We know the real Mr Parker. Not the one whose points and scores are taken too seriously. The Mr Parker we know is a true wine lover, serious, but down to earth, and with exceptional taste. He's generous to a fault, and the best friend one could ever have. His partner, Lovin' Lorna keeps him on the right track and prevents him being like the other Parker. SWMBO and I finally caught up with Mr Parker after a few months of non-contact. We can never quite do enough, but we tried with a couple of bottles from the cellar. Here's how lunch went:
Strawberries and pineapple with a Drambuie-infused creamy dip. Taittinger Folies Marquetterie NV, the new 1er cru expression, was weighty and textured, with a touch of TCA to the autolysis. Good stuff nevertheless. Then a 1976 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne. Golden, still some bubbles, solid and dense, with great fruit weight, but a little oxidation peeking in. Amazing taste sensation and very vinous.
Artisanal Chicken Parker Pie. All made by Mr Parker, including the pastry. 1982 Ch. Haut-Brion. This was great Bordeaux. Classical Graves resin-brick taste profile. Amazing richness, depth and life ahead - 15-25 years possible. Yet a subtle dryness to match the pie. Equally matched in fascination by a 1972 Penfolds Grange. Controversial year, with variability in bottling. Complex and developed red wine, but still Grange personality. A little acidic, but worked very well with the pie, making both wine and food more alive. No hurry.
Then a walk around to corner to Cutting Karl, the journo. A 2006 Chapoutier 'Invitare' Condrieu. Soft, but weighty and rounded. Apricots and ginger. Savoury and mouth-filling. Then another softie, a 1983 Knyphausen Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Auslese. Golden, caramel and toffee with burnt toast nuances. Low acid as Rheingau tends, but still with an elegance. Should have been consumed a decade plus ago, but still in a holding pattern.
Then back to home with a swag of pressies, totally unexpected. A brief session with Mr Parker and Lovin' Lorna. But one packed with goodies in every sense. We owe them, yet again.