The Diary - August 2003
- Primum 1999 (Jose Maria da Fonseca)
Attractively smoky mulberry fruit rather to the fore in the modern style. Very drinkable - possibly even meriting
- Esprit d'Automne 2001 (Borie de Maruel)
- Frank and Fresh Pinot Noir Rose 2001 (H. Sauer)
Top quality Rose - fragrant, fruity and fresh but not vulgar. The sweet raspberry fruit led me to Pinot straight away once I thought about the grape variety. (I was given this blind.) A good
- Clos Culombu Prestige 2000, Corse Calvi (Suzzoni)
I quite liked this (tasting without much notion of what it might be) - gutsy succulent, almost Grenache like fruit and a decent one-star in a not too soupy version of the modern style. So drinkable stuff can be made in Corsica - Corse Calvi seems to be an A.C. (although I don't myself attache much importance ot that).
- Chinon Jeunes Vignes 1999 (Jouget)
Attractive leafy blackcurrant nose. Good dense fruit too but an agressive bitterness in the finish, which at times one can think of as just succulent tannins, prevents another star.
- Vernaccia di Sangimigano 2001 (Panizzi)
Clean, fruity, attractive, complex enough and reasonable length. Scrapes
- Marsanne Viognier 2002 (Domaine de Prebois)
Attractive Southern French white from the Perrin empire.
- Golden Botrytis 2000 (Andrew Hurley)
Sugar water with a bit of botrytis. Very dull.
- Cote de Brouilly 2000 (Potel-Aviron)
Really well made Beaujolais from the same source as an excellent (possibly even a touch better) Fleurie I had recently. Intense fruit pastilles fruit, gluggable but not remotely vulgar, with a strong finish. From a half. (almost more)
- Palamino Fino (Tio Pepe)
Appetising, nice fruit, slightly coarse finish - pretty good for a mass-market brand. Good
- La Concha medium-dry Amontillado
Nice sherry flavours - shame about the sweetness, I really think Amontillado needs to be dry unless one is thinking of it as pudding wine.
- Vina Esmerelda 2001 (Torres)
Torres's attempt to provide a fairly cheap, civilized but genuinely medium-dry white is about as successful as such a thing could be.
- Txomin Etxaniz 2001
From the Basque country. Yeasty, lots of spritz - intentional? Bare
- Albarino De Fefinanes 2001
Fine, dry, savoury. Quite long too. Albarino is an under-rated grape.
- Casa de la Ermita 2000
Big hit of fruit - nutty overtones. Pleasant enough.
- Matusalem Oloroso Muy Viejo (Gonzales-Byass )
Very succulent and lovely - fruity and long.
- Noe PX (Gonzales-Byass)
Treacle and aniseed - pretty heavy going as so often with this grape. I guess it is good of its sort:
- Macon La Roche Vineuse1999 (Merlin)
Dry, not modern - decent balance and lenyth - scrapes
- Rivola 2000 Sardon de Duero (Abadia Retuerta)
Pretty classy, silky, interesting - would like to try again. plus
- Banyuls 1995 (Dom. Pietri-Geraud)
Pretty straight, average, inexpensive Banyuls.
- Maximin Grunhaus Herrenberg 1966 Auslese
Dodgy cork and maderised. Too common with German wines of this era - even the best estates.
- Puligny Montrachet Les Demoiselles 1992 (Colin-Deleger)
Everthing one could desire from Puligny: minerality, oily hazelnut character, a real sense of terroir. This seems to be the longer-lived and finer than Colin-Deleger's Chassagne wines - there is no hurry to drink this.
- Puligny Montrachet La Truffiere 1992 (J-M Boillot)
Richer than the previous wine and with a delightful creamy texture. A different style of Puligny perhaps and of course a different vineyard. Lovely, but I slightly prefer the Colin-Deleger wine.
- Meursault Charmes 1990 (Jobard)
Quiite different from the previous two, more because of Jobard's very restrained ageworthy style than anything I suspect, although the vintage is a little that way too. Again mineral, and it opens up in the glass and will benefit from a few more years in cellar. It does have a slightly rustic character by comparison with the Pulignys but still makes
- Richebourg 1986 (Gros Frere et Soeur)
This is the best 86 I can remember with lovely ripe red fruits, good concentration and possibly a touch of astringancy at the end of the finish to remind one that this is from such a poor vintage. DN remarked that we had really caught the moment with this wine and I could fancifully get carried away with the idea that yesterday and tomorrow it would be just slightly less good! plus
- Romanee St Vivant 1980 (Marey-Monge - DRC)
I failed to write much of a note at the time because of cooking, but this was everything you might hope for. Superb.
- Vosne Romanee La Grande Rue 1978 (Lamarche)
Higher-toned than the previous wines - very fine. Perfectly mature. Dry, attractive and moderately long.
- Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 1964 (Rousseau)
Sweet and fine - rather attractive if perhaps a touch awkward, at least compared to the brilliant 62 of this drunk last year. Needs drinking.
- Robustus Quinta do Carril 1990 (Niepoort)
Nicely herby, rich fresh fruit. A bit volatile however. Nice blackberry fruit - volatility seems to blow off a bit. Hard for this to follow the great Burgundies but it is very characterful - probably just about merits
- Vouvray Le Haut Lieu 1947 (Huet)
Green rim. Brown sugar yet completely fresh, gorgeous, complex fruit. A legendary wine for good reason!
- Niepoort 1963
Attractive red fruits. Typical Niepoort palate with lots of chocolate. A very good 63
- Grahams 1963 (bottled by Corney and Barrow)
Not so attractive - and a touch spirity on the finish. This doesn't really seem to be going anywhere.