- Chianti Classico "Paris" 1999 (Monte Bernardi) Raspberries dominate the piercingly fruity nose. Pure, concentrated, intensely fruity palate. Nice quality tannins. Quite long. This will age pretty gracefully for a while. An easy (18.99)
- Sa'etta 1999 (Monte Bernardi) Nose as for the above (this is also a Sangiovese wine), but more tannic - a more "serious" wine built for keeping, but not necessarily much better - the fruit quality doesn't seem that different. That said, perhaps this edges (25.99)
- Chianti Classico "Paris" 1998 (Monte Bernardi) More herby, almost medicinal, closed now and lots of tannins. Probably it's just that 98 is a more "difficult" vintage. This probably just about makes (19.99)
- Chianti Classico 1997 (Monte Bernardi) That piercing raspberryand blackberry fruit - tremendously juicy - fleshy and long. This is a really splendid Chianti vintage - this is enjoyable now but will age effortlessly for ten years. Perhaps even (20.99)
- Sa'etta 1997 (Monte Bernardi) This is a monster: closed nose, huge palate. Very dense and long. Serious wine that needs at least five years. (28.99)
- Sa'etta 1996 (Monte Bernardi) More open, complex fruity nose. Cherry fruit. Nice acidity. This is beginning to show a bit of maturity and is already drinking quite nicely although a few more years will probably do it a bit of good. (25.50)
- Sa'etta 1995 (Monte Bernardi) Forward, round, almost tarry (slightly cooked) fruit. This seemed too be quite popular on the whole, but it was not my favourite Sa'etta. Perhaps I have misjudged it, but for now (23.50)
- Sa'etta 1994 (Monte Bernardi) From a weak vintage, this is an elegant light-weight, almost Burgundian wine. There is no great concentration and some may rate this quite low, but it is fine. Probably at peak too. A good (18.95)
- Chianti Classico 1998 (Collelungo) Much more open and fruity than the Monte Bernardi wines. Very prominant acidity which would probably be fine with food. Easy drinking style. A good (11.99)
- Chianti Classico Riserva 1997 (Collelungo) This is quite complex and (compared again with Monte Bernardi) low in tannins and high in acid. A very attractive drink, but lacking the fineness of the other estate. Probably just worth (22.99)
- Anfiteatro 1993 (Vecchie Terre di Montefili) This idiosynchratic wine has an almost farmyard Burgundian side to the brambley Sangiovese fruit. An interesting wine from a rather moderate vintage. (23.99)
- Vigna Regis 1995 (Vecchie Terre di Montefili) Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Traminer with the former predominating - an interesting wine with quite an exotic fruit character. It would be interesting to try it again, rather than as a "palate-cleanser" after all the Chianti! For now perhaps (19.99)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/04/2001 Return to top
- Corton 1984 (Louis Jadot) Easily the best of the three 1984 Cortons tasted together. Dilute (as one might expect from the 1984 vintage), but with a tannic structure holding it together. This was the only one of these three wines that was remotely drinkable the next day.
- Corton 1984 (Domaine Arnoux) Not a bad effort all things considered. Glimpses of what might have been had the vintage been better. Hints of VA at the finish after a dilute strawberry start. Just hanging on at
- Corton 1984 (Bonneau du Martray) Really suffering. Oxidised - dilute 'mushy' fruit.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/04/2001 Return to top
- Vouvray Le Haut Lieu demi-sec 1988 (Huet) This seems to get more extravagantly "honey and grass" every time I drink it. It is very evolved, but a good drink. Probably just worth
- Riesling Clos Hauserer 1988 (Zind-Humbrecht) This just seems a bit thin and mean. Past it or just never so great - I'm not sure.
- Chassagne-Montrachet Les Embrazes 1996 (B. Morey) Nutty and tight, splendid acidity, suggests Puligny to me: I suppose it's the nature of the vintage. Perhaps even
- Riesling vom Stein Federspiel 1998 (Nikolaihof) Tightly wound fruit, bone dry, refreshing and citric, these Wachau rieslings from Austria are lovely if you feel like a riesling drier than a German but less heavy than Alsace. Good now, this will be delicious in a few years.
- Tokay Rangen de Thann Saint Urban 1990 (Zind Humbrecht) Big, fat, almost vegetal nose suggesting some maturity. Bacon-fat fruit with a (slightly uncouth if you're not in the mood for it) smoky finish. If you like the slightly OTT style you'll love this, but for me this is just a solid
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/04/2001 Return to top
- 120 Rose Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 (Santa Rita) reasonable rose, with strawberry fragrance. But a touch watery
- Rose d'Anjou 1998 (Chateau de Fesles) Too sweet for balance. Coarse finish. A touch of sulphur.
- Ktima Kir Yianni Merlot 1997 (Yiannis Boutaris) Excellent sweet fragrant nose with leathery overtones. Sandy tannins on the finish. Promising stuff. Must try again sometime.
- Merlot 1995 (Heggies) Touch VAish. Getting past it.
- Marginale Saumur Champigny 1997 (Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves) Earthy acidic. Over extracted. plus
- Capitello Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 (Tenuta Saint Antonio) Herby, bitter wine. Touch of chocolate.
- The Fugue 1998 (Nepenthe) Quite greeny sappy.
- Mourvedre Grenache 1999 (Magpie Estate) Tight at the moment, but should open up well in the next year. Good fruit, well balanced.
- Les Cotes Sauvages 1991 (Edmunds St John) 34%mourvedre, 32% grenache, 31% syrah, 3% carignan. Better than the last time I had this, but still very much on the way down. Still drinkable, but not for much longer I'd guess.
- The Beak Shiraz/Grenache 1999 (Magpie Estate) Good zingy wine with lively fruit.
- Viognier Reserva 1999 (Santa Julia) Not bad South American Viognier - full in your face peaches and cream, but rather heavy on the alcohol.
- Chateau La Lagune 1990 Classy claret with a depth of cedar and fruit. Good structure. Lovely. Easily
- Chateau Gressier Grand Poujeaux 1985 From a half. A bit too weedy and ungenerous to be really enjoyable.
- Chateau de Pez 1986 From a half. Surprisingly fleshy given the vintage and the region. Still needs a few years - it could turn out rather well.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/04/2001 Return to top
- Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese 1983 (C. Prum-Erben) Fine riesling nose, long honeyed apricot palate, quite sweet but decent acidity. Just worth
- Wehlener Klosterberg Spatlese 1983 (S.A. Prum) Spicy, nutty, less evolved than above. Gripping acidity. Suspect balance. Unknit. Not so long.
- Chardonnay Proprietor Grown 1996 (Beringer) Mellow, mature, nutty, classic. Long vanilla finish. Quite Burgundian - a rather good wine.
- Chardonnay Sbragia 1993 (Beringer) Very honeyed and toffeed in turn. Exciting, if odd flavours. Idiosynchratic. This is much more New World in style. Perhaps
- Domaine de Trevallon 1984 Metallic, but vegetal (or Provencal herbs) nose - suggests Burgundy or Northern Rhone. Nice fruit, good acidity. Impressive for its age. I have somewhat mixed feelings.
- Barolo 1969 (Oddero) Mothballs and rubber nose. Is it slightly oxidised, or is it just traditional old Barolo? There was some debate. In any case there was nice fruit and a background of firm tannins.
- Gattinara 1969 (Antonioli) Elegant, perfumed nose. Medium weight, marked acidity. Old-fashioned. A bare
- Spanna Santachiam 1971 (Antonioli) Another rose-scented wine. Long, good fruit. Fuller than the other two. Very enjoyable.
- Quarts de Chaume SGN 80 (Mainfray) Grapefruit nose and grass. Hints of botrytis. Quite fresh for its age, but perhaps not so exciting.
- Vigneti di Marano Amarone 1980 (Boscaini) Attenuated nutty, prune fruit. Probably just drying out a shade.
- Recioto della Valpolicella Amarone Mazzano 1980 (Masi) Lovely nuttyness to the concentrated fruit with that lovely slightly bitter edge. Good length too - a nice way to end a meal. It's possibly over-generous, but for sheer enjoyability this scrapes
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/04/2001 Return to top
- Bourgogne Chardonnay 1998 (Louis Jadot) Fairly simple nose with melon fruit and a touch of celery. Nicish acidity with a liquorice edge. Good basic level wine.
- St Aubin Blanc 1997 (Louis Jadot) Real depth of fruit, touches of liquorice again - an impressive effort with good acidity balancing a soft oakiness. plus
- Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrieres 1997 (Louis Jadot) Tight wine with depth. This wine needs time. Oak perhaps a touch unintegrated at the finish - but this will come together.
- Corton Vergennes Grand Cru 1995 (Louis Jadot) Soft unforthcoming nose. Not as one with itself as the previous couple of wines. Tropical fruit nose - An oddly short almost dirty feeling at the end. I'd like to try this again. So for now
- Bourgogne Pinot Noir 1998 (Louis Jadot) Easy light cherryish fruit with some blackcurrant. Rather thin and dilute.
- Marsannay Rouge 1997 (Louis Jadot) Touch of stalkiness - but this disappears with time. Freshly pulled, earthy beetroot. Tough finish.
- Beaune 1er Cru Greves 1995 (Louis Jadot) Lacking generosity - big structure with tannins.
- Corton Grand Cru 1995 (Louis Jadot) Slightly spritzy. Sharpness on the nose. Needs time. Touch of cabbage. Dry fruit.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/04/2001 Return to top
- Escherndorfer Lump Silvaner spatlese trocken 1999 (Horst Sauer) Scented, peachy nose, mouthfilling fruit. Fairly simple in the final analysis (as silvaner perhaps always will be ) but reasonable acidity and good balance and finish. I haven't had a Franken wine for ages - this is pretty good.
- Champagne NV (Roederer) One can find great small growers in Champagne and excellent (but expensive) luxury brands, but it is hard to beat the ever reliable Roederer. This bottle had been in cellar for 18 months or so and was splendidly rich yet not overblown. Top
- Riesling Silberberg 1995 (Rolly-Gassmann) I was impressed by the lovely, racy acidity of this at a tasting a while ago but I think that on closer study it is a slightly less substantial wine than the lovely Kappelweg and Pflaenzerreben from this estate and despite the acidity, a bit earlier maturing. Refreshing and fruity, it might be particularly good with seafood.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/04/2001 Return to top