Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 22 years 2 months and 27 days
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Diary index

Recent wines from Alsace, the Loire and the Rhone 21/12/2002 (TNB)

A walk around a Justerini and Brooks tasting 16/12/2002 (TNB)

Wine group at J.M.'s 15/12/2002 (TNB)

Gang of five - some chardonnays and some Italians 03/12/2002 (RJB)

An evening at M.D.'s 02/12/2002 (TNB)

Four quid a bottle from Oddbins 02/12/2002 (TNB)

The Diary - December 2002

Recent wines from Alsace, the Loire and the Rhone 21/12/2002 (TNB)

  • Tokay Pinot Gris Kitterle 1989 (Schlumberger) This wine, from my own cellar, seems to get better and better. After a period when it seemed a bit clumsy, the residual sweetness becomes less and less apparent and the fruit evolves beyond varietal characteristics. Now just very nicely balanced and fine, mouthfilling, lots of glycerol texture. Civilised drinking. Top ***
  • Sancerre, La Grande Cote 2000 (F. Cotat) Marked gooseberry on the nose with a sexy animal quality too (the famous "cat's pee" that one hears mentioned I suppose - it's not a quality I have noticed much from Sauvignon blanc). Quite rich, pure fruit with interesting complexity on the palate and a long finish. Classy. I have had older bottles of this wine and it tends to age very well. I think this will too. ***(*)
  • Gewurztraminer Herrenberg 1990 (Zind-Humbrecht) Like the Z-H style or not, you have to admit this is a good drink now - good fruit concentration, lychees but not absurdly so, a touch of pepper. From a half. ***
  • Muscadet sur Lie 2000 (Tesco) Surprisingly decent, dry, with some richness and length. Perhaps scrapes *
  • Gewurztraminer Reserve Personelle 1999 (Weinbach) Fine, balanced, stylish (not always an easy trick with this grape). A good effort for what I assume is one of the more basic cuvees in Weinbach's plethora of bottlings. **
  • Savenierres Clos du Papillon 1990 (Baumard) This wine started fruity, then rather faded and I thought it was disappointingly short-lived. Now, most of the way through the handful of bottles I bought, it seems to be coming back to life as a honeyed, rather agreeable wine with those mature flavours that a hard to put a name to. Moral: if it seems far gone, forget about it for a year or two! Top ** at least.
  • Prieure de St-Jean de Bebian 1994 Healthy colour with plum and blackberry fruit and a touch of menthol. Dry, savoury, a touch of minerality - good balance and a fairly long finish. There may even be scope for further positive evolution here. This has some real character - it is an AC Coteaux de Languedoc and there is no indication front or back about grape varieties and that sort of dull information. A wine of character - I have been meaning to try it for a few years and I am not disappointed. Top ***
  • Rasteau 1999 (St. Gayan) Nice silky old vine Grenache character - not overmade and very drinkable. **
  • Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reservee 1989 (Pegau) I bought a lot of this eight or nine years ago in a fit of enthusiasm. I am no longer sure it's my favourite style of Chateauneuf but it has kept well - good colour, large, slightly rustic, mouthfilling presence. There's a touch of something close to oxidation too when it has been open for a while - I'm not sure if it is just this bottle or a feature of the wine. If the former then other bottles probably merit ***
  • Cairanne 2000 Laurus (G. Meffre) Strong red fruits. Good country Rhone. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/12/2002   Return to top

A walk around a Justerini and Brooks tasting 16/12/2002 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/12/2002   Return to top

Wine group at J.M.'s 15/12/2002 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/12/2002   Return to top

Gang of five - some chardonnays and some Italians 03/12/2002 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/12/2002   Return to top

An evening at M.D.'s 02/12/2002 (TNB)

  • Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese 1983 (Deinhard) Fresh, apples and sherbert, medium weight. Nicely mature. Probably even worth ***
  • Rauenthaler Baiken Spatlese 1983 (Staat Domain - Eltville) A bit more weight and fineness. Less obvious but ultimately a touch more rewarding. This and the last an interesting pair for Mosel/Rhinegau comparison. Top ***
  • Nuits Clos d'Arlot blanc 92 (Domaine d'Arlot) A bit eggy on the nose. I remember tasting this 7 or so years ago and it was very sulphury - odd perhaps to remember a fault so clearly after this length of time. It still taints a rather fine mineral fruit. I guess that eggy quality is often a remnant of careless sulphur use. **
  • Batard Montrachet 1992 (Gagnard-Delagrange) Complex smoky fruit. Bags of glycerol, moderate acidity, good length. The Grand Cru difference I guess. The 92 style evident and for drinking reasonably soon but very good. ****
  • Rubesco 1971 (Lungarotti) Healthy orange tinge. Lovely Bovril meaty nose, very animal. Sweet, ripe raspberry fruit. ****
  • Rubesco 1968 (Lungarotti) Voluptuous ripe fruit. touch of meat. Great length. A bit more time in hand. ****
  • Fiorano 1982 (Boncompagni Ludovisi Principe di Venosa) Very pure blackberry fruit. High-toned and a touch citric. Finish not its best feature so best to drink up. ***
  • Leoville Las Cases 1970 Meat and iron. Dry, long, savoury, lots of acidity. Old-fashioned. Where is it going? Certainly it will develop and there is a chance those cedary hints might emerge a bit more. Still, it's worth four stars now and it's asking a lot to hope it will make a fifth. ****
  • Palmer 1978 A bit leafy, quite mineral - easy going (at least compared to Las Cases). Liquorice. Modearate weight and given that a persistent finish. Lovely again. *****
  • Dow 1983 Intense blackberry (Dubonnet almost). Creamy. Young and fruity. Easy balance. A bit sweet yet but will be excellent. From a half ***(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/12/2002   Return to top

Four quid a bottle from Oddbins 02/12/2002 (TNB)

Interesting to see what this sort of budget buys these days - these were for a student party.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/12/2002   Return to top