Wine dinner at E.McC's 24/08/2002 (TNB)
- Vouvray Sec 1974 (Bertier Pichot) Very honeyed on the nose, with hints of grass and perfectly fresh. Sour apples on the palate, bone-dry and austere with a slightly hollow, coarse finish. Pleasantly drinkable and really quite good for the vintage. It has probably never been in good balance and is perhaps as good now as it ever has been. Realistically, perhaps just
- Forster Ungeheuer Kabinett trocken 1998 (Werle) Fragrant, then spicy as it opens out. Complex, flavoursome, mineral with great balance, concentration and finish. Might deserve another star in time, but for now
- Riesling Schlossberg Vieilles Vignes 1989 (P. Blanc) Interesting nose, if a bit cheesy. Goodish but not great for the vineyard. Quite lean, almost mean, for the vintage.
- Bricco del Drago 1972 I have not had an old example of this interesting mainly Dolcetto wine before. Gorgeous "old wine" nose - so civilised. Fresh. Lovely smoky raspberry fruit. Very drinkable.
- Brunello Riserva 1993 (Pertimali) Big and oaky, a class act in its way, but a bit international - you know, well-made, rich .... yet while some will rave I don't find it really engaging.
- Rioja Gran Reserva Excelso1950 (Espanolas) Lovely vinilla ice-cream and cinnamon nose. Fresh, warm, sweet ripe mulberry fruit - lots of it. Not guite the last word in fineness but lovely! Ageless.
- Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 1964 Very classy, minerals tobacco and iron. Good length and stylish. How satisfying old Claret can be when it is really right.
- Niepoort 1963 Rosy nose, chocolate palate - super. Quite lovely. I note that I had a bottle of this from the same case 4 yas ago and it was mediocre. This one makes
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/08/2002 Return to top
Wine group at D.W.'s 15/08/2002 (TNB)
- Rosazzo Ribolla Gialla 1999 (Ronco delle Betulle - Adami) From Fruili. Open, ripe, touch of "tropical" almost about the fruit. Not so assertive - it's hard to put a name to the flavours of this grape variety. Nice length. I would like to try it again though - excellent aperetif wine. Top
- Pinot Bianco 1999 (Ronco delle Betulle - Adami) Herbal honey, lots of toffee too. Denser fruit. Almonds. Rich - not unlike some Alsace Pinot Blanc. Does this have the subtlety of the previous wine though?
- Virey Clesse 1998 (R. Michel) Honey, quite soft. Moderate length. Classic Macon. Top
- Macon Chaintre 1996 (Dom Valette) Grassy, high-acid, unknit. A bit curious. I am not completely convinced about this.
- Pouilly Fuisse Vigne Blanche 1999 (Saumaize-Michelin) Oaky, tropical - almost new world. Guite straightforward. Good
- Pouilly-Fuisse Clos de M. Noly 1995 (Dom Valette) Closed, slightly stinky - a bit flat in the mouth Odd bottle or too old? Not convinced.
- Cornas 1991(Verset) High-toned cassis nose. Dry fruit. It mellows as it opens out. Heading towards a rather fine peak.
- Clos de la Roche 1994 (D. Laurant) Cassis and berries. Sensuous. Silky. Super effort for the vintage.
- Clos de la Roche 1988 (G. Lignier) Animal (really the classic Burgundian "farmyard") , Good fruit. Very rustic.Taughtly concentrated. Dry.
- Cote Rotie 1988 (Gentaz-Dervieux) Dry, mineral, smoky, serious concentrated fruit. Delicious.
- Romanee St Vivant 1989 (DRC) Quite a hit of fruit initially but meaty, intense - quite high acididity too. I did not spot the quality of this at first, sitting among the Rhones. It may even be a bit closed right now. Probably
- Hermitage 1985 (J-L. Chave) Dry, savoury long. Relatively delicate. Lovely
- Vouvray 1er Tri Molleaux 1989 (Huet) Appley, dry (almost), quite evolved (I suppose it is well into its second decade). Refined.
- Coutet 1985 Softer than the Vouvray, a little bit of botrytis but a bit insubstantial by comparison as sweet Bordeaux can be in low botrytis years.
- Grahams 1983 Intense blackberry, quite big and sweet. Young seeming - quite primary but has balance to age really well. Will be very fine in a decade or so.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/08/2002 Return to top
- Chateau Musar 1982 The cork had failed in this bottle - there was seepage at the top when the capsule was removed. The wine was distinctly failing also - but it would be unfair given the cork to score it.
- Chateau Musar 1983 Judging by the stain running almost the length of the cork, this cork bottle was also about to seep. Earthy, leathery wine that needs drinking up.
- Riesling Spatlese 1992 (Dr Loosen) This is holding together very well. Mature Riesling flavours and nicely balanced sweetness. No rush to drink up - indeed it may yet get better. plus
- Oregon Reserve Pinot Noir 1994 (Broadley Vineyards) Light (and this used to be such a big wine), and not really showing the promise of its youth. Drink up quickly if you have any left.
- Oregon Reserve Pinot Noir 1995 (Broadley Vineyards) Again, this need drinking up. It was always a lighter wine than the monster (in its youth) 1994. The fruit is fading fast.
- Gran Colegiata Crianza 1989, Toro (Bodegas Farina) An oddity that a friend found. When I saw the label, I thought I might be in for a mouthful of vinegar. But no, this wine has aged gracefully. Not great, but drinkable.
- Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee 1989 (Pegau) Drinking beautifully at present. Lovely Chateauneuf with leathery blackcurrant flavours. An easy
- Rivola 1996 (Abadia Retuerta) Time to drink up I think - good at the moment but signs that decline might be on its way. Muted cherry fruit and reduced mature flavours.
- Via Nova Primitivo del Salento 1999 Good value easy drinking (as so many Primitivos seem to be). Everyday food wine.
- Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1999 (Valdivieso) Rather soupy and lacking vibrancy (often the way with Chillean wine).
- Cremant du Jura Chardonnay 1998 (Philippe Michel) This wine is under a fiver so I guess it could be considered good value (but give me the Primitivo above any day). Very lightly coloured and lacking definition. Reminds me rather of some of those Spanish fizzes made from Chardonnay.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/08/2002 Return to top
1999 Claret at Oddbins Fine Wine 02/08/2002 (TNB)
- La Croix Canon 1999 Big ripe cherry nose - chocolate - touch of oak. Forward and fruity - alcoholic. Tannins there. Not for the long term but
- La Pointe 1999 Another forward sexy nose with a touch of capsicum and spice. A bit meaty. Drier - more balanced. Quite oaky. Needs a few years. Nice Pomerol and not too expensive. Maybe
- La Fleur Petrus 1999 More muted, plummy, tending toward cooked nose. Soft and silky - easy going - or is it just less forced? Forward and very drinkanble. Good
- La Serre 1999 Similarly muted - slightly capsicum and chocolate. Nice acidity - gives an impression of being a bit closed. Has some of the unforced fruit of the La Fleur Petrus but with a bit more structure. Pretty good.
- Mazeris 1999 Crystalised fruits. Complex, plummy, raspberry notes. Mouthwatering acidity - quite tannic. Attractive Claret at a reasonable price.
- Leoville Barton 1999 Deep, potentially cedary Cabernet fruit - creamy vanilla, violets. Weighty, forward palate. Unless this is just a phase it seems very lush and forward for this property - perhaps it will close down and become a bit more classic.
- Lynch Bages 1999 Slightly stinky and muted at first - but it blows to reveal a lovely balanced yet forward cedary palate. Again, is this a phase?
- La Tour Haut Brion 1999 Sexy orange-peel high-quality oak intriguing nose you could dive into. But a bit floppy on the palate - forward and modern. Unless it tightens a bit it won't rate more than a good
- Gruaud-Larose 1999 Ripe, lifted cassis nose - smoky sea. Savoury raspberry fruit. Meaty. Might be rather good. On this showing, this seems more backward than either the Leoville Barton or the Lynch Bages. plus
- d'Armailhac 1999 Deep liquor cassis nose. Big full dry - quite savoury. In-your-face but a bit structureless. Probably not going far - but goodish.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/08/2002 Return to top