The Diary - August 2004
- Puligny Montrachet Les Enseigneres 1999 (Girardin)
A suggestion of a slight underlying raw woodyness slightly spoiled a rather good, rich, drinkable Burgundy. Still I guess worth
- Champagne NV (Gardet)
Quite yeasty, rounded and forward. Decent basic fizz. plus.
- Redoma Rose 2001 (Niepoort)
Niepoort's Rose is a pretty serious wine - like a very light (in colour and tannins rather than flavour) red Burgundy. It makes really good drinking both as an aperetif and with various courses of a meal.
- Champagne Grand Siecle NV (Laurent-Perrier)
I haven't had the NV version of this prestige bottling for quite a while. This is fine and elegant with a terribly approachable, rounded, mouthfilling palate. Understated - I think one has to expect to pay fairly serious momey for this degree of refinement.
- Calvados Rarete 60/70 Yrs (A. Camut)
I'm not a regular spirits drinker, mainly becasue I tend to find I am full of wine by the end of a meal. Consequently I don't tend to write notes on them because I don't have that much faith in my judgement. This old Calvados though was quite lovely - fresh apple fruit in a very smooth, rich spirit. Delicious.
- Calvados Reserve 35/40 Yrs (A. Camut)
Nice fruit but rather harsher. Top
- Calvados Pays d'auge 1967 (R. Giard)
Darker, rather caramelised. Less interesting than the Camuts.
Food note: neither Chablis nor Rioja goes particularly well with a Thai-style prawn soup.
- Nuits St George Vaucrains 1997 (Michelot)
Dry, savoury, meaty, tannic, challenging. Interesting but not totally clear where its going. Good though. Let's say
- Morey St Denis 1er Cru 1995 (D. Laurent)
Very much red fruits - cranberry - stylish wine. Will improve yet I suspect but I'm not sure whether it will merit another star.
- Grands Echezeaux 1987 (Gros Frere et Soeur)
Last bottle of this in the cellar - I thought I might have left it too long but the gamey Burgundian fruit is still very present and enjoyable, shading to quite a dry savoury finish that strikes me as typical of the vintage. Drinking nicely, but drink up (as I now have)!
- Chassagne Montrachet Les Embrazees 1998 (B. Morey)
The last bottle of half a case: fruity, quite forward but with enough Burgundian grip: "rich not gaudy" in Polonius's words. Generally I prefer a tighter style but this is just the job for high-class, mouthfilling but not really chellenging drinking at the end of a long day.
- Barbaresco Brich Ronchi 1991 (Rocca Albino)
Quite stinky on opening - I thought it was oxidised like a bottle of this wine I opened last week. It blows off though and after an hour or two it reveals a meaty, tarry wine with underbrush fruit - pretty tannic but good if you like your Nebbiolo challenging. My impression is the colour improved too from being orange-brown on opening to a healthier (although mature-looking) red-orange. Is that possible or is it my imagination?
- Cotes du Rhone La Meme, Ceps Centenaires 1998 (Gramenon)
One of the great Grenache vineyards, this has a deep colour and lovely ripe fruit with smoky hints. On the palate it is just so refined and silky. Beginning to drink well and lovely.
- Riesling Kappelweg 1989 (Rolly Gassmann)
Very graceful and elegant, as R-G's wines tend to become as they mature. A touch of riesling spice on the nose and good fruit and a mouthfilling texture. Not terribly assertive but very nicely frinkable. Merits I think.
I've been rather bad about posting notes so far this year, so I am now trying to catch up. This is the first of a few such postings.
- Redoma Rose 2001
Rose-scented, yeasty, fresh. Good intensity. Very drinkable.
- Tavel 2003 (Dom de la Mordoree)
A bit flat on the nose - but richness on the palate compensates to a degree. Over-hot vintage? Bare
- Clos Pignan blanc 1993
Intense straw nose. Low-acid lovely fruit. I do love this style. Top
- Rasteau blanc 2001 (Dom Court de Mautens - Jerome Bressy)
Nutty mature nose. Straw again - quite impressive. (just)
- Hermitage blanc 1992 (Chave)
Gamy, intense nose. Rounded, fruity, pears maybe. Quite soft. Long and excellent.
- Sociando Malet 1986
Blackcurrant nose - dry, quite lightweight palate. More or less drinking now.
- Chateau Soutard 1982
Nice nose - touch of cedar. Rather classy. Dry and serious.
- Leoville Poyferre 1989
Hot fruit, quite structured, coming on nicely.
- Brane Cantenac 1989
A touch gamy, smoky, fragrant - quite Margaux. Top
- Grand Puy Lacoste 1982
Seems quite light on the palate - but classy fruity and resolved.
- Vieux Chateau Certan 1986
Dry and mineral - very much a terroir wine. Lovely.
- Moulin Touchais 1984
Fairly straightforward - barleysugar fruit - nice desert wine
- Quarts de Chaume 1989 (Baumard)
A bit dumb (to me - others say it sings loudly). Quite rich and concentrated, but I don't really get it, at least tonight. Let's say
- Verdelho 1934 (Justine Henriques)
Pale brown - touch of green rim. A sort of yeasty tang. Lovely fruit too - so mouthwatering.
- St Veran 2002 (Domaine de la Croix Senaillet)
Pure tropical fruit, unoaked, fairly restrained.
- Roero Arneis Trinita 2002 (Malvira)
Intense, good length, like so many Italian whites the flavours are unassuming. Pretty good.
- Beaujolais Village 2002 (Pellerin)
Pale colour, strawberry fruit, very soft. Not very impressive.
- Dolcetto di Dogliani - Vigna Pirochetta 2002 (Cascina Corte)
Blackberry fruit and the usual tannins. Decent. (just)
- Fleurie - Domaine des Quatre Vents 2002 (Dubeouf)
Much better concentration than the village example above - could do with at least six months in bottle. I suspect Dubeouf's domain wines are much better than his generic bottlings. Scrapes
- Dolcetto di Dogliani - Papa Celso 2003 (Abbona)
Intense blackberry fruit - very popular on our table - justly so.
- Auxey Duresses 1er Cru Bretterins 2000 (J.-M. Vincent)
Strawberry fruit, decent concentration, quite a lot of oak. Scrapes
- Barbera d'Asti Superiore Croutin 1998 (Scrimaglio)
Intensely gamy, quite serious. A bit "international" perhaps, but if you like that then it might just merit
- Santenay 1er Cru Beauregard 2001 (Roger Belland)
Forward fruit but quite structured. Earthy too. Pretty good.
- Barbaresco 1999 (Produttori del Barbaresco)
Nicely scented fruitiness - quite forward, even with some Nebbiolo tannins. Top
- Beaune 1er Cru Boucherottes, domaine des Heritiers 1997 (Jadot)
Gamy, dry, meaty. David Wilson (presenting the Burgundies) described this as "forward" but I'm not so sure. Good anyway - easy
- Barolo Cannubi 2000 (Damilano)
Dark and rubbery - old-fashioned wine that I feel I should like, but I am a bit unsure (at the end of a long evening) about its evolution. For now a conservative
- Chapelle Chambertin Grand Cru 1994 (Jadot)
Does what it says on the tin - Grand Cru suavity and class in a pretty average vintage. Vey much at peak and delicious. Scrapes
- Barolo Ceriquio 1999 (M. Chiarlo)
Rich, serious wine with (as Nicola Perullo, presenting the Italian wines called it) a "balsamic character". I usually seem to find Chiarlos wines like this - decent but not wildly exciting.