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Wine Group at E. O'N.'s 23/03/2004 TNB

We started with the 1996 vintage from Moet and Veuve-Cliquot - a pair I had a month or two ago at a tasting. The V-C seemed better here (supporting those at the tasting who claimed to have had better bottles) without really seeming that special and the Moet was very odd indeed, grassy and a touch sweet.

The star of a flight of Provence whites was the Palette 2001 from Chateau Simone, herby, stylish, low-acid wine which I spotted (we were tasting blind) having had an older vintage a while ago. Their red would probably have led a small flight of Provence reds also but unfortunately (because it is a wine I have long wanted to try) it was corked. A Bandol 1993 from Vannieres was showing its age rather but Chateau Rasque showed well in both white and red - not a wine I have seen over here but well-made.

In amongst this we had also the Gran Reserva 1994 from Riscal - rather jammy and modern, and it surely will not age the way that Riscal used to in the past and I thought it a bit sad that such a famous old property has gone so commercial. I was surprised by how dry, concentrated and serious the 1994 Bin 707 from Penfolds was - it's always been a good wine of course but I have often found it a bit soft for my taste. This is probably not at peak yet and might even rate **** in time - pretty impressive.

Dow 1970 seemed a bit spirity and very mature - lovely flavours too, but not quite as I remember it. It's probably bottle variation, or of course bottler variation: I forgot to note which bottling this was. Marsala Travecchio 1920 from Florio reminded my of burnt Christmas pudding - like a Madeira without the same piercing acidity but still very enjoyable.

added to Fine Wine Diary 23/03/2004   Return to top