WSDC Event - Northern Rhone Dinner

What: Northern Rhone Dinner Event Sold Out  
When: 31 Mar 14 ,19:00 -22:30
Where: The Travellers Club SW1Y 5EP map
See summary here



Our spring dinner will be held in the magnificent surroundings of the Travellers Club, designed by Sir Charles Barry and built between 1829 and 1832, at roughly the same time as the Athenaeum next door and Carlton House Terrace just behind. Our speaker is Siobhán Astbury, a director and buyer for the wine merchants, Haynes Hanson & Clark. This company specialises in French wines and their buyers can still draw on advice from Anthony Hanson MW, who nowadays conducts the Hospices de Beaune auctions for Christie’s. Siobhán will be between trips to Burgundy and Bordeaux, so a few of our wines from the Northern Rhone should make a welcome interlude!

Our reception will be in the Outer Morning Room where we will be served pink champagne – Marguet, Rosé Grand Cru, Brut NV.  Marguet was founded in 1875 and is now run by Benoit Marguet-Bonnerave, in the fifth-generation of a family of growers that one of the Marguets married into. The operation is organic, and this rosé is made from Chardonnay (65%) and Pinot Noir (35%) grapes picked in Grand Cru vineyards. Recently it received a favourable mention from Jancis Robinson.

Once we have moved upstairs for dinner, we will have a white Rhone with our starter – Saint-Péray Grain de Silex, Domaine Guy Farge 2012. This is 90% Roussanne and 10% Marsanne, promising complexity, silky textures, some stony zip, and good length. It has elegant aromas and flavours of peach and apricot. Guy Farge used to send grapes to the local Co-operative until 2007, since when he has made his own wines from vines in St Joseph, St Peray and Cornas.

We have three red wines to go with our main course. The first is St Joseph Offerus Rouge 2007 from Chave. This will be purple, with a berry nose and medium to high acidity. Some commentators mention a smoky element as well as cherry flavours. Jean-Louis Chave took over the family business, which can be traced back to 1481, from his father Gérard during the 1990s. While best known for their Hermitage wines, they also run a négoce house buying and blending Côtes-du-Rhône and Saint-Joseph.

Next we have two vintages of Hermitage from Paul Jaboulet Aîné, their Hermitage La Chapelle 1995 and the Hermitage La Chapelle 1997. These legendary wines are named after a stone chapel supposedly built as a retreat by a 13th century knight returning wounded from the Albigensian Crusade. La Chapelle is a trade name rather than a vineyard - the syrah grapes come from old vines in four of the best terroirs on the hill of Hermitage. When we tried the 1997 at our last Christmas tasting those present gave it an excellent score of 6 out of 7.

Our desert wine will be a Premier Cru Barsac - Château Coutet 2003. Coutet make elegant wines that are not generally as sweet or powerful as some Barsacs. Our wine will have notes of apricot, honey, and caramelised apple which I hope will be perfect for the dessert.

I know that this will be an excellent evening in splendid surroundings and I hope to see a lot of our members there.

Dress Code: Lounge suits. Please note that we are dining at a private members club and must adhere to the dress code which requires that gentlemen wear jackets and ties.

Guests: £120
Members: £115

Forthcoming events:
3rd June 2014 – annual general meeting followed by a 1980s claret dinner at the Savile Club

Autumn 2014 – Pauillac Dinner, including Ch. Lafite 1997


Booking Form

Vintages available from The Wine Society:

Hermitage La Chapelle 2003, Paul Jaboulet Aîné