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Diary index

Recent drinking 27/04/2004 (TNB)

A few recent bottles of fizz 19/04/2004 (TNB)

Bordeaux at Oddbins 19/04/2004 (TNB)

Italian evening at Harvey Nichols 19/04/2004 (TNB)

Wine group partners' dinner 19/04/2004 (TNB)

At Kinnaird 04/04/2004 (TNB)

A recent Oddbins tasting 04/04/2004 (TNB)

At Martin's Restaurant 04/04/2004 (TNB)

In London recently 04/04/2004 (TNB)

The Diary - April 2004

Recent drinking 27/04/2004 (TNB)

  • Rully 2001 (Dureuil-Janthial) Quite bold, rich wine - could easily be a village Chassagne. Not over-ambitious - just very good drinking Burgundy. This producer has some more prestigious bottlings that I would be interested to try. **
  • Corton 1er Cru Les Vercots 1999 (Follin-Arbelet) Crushed red fruits, high-toned cranberry fruit. Nice concentration and length. I first noted this at J & B's en primeur tasting three years ago and rated it as three stars in the long run - it's there already and still improving. It will be at least a very good three stars at peak. ***
  • Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 1989 (Michel) At first taste a bit faded, but with further attention (and perhaps some opening out) it has lovely citric fruit, mineral and not lacking concentration. Some will say this should have been drunk a year or two ago but I like it still. Top **
  • Beaucastel Rouge 1989 Pretty soft and easy-going with mushroomy/gamy notes. Very Beaucastel. I've enjoyed this more before - this time I'll stick to a top ***
  • Corton Charlemagne 1992 (Bonneau de Matray) Pleasingly mineral and fairly intense, but lacking the extra buzz you might hope for from a Grand Cru. No more than a decent effort. ***
  • Savennieres La Jalousie 2000 (Domaine du Closel) Concentrated, approachable without being simple or soft and with a lovely minerality and sense of terroir. Not really a keeping style I guess but very nice indeed. Good **
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour 1989 (Beaulieu) I last remember tasting this wine in a range of vintages in about 1986 in a tasting event at a wine store in Houston, Texas. I liked them then and I like this now - completely ready for drinking with lovely mature fruit, quite forward but one might have trouble spotting it as not Claret blind, with a nice touch of tobacco and ciogar box. Very nice drinking. Maybe even ****
  • Nottage Hill Chardonnay 2001 (Hardy) Grassy, fat and somewhat harsh. Decent No Stars in its way
  • Corse Calvi Rose 2002 (Domaine Cardi) A bit rough and lacking freshness - flat rose character. Decent No Stars
  • Chardonnay 2003 (Weinmanufaktur Krems) Clean dry fresh chablis-like - even slightly mineral. A strong *
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/04/2004   Return to top

A few recent bottles of fizz 19/04/2004 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/04/2004   Return to top

Bordeaux at Oddbins 19/04/2004 (TNB)

  • Chardonnay 2000 (Mulderbosch) Pleasant melony chardonnay fruit. Fresh sherberty palate. A bargain if one likes the fairly up-front style. **
  • Les Hauts de Pontet Canet 2000 Dense fruit, quite baked on nose. Dry palate, hints of blackcurrant but too cooked to be clear. Slightly stalky and green on finish - rather highly extracted. A bit overdone. **
  • Clos Canon 2000 Creamy, camphor, in-your-face nose. Creamy on the palate too. Sexy and nice drinking. Top **
  • Connetable de Talbot 2000 Subdued but pleasant nose. Very middle-of-the-road at first taste but it follows through very strongly. **
  • Chateau Duhart Milon Rothschild 2000 Classic capsicum and privet nose. Smoky palate - gorgeous mineral finish. Very good indeed - perhaps even ***(*)
  • Lacoste Borie 2000 Cinnamon (lots) and fruitcake nose. Morello cherries - sexy style again. Top **
  • Chateau Malescot St Expury 1995 Classic blackcurrant - dry - nice sweet fruit and a strong finish. Drinking nicely. ***
  • Chateau Pontensac 1996 Varnishy shoe-polish nose. Meaty palate. Interesting old-fashioned wine. Structured. Still improving but not to the extent of another star, I feel. ***
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1994 A bit of smoke on the nose (dead fireworks in the dew the morning after, someone said). Dry, tannic, the structure perhaps obscuring the length. On returning - just very good classic Claret. ***(*)
  • Rayne--Vigneau 1988 Rhubarb and cream - quite restrained - long creme brulee palate. Quite Barsac in style. Very good. ***(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/04/2004   Return to top

Italian evening at Harvey Nichols 19/04/2004 (TNB)

  • Soave La Rocca 2001 (Pieropan) Honeysuckle nose and big but refined peachy garganega fruit. Opens out in the glass. Very fine and long. ***(*)
  • Viognier Podere di Montalupa 2000 (Ascheri) Big wine with fat Viognier fruit. A bit of oak gracefully carried. Interesting. Just ***
  • Friuli Vintage Tunina 2001 (Jermann) Ambiguous nose - hard to put a name to any component but intruiging. Dry, very precise, intense fruit. Top ***
  • Chianti Classico 2000 (La Massa) Blackberry fruit - dense for chianti. Ripe. Solid tannins - quite ambitious. Needs 4-5 years an will be rather good drinking then I suspect. Conservatively, a top **(*)
  • Monsordo Langhe Rosso 2000 (Ceretto) Blackcurrant nose (the Cabernet component of a mix of grapes dominant). Nice acidity. High-toned, good tannins. Food wine. The cocktail of grape varieties is a bit too evident currently but I expect they will meld and despite the modern style there is an authentic sense of place about it. Say a top **(*)
  • Brunello 1998 (Sesti) Tarry nose - farmyardy fruit. Gamy - quite sexy. I sense the winemaking here is OK but not quite in the class of the other wines. Will get better probably, but maybe not to the extent of more stars. ***
  • Rosso di Montalcino 2001 (Sesti) A bit rustic again, like the Brunello, but a fruity very drinkable mouthful! **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/04/2004   Return to top

Wine group partners' dinner 19/04/2004 (TNB)

Brief notes, made the day after.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/04/2004   Return to top

At Kinnaird 04/04/2004 (TNB)

  • Chablis Vaillons 2000 (Michel) Very pure and mineral - as often with this producers wines each glass seems more rewarding than the last. Very nice. ***
  • Champagne Brut Premier (Roederer) Mature - lovely and rich with a beautifully textured mousse. Cashew nuts. I suspect this half had been in the cellar tor a year or two. **** even
  • Soave Classico 2002 (Pieropan) Completely drinkable - very pure and while unassertive it has a lot of character if you stop and think about it. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/04/2004   Return to top

A recent Oddbins tasting 04/04/2004 (TNB)

  • Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg Spatlese 2002 (J. Leitz) Floral peachy nose - pink grapefruit. Sweet palate seems a bit short on acidity right now - is this just young riesling's trick of seeming a bit simple? I suspect this will be at least rather good. At least *(**)
  • Rudesheimer Berg Roseneck Spatlese 2002 (J. Leitz) More slatey - sherberty and mouthwatering than the previous wine - more obvious quality at this stage. Easy **(*)
  • Chardonnay 2001 (Voyager Estate) In-your-face tinned fruit and vanilla. Very limey and oak-dominated palate. If this is your sort of thing you might want to give it **
  • Puligny Montrachet 1997 (Drouhin) Waxy, hints of marzipan. Flat but broad palate. Curious wine (I was wondering blind if it might be Rhone) but rather nice. ***
  • Beaucastel blanc 2002 Neutral nose with gamy hints. Acacia palate. This really does not seem so interesting - I hope this excellent estate aren't losing the plot. **
  • Syrah 2001 (Boekenhotskloof) Intense blackberry fruit, highly extracted, slightly bitter. I'm not at all keen on this. *
  • Chateau Fieuzal 2000 Blackcurrant and cedar with those funky/smoky Graves notes. Pretty tannic but rather good - will be fine in ten years or so - possibly even **(**)
  • Roda I 1999 Green peppercorns and solvents - curious but not unattractive nose. Stylish, creamy, new-wave wine with a bit of earthy minerality. Nice length. ***.
  • Fusion V 2001 (De Torren) Crushed mint, reasonably balanced, dry, quite meaty. Nicely structured. Good if you don't mind the mint. **(*)
  • Beaucastel rouge 2001 Burnt raisiny nose, silky fruit. Very fine but I'm not sure at this stage that this is going to be a great Beaucastel. At least ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/04/2004   Return to top

At Martin's Restaurant 04/04/2004 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/04/2004   Return to top

In London recently 04/04/2004 (TNB)

  • Amontillado del Puerto (Lustau) Good - fine with a long finish. Easy ***
  • Brunello Riserva 1980 (Mastrojanni) Showing its age with a touch of oxidation that seems to blow off. In remarkably good condition if with a slightly rustic fruit quality. Very good drinking. I've not tried this producer's wines before that I remember but this is pretty good, even given that this was apparently a reasonably good Brunello vintage. Top ***
  • Lamothe-Guignard 1989 Rich, sweet, good botrytis but possibly a bit heavy overall. ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/04/2004   Return to top