Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12007 wines in 21 years 9 months and 9 days
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Diary index

Noel Young Wines - Tasting of Chateau Leamon, Bendigo Australia 29/08/2000 (RJB)

Wine group at D.L's 29/08/2000 (TNB)

Miscellaneous 24/08/2000 (RJB)

La Chapelle Dinner in Edinburgh 16/08/2000 (TNB)

16/08/2000 (RJB)

14/08/2000 (RJB)

14/08/2000 (TNB)

Wine Dinner at E.McC's 06/08/2000 (TNB)

05/08/2000 (TNB)

The Diary - August 2000

Noel Young Wines - Tasting of Chateau Leamon, Bendigo Australia 29/08/2000 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/08/2000   Return to top

Wine group at D.L's 29/08/2000 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/08/2000   Return to top

Miscellaneous 24/08/2000 (RJB)

  • Champagne Brut (de Bracieux) Drinkable clean fresh fizz with overdone acidity at the finish. Just makes *
  • Champagne Brut Royal (Pommery) Pommery really should be making better wine at this level (I have had some perfectly acceptable vintage fizz from them after all). Very bready, yeasty nose. Lightweight Champagne lacking length. *
  • Erbacher Hoehnrain Riesling Spatlese 1969, Germany (Deinhard) The cork in this wine was noticeably short (so short - 4.1cm - that I thought I must have left some in the bottle). The wine itself is fading into a dignified old age with loss of flavour evident. Still enjoyable (certainly not maderised). **
  • Clos Saint Urbain Rangen de Thann Riesling 1989, Alsace (Zind Humbrecht) Ageing well and slowly - indeed looks more youthful than it is (what's the secret?). Acidity at first seemed down, but this is probably just masked by the touch of sweetness at the finish. Mineral flavours. It could still do with some bottle age. ***(*)
  • Haardter Herrenletten Riesling Spatlese 1990 (Muller-Catoir) Interesting comparison with the previous wine - this sweeter as one might expect, but with similar floral and mineral flavours. Not quite the class of the Humbrecht wine, and not so clear where, if anywhere, it's going. **(*)
  • Riesling Jubilee Hugel 1997 (Hugel) (11.99 Oddbins) One of those wines that really does repay coming back to during the evening (or whenever). Initially a disappointing hint of sweetness at the finish, and a light mustiness clouding the flavours. But after a while the clouds lifted to reveal a full (almost chewy) Riesling palate, fine acidity, and good length. Just **(**)
  • Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Spatlese 1997 (Grans-Fassian) This was recently highly recommended in Decanter magazine in a tasting of Spatleses - it's good, but not that good. Sherberty petrol nose, and sweet limey (not aggressively so) palate. Simple textbook Riesling Spatlese. **
  • Chateau Branaire (Duluc Ducru), Saint Julien 1982 Ready to drink (but certainly no rush to drink up) medium weight claret with the cedarwood and mature fruit nose one might expect from such. ***
  • Grande Cuvee Beerenauslese 1991, Austria (Kracher) From a half. How great a wine is this? When tasted on its own, it's clearly very classy (but how often do sweet wines flatter to deceive?) - one day, I'd like to try it against some great Sauternes. This has long, long sweet apricot flavours that are balanced by fine acidity. Ageing well, with some potential. I'll stick my neck out and say it is bound for greatness ***(**)
  • Champagne Grand Millesime 1989 (Gosset) Again a disappointing tasting of this without quite the evolution or brilliance it showed in its youth. Showing almost coarse and tired. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/08/2000   Return to top

La Chapelle Dinner in Edinburgh 16/08/2000 (TNB)

A splendid line-up of wines. What is one to make of this property? There is a discussion in the first edition of the FWD Newletter
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1997 (Jaboulet) Fantastic density of red fruits (strawberries perhaps). Very young at the moment, but lots of promise. A very good La Chapelle. *(***)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1996 (Jaboulet) Lighter than the 97, but perhaps finer (with really good acidity) and just as good a long term prospect. *(***)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1991 (Jaboulet) Forward, ripe and rounded. A good, even very good La Chapelle, but relatively forward for this property. ***(*)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1990 (Jaboulet) An absolute monster with all sorts of flavours on the nose. Relatively forward, as young wines with wonderful ripeness can be, although this will last and last. There is something very special about this wine, beyond even the famed 78. ***(**)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1989 (Jaboulet) Big, big, cassis nose. Great length. Still entirely "primary" flavours. Very backwards, needs years. *(****)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1988 (Jaboulet) Excellent, balanced and long, not showing well yet. Super acidity. May well turn out as well as the more obvious 89. I'll stick my neck out and rate it *(****)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1986 (Jaboulet) Leathery, sweet, berry fruit. Fine palate, marked tannins. Should be a lovely drink in a few more years. A successful wine from a difficult vintage. **(*)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1985 (Jaboulet) Quite easy drinking (as the property goes). Good, but softish. May have suffered a little by being tasted with the cheese and other younger wines. *** (but I suspect I am under-rating it).
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1984 (Jaboulet) Sweet and ripe, but fairly simple compared to other vintages. Holding OK, better than many clarets from this vintage, for example. Modest weight. *
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1983 (Jaboulet) Hints of provencal herbs. Lots of tannins, and it still seems a disjointed wine. My feeling is that this is coming together, and will be first-rate in a few years, although the balance might never be perfect. **(**)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1982 (Jaboulet) Those provencal herbs very noticable again. Long chocolatey palate. Probably around peak, and very enjoyable. ****
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1980 (Jaboulet) Interesting nose, fruit and those herbs that seem to feature in a number of vintages. Smoky too. Very good balance. An insiders wine, that is far better than one might guess. ****
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1979 (Jaboulet) Good colour, quite concentrated, a shade stewed and a bit unfocused. Doesn't live up to its reputation (which is quite high in some quarters). **(*)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1978 (Jaboulet) Slightly cedary secondary flavours. Inky, and a bit closed at the moment, but the texture and length indicate greatness. This seems less ready for drinking than I remember it! **(***)
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1977 (Jaboulet) Provencal herbs, like a fine old Bandol. Lightish weight and only moderately long, but a really nice drink. This has aged so well. Easily ***
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1972 (Jaboulet) Provencal herbs, gorgeous tertiary flavours. Fine and long. Love it! At least ****
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 (Jaboulet) Smoky, charred even, dry and very fine. Lovely "great old wine" texture. While this is clearly great, it doesn't quite sing for me as loudly as I was expecting, and I don't start feeling a need for more than five stars! *****
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/08/2000   Return to top

16/08/2000 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/08/2000   Return to top

14/08/2000 (RJB)

  • Champagne Brut Mosaique (Jacquart) Standard NV Champagne - goodish acidity, but with a coarse mousse. **
  • Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1998 (Barone Cornacchia ) Good Montepulciano, but perhaps not to the standard of previous vintages from this producer. Fruit there, but not as extracted as it might be - powdery texture to the wine. **
  • Riesling 1997 (Graf Hardegg, Austria) Goodish Riesling, too heavy to be German and not quite Alsatian either. Musty (lees?) character to the finish. *(*)
  • Viognier 'V' 1999 (Graf Hardegg) Not as good as the last time I tried this (strangely, since last time I tasted this was outside on a humid evening when wines often don't show their best). Rather fat, and showing its alcoholic weight more than it should. Down then two stars since last time. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/08/2000   Return to top

14/08/2000 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/08/2000   Return to top

Wine Dinner at E.McC's 06/08/2000 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/08/2000   Return to top

05/08/2000 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/08/2000   Return to top