Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 22 years 2 months and 27 days
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Diary index

Noel Young Wines presents "An Unrivalled Tasting of Fine Wines". 30/04/1996 (RJB)

27/04/1996 (RJB)

27/04/1996 (TNB)

Wines of Spain, tutored by the Heart of England School of Wine 26/04/1996 (RJB)

Gang of five - one white, one red 25/04/1996 (RJB)

Valvona & Crolla dinner at La Potiniere 23/04/1996 (TNB)

21/04/1996 (RJB)

Tasting of Puligny-Montrachets, Carillon vs Sauzet, at Oddbins 17/04/1996 (TNB)

16/04/1996 (RJB)

12/04/1996 (TNB)

10/04/1996 (TNB)

07/04/1996 (TNB)

Tastings in Bordeaux 02/04/1996 (LJM)

The Diary - April 1996

Noel Young Wines presents "An Unrivalled Tasting of Fine Wines". 30/04/1996 (RJB)

  • Dom Perignon 1978 (85.00) Light lemony toasty nose, good sparkle, mineral flavours and crisp acidity. Initially a touch ill-defined at the end. Opened out in the glass (and lost a woody smell it had to begin with). Opinions were divided on this. I thought it reasonably good. 90
  • Meursault 1er Cru Charmes 1993, Comtes Lafon (53.50) Closed hazelnut and unripe-melon nose, and creamy oak. Mid-palate a bit dumb, but there's plenty of 'hidden' structure. Exudes class, but needs time. 93
  • Chardonnay Cuvee Cathleen 1992, Kistler Estate (33.79) A more obvious style than the Meursault, and lacks definition compared with it. Limey walnut oil. Reaonable acidity, but the finish falls short. 90
  • Chateau Beychevelle 1966 (40.00) Tarry and gummy with a rustic dirtiness. Attractive fruit, but perhaps some signs that it is drying out. Mineral end. Past its best, but not bad for a thirty-year-old. 86
  • Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 1975 (59.00) Just in from the Henschke cellar. Colour of Oloroso sherry and smells and tastes like caramelised oak juice. Drying and dying, but doing it gracefully. Shame.
  • Heitz Callars Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard 1976 (69.00) Many people's favourite wine of the night, but not for me. Opaque colour and disturbingly brown. Meaty, tarry and gummy. Fruit disappearing leaving a quite tannic backbone. 83
  • Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Speciale 1990, Henri Bonneau (35.79) Apparently this spent three years in barrel, and has an alcohol level of 16.5%. Morello cherry, Port-like nose with a Sherry nuttiness. I expected the palate to be sweeter than it was. I think if I'd had this blind I would have been thinking it came from Italy. A very odd style, and not one I'm sure I like. 86
  • Welschriesling Beerenauslese 1981, Alois Kracher Wonderful marmalade and botrytis nose. Plenty of glycerol and fruit on the palate, but just a bit lacking in acidity at the finish. 91
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/04/1996   Return to top

27/04/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/04/1996   Return to top

27/04/1996 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/04/1996   Return to top

Wines of Spain, tutored by the Heart of England School of Wine 26/04/1996 (RJB)

Well, at least it wasn't the Wines of England tutored by the Heart of Spain School of Wine.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/04/1996   Return to top

Gang of five - one white, one red 25/04/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/04/1996   Return to top

Valvona & Crolla dinner at La Potiniere 23/04/1996 (TNB)

Cold still hanging on, probably still blunting palate to the extent of making it difficult to distinguish between Italian whites and water.

  • Bellavista Brut NV Reasonably refreshing sparkler. New world quality, champagne prices! 82
  • Soave classico 93 (Pierropan) More concentrated than supermarket soave, but I would be hard put to say what it has a concentration of. A sort of "Cheshire cat grin" - wineyness without flavour. 80.
  • Soave classico 93 (Anselme) Soave meets small oak barriques! Apprantly the idea is to adapt soave to the frenchified international palate. Quit pleasant vanillan oak flavours. This and the previous wine would make an ideal pair for denmonstrating oak flavours, because there is no other flavour one could possibly confuse it with! 80.
  • Mauriziozenella 88 (Ca del Bosco) Bordeaux mixture apparantly, but the flavours seem an intruiging mix of claret and leathery rhone, with sweet Italianate fruit. A fine wine, but perhaps the palate is too much biased towards the beginning to suggest very long term improvement. 89. (15 quid's worth for 25, unfortunately.)
  • Barolo Bricco Roche Brunato 89 (Ceretto) I do find barolo difficult! Good colour, nice fruit, but the auserity of those dry tannins.... Probably a class act. 90+.
  • Torcolato 93 (Maculan) Pleasant peachy, nutty flavours, but not so remarkable 85.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 23/04/1996   Return to top

21/04/1996 (RJB)

  • Chateau Cantemerle 1987 Drinking nicely, light to medium weight with a good balance of mature flavours. At its peak. Very pleasant and easy to drink. 87
  • Chablis 1990, Daniel Defaix Soft, toffeed and honeyed, but no great complexity -- better a year or so back. 85
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/04/1996   Return to top

Tasting of Puligny-Montrachets, Carillon vs Sauzet, at Oddbins 17/04/1996 (TNB)

Tasted with remains of cold/flu -- probably more unreliable than usual!

  • Les Referts 93 (Carillon) Round, melony, quite forward. A well constructed wine. I always find with Carillon that there is nothing drawing me back for another sniff though. (21.99)
  • Bienvenues batard montrachet 93 (Carillon) Odd, apprently very little fruit, but a certain weight, and suggestions of class. Prefer the previous wine! (49.99)
  • Champ-canet 90 (Carillon) Style as per Referts, but more structure, body and aging potential. Worth the extra 2 quid, but again it doesn't fascinate! (23.99)
  • Les perrieres 90 (Sauzet) Complex, gingery, classy. Others thought a slightly maderised style. Wine of the evening -- I'd like to retaste when I'm on better form! (35.99)
  • Les Combettes 90 (Sauzet) Compared to the above, thin and anaemic. Possibly just a bit closed, but I'm not convinced! (41.99)
  • Champ canet 89 (Sauzet) Odd -- probably a sulphur problem. Perhaps a bad bottle, or perhaps not?
  • Les referts 94 (Carillon) Next vintage of first wine, just arrived in the shop. Melange of fruit flavours -- tasted blind, I thought it might be Condrieu. Probably just extreme youth, and will be comparable to the 93 in due course. Hard tyo asess now.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/04/1996   Return to top

16/04/1996 (RJB)

  • Champagne Drappier Carte D'Or Brut NV (With about three years cellar age) Drinking well with a lovely balance of freshness and maturity (which has given it added complexity). 88
  • Champagne de Venoge Cordon Bleu NV (Straight from the shop) Typical (and good) young, light-to-medium weight Champagne, not showing much autolytic character, but with fresh acidity. Very similar to how I remember the Drappier in its youth. 86
  • Caymus Vineyards Napa Valley Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon 1985 The best bottle I've had of this -- on song. It's lost the slight weediness and austerity it had a year or so back, and gained mintiness and juiciness. Actually showing younger than it is. At peak I'd guess, but no rush.89
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/04/1996   Return to top

12/04/1996 (TNB)

  • Cantemerle 89 Lovely scented nose. Sweet fruit. Delicious at the meoment, but doubtless will be lovely in a few years. 90.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/04/1996   Return to top

10/04/1996 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/04/1996   Return to top

07/04/1996 (TNB)

  • Hermitage Cuvee des Miaux 85 (Ferraton) Though this might be a bargain at a tenner from J&B, with RP giving a good review. Nice raspberry nose with slight gameyness, but light in the mouth with a slightly hollow finish. Not at all keen. 83.
  • Chablis Vaillons 89 (Michel) Lovely oak-free chablis, with precise minerally flavours and a good finish. Lovely example of the style. 90.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/04/1996   Return to top

Tastings in Bordeaux 02/04/1996 (LJM)

  • Newton Chardonnay, 1993 (Oddbins) The usual rich unctuous texture with layers of fruit etc. going beautifully with every course (including desert) of the meal. Jean-Philippe thought it tasted of ashes on the tip of the tongue in a good way!
  • Ch. La Louviere red 1992 Very fine but medium weight wine with good tannic edge and complexity with hints of minerals and leather.
  • Ch. Carbonnieux white 1993 Quite elegant with nice quality of oak, but not much in the way of fruit. Enough fruit for the moment although one might have liked to have enough to be able to wait for the flavours to assimilate.
  • Ch. Bonnet, Clairette 1994 Delicious fruity rose with clean good acidity and good structure.
  • Ch. La Louviere white, 1993 A rich vibrant wine with lots of grassy gooseberryish sauvignon blanc fruit and excellent length. (Nice taste of ashes on the tip of the tongue again.)
  • Ch. Clement Pichon 1990 A very smooth petit chateau which is completely ready and quite simple, but has a beautiful bouquet and good intensity and length. A complete wine.
  • Ch. Lagrange 1989, St Julien Very rich fruit hiding a good tannic core indicating that it probably still has a way to go before maturity. Quite alcoholic also. Currently not really beautiful like the Clement Pichon above but clearly has a long way to go so its difficult to compare.
  • Gewurztraminer, 1992 Grand Cru Hengst, Zind Humbrecht Very fruity and intense with a lot of depth in the taste and resonances. Layers of fruit, but also a good minerally core of structure.
  • Mumm Cordon Rouge 1988 Good steely grip, fine mousse and good fruit without excessive presence. Good rigour and very fine upright wine.
  • Pichon Baron 1992 Smooth ripe fruit and very pleasant classic claret flavours with considerable finesse. Medium weight and ready to drink now although might benefit from another couple of years.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/04/1996   Return to top