The Diary - April 1998
- Coteaux de Poncins Condrieu 1996, Francois Villard
An excellent, fat viognier, with high extract and yeasty complexity.
- Cullens Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc 1992
Lots of oak and some good acidic sauvignon. Is it going anywhere, or is it always going to be oak juice.
- Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1986, New Zealand
Not nearly as past it as one might expect - creamy gooseberries overlaid with rotting apples. Maderised, but not deeply unpleasant.
- Gewurztraminer Sumac Ridge Private Reserve 1993, Canada
Unknit - too sweet for its lightness.
- Coleraine Cabernet/Merlot 1991, Te Mata
I usually mutter 'New Zealand red' in the same low whisper as 'English wine', however this wine has good fruit, minty flavours and some structure.
- Domaine Tempier Cuvee la Migoua 1988, Bandol
Good wine in that soft understated mourverdre way - more texture than intense fruit flavour.
- Domaine de Trevallon 1987
Excellent mature flavours - perhaps a bit too vegetal. Leathery and rustic.
Many people were expecting a mixed bag, and I at least was very
pleasantly suprised to find the wines almost without exception
healthy, delicious and generally very fine! Maybe the
rot infested wines have all gone brown and been drunk, or
perhaps people only contributed things that they had confidence in.
- Monthelie Cote de Beaune 1983 (Coche Dury)
Elegant, fruity, at peak.
- Savigny Dominode 1983 (B. Clair)
Very well-structured, could do with a few more years even. A good
- Nuits St George 1983 (J. Jayer)
Typical of the producer: very high acidity, high-toned, hints of gameyness. Pretty good for a 15 year old village wine. A good
- Nuits St George Vaucrains 1983 (Michelot)
- Gevrey Chambertin 1983 (D. Bachelet)
Plainish, slightly synthetic sweetness - probably heavily chaptalised.
- Gevrey Chambertin Laveaux St Jacques 1983 (R. Leclerc)
A step up in quality - fine premier cru burgundy, drinking nicely.
- Mazis Chambertin 1983 (Maume)
Brilliant structure and concentration. Ripe tannins. Very very good, but clearly needs a few more years.
- Vosne Romane 1983 (J. Jayer)
House style again. High-toned, austere, quite fine. A top
- Bonnes Mares 1983 (Roumier)
Silky yet tannic. Just a shade disjointed, but very good.
- Clos Vougeot 1983 (Mongeard-Mungeret)
Refined, austere, complex, drinking beautifully.
- Grands Echezaux 1983 (Mongeard-Mungeret)
Fine with sweet fruit. Seems a shade dull at first, but opens out. Not convinced it's quite as good as the Vougeot. A top
- Grands Echezaux 1983 (DRC)
Brilliant! Not quite as concentrated as some of the last few wines, but so elegant, with that metallic fishiness of great burgundy.
- La Tache 1983 (DRC)
Clearly very fine, but not as open as the Grands Echezaux. Could be just a shade too early.
And before and after:
- Riesling Ried Schutt Smaragd 1996 (Knoll)
Concentrated, with a long dry finish. The best Austrian I've had for a while. At least
- Puligny Montrachet Clavillon 1983 (Dom. Leflaive)
Quite fine. Repays some attention. In the fnal analysis, perhaps slightly clumsy. The vintage perhaps. At least
- Pinot Noir Grand Detour 1995 (Landmark)
Real pinot fruit, but that slightly sweet New World finish. Pretty good of its sort.
- Rodai 1994 (Bod. Roda)
Pretty serious, but not an old style Rioja. Perhaps slightly lighter in the mouth than one might hope from the nose.
- Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese 1983 (Fruhmesse Stiftung)
Fairly up-front petrollyness in a good way. Good, pretty much mature riesling.
- Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese 1975 (Selbach-Oster)
Believed to be the same producer as the last wine. Quite fine, but although others differed, I thought this a shade disappointingly light. A good
- Nouvelle Vague 1991 (Kracher)
Rich, concentrated, with just enough acidity. I wonder where this is going?
- Noble Cuvee 1981 (Lanson)
Very lovely, creamy, mature champagne. A treat.
- Lanson Black Label Brut
Easy Champagne that lacks excitement.
- Riesling Cuvee Albert 1995, A Mann
- Pinot d'Alsace 1994, Zind-Humbrecht
Monolithic - needs some age to lose some sweetness and gain some complexity.
- Marques de Murrietta Reserva 1985, White Rioja
Big, nutty and honeyed - tastes much as it did five years ago. Interesting stuff to have once in a while.
- Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir 1990
Fine maturing Pinot that is probably approaching its peak.
- Cousino Macul Antiguas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 1985
This wine does age well, but it has that Chilean rancio style nose which is off-putting after a while.
- Les Tourelles de Loungueville 1988, Pauillac
Very agreeable claret. Drinking well with cedarwood falvours but still some fresh fruit.
- Mount Langi Ghiran Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
Good value (8.99, Noel Young Wines) mature wine. Sweet fruit and a touch of mint.
- Chateau Beau Rivage 1961, Macau
From a half. Lovely mature flavours and aromas - mushrooms and leather. It's amazing how well this wine has lasted.
- Masii Barrill Priorato Classico 1994
Big wine with good structure. Perhaps just a shade sweet.
- Chateau Bastor Lamontagne 1988, Sauternes
From a half. Subdued nose, but good palate with waxiness and freshness. Needs a few years yet to be at its best.
- Starboard, Quady
Californian Port lookalike with simple raisiny fruit.
- Abadia Retuerta Rivola 1996, Sardon del Duero
Lovely silky smooth drinking.
- Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons 1986 Domaine Dauvissat-Camus
From a half. Walnut oil with a light steely acidity.