A fun evening at Rôtisserie Jules
13 May 2009

This was an evening arranged by Chris Mullineux, the talented young winemaker now making his own wines in South Africa, Mullineux Family Wines, at Rôtisserie Jules in London's South Kensington.

Rôtisserie Jules serves little more than roast chicken and chips in a café setting.  I've been several times over the years, and in my experience the food is not as good as it used to be, not that it was every anything more than very simple.  But the simplicity of the food meant we could focus all our attention on the wines, which was required, as Chris had asked that we conceal the identity of all the wines (which were, hence, "served blind").  Blind tasting is a fun game for wine professionals and enthusiasts: on the one hand, it allows judgement to be made without being influenced by the label; on the other, it is a great way to make fools of ourselves and our so-called knowledge.  On this occasion we were all pretty useless at spotting what the wines were, though in our defence, several of them did not display the usual typicity, even once the wine had been revealed, and we knew what it was.

I recorded the scores below before the wines' identities were revealed.

2003 Wroxeter Roman Vineyard, Brut, Shropshire English Quality Sparkling Wine, 12%
Rather slight, slow bubbles. Fairly aromatic nose. Possibly charmat rather than champagne method? Decent palate, with some citrus and aromatics. Could be chenin, or maybe pinot gris/riesling? Well, well, apparently, it's reichensteiner.  Champagne method (or traditional method as we now have to say), not charmat, so I was wrong there too.

2007 Grüner Veltliner Renner, Schloss Gobelsburg
A lemon straw appearance. Lots of fresh, lemony, grassy notes. Presumably sauvignon blanc. Quite a rich palate, though it's served a bit too warm, which is accentuating that. Thought there's still a nice refreshing acidity. The acidity really lingers on the palate and on the lips. My guess would that this would be a warmish climate sauvignon blanc. Australia? South Africa? Added acidity?

Oh come on! Even when it's revealed, it just doesn't seem to be at all GrüV like.

2005 Riesling, François Lipp, 13%
A subtle, aromatic nose. Rich, full, spicy palate. Seems like Alsace, most likely pinot gris. 2005?

2003 Le Ciste, Côtes du Roussillon, Domaine Laguerre, 13%
A subtle nose with some lemon, minerality and a hint of oxidation. A big mouthful, with quite a sweetish, nutty character. Seems Rhôney. There's no great depth, but there is very good length. 90/100

2007 Redoma Branco, Niepoort, 13%
A rich, powerful scented nose. And then on the palate, it's rich and fairly sweetish again. There's a bit of an odd, soapy feel on the finish. Seems fairly young. Some aromatic variety/ies in there? Viognier and some other stuff? 87/100

Oremus Tokaji Dry Mandolás, 13%
Sweet and a bit nutty on the nose - almost a syrupy feel. Lovely palate, though a bit doughnutty, it that it's very flat in the middle: lovely, full attack, thenit comes back with power on the finish. Nice wine, though I don't know what it is. 91/100

2003 Le Ciste, Côtes du Roussillon, Domaine Laguerre, 13%
Initially the nose doesn't give much away, then it reveals itself to be slightly floral, slightly scented honey and lemon. Savagnin? Chenin? Or it could be north Italian, or that region - malvasia? Quite rich, and builds in the mouth. Very mouthfilling, but nicely balanced. Very good length.

2002 Arbois Melon-Queue-rouge, Jacques Puffeney, 12.5%
A lovely nose - rich, creamy, sweet, slightly nutty, with a good minerality. Very interesting palate. Slightly oxidised. High acidity. There's a bit of a raisined feel to it. Savagnin? Jura? If it is, then it could be any age. I rather like it. 91/100

2007 Morgon vieilles vignes, Michel Guignier
There's strawberry and cherry fruit on the nose, with a subtle black pepper note. The first thing you notice is a good structure. It's light, but with a lovely body and a fresh red fruity character. Classy Morgon. 91/100

1999 Hermitage Vin de Paille, M. Chapoutier, 14.5%, 375ml
Sweet nose. Very elegant indeed. Slightly raisined, slightly savoury. there's a hint of tobacco too. Sweet, yet savoury on the palate, with great elegance. There's lots of dry fruit and candied orange character, along with some coffee and mocha notes. Very concentrated and savoury, especially in comparison to the Mullineux. Inordinate length. 95/100

2008 Straw Wine, Mullineux Family Wines
A much fresher nose than the Chapoutier, but definitely a winning nose. Quite orangey. Glorious. Much sweeter than the Chapoutier, but very, very fresh. 93/100

2008 Mullineux White, Mullineux Family Wines, 13.5%
A very attractive crisp nose with lemon and grapefruit, and a slight lanolin feel. Very good palate. Very nice weight and balance. There's a rich, rounded, slightly tropical fruit feel, but then the acidity comes along. Crisp, fresh finish. Very good length. 91/100

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Last updated: 14 Jan 2010