As I gazed through my window pondering life, the universe and deal or no deal, I couldn’t help but wonder why we had filled our shop window with an array of wine bottles. Let’s face it most people know what a bottle of wine looks like.
In a radical move, I pulled all the wine bottles from the window, rang my good friend Alina, and within minutes we’d devised a plan. We would stimulate the senses of passers-by, distract them from their journeys, or at least entertain for a few seconds. Another call to the fantastic people at Castelnau, and the plan quickly gained further momentum
Come Halloween, we had a fantastic evening; excellent support from Whetstone locals and the north London artists community. The general order of things was to taste 3 sparkling wines, then either take in some of the display, or move to the full on full bodied Boneshaker Zinfandel whilst carrying out a forensic detail on Who Killed Snoopy.
First of the cuvées, Champagne Castelnau Reserve, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and three vintages from 2008, 9, 10, the merging of these years results in a well balanced wine, there’s bags of bubbles, a nutty praline aroma and baked apple to taste, all combine to give the impression of a much more expensive cuvée. Winemaker Elisabet Sarcelet has kept the sugar down to 8g/l to achieve fruitiness with very little sweetness.
Moving on to the second wine tasted, the Castelnau rosé, we have a base of the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier used in the reserve, 13g/l of residual sugar which results in plenty of fruit notes, red and black berries, a hint of the forest floor and the higher percentage of Meunier gives the wine a slightly earthy feel both on the nose and to taste. A decent wine to pair with food, Fernando from Castelnau was pouring on the night and suggests scallops.
The blanc de blancs is a 2006 vintage. a few people on the night suggested it had a sherry like quality, which is perfectly understandable, the nose is complex, nutty, yeasty and hints of wheat, baked apples, it’s an aromatic wine when so often blanc de blanc can be bland. When i visited the region, this was one of my favourite wines tasted, and revisting a few months later back in the UK, it remains so.
We also tasted a Chablis from Patriarche, and the Boneshaker Zinfandel. The Chablis is as you would expect from the style; fresh minerality, I love this wine partly because of the price versus quality, it does well on both counts.
Boneshaker Zinfandel, a winter warmer, full bodied, dark fruit and chocolate notes, it’s a Black Forest Gateaux, but also changes in the glass, opening up to show leather, black pepper and hints of spice, even a hint of green herb.
As for the art, I fear we have not resolved the murder of Snoopy. Alina Gavrielatos (right) gave us plenty of clues, with a good exploration of the world of cartoon characters and their potential dark side. Alina’s art will be on display both inside and splattered across the shop window