At Longueville Manor 29/08/2004 (TNB)
- 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.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/10/2004 Return to top
Some wines with dinner with LJM and AE 28/08/2004 (RJB)Food note: neither Chablis nor Rioja goes particularly well with a Thai-style prawn soup.
- Champagne Grand Rose (Gosset) From a half. Reliable stuff - one of my favourite pinks. This is tiring slightly perhaps, butit has had four or five years (at least) of cellar age.
- Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons 2002 (William Fevre) Good, but not as tight as one might want - surprisingly soft and with mineral and hints of butterscotch.
- Rioja Reserva Seleccion Especial 1998 (Muga) sweet fruit and hints of gentle tannins. Good body which feels lighter than it is.
- Leoville Las Cases 1992 At peak. Good light to middleweight wine. Textbook flavours for a mature claret.
- Forster Schnepfenflug Huxelrebe Trockenbeerenauslese 1992 (Kurt Darting) From a half. Nicely balanced acidity and sweetness. Not huge complexity, but well made.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/08/2004 Return to top
A few recent Burgundies 21/08/2004 (TNB)
- 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.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/08/2004 Return to top
Something simple for Sunday 16/08/2004 (RJB)
- Rioja Crianza Anares 1999 (Bodegas Olarra) initially acetic on nose and palate, but this soon blew away to reveal a clean, warm but simple fruit. Very much ready to drink.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/08/2004 Return to top
Weekend wines 15/08/2004 (TNB)
- 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.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/08/2004 Return to top
Friday night 06/08/2004 (TNB)
- 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.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/08/2004 Return to top
Passing by Oddbins one Saturday afternoon 03/08/2004 (TNB)
- Jurancon sec 2003 Seduction de la Beaugraviere (Confrere du Jurancon) Pleasant yeasty lees nose. Good balanced palate. Top almost more.
- Chardonnay 2002 (Seresin) Forward fruit, toffeed. Very New World.
- Madiran 2002 (Domaine Le Serp) Forward fruit with nice ripe tannins. Gluggable BBQ wine. Top
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 (Vergelegen) Quite leafy fruit - green capsicum. Not going anywhere but a good
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/10/2004 Return to top
Some catch-up notes 02/08/2004 (RJB)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.
- Viognier-Pinot Gris 2002 (Heartland) This really does manage to taste like a blend of Viognier and Pinot Gris. Youthful, dry finish. Clean and fresh. Quirky.
- Chardonnay 1998 (Mountadam) Good limey acid. Some nuttiness and if anything a bit short. Not showing its age.
- Riesling Grand Cru Vorbourg 2001 (Clos St Landelin) Burnt sugar and spices. Opens up in the glass with the Riesling becoming more evident. And the wine getting better and better.
- Merlot 2001 (Graham Beck) Sweet cherry and oak nose. Balanced with tannins.
- Avant Garde Pinot Noir 2001 (Domaine Carneros) Lightly coloured, well made but rather simple.
- Reserve Merlot 2000 (Villa Maria) Toasty sweet fruit balanced with oaky acid.
- 63 Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre (Burge Family Winemakers) Big, powerful and textured. Plummy.
- Welschriesling TBA No. 8 Zwischen den Seen 2000 (Alois Kracher) From a half bottle. Burnt Seville orange on the nose, but the palate is too too sweet to be really enjoyable for anything other than an experience.
- Vacqueyras Les Christins 2001 (Perrin et Fils) Sweet Chateuneuf style wine. Elegant and fresh. Lovely now. Charming.
- Gewurztraminer VT Vorbourg 2001 (Clos St Landelin) Marmalade nose that needs time to open out in the glass. Not for keeping too long, but fine Gewurz.
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 (Beringer Vineyards) Basic Beringer, but good for it. Warm spicy wine with depth.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/08/2004 Return to top
Wine group at D.W.'s 02/08/2004 (TNB)
- 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.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/11/2004 Return to top
Slow food "Burgundy versus Piedmont" 01/08/2004 (TNB)
- 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.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/09/2004 Return to top