The Diary - December 2007
- Dom Ruinart Rose 1990
Quiet evolved, and the mousse a little faded. Gamy (very Pinot), complex and long. Really very enjoyable, but perhaps one could imagine a better bottle.
- Chablis 1er cru Montee de Tonnerre 1995 (Duplessis)
Perfectly fresh, mineral, stony, nicely austere. Still quite tight. (From a magnum.) Bare
- Chablis 1er cru Butteaux 1995 (Raveneau)
Extra complexity and breadth here. Still dry and mineral, not quite as penetrating as the Duplessis, but perhaps you can not be wth the extra complexity. Lovely. Top almost more.
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Chenevottes 1990 (Niellon)
Very fine, creamy, herby, perfectly balanced, long. Beautiful Burgundy.
- Mazis Chambertin 1989 (Maume)
Quite large-framed - almost Rhone-like. Dense, with that metallic edge that good Burgundy sometimes has. A bit awkward right now, but probably going in the right direction. Top
- Vosne Romanee La Grande Rue 1er cru 1978 (Lamarche)
Very gentle, gamy, sweet fruit. All sorts of nuances come and go on the palate. A touch old-fashioned in its hint of rusticity. Very enjoyable. Bare
- Vieux Chateau Certan 1978
Very fine, touch of capsicum on the leafy fruit - a reminder of the difficulties of the vintage perhaps. Mineral with that core of iron this property has. Very good indeed. Top
- Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1979
Nice nose, slightly chocolatey fruit, that is perhaps failing just a bit. A good drink, but one can see through it. Bare
- Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1984
Stronger, more rounded fruit - altogether better wine. We tasted this and the last wine not knowing which was which and all got it wrong. But perhaps a slightly unripe streak running through this wine could have been the giveaway.
- Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1981
Of the three, this one is the complete and satisfactory wine although I don't think it is a great 81. Certainly it is in good condition and perhaps I just don't much like Mouton - it always seems to me the least interesting of the first growths by a way. Top
- Chateau Latour 1967
Corked, unfortunately. There seems to be a substantial wine underneath.
- Chateau Lascombes 1961
Very healthy colour, lovely fruit - mature Cabernet all through. Complex and long. Bare
- Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 1961
Smooth and smoky, incredibly suave and very, very Graves. In excellent condition too. Lovely. Top
- Chateau Pape Clement 1961
Very subtle, complex nose, smoky like the Smith but with a bit more to it and an incredible smoky finish. Bare
- Krug 1988
Lemony, touch of Pinot game, very rich and with fantastic intensity. Great wine. Needs years. even
- Reid Wines Very Old Oloroso No 2 (Hidalgo)
Tremendous old Sherry, seems almost off-dry after the Krug, but perhaps it's just the glycerol.
- Niepoort 1985
Piquant, delightfully fresh and forward fruit with typical hints of chocolate. Fine Port.
- Chateau Larmande 1997
My last bottle, I think. It strkes me as more refined than I remember - really nice, suave yet bright Claret. Top
- Meursault Les Tillets 2004 (Roulot)
Very fine fruit, pears predominate, and there's great underlying minerality. Tight at the moment and a little hard. I will not open another bottle for a while. Possibly even scrapes
- St Joseph, Clos de L'Arbalestrier 1991 (Florentin)
What a fine terroir this is - it's not the most complex wine you will ever drink but it has a greatdeal of character in the completely fresh, succulent fruit. A strong
- Bourgogne Haut Cotes de Nuits 2003 (A. Gros)
Is this my first 03? Anyway, quite big for Bourgogne, nicely ripe, very drinkable.
- Meursault Les Luchets 2002 (Roulot)
Very fine, restrained, dry, elegant. Opens out in the glass but could do with a year or two I think. Lovely Burgundy. From a half. Bare
- Tempranillo Pag Florentino Old Vines 2004 (Tierra de Castilla)
Big, oozes vanilla (to excess, I think), The fruit is ver modern, suave and pure. Good in its way, but not really my cup of tea. Bare
- Champagne 1998 (Coutier)
Good fruit, with some meat from Pinot. The elegance and feeling suggest a fair amount of Chardonnay to me but Juhlin says this wine is more often pure Pinot. It has that forward, large-framed charm of the 98's generally. Very good. Bare
- Vin Santo 2000 (Capezzana)
Bags of brown sugar with that Madeira-like tang. Lovely. Top at least.
- Dow 1980
Quite dark, burnt fruit. Lots of density - lovely and still improving. Bare