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Diary index

At home round Xmas/New Year 31/12/2012 (TNB)

Wine Group Xmas do 28/12/2012 (TNB)

A new adventure 18/12/2012 (TNB)

The Diary - December 2012

At home round Xmas/New Year 31/12/2012 (TNB)

  • Chianti Classico Riserva 1986 (La Porta di Vertine) Very well-made, traditonally-styled Chianti. Needs some air currently for the fruit to come through the fairly serious tannic background, but after a while it shows firm, brambly fruit with great intensity and length. Top drawer. ***(*)
  • Champagne, Clos Cazals 1998 On opening it has an oxidative air which is hard to separate from Le Mesnil fruit. Mind you, Clos Cazals is in Oger although Cazls is based in le Mesnil. With time and air it still has more maturity than I was expecting, but is drinking nicely. For now, top *** but I was expecting more.
  • Vitovska 2009 (Kante) A startlingly characterful Friuli white full of almondy fruit. Stunning stuff. Top ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 31/12/2012   Return to top

Wine Group Xmas do 28/12/2012 (TNB)

With a meal at Mithas
  • Champagne 2002 (Alfred Gratien) Ripe (the vintage, partly, no doubt) and pleasantly rounded. Slightly coarse mousse and as usual for this producer, very drinkable, good fruit, but not refined enough for me to think in terms of lots of stars. Strong ***
  • Champagne "Cuvee 1809" 2002 (Amaury-Coutelas) Curious stuff: quite characterful from quite well-done fermentation in wood, but ultimately a little unsatisfying on the palate. Bare ***
  • Champagne Cuvee William Deutz 1996 (Deutz) Apple fruit at the moment, very refined, bags of finesse. Generally delicious. While some 96's are peaking sooner than expected, this could do with a few more years. Lovely. ****(*)
  • Chardonnay Gantenbein 2008 Top Swiss Chardonnay, apparently. This has a lovely, subtle, lychee and pineapple nose, but all pleasantly subdued and gently classy. A very individual wine, much sought after in its homeland. I'm not sure it quite stacks up against the competition at the price, but that's Switzerland for you! Top ***
  • Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2002 (G. Tremblay) Remarkably mineral, lots of charcter, but the fruit seems a tad unforthcoming all the way through. Nice, but not quite singing at the moment, perhaps. Top ***
  • Malvasia 2007 (Duline) One of Duline's special selections from magnum. Beautiful restrained, concentrated fruit, very broad on the palate. An absolute pleasure to frink. ****
  • Gewurztraminer Kitterle 1999 (Schlumberger) I think of this producer's Kitterles as being restrained wines, but this is deeply coloured, very rich and noticably off-dry. Good in its way. Bare ***
  • Chambolle Musigny 2000 (Digioa-Royer) Gorgeous, fragrant, Chambolle nose, but perhaps a little light on the palate as it follows through. Drinking well though. ***
  • Vosne Romanee La Grande Rue 2004 (Lamarche) Seriously lovely: a touch of 04 capsicum about it but gorgeous weight and balance. Could do with a year or two. ****(*)
  • Tondonia Grand Reserva 1991 (Lopez de Heredia) Very much as one would hope from this property: proper old-fashioned wine, completely fresh yet complex and exciting. ****
  • Brunello 1967 (Barbi) Lively and delicious - one would guess it as rather younger. Top ***
  • Cote Rotie Barbarine 2007 (Gangaloff) Bright fruit, good, gamy Syrah character. Very nice indeed. Top ***
  • Clos Pignan 1990 (Rayas) Quite dry and austere, but very complex, long and focussed. Top drawer. Top ****
  • Pichoon Lalande 1983 Slightly smoky, absolutely what you might hope for in a mature Paulliac. Now starting to show its age - for drinking in the next 5-10 years, I feel. Top ****
  • Grahams 1977 Touch of aniseed, lively, good fruit. Either a particularly good bottle or Grahams 77 is entering a really good drinking phase. The balance has sometoimes seemed a bit iffy to me before. ****
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/01/2013   Return to top

A new adventure 18/12/2012 (TNB)

I haven't drunk a lot of German wine recently. Perhaps I have got a bit bored with old Spatlese and Auslese, at least except for the very best. I was rather negative about German trocken wines when they started to become fashionable a decade or so ago - they often just seemed austere without enough content to back it up.

Things move on though, so it must be time to see what this has developed into. And while I am at it, perhaps it is a good time to sample a few German Pinot Noirs too.

  • Hochheimer Konigin Victoriaberg Riesling Trocken 2011 (Flick) Where better to start than with this classic vineyard; I have good memories of Deinhard bottlings from the 70s. I am not sure how Flick's labelling works, and I gather the vineyard is till being improved, but this is very decent - fine, dry, showing at least as much character as the traditional style. Probably for drinking in the next year or two, which is fine because quite a lot of ageing traditional riesling was waiting for the sweetness to subside a bit. Bare ***
  • Spatburgunder J 2009 (Jean Stodden) Light coloured and on the palate. At first it seemed a little lacking in depth, but with some time open and warming a touch in the glass it opened out. Interesting, but I'm not sure on this first try that it justifies its quite serious price. Say bare *** again
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/12/2012   Return to top