Happy birthday indeed

Steven Spurrier got to be 70 last week, and, as with everything he does, turned it into a stylish celebration. The birthday lunch, by the sea on the Dorset coast, was attended by a convivial crowd—reunions galore, memories revived, good cheer abounding. There were Patricia Gastaud-Gallagher and Isabelle Bachelard, over from Paris, bringing back memories of days and nights on Cité Berryer back in the ‘70s, when we felt like we were in a Jacques Demy movie (but with better beverages), Hugh Johnson and Michael Broadbent and other grandees, Warren Winiarski, Michael Hill-Smith and other winemakers and, holding it all together, the lovely and indispensible Bella Spurrier.
       Of course, lunch was brilliantly lubricated. Highlights: Mike Hill-Smith and Warren Winiarski brought their Chardonnays (Mike’s Shaw & Smith 2010 M3 a Chablis-like analogue, and Warren’s Arcadia 2008 closer to Meursault); Fattoria Nittardi’s Chianti Classico 2008 (with a label illustrated by Gunter Grass) was vibrantly fresh, and Roberto Bava’s sweetly vivacious “Bassotuba” Moscato d’Asti 2010 a perfect finish. The wine of the day, though, was Chateau Leoville-Barton 2002, a vintage many people wrote off; it was poised, silky, suavely sensuous, supremely elegant, and just right now.
       We also celebrated Steven and Bella’s vineyard, where the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes are about to be harvested for the first time. (It's in the background, behind Warren, Steven, and me) More on that in good time. . .

1 comment:

One Of The Bunch said...

Warren, Steven, and me ... reminds me of that ol' song about Luckenbach, Texas -- Willie and Waylon and the Boys. Cheers!

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