tenderhooks to see how he would respond to it. The red wines were predetermined, I was to chose two vintages of Opus One and the white was to be my choice.

So after a shufftie around the cellar I settled on a bottle of 1980 which was the second vintage produced, and a bottle of the 1999 which is the last vintage we purchased. Chalk and Cheese. The 1980 was quite subtle on the nose, very restrained with hints of mulberry and dark berry fruits when it started to open out, but there was a strong element of stewed fruit to the aromas. The 1999 was a big showy bastard, full on curranty aromas with seasoned tobacco and cedarwood elements in there too. I did a bit of digging around and found out that the 1980 had a mere ten days of skin contact. Its a wonder its still drinkable! The 1999 by comparison had a massive 40 days. Much more extraction, much more flavour. I have to say though that I prefer the 1980 myself.

The white I chose was a Cour-Cheverny from the Loire. Made from an almost abandoned variety called Romorantin it has quite dominant aromas of Membrillo Jelly and quite a spicy feel to it. With the lobster and five spice it was a perfect match.

So the boss seems happy, although you never can tell until the next morning when you get the de-brief, and Ive got two less bottles of Opus in the cellar!! Yay!!

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