Ronan Sayburn is a long established supporter and friend of Yapp Brothers. Now Head Sommelier at The Greenhouse Restaurant, Mayfair, Ronan has developed an extensive expertise in wine and his years in the business means that his address book reads like a Who's Who of the UK restaurant trade.
Every now and then Ronan likes to open up this book and invite friends and colleagues along to the Greenhouse on a Saturday morning for an informal tasting of a wine merchant's or producer's wares. As well as providing an opportunity to assess some wines, these gatherings afford a chance for Sommeliers to catch up and kick back with friends and colleagues in a relaxed 'non-working' environment.
We had the pleasure in co-hosting one of these events in March with a selection of 20 or so wines. The list included a range of portfolio regulars such as Jean-Teiller's Menetou Salon Blanc 2007 and Alain Graillot's Crozes Hermitage 2006, as well as some archive wines from Yapp's private cellars. We were privileged to taste Jean-Louis Chave's 2001 and 2006 Hermitage Blanc as well as his 1998, 2001 and 2006 Hermitage Rouge. There is nothing better than being afforded the (all too rare) occasion to be able to compare a flight of vintages of this extraordinary wine at the same time. Both the red and white 2006 were amazingly open and expressive for their age and could certainly be enjoyed now. At the same time you could tell that they are going to develop into classic vintages. The 1988 red was a reminder of how elegant and complex this wine can be over time and the 2001 white was really beginning to open up again having spent a couple of years slightly closed as it has developed.