Let us face it, most of the time plain boiled potatoes are pretty dreary. Even baby new potatoes that are not over-cooked still fire up passion only vanishingly rarely. Yet, I rather like Jersey Royals – they have a flavour and interest-level few other spuds can match. Why is this so? Partly because of the variety and location they are grown, that much seems obvious. However, I feel a lot of their character comes from the fact that they make it into the shops rather rapidly. My chum Mr T who is a Jersey-bean tells me they are best cooked within half an hour of being dug up, and for once he may not be embellishing the truth. Freshness is an important part of many vegetable experiences and I cannot see why it should be any different for potatoes. The portion I noshed on for dinner really did it for me. Don’t forget you need to slather them with butter.
With our fish and potatoes we had some Grand Cru white Burgundy. It was a type example of why one should not serve quality Chardonnay at fridge temperature and ideally give it a bit of air (as long as the bleeder is not already oxidised). As we sniffed and swirled this wine grew in personality from being somewhat anodyne to being a classy, if not ultimately lustrous, example of the genre.
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Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2001, Paul Pernot
Now this has shaken off its fridge-induced reticence it has a very expressive nose, part of which, I cannot deny, is a shade of sulphur that I heartily approve of as it has stopped the onset of the dreaded premature-oxidation. There is some toasty, buttery character brought about by the beginnings of being fully mature and its richly ripe lemon fruit is very attractive. I’m getting a bit of creamy minerality, but not as much as I’d hope for: indeed, whilst there is a lot to enjoy here I feel a there is the suggestion it is lacking a tiny bit of dimension. To be fair, it is a lovely nose, it just doesn’t throb with the winning refulgence of some I’ve had recently. Good density on the palate allied to a great acidity keeping it spritely and spunky. Yeah, serious energy all right, will keep for longer. Again, there is minerality, but not of a degree to write home about. But I am home and writing. Hmmm… I’ll deal with the logical conundrums when I’ve finished my glass. The same goes for its length, I’d expect a bit more persistence of flavour. Fruit is nice, most definitely, the polished, suave texture is winning and I am so pleased they have not titted about with masses of unnecessary new oak. A very goog bottle of white Burgundy that has time left to develop and improve. For all that, I am gruntled I paid €40 for it rather than the London price of £70.