her food his wine

Cooking for a wine fanatic

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Sous vide Turkish eggs


It’s fathers day so what better treat from the girls for their dad than their eggs.

While looking for a restaurant where we could have brunch at today before the other half headed to Heathrow for a flight to Toronto, I came across Turkish Eggs served at The Providores. Peter Gordon’s food is great. This recipe originated from the Changa restaurant in Istanbul and having just looked at their menu is on my list of places to visit if  i’m ever in Istanbul.

With scheduled engineering works into London over the weekend I decided to give a trip to London a miss but thought i’d try to replicate the dish at home with a twist. Rather than standard poached eggs I cooked them in my sous vide supreme for 45 minutes at 64c. Thomas Keller recommends 62.5c however most blogs tend to recommend 64c and with some of the white still a little runny, they probably could have stayed in for another 5 minutes or so.

Cooking the eggs in a water bath makes it the perfect breakfast dish for a large group of people with zero stress. When cooked just crack directly into the serving dish.




  • 4 eggs
  • 150g full fat greek yogurt
  • 25ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 25g butter
  • crushed chilli to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • maldon sea salt
  • griddled sourdough bread to serve


  1. Heat your water bath to 64c and carefully drop eggs in. Cook for 45 minutes. If you don’t have a water bath cook in  a pan of barely simmering water
  2. Mix the greek yogurt, garlic and olive oil and beat together for 10 minutes. Set aside but don’t refrigerate
  3. Heat the butter until it turns a light nut brown. Remove from the heat and add the chilli flakes
  4. When ready to serve, divide the yogurt between 2 warmed bowls. Crack two eggs into each bowl, then spoon over the butter and sprinkle with the parsley and sea salt. Serve with the griddled sourdough on the side

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Hey Mango……


……mango cambodia, not italiano.

I’ve mentioned before how much I love asian green mango and green papaya salads however they’re hard to get hold of unless I go to Chinatown in London. They’re also relatively expensive compared to their ripe counterparts; a papaya over £6 and manago £4. Having the urge for some green mango salad I thought i’d  try to make it with an unripe mango from the supermarket. Good old Tesco – fruit lasts longer on the shelves when it is unripe and I found the perfect unripe specimen in an unopened box at the bottom of the display and at £1.50 – bargain.

This is an unusual salad that comes from Cambodia and usually uses flaked dried fish. Rick Stein makes a version with smoked mackerel which sounds like it is going to be an acquired taste however it is pretty amazing.

SPICY GREEN MANGO SALAD WITH SMOKED MACKEREL (Njham svay trey heu) adapted from Rick Stein Far East Odyssey

Serves 2 as a main course of 4 as a starter

  • 275g smoked mackerel fillets
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 green mango (about 450g)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 30g shallots very thinly sliced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chilli finely chopped
  • 25g roasted peanuts roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 15g thai sweet basil (or mint if you can’t find it)
  1. Skin the mackerel fillets and break the meat into small flakes. Pour 2cm oil into a pan and heat to 190c. Sprinkle the fish into the oil and fry for 1 minute until crispy . Lift out and drain well on kitchen paper and break into small pieces.
  2. Peel the mango and carrot and julienne into 3mm wide strips. Put into a large bowl with the shallots, chilli, peanuts and fried fish and toss together.
  3. Mix the sugar with the fish sauce and lime, and add to the salad with the thai basil and toss again.
  4. Pile into the centre of 2 bowls and serve straight away.


Unlike most Alsace wines, they contain residual sugar which gives high viscosity and a honeyed quality. However their great richness is balanced by fresh fruity acidity which does not only confers exceptional length on the palate but also prevents the wines from being cloying. This wine is made from botrytised noble Gewurztraminer, hand-selected and from the best vineyards. It is made in only exceptional years and has natural residual sugar (over 80g) which harmonises perfectly with the fresh and acidic character.

One whiff of the Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive and your sense of smell is instantly pervaded with ham hock, celery root, brown spices, mint and honey.

Primary juices include rose petals and spice and a dusty botrytis character to follow. This is a lusciously sweet and complex wine.

This wine speaks for itself and makes a great aperitif. It goes well with foie gras or fruity rich desserts such as a peach tarte tatin or a steamed syrup pudding. The wine can also be paired with blue cheeses and rich, spicy asian dishes.

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Fast food

OK, the weather so far this year has been rubbish – the coldest winter, the wettest spring blah blah blah. The upside to that is that it’s the first time my wild garlic patch has continued to flourish into June.

After a morning in the garden battling the weeds a quick lunch was in order. With little more than a gnarly lump of cheese in the fridge the girls had to come to the rescue. Delia, Pi (Life of not chicken and mushroom) and Frank (yes quite an unusual name for a chicken – Frank Ocean, Agent Orange – orange/ginger chicken……….that’s my other halfs unusual sense of humour for you! ) keep us well stocked in eggs throughout the year until one of them gets broody and upsets the other two. Thankfully that is a rare occurrence.


So the omelette – I’m not going to do a Delia and tell you how to boil an egg, or your Granny how to suck them. My preference for seasoning is a teaspoon of light soy sauce. I briefly sauteed a handful of wild garlic in butter before adding the egg, and then some grated double gloucester cheese before folding. I like the inside to still be slightly runny, however that isn’t for everyone. From field to plate 5 minutes!


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Jamon Jamon

Jack by the Hedge

I made a long overdue trip to Borough Market in London last weekend. I used to work close by and spent most of what I earned there, however now only get to go after board meetings when I’m normally feeling so beaten up I can’t get out of Dodge quick enough.  Fortunately this time was a non board day so I could take my time. It gets more touristy every time I go however it is still a great experience. I always find something new and this time I discovered that the large annoying patch of weeds growing in my garden that I have spent the last couple of  weeks trying to Roundup outta town are actually Jack by the Hedge AKA garlic mustard and were being sold as if they were the new wild garlic. I’ve got a few ideas for what to do with them but they’re for another day.

One of the things I bought were razor clams from Furness Fish. They always have a great selection of fish and shellfish. I love razor clams despite them being time consuming to clean. One of my favourite ways of cooking them is with Jamon and broad beans. We served them with a nice chilled glass of the recently released Tio Pepe Fino En Rama.


Razor clams with jamon and broad beans

(Serves four)


  • 1kg fresh broad beans (weight before shelling), shelled and peeled
  • 8tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g Ibérico or Serrano ham, cut in strips
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 small razor clams, blanched for 30 seconds,  cleaned and returned to shells
  • 75ml good quality olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped with tablespoon of parsley and mixed with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Add the beans and blanch them for 1 minute, then drain them and plunge them into iced water for 2 minutes. Drain the beans and pat dry. Heat 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan or heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat. Add the ham and cook gently for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and cook for a further 30 seconds, then add the garlic and cook for a couple of seconds more.
  2. Add another 4 tablespoons of oil and the stock, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the broad beans, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Heat a grill to high. Put the razor clams on a tray flesh side up and cook for 1 minute, until the flesh is golden brown. Divide the clams between serving plates and spoon the broad beans and ham over the top and into the shells. Drizzle with the garlic and parsley mixture and serve.




It’s a super-fresh fino sherry made by Gonzalez Byass in Jerez, Spain. It’s bottled in limited quantities and available for just a few months every spring. It’s as close as you can get to tasting the wines straight from the barrels in Andalucia.

Tio Pepe En Rama is an unfiltered, unclarified, fino sherry bottled on 8th April in its most natural state. At the end of 2012, winemaker Antonio Flores selected around one hundred barrels from two of the Tio Pepe soleras. (A solera is a method of maturing wines in barrels by fractional blending). From these, 67 barrels were identified for their quality and particularly thick surface covering of ‘flor’ yeast. Flor* imparts fino’s distinctive nutty, bready aromas and flavours, and is vital to the production of Fino sherry.

It is intense and complex on the nose with aromas of bread dough, old oak barrels, dried crystalline fruits (kumquats) and fresh almonds. It’s full, dry, and intense on the palate but with a fresh citrus burst. Enjoy served well-chilled as an apéritif with salted almonds or cashews,air-cured meats, or Razor clams with broad beans and Jamon as we did.

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Here comes the sun

Tomato, onion and blue cheese salad

The bank holiday brought some long awaited sun to our corner of Essex. The garden furniture was dusted off, the grass cut and the weeds rounded up in preparation for the first al fresco meal of the year. I picked up half a boned shoulder of lamb from my local butcher Holts of Witham and set to work on the long slow preparation of the dish in my sous vide supreme. We served it with a 2006 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Rouge.


Sous vide shoulder of lamb 2

  • 800g shoulder of lamb, deboned and rolled
  • Large sprig of thyme and rosemary
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Lamb jus
  • Peas and podded broad beans
  • Pea shoots to serve

Preheat the water bath to 63°C.

Rub the salt and pepper into the lamb shoulder.

Place the shoulder of lamb in a clean vacuum bag, thyme, rosemary and crush the garlic with the palm of your hand.

Seal the vacuum bag and cook the lamb for 24 hours.

When ready to serve, open the bag, remove the shoulder of lamb and pat dry. Pass the remaining liquid juices in the bag through a fine sieve into a small saucepan with the lamb jus and heat through.

Heat a heavy based frying pan over a high heat and fry the lamb briefly on all sides until browned all over.

Remove the string from the lamb and cut into slices and serve with the broad beans and peas and garnish with pea shoots.



Coudoulet, as Beaucastel, owes its ability to age to the high proportion of Mourvedre – about 30% – that makes up the final cuvée. This provides a tannic backbone and resistance to oxidation that ensures long life. In addition, Mourvedre introduces aromas of leather, tobacco, and spice to the blend. One should note also that the Beaucastel and Coudoulet vineyards are at the northern limit for growing Mourvedre, and it is well known that the best expressions of any varietal come from the cooler parts of their growing areas.

The other main variety, Grenache, gives Coudoulet the rounded fullness and intense fruit that is typical of Côtes du Rhône. Syrah and Cinsault represent about 20% each and bring tannins and aromatic complexity to Coudoulet.

After careful hand harvesting, the grapes are transferred to the winery. Maceration takes place in enamel tiled vats over about 12 days before the free-run wine is taken off and a light pneumatic pressing applied.

Each grape variety is kept separately until after malo-lactic fermentation, when the final blend is decided. The young wine continues to mature for about six months in large oak barrels or “foudres”.
In March following the vintage, the wine is fined with egg whites and bottled.


A delicious way of keeping vampires at bay!

Wild Garlic

It has been a long time coming however the wild garlic is out with a vengeance in the garden. It’s a travesty to waste it so when in season I am always looking for new ways to cook it. I got some snails courtesy of Dorset snails so thought i’d do a twist on traditional Escargot a la Bourguignonne and replace the garlic with wild garlic. I have to say it was a great success and went really well with a bottle of Pieropan La Rocca.

Dorset escargot


  • 12 prepared snails
  • 12 snail shells


  • 4oz unsalted butter, softened
  • handful wild garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 200°c.
  2. Mix all the filling ingredients together well.
  3. Divide half the butter among snail shells. Stuff with snails (1 per shell) and remaining garlic butter.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.


Lemon sole

This recipe is adapted from a Jason Atherton recipe where he uses sea bream fillets. I picked up some freshly caught Lemon Sole from the Little Fish Company so decided to try it – while it didn’t look as refined as Jason’s version, the flavours were great. We served it with a Greywacke Chardonnay 2010.

Serves 2

  • 2 Lemon sole gutted and scaled and skirt removed
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 50ml olive oil plus extra to drizzle
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed
  • Dill sprigs
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 50g stoned marinated black olives, stoned and quartered lengthways
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Segment one orange. Squeeze the juice from the membrane into a small pan
  2. Grate the zest from the other orange into a bowl and squeeze the juice into the pan. Heat over a low flame until reduced by 2/3. Pour over zest and add the orange segments and chill. Once chilled add the vinegar and olive oil and a tablespoon of chopped dill and gently combine
  3. Slice the fennel and onion finely into ribbons using a mandoline or sharp knife. Plunge into a bowl of iced water and leave for 10 minutes or so until crisp
  4. Drain the fennel and onion slices and pat dry. Add the chopped olives, a tablespoon of chopped dill, a large splash of olive oil, a splash of vinegar and generous pinch of salt and toss together
  5. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and when hot, season the fish with salt and pepper and pan fry the fish for about 4 minutes per side.
  6. Drizzle the orange sauce around a serving plate and place the fish on top. Pile the fennel salad on top of the fish or in a separate bowl.

Lemon sole in orange sauce with fennel salad


Pink peppercorn meringue with lemon and lime curd and passion fruit

Serves 4

Pink peppercorn syrup

  • 1 tsp pink peppercorn cracked
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla syrup


  • 100g egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g icing sugar sifted

Passion fruit syrup

  • 2 passion fruit
  • 20g granulated sugar

Lemon and Lime curd

  • juice of 2 lemons (save zest)
  • juice of 2 limes (save zest)
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g eggs beaten
  • 80g egg yolks
  • 80g butter diced

Vanilla Syrup

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod


For the Vanilla syrup

  1. Put the sugar and 200ml in a small saucepan over a low heat. When the sugar has dissolved increase the heat and bring to the oil. Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add to the sugar syrup.
  2. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Store in a jar in the fridge. It will keep for a couple of weeks.

For the meringue

  1. Preheat the oven to 90c and line a baking sheet with baking parchment
  2. For the peppercorn syrup, mix the cracked pink peppercorns with the vanilla syrup in a small bowl and set aside
  3. To make the meringues, whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer with 2 tbsp caster sugar on a high speed until thickened. Whisk in the remaining caster sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Keep mixing until the meringue is stiff, shiny and holding firm peaks. With a large spatula carefully fold in the icing sugar a quarter at a time
  4. Spoon the meringues into 4 mounds on the lined baking sheet. Dry in the oven for 40 minutes or until the outer shell has just hardened
  5. Take the meringues out of the oven and brush with the peppercorn syrup and return to the oven for 1-1.5 hours until they are dry
  6. For the passion fruit syrup, scoop out the flesh and seeds from the fruit into a small pan and mix in the sugar. Simmer over a medium low heat to dissolve the sugar. Set aside
  7. To make the lemon and lime curd, put the citrus juices in a heavy pan with the sugar. Dissolve over a medium heat, bring to the boil then take off the heat. In a bowl whisk the whole eggs and yolks together then pour into the hot citrus syrup in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Return to the pan and place over a low heat. Whisk in the butter a piece at a time then stir until the curd thickens. Pour into a bowl cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming.
  8. Carefully split the meringues. Spoon some curd onto the bottom shell and drizzle over some passion fruit syrup and around the meringue and replace the top. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns and serve with a bowl of curd on the side.


2009 Pieropan La Rocca – Soave – 100% Garganega

A clear deep lemon appearance with some legs. The nose is clean with medium intensity, muted aromas include yellow stone fruits, apple, bread and a hint of lanolin. The wine is developing.

The palate is dry with medium alcohol, intensity, acidity and length. In addition the medium body and finish suggest a rather anonymous wine but you need to go looking for the subtle flavours – the wine opens up gradually in the glass. Aromas of melon, peach and honey eventually unfold.

In conclusion this Soave comes from limestone and clay soils, is of a good quality with an understated balance of subtle oak, fruit and acidity. Time to throw in good minerality?  We could if we were agreed on what it means! Can drink now but will improve, this wine  it is in the high price category.

Greywacke Chardonnay 2010

In the glass the wine has a clear medium(-)  lemon appearance with a few legs. The nose is clean with medium intensity of primary fruit aromas of a tropical nature including mango,pineapple and white stone fruit. The wine is more or less fully developed but may benefit from a few years in the bottle but no more. The palate brings  a dry wine with medium (+) intensity, medium acidity, medium alcohol, medium (+) length and flavours of mango, passion fruit, pineapple and white peach. Overall this a well made pretty wine with integrated components especially within the acidity and alcohol. Kevin Judd, ex Cloudy Bay, has many fans with this and his Sauvignon Blanc. Matthew Jukes in particular waxes lyrical in his usual OTT style. For around GBP18 this is not bad and certainly more subdued than some of the competition.

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Sunday lunch but not as you know it

With the weather slowly improving we’ve started going non-traditional for Sunday lunch – that and the fact that the Dedham Vale roast sirloin of beef can’t be beaten at the Rose and Crown in Great Horkesley, which is a short stagger across a muddy field from our house and an even bigger stagger back!

There were a couple of things I wanted to incorporate into lunch – salted nut praline into a dessert and Morcilla Iberica. I’ve been obsessed for the last 18 months with finding a recipe for the salt caramel nut brittle that is sold in Ottolenghi – i’ve found one that I think is close, hence buying a couple of kilo’s of dark chocolate a few weeks ago, however I’m still recovering from the chocolate hit I got in my Death by Chocolate post. I decided on a Semi Freddo as it is quite light and I incorporated some smashed up salted pistachio praline. The Morcilla Iberica which I recently bought from the Delilah Deli in Nottingham as I can’t find it elsewhere – come on Brindisa get your act together, would go into a favourite dish of ours; Barrafina’s Morcilla Iberica, piquillo pepper and quail eggs, and as I just so happened to have some quail eggs left, job done.

For the main I decided on a variation on a chicken dish from Gizzi Erskine’s new book Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts served with parmesan and truffle gnocchi.

Unfortunately my appetite led me astray and I was half way through the starter before I realised I hadn’t taken a photo, so apologies! Quail eggs are notoriously hard to crack without breaking the yolk so I use a small serrated knife to cut the bottom off of the fat end then put back into the box (obviously fat end upwards) until I’m ready to cook them.

Morcilla Iberica, piquillo pepper and quail eggs

Roast chicken with parmesan and truffle gnocchi

Sage and truffle roast chicken with Parmesan and truffle gnocci

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp butter mixed with 3 chopped sage leaves
  • 1 x chicken crown (from 1.5kg chicken) with wishbone removed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g spinach wilted and seasoned

For the truffled gnocchi

  • 250g evenly sized floury potatoes, baked and still hot
  • 50g Italian ’00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Quarter teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 25g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra for serving
  • 1 teaspoon white truffle paste or white truffle oil
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the sage and truffle butter

  • 30g unsalted butter
  • A handful of sage leaves
  • 1–2 teaspoons truffle-infused olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. To make the sage and truffle butter, put the butter and sage in a small pan and cook over a medium heat until the butter is golden brown and smelling nutty. Remove from the heat and stir in the truffle oil.
  2. Lift a narrow line of skin from each side of the chicken breasts to form two pockets. Push the sage butter under the chicken skin, season with salt and roast for 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 190C/gas 5 and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Cover with foil and leave to rest.
  3. Meanwhile, make the gnocchi. Scoop the flesh out of the baked potatoes and mash using a potato ricer into a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the centre of the mashed potato, add the flour, salt and cheese and stir together, then gradually mix in the truffle paste and beaten egg.
  4. Press the mixture together to form a dough, adding a little more flour if it seems too wet, and tip onto a floured surface. Shape into a long log, then cut into 2cm lengths. Using a fork, press down onto the top of each, then gently squeeze the sides so that the gnocchi resemble pillows.
  5. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the gnocchi and cook for 1–2 minutes, or until the gnocchi have risen to the surface. Strain, add to the butter sauce and fry until the gnocchi are coated and catching in places. Carve the breasts from the chicken and arrange the gnocchi and spinach on plates. Pile the chicken on top and spoon over the chicken juices from the tin to finish.

Salted pistachio praline semi freddo with caramelised chilli pineapple

Salted pistachio praline semi freddo with chilli roasted pineapple

Serves 6-8

For the Pineapple

  • One pineapple cored, quartered and cut into slices approx 5mm thick
  • 2 cups of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • A couple of large pinches of chilli flakes – piquin if you can get them

For the salted pistachio praline

  • 70g caster sugar
  • 100g pistachios lightly toasted
  • 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt

For the Semi Freddo

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks, extra
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pouring cream
  • 1 cup of crushed salted caramel


  1. Take a large frying pan and spread the sugar evenly and pour in water for the pineapple and put onto a medium heat. Don’t stir. When the sugar has dissolved and starts to change colour add the pineapple pieces and chilli flakes. Stir and start to coat the pineapple and continue to heat until the caramel turns a golden dark colour.
  2. For the praline put the sugar in a small heavy-based pan and add a tablespoon of water and place over a low to medium heat until melted. Raise the heat and cook until it forms a dark golden caramel. Add the nuts and salt and remove from the heat. Pour the mixture on to a parchment lined baking sheet and leave to cool. When completely cold and hard, smash into small pieces using a rolling pin. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
  3. For the semi freddo place the eggs, extra yolks, vanilla and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Beat with an electric beater for 5-6 minutes or until thick and pale.
  4. Remove from the heat and beat for a further 5-6 minutes until cool. Place the cream in a separate bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Gradually fold the egg mixture into the cream until just combined. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and use a knife to swirl it through the egg mixture.
  6. Pour into a 2 litre-capacity metal tin, or individual containers (I used the paper cone cups you get from water dispensers) and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drizzle with remaining salted caramel and serve with the pineapple.



Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2006

The 2006 Beaucastel Vieilles Vignes is 100% Roussanne and only 6,000 bottles are made. It is a voluptuous feminine wine that demands fine food. If you glug this tout seul then beware, the wine police are on standby! The winemaker states that this wine should be consumed at up to 3 years old and then after 15. This can only mean that PC Plod will be knocking on my door.

This  expressive, complex, wine is  medium + lemon in appearance and has aromas of marmalade, lemon and yellow fruit. The palate is compelling with deep rich layers of ripe tropical fruits, honeysuckle, almond, hazelnut, subtle sweet spice and honey. Needless to say there is a waxiness underpinning those luscious elements which is as one would expect from this grape. The finish is long, full bodied and very well integrated. This is an amazing wine and Bobbins Parker gave it 98 points…..go figure.