Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12082 wines in 28 years 7 months and 8 days
... search our archive of tasting notes ... read our articles on tastings and dinners

A Wine Group tasting in Ely 09/11/2003 RJB

We've had wine group tastings in Ely before (one of our group now lives there), and so the title is not meant to signify too much other than to distinguish it from other Wine Group tastings written about in previous newsletters. The theme for this evening was white wines four years old or over, and Tempranillo and Pinot Noir. This slightly bizarre arrangement was to get away from the showy youthful whites that can all too often dominate a tasting, and we almost managed to stick to the theme had it not been for one of our number who brought along the Condrieu La Dorianne 2001 from Guigal. Possibly because it was the only young white on show, or more likely because that is the way it is,  it seemed too blousy a wine with too much trying to be got from it.

One of the older whites did make a point: how essential are fruit flavours in a wine. Ramonet's Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ruchottes 1993 was austere fairly lean stuff that I loved and thought needed yet more time. Others in the Group said it lacked fruit, but to me that wasn't the point: I love the steeliness of such wines and the nigh impenetrable slimline acidity. Two other white burgundies from Brocard and Domaine de Puligny-Montrachet from 1999 (possibly pushing the four year rule here) were sound and to my mind preferable to the bigger and more vegetal Art Series Chardonnay 1995 (Leeuwin Estate). A highly disappointing Pouilly Fume Pur Sang 1996 (Didier Dageneau) and a past it Bonnezeau 1976 from Chateau De Fesles made up the numbers.

The theme for the reds had, I think, been decided upon so that we could examine the similarities and in contrast the differences between Tempranillo and Pinot Noir. I think the evening was far from conclusive on this point even though we did manage by coincidence to have three of each. Of the Pinot Noirs I enjoyed the Gevry Chambertin Cazetieres 1992 (Armand Rousseau) and of the Tempranillos, Ygay Reserva Especial 1994 (Marquis de Murrieta). The V Pinot Noir 1998 (Valdivieso) did little to dissuade me that anywhere other than Burgundy will ever be the home of Pinot Noir and similarly the Champagne Demi-Sec (Veuve Clicquot) did little to persuade me that Demi-Sec is a style of fizz that has much merit.

added to Fine Wine Diary 09/11/2003   Return to top