LIME AND THYME
A wonderful melange of aromas greeted the panel with fresh spring grass, flowering lilies, honeysuckle, melon and mango as well as buttered toast, sultanas, banana chips and golden syrup. On the palate neat a sweet, juicy, tropical fruit juice with coconut water at first appeared, to be followed by a peppery ginger spice note before ending in a delicious lime and thyme cake. After reduction we hung freshly washed linen on the line in a flowery meadow before we enjoyed banana bread, buttered oatcakes, cantaloupe melon and to drink, while some had a wheat beer others chose a peppermint tea before we all finished with a dessert wine.
A REWARD FOR PATIENCE
A robust and toasty aroma that incorporated buttery shortbread, caramelised oatmeal, brown toast and thick cut sticky malt loaf. Also hints of treacle, tea biscuits and wintergreen with a tang of hessian. Reduction brought freshly baked brown bread, toasted sunflower seeds, mustard oil and orange vitamin tablets. Autumnal, earthy and with sweeter tones of caramel, tamarind and ginger. The neat palate opened with plum and nectarines stewing in Armagnac, charred wood embers, brisket ends and pears poached in dessert wines. Some nut infused chocolate, camphor and pineapple cake. Lots going on! Water brought a nice bitter herbal quality, more toasted nuts, dark boozy fruits and things like spiced damsons, fig paste, plum wine and maple syrup.
THROW THE CORK AWAY!
We imagined cooking sesame peanut noodles with umami paste on an old steam tugboat with boiler smoke, engine oils, tar and mechanical rags next to aromas of camphor and creosote. On the palate smoke galore – imagine a peat smoked green olive tapenade made with olives, anchovies, garlic, parsley, olive oil, capers and lemon zest – add some Maggi liquid seasoning and wasabi – you get the picture! Following reduction, the scent was that of dry cured streaky bacon, apples baked with raisins and cinnamon as we made ourselves a Pu-erh tea. The taste now salty, sweet and smoky as well as oily, thick and tarry – terrific!