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Diary index

A few bottles drunk at E.McC's while planning a wine holiday! 29/04/2003 (TNB)

On a recent trip to London 29/04/2003 (TNB)

Odd bottles at a dinner at my place 21/04/2003 (TNB)

The Second Cambridge Offline 14/04/2003 (RJB)

Recent Champagnes and other whites 12/04/2003 (TNB)

Wine group "Partners Dinner" 12/04/2003 (TNB)

An Oddbins Fine Wines Italian tasting 04/04/2003 (TNB)

The Diary - April 2003

A few bottles drunk at E.McC's while planning a wine holiday! 29/04/2003 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/04/2003   Return to top

On a recent trip to London 29/04/2003 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/04/2003   Return to top

Odd bottles at a dinner at my place 21/04/2003 (TNB)

  • Beaucastel blanc 1994 Attractive, characterful, low acid of course, perfumed, nice balance. Agreeably different. Top ***
  • Chardonnay 1984 (Petaluma) Honey and cabbage but rather sherried. Past it - in a graceful, orangey way. It is a thin line but this is the wrong side of it. No Stars
  • Hermitage blanc 1983 (Guigal) A touch of charry wood. Good - doesn't show its age. It lacks the character of the Beaucastel to my mind. A bare ***
  • Domaine de Chevalier blanc 1983 Austere and dry. Fresh and quite intense but very unforthcoming. Could it just be closed? The next day, lemony with caramel overtones - notable intensity and length, clearly fairly classy. I have a feeling that this will blossom, perhaps even dramatically - it does seem quite young in some ways. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, let's say **(*) plus
  • Santenay 1er Cru Gravieres 1999 (V. Girardin) A bit bubblegummy - but that will wear off. There is pretty solid fruit underneath and I suspect this will make lovely drinking in a year or two. One might rate this as two stars already but I will stick to a good *(*)
  • Vosne Romanee 1991 (E. Rouget) Pure, dry, savoury fruit. Perfectly fresh and rather stylish. Excellent village wine that lacks only an extra dimension of complexity. ***
  • Cahors 1983 (Clos de Gamot) Piquant redcurrant fruit. Dry, scented and yet with inky depths on the palate. Excellent mature wine with a bit of something different about it - I suppose one doesn't often see mature Cahors. ***
  • Hermitage rouge 1983 (Guigal) Easy to like - really gamy fruit, mature and soft. While at some level finer, it doesn't give a sense of place the way the Cahors does. ***
  • Barolo 1962 (Fontanafredda) Oxidised and past it. No Stars
  • Gattinara 1962 (Nervi) This looked like water coming out of the bottle (as did the previous wine), but this was fresh and while a bit faded and weak there were things to enjoy about it. There would have been more 20 years ago I suspect but it had declined very gracefully. A bit of a ghost. *
  • Wachenheimer Rechbachel Auslese 1971 (Burklin-Wolf) Hints of green round the rim. Barleysugar and butterscotch. Lovely fruit. Could place it as Barsac blind, partly because of the weight from a combination of the Pfalz and a top vintage. Very good ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/04/2003   Return to top

The Second Cambridge Offline 14/04/2003 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/04/2003   Return to top

Recent Champagnes and other whites 12/04/2003 (TNB)

  • Champagne Grand Siecle 1990 (Laurent Perrier) Very charming, some underlying richness, nice mousse. This is a very ripe vintage and splendid drinking now, but I do wonder how it will last. Pretty much at peak. Just about **** for classyness.
  • Champagne Grand Cellier d'Or 1990 (Vilmart) Lovely soft mousse, very fine and elegant, attractively ripe (the vintage partly I guess) fruit. A gentle charmer that I have given five stars to before. It is so creamy and delicious but I think I'll step back one grade now. ****
  • Champage 1990 (Pol Roger) Very yeasty and bready on the nose, big ripe fruit, already quite evolved - partly the vintage probably. I wonder where this is going? Conservatively, ***
  • Champagne Brut Reserve, Mis en Cave 1992 (Charles Heidsieck) A particularly good example of these (generally rather good) dated NV Champagnes. Nuts, mushrooms, apples: mature, resolved fruit. Savoury, rich and long - about at peak perhaps, but no rush to drink. ****
  • Beaucastel blanc 1988 Intriguingly different marzipan and glue Marsanne character. Long, full, resolved fruit. Lovely except for a slight underlying woodyness. Very slightly corked? I'm not sure. Makes *** even so.
  • Riesling vom Stein Smaragd 1995 (Nikolaihof) Very honeyish with underlying minerality - it opens up a bit in the glass too - bone dry and stylish. ***
  • Kiedricher Sandgrub Spatlese 1983 (von Simmern) Gosh, this slips down easily: charming fresh fruit, a touch of mouthwatering sour apples, not the last word in complexity but drinking really nicely. Top **
  • Chassagne Montrachet Les Vergers 1990 (Colin-Deleger) Quite evolved (I think this producers wines are quite forward), very refined, herby, slightly creamy mature Chardonnay fruit. Beginning a graceful decline I think - the finish is good rather than outstanding so perhaps just a rather good ***
  • Chablis 1999 (Duplessis) Quite surprsingly forward green-pea chardonnay fruit, with a touch of Chablis minerality on the palate. No great length or comlexity but a good village wine. **
  • Riesling Steiner Hund Spatlese 1997 (Nikolaihof) This was very tightly wound when I first got it and I almost worried that I had been over-influenced by the delightful pair of young ladies from the Estate at the tasting where I bought it. As it has evolved it has opened out to show good mineral, spicy riesling fruit - bone-dry and very appetising. I was being completely objective after all! ***
  • Chateau Pape Clement blanc 1994 A little unforthcoming at first - just dry with hints of hidden depth. As it warms up and breathes, a rich core of fruit becomes apparent in that style that makes one think of Burgundy although there is a touch of Sauvignon blanc character if one searches. Stylish and very fine. Just about merits ****
  • Gavi 2001 (La Chiara) Clean, dry, attractive. *
  • Arneis 2001 (Pio Cesare) Don't say I don't try with this grape. I drank this to accompany an excellent Italian meal, and very appetising it was. There is a certain concentration of fruit, but I was stumped trying to give a name to any flavour. Pleasant in its way but in the end I am reluctant to go above *
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/04/2003   Return to top

Wine group "Partners Dinner" 12/04/2003 (TNB)

  • Champagne 1989 (Billecart Salmon) Quite big and rich - the vintage I think since the house style is usually more restrained. Still a fine Champagne. Fully mature. From magnums. Probably merits ****
  • Meursault 1998 (Mikulski) Very good village wine, the fruit a touch tropical and I suspect an easy going rather than an austere style. Pretty much ready to drink and just about worth ***
  • Bucciato 2000 (Ca Rugate) Interesting to try this in a dinner setting. Very deep colour - one might guess it was years older. Rather attention-demanding too - I wonder if a year or two might help. It is a bit hard to decide whether this rather extreme style works - or is it just interesting at first taste? I think I still like it. **
  • Volnay 1er Cru Carelle-Sous Chapelle 1997 (J-M Boillot) Very juicy, crushed red fruits, high-toned. Lovely Burgundy. (From magnums). Easy ***
  • Cornas 1996 (Verset) I failed to make a note at the time, but I do remember its being very characteristic Cornas, but relatively easy-going. Pretty drinkable even now but doubtless it will age well. ***
  • Graacher Himmelreich Auslese 1990 (F-W Gymnasium) Succulent, petroly. This is a lovely vintage for the classic wines of Germany and this is a pretty decent example. Starting to drink well. ***
  • Sandemann 1972 Another chance to try a bottle of what the books seem to claim was not a declared wine. It seems a bit like a forward younger wine with very attractive easy-going fruit. Nice chocolate character emerges too after a while. A good *** (almost more).
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/04/2003   Return to top

An Oddbins Fine Wines Italian tasting 04/04/2003 (TNB)

  • Pafoj Bianco 2001 (Icardi) Fragrant. Full-bodied and moderate acidity. Pleasant if a bit sweet. Had everybody baffled but once one knows it is a Chardonnay Sauvignon blanc blend, one can spot the components. *
  • Cortese 2002 (Lost Valley) Slightly mothball nose - pears and blackcurrants too. Drier, mouthwatering, quite long. This Australian estate (in Victoria) is making a really good wine from the grape vairety of Italian Gavi. **
  • Sagana 2001 (Cusumano) Deep young colour. Soft blackcurrant nose (this is made from Nero d'Avola by the way). On the palate, baked fruit, and grippier than the nose suggests. *(*)
  • Long Now 2000 (Pelissero) Utterly opaque. Higher-toned intense blackberry nose (a Nebbiolo Barbera blend). Huge kirschy fruit with a touch of bitterness and a whack of new oak. Not entirely my sort of thing. *(*) possibly
  • Countacc! 1998 (Chiarlo) Meaty blackberry nose. Succulent fruit, nice acidity. Rustic and gamey. Another Nebbiolo/Barbera blend, this time with a touch of Cabernet. **
  • Barbaresco 1999 (Pelissero) Black cherry, ice cream, malty fruit cake, tannic, new oak, decent structure - pretty modern but fairly good. **
  • Barbaresco Vanotu 1999 (Pelissero) Creamy nose, VA comes and goes, amazingly soft palate, silky almost. Not a particularly long finish, but this will probably still improve a bit. **(*)
  • Nebbiolo Mompissano 2000 (Cascina Chicco) Sweet red cherries, quite dry, scented fruit and decent length, pleasingly free of much or any new oak. A bargain at 12.99. **(*)
  • Nebbiolo Suris Jvan 2000 (Icardi) Tarry scented nose - blackberry, touch of menthol that rather dominates. Tannic. *(*)
  • Barolo Cerequio 1998 (Chiarlo) Sweats oil and tar on the nose. A bit more refined on the palate. A touch of Dettol! A bit dry and short on the palate at least at first. I feel this gets better as one drinks it, which is a good sign. **(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/04/2003   Return to top