Four French reds and a Californian white 30/04/2005 (RJB)
- Cotes-du-Rhone 2002 (Chateau du Grand Moulas) Lovely delicate, fragrant Rhone wine. Polished leather and strawberries. Perhaps a bit dilute, but good for drinking now.
- Rasteau 2001 (M. Chapoutier) Liquorice, cherry fruit. Simple and coarse at the finish.
- La Tour du Prevot 2003 (Perrin) Thin and completely uninspiring.
- Domaine Cros de la Mure 2002 (E.A.R.L. Michel) Rough.
- La Crema 2000 Chardonnay Big, fat, textured Chardonnay - nuts and butterscotch. A slightly odd metallic/cardboard finish, but probably
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/05/2005 Return to top
Gang of Five - Guigal Cote Rotie and others 28/04/2005 (RJB)A blind tasting, other than the fizz, which included five vintages of Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde from Guigal.
- Blanc de Blancs 1990 (Croser) Surprisingly young feeling and drinking well, but without any great complexity. A good
- Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde 1988 (Guigal) Charming, violet-fragranced nose. Classic Guigal Cote Rotie.
- Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde 1983 (Guigal) Good grip and a touch of rusticity on the length. VA showing through. On the downhill slope. Just
- Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde 1985 (Guigal) Just about holding together drying out a touch at the finish. Not as good as I thought this would be. A good
- Syrah 2001 (Boekenhoutskloof) In your face wine rather obvious and simple (although some structure did begin to show through).
- Hermitage 1997 (Guigal) Some volatility, and all over the place on the nose and palate. It did come together more with time.
- Cornerstone Grenache 2003 (Greenock Creek) Gummy nose, merlot-style sweetness. Good wine, but not in a style I was expecting.
- Basket Press Shiraz 1990 (Rockford) Hot on the palate, but good balance with some maturity.
- Black Pepper Shiraz 1990 (E & E) This has a Rhonish air to it, feels quite young, but it is also a bit simple.
- Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde 1987 (Guigal) Liquorice. Fruit beginning to dry out.
- Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde 1990 (Guigal) Good sweetly fragranced wine. Drink now. Top
- Shiraz-Mataro 1996 (Wendouree) A big nose of public swimming pools bizarre (some might say funky).
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/04/2005 Return to top
An Edinburgh offline 27/04/2005 (TNB)
- 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
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/05/2005 Return to top
Wine group at MM's 25/04/2005 (TNB)
- 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
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/06/2005 Return to top
A mixed four 22/04/2005 (RJB)
- Rioja Reserva Especial 1999 (Campo Viejo) Charming tempranillo sweet strawberry nose. Good balance and elegant. A good
- Bucaro Barrique Aged Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2001 Modern stuff, rather lacking depth and complexity.
- Costieres de Nimes 1995 (Mas des Bressades) At peak or just over. Rather like a decent Cotes-du-Rhone, with a rustic edge. just
- Macon 2004 (Louis Jadot) Pretty awful - very soft and commercial. Confected.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/04/2005 Return to top
15/04/2005 (TNB)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.
- VdP des Cotes de Gascogne 2003 (Pierre Javert) Clean, pretty dry, but low on real concentration. A respectable
- VdP d'Oc 2003 (Pierre Javert) Clean again, clearly rather dilute, quite leafy and a touch of (not necessarily bad) green-ness. Again a respectable
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 08/05/2005 Return to top
Three Barossa Verticals 15/04/2005 (RJB)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) Corked.
- 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) Corked.
- 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.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/05/2005 Return to top
Some recent things 09/04/2005 (RJB)
- Viognier Grande Reserve 2003 (Domaine Cazal Viel) On the whole, well made stuff, but there does seem to be an odd dull metallic note to the wine. Otherwise there is soft, well-balanced fruit. maybe
- Regolo Rosso Veronese 2001 (Sartori) A good, fruity, balanced drink. Pleasant food or quaffing wine.
- Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2001 (Penfolds) The usual Penfold's style - well made, and with a touch of volatility helping with the balance.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/04/2005 Return to top
In Berlin 08/04/2005 (TNB)
- Silvaner spatlese trocken 2002 (Max Muller) Dry, clean, nice piney (is that allowed?) spicy perhaps is better. Reasonable complexity once it has warmed up above the icy temperature at which it was served. Decent length. Top almost more
- GV Federspiel Loibner Frauenweingarten 2003 (F.X. Pichler) Nice white-pepper spicyness - balanced and long - the extreme nature of the vintage less apparent than I feared.
- Volkacher Ratsherr Silvaner spatlese trocken 1994 (Zur Schwane Josef Pfaff II) Honied - interesting green-tinged high-toned fruit. Bone-dry and rather nice. Time to drink though. Bare
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 08/05/2005 Return to top