The Diary - April 2005
A blind tasting, other than the fizz, which included five vintages of Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde from Guigal.
- Champagne Grand Cru Blancs de blancs Extra Brut NV (Selosse)
Very vinous - Burgundy with bubbles, to some extent and so a bit much in some ways. I suspect it needs time to mellow - it will be interesting to see how this develops (this bottle was disgorged only last year). If all goes well
- Champagne Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes NV (Egly-Ouriet)
All quite refined and delicate, appley pinot fruit, autolytic flavours. Another fairly recent disgorgement after 4 years in cellars (credit the producer for an excellent back label), it just seems a bit lacking in intensity despite the obvious quality. Perhaps this will develop but for now a good
- Eden Valley Riesling 2003 (Mesh)
Good fruit - nice acidity. Pretty intense although it seems quite evolved for a young wine - I fear it may go down the Ozzy route of rather early flabby kerosene flavours. Top anyway
- Vouvray sec 2001 (Vodanis - Huet)
Curiously Sauvignon-like - quite rich. Odd balance - people were saying this is a vineyard Huet took on and then abandoned. Good wine but it doesn't seem to have the class of their major wines. A low
- Pouilly Fuisse 2002 (Cordier)
Pretty nice. Clean, rich, yet decently taught. A credit to the appelation. Bare
- Rioja Reserva Especial 1947 (Palacio)
A weak cork and a rather oxidised bottle - one sips for a while but then abandons it. I have had much better.
- Rioja Reserva 1958 (Riscal)
Very light and delicate - decent but a bit attenuated. I have had better bottles.
- Syrah 1998 (Richeaume)
Dry, savoury, quite succulent. Pleasantly high-toned, nervy, and a bit awkward. A wine with a sense of place and hence enjoyable.
- Bandol 1995 (Pradeaux)
Curiously quiet, but concentration and fruit quality are all there. Maybe just in a dull phase - perhaps it would have shown better decanted and allowed a little air.
- Lourens River Valley 2000 (Morgenster)
Leafy, dry, decent balance. Good wine but I doubt it's going anywhere much. Pleasant, and perhaps it would reward further attention.
- Old Vine Grenache, Kangarilla Vineyard 1996 (Clarendon Hills)
Quite baked, decent concentration - slightly hot finish. I recall having had better from this producer.
- Geyserville 1996 (Ridge)
Refined, smooth sweet (to a controlled extent) - very drinkable. Forward fruit but with the balance to hold it - the best of the New World reds, to my palate. Top
- The Armagh 1993 (Jim Barry)
Huge monster - alcohol gets up my a nose and in my throat rather. I find this a bit much. Returning to it later it seemed to have mellowed quite a bit and to be a substantial wine in its way, although I find it hard to decide about it. Many will admire this, and I may too given time to consider it - I had it eight and a half years ago and was impressed. I think I'll reserve judgement for now.
- Marquis d'Auberjon NV
A bit anonymous in some ways, but very nicely poised fairly concentrated dessert wine - from the South of France somewhere, I guess. I suspect this would repay more attention and on that basis
- Recioto di Soave Le Colombare 2000 (Pieropan)
Beautifully refined. Complex, elegant, long with the amazing precision so typical of the producer. Lovely.
- 50 year old Tawny (Yalumba)
Eccentric - very rancio - complex and interesting - I need more time with this but for now
- Coulee de Serrant 1988 (Joly)
Raspingly dry, mineral, appley, severe, touch of honey developing, long.
- Crepy La Goutte d'Or 2001
Very fresh, lifted, aromatic. Top
- Crepy La Goutte d'Or 2002
Dry, clean, unassuming. Touch of spritz.
- Vin de Savoie Chignin Bergeron 2002 (Arbin)
Fruity, peachy. Dry again. More richness. Nice sense of place. I could even think of
- Vin de Savoie Chignin Bergeron 2003 (Arbin)
Quite mouthfilling - dry, fruity. Nice.
- Vieux Telegraph 1983
Soft, cigar cassis fruit - sweet finish. Pleasant. Nice condition.
- Hermitage Sizeranne 1983 (Chapoutier)
Soft blackcurrant fruit - with tannic background that starts to show in the midpalate. Odd balance.
- Barolo Brunate 1990 (Marcarini)
A bit stinky at first - resolves - tar roses but the common old Barolo oxidativeness. Tarry - quite hard work. Actually probably good. Top
- Barbaresco Riserva 1990 (B. Giacosa)
Rich again - gamy animal dry - could do with long decanting. Bare
- Tokaji Harslevelu Kesoi Szuret 1999 (Oremus)
Dark orange. Very barley-sugar - nice balance - appetizing finish.
- Kesoi Szuretelesu Tokaji Furmint Late Harvest 1999 (Disznoko)
Slightly lighter, fruitier. Slightly oily textured. Bare
- Fonseca Guimaraens 1962
A bit faded, pleasant, lightweight. Bare
A couple of wines from a big bash at an Edinburgh hotel. It's a good idea once in a while to remember where the baseline is.
Each done as a vertical - single blind
- Champagne Cuvee de Reserve (Gallimard Pere et Fils)
A slightly embarrassing start to the evening with people thinking this was vintage (1990 or 1996), possibly Krug, possibly Billecart. Lovely wine whatever. A touch of pink on the colour a blush to cover our blushes. Elegant, good length and fine balanced acidity. A really good, cheap (under £15) fizz.
- Mourvedre Grenache 1998 (Magpie Estate)
Mature with Grenache cherry showing through. Charming nose. Slightly simple on the palate. A good
- Mourvedre Grenache 2001 (Magpie Estate)
Slightly flat liquorice nose. More depth than the 98. Closed up and allowing the alcohol to show through, but I think this will come together well.
- Mourvedre Grenache 1999 (Magpie Estate)
A touch gummy and with a hint of leather. Drier than many. Robust.
- Mourvedre Grenache 2002 (Magpie Estate)
Youthful (obviously the youngest wine of this flight). Powerful wine with lovely softy tannins at the end.
- Mourvedre Grenache 1993 (Magpie Estate)
Past its peak, although still very drinkable. Fruit is starting to dry out and a touch of volatility is appearing.
- Mourvedre Grenache 1996 (Magpie Estate)
This vintage had a juiciness about the fruit that was lacking in the other wines, but was also maturing well at an in-between phase I guess.
- Mourvedre Grenache 1997 (Magpie Estate)
- Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1996 (Henschke)
Green tannins, dry at the end, a long, soft, not that pleasant leathery length.
- Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1998 (Henschke)
Vegetal blackcurrant. Soft and not together.
- Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2001 (Henschke)
Very young and closed. Minty. But does it have the structure?
- Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1992 (Henschke)
A stinky nose to start with. Leather, and just beginning to dry out.
- Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1994 (Henschke)
a touch vegetal, and some volatility. Just
- Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1995 (Henschke)
a bit of blackcurrant, clean and nicely together. A top
- Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1991 (Henschke)
Some thought this stunk rather. I thought it the finest wine of this flight. Lovely fragrant mature Shiraz nose. At peak. Good.
- Basket Press Shiraz 1988 (Rockford)
Toffeed, bit dry, volatile.
- Basket Press Shiraz 1994 (Rockford)
Cream crackers on the nose (no thats not rhyming slang). Vanilla. Simple.
- Basket Press Shiraz 1996 (Rockford)
Quite acidic, some fruit. A solid
- Basket Press Shiraz 1991 (Rockford)
- Basket Press Shiraz 1989 (Rockford)
Simple cherry fruit and acidity. Rustic at the end.
- Basket Press Shiraz 1995 (Rockford)
Sweet maturity. At peak. A top
- Basket Press Shiraz 1990 (Rockford)
Very slight almost unnoticeable spritz, but otherwise mature and together and pleasant drinking. A top
- Basket Press Shiraz 2002 (Rockford)
Young and closed, but seemed a bit simple.