It’s not everyday that you get invited to have lunch with a genuine shipping magnate. And if you do it’s not very often he brings his own wine and wine maker….
But yesterday I had the pleasure of having lunch with Dan Odjfell and his Chief Winemaker Arnaud Hereu at 10 Greek Street.
It was Dan’s father (also called Dan) who feel in love with a farm in the Maipo Valley in Chile 30 years ago. For a number of years he raised pigs and used it as bolt hole from his proper business of running one of largest shipping and tanking companies in the world. A chance meeting with the winemaker from Chateau Lafite Rothschild (why do I never have chance meetings with the winemaker from Rothschild…) who pointed out that the Maipo Valley is one of the best places in South America to grow vines turned him on to the idea of becoming a winemaker himself.
The wines we had over a delicious lunch ranged from the native Carmenere to their wonderful Carignan range. A surprising Cabernet Franc that Matt Sullivan (Alliance Wine) and I loved and their Syrah is like nothing I’ve tasted; floral, violets, blueberries, cherries. Delicious.
All the wines were extremely elegant, not over oaked (in fact he tells us that 2013 vintage might be the first in stainless steel tanks — no oak).
The out and out winner was this 2007 Odjfell, Cauquences, shown above. It’s 100% Malbec and utterly refined. A beautiful wine that they are rightly proud of.