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Wine group at D.W.'s 02/08/2004 (TNB)

DW is about to leave Edinburgh but will still be hosting dinners - a good thing too given the excellent things he serves! One of my particular enthusiasms at the moment is Rhone whites: they are so different from other wines with their gluey, wet-stone and floral flavours and thick-textured, low-acid structure. Clos Pignan 1993 was excellent, as it ought to be since I beleive Rayas blanc wasn't made in this vintage and the fruit went into what is normally a second label. Chave's 1992 Hermitage was stunning with a gamy nose and rich pear-flavoured fruit.

Next it was Claret with a couple of wines from three different eighties vintages. From 1989, Brane-Cantenac was a good, scented Margaux, and Leoville Poyferre also pretty good - showing a bit better here than when I last had it. From 1986 we had Sociando Malet which seemed a touch lightweight and pretty much drinking now and Viex Chateau Certan, dry and mineral, oozing terroir and altogether delicious - the pick of the flight for me. From 1982 we had Soutard, dry and cedary, pretty classy and probably still improving and finally Grand Puy Lacoste, very fine and elegant classic Medoc, slightly lighter than I would have expected and very much ready for drinking. I suppose I have to come to terms with the fact that a fair number of wines from good 80's vintages are now pretty much mature.

One of my regrets is that I didn't catch on to the delights of fine old Madeira while it was still affordable. A bottle of Verdelho 1934 from Justine Henriques brought those regrets to the surface - what a lovely, green-rimmed, high-toned, tangy, delicious drink!

Dinner added to Fine Wine Diary 10/11/2004   Return to top