Tuesday, 13 March 2012

JMS’ Big 50th Bash

This weekend saw JMS turn 50 and what a party it was! To celebrate, a reception tasting and dinner was held at the magnificent Vintners Hall in London. The turn out of guests from the wine world showed just what a great winemaker and character JMS is and I felt most privileged to be present with family and friends.

The evening kicked off with a tasting of 50 wines ranging from my own La Voute Chardonnay to 1988 Château Haut Brion! I didn’t manage to taste many of the wines but I liked very much the Haut Brion ‘88, Domaine l’Hortus ’09 and Château Thieuley 2000 (red).

After the tasting we headed downstairs to the incredible dining room where I was seated next to Libby, Kaye Laithwaite and Jamie Goode. Libby also shares the same birthday as JMS – the 10th of March – along with one Hugh Johnson, also present at the dinner so a Happy Birthday to them too!

However tonight was about JMS, who has been with Laithwaites for 20 years and who is still head winemaker, Bordeaux buyer and also juggles owning his own Rioja Bodega Altos. How; I don’t know. (Well I do, actually. Lots of planes and very fast driving!)

The four courses of salmon, grouse, cheese and desert were matched with four delicious wines that were chosen by JMS:

Château Thieuley 2009 white
Pigeage Altos Rioja 2007
Château Gigault 2005 (magnum)
1962 Port specially blended by Andresen for the occasion

All the wines matched beautifully, but there wasn’t a wine to go with the shotgun pellet I found in my grouse breast.

A fantastic evening was finished with a 1962 cognac and, of course, Poire in magnums. Bon Anniversaire JMS and a grand merci!

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