The wine diaries: How I swooned over Frerejean Frères

Asia's Tech News Daily

The wine diaries: How I swooned over Frerejean Frères
© Provided by City AM

C­hampagne brand Frerejean Frères hosted a dinner at Michelin-starred Hide on Piccadilly, pairing four sensational courses with a stunning range of wines including, as a special surprise, the last two magnums of its 2006 Premier Cru in the UK.

Rodolphe Frerejean-Taittinger, the youngest of the three “Frères” and great grandson to one of the founders of Taittinger, explained this was an emotional pour as it was one of their very first vintages. It was served in huge goldfish bowl style glasses and tasted like marmite on toasted brioche, with a long fresh finish. A total treat.

Chef Ollie Dabbous, looking like he had just stepped off the stage of a rock concert rather than out of the kitchen, welcomed us with an easy grace before explaining the uniquely designed menu. That man can do things to beetroot I did not know were possible. Delicate petals of purple beet appeared like a rose on the plate with fresh ricotta and pops of sorrel and marigold. A delightful pairing for Frerejean Frères Rosé Premier Cru, “a serious rosé” as charming Chef de Cave Didier Pearson pointed out “and one that can be enjoyed with food all year round”.

The creamy, fresh Blanc de Blancs took us through steamed Cornish sole, the citrus and blossom complementing the lemon and herbs of the plate, but it was the VV26 Grand Cru, likened to Puligny-Montrachet with bubbles, that stole the show with the mains.

This expressive champagne, named for the oldest of its vines dating from 1926, held its own against a rich dish of pigeon and lightly spiced black pudding.

Frerejean Frères look to Burgundy to influence their winemaking and are part of “the quiet revolution” currently happening in Champagne, where smaller grower champagnes are listening to the terroir rather than creating large house styles. Thankfully this fantastic example is available by the glass at Hide.

Top tip

When dining at Hide, any bottle can be ordered from the wine haven that is Hedonism and be at your table in 15 minutes. Now that is what I call a wine list.

Wines of the week

Sanziana Pinot Noir 2020, £8.50, Corney & Barrow

Named for Romanian fairies, the “Sanziana”, this supple, smooth red is like drinking a glass of lightly spiced fruit cake. A simple, delicious Pinot Noir for all food pairings.

Selene Feteasca Neagra, £15.99, Slurp

This grape translates as “Black Maiden”. Rich and silky, with deep dark forest fruits and hints of spice and leather. The easy decadence of this wine belies the price.

Redheads Night of the Living Red, £21, Laithwaites

This Australian beast is a blend of Durif, Shiraz and Touriga. Blackberries, plums and dried rose petals create a wine of powerful richness and complex flavour.

Orange Wine, Ancre Hill, £30, Chilled & Tannin

This Clockwork Orange themed Albariño is from Wales’s trailblazing biodynamic winery Ancre Hill. Unfiltered and natural this is savoury, herbal, tangerine and textured.

D’Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz, £37.50, Great Wine Co

Dark fruit laced with black liquorice and cedarwood spice. Savoury and structured, this is a powerful, elegant Shiraz from a sustainable vineyard. Decant before drinking to release all

its layers. 

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