Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 22 years 1 months and 3 days
... search our archive of tasting notes ... read our articles on tastings and dinners

Diary index

Wine group Xmas at St Bernard's Crescent 29/12/1998 (TNB)

29/12/1998 (TNB)

26/12/1998 (TNB)

19/12/1998 (TNB)

18/12/1998 (TNB)

12/12/1998 (RJB)

10/12/1998 (RJB)

Noel Young Wines Christmas Tasting No. 2 09/12/1998 (RJB)

06/12/1998 (RJB)

Cambridge Food and Wine Society Tasting of Medal Winners 05/12/1998 (RJB)

02/12/1998 (RJB)

The Diary - December 1998

Wine group Xmas at St Bernard's Crescent 29/12/1998 (TNB)

  • Krug Private Reserve (NV - believed mid 60s) Apples and honey - very mature yet fresh and vibrant. Absolutely lovely old champagne.
  • Beaune Grves 93 (Jadot) Sound, especially for the vintage. Well made, but not terribly complex - youngish vines apparently.
  • Chevalier Montrachet 78 (Bouchard) Lovely greeen-pea vegetality. Real Grand Cru quality. Good finish.
  • Gruad Larose 82 A bit dumb at the moment, but clearly first class.
  • Grand Puy Lacoste 78 Dry, classic, cedary Paulliac. Very nice. Beginning to be a shade austere in the finish. Probably for drinking in the next 5-10 years.
  • Duhart Milon 62 Intruiging, seductive nose - quite indescribable. High acidity - dries a shade in the finish. Delicious.
  • St Pierre 61 Stinky, wrecked. A bad bottle, apparently.
  • Cos d'Estournel 59 Expansive ripe fruit - exquisite balance - still structured and not terribly evolved - everything an old wine should be. Gorgeous.
  • Nuits St George 33 (Corney & Barrow) Amarone-like, alive, slightly sweet, curious. Seems quite un pinot-like. I suspect that's because it's not pinot, rather than just age. This sort of thing presumably explains why there was a belief that Burgundy is "full-bodied".
  • Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese 85 (J-J Prum) As before, very young, some CO2, clealry high quality but needs time.
  • Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese 75 (J-J Prum) Gold capsule and "Privatkeller" on the label. Beautiful rich, amazingly fresh ripe fruit. Barely entering maturity. Exquisite balance.
  • Sandeman 70 Rather thin and dull - perhaps past it. Suprisingly weak considering this house's excellent 66 and 77.
  • Quarles Harris 77 Tighter and less mature than I remember, but a very good wine.
  • St Joseph "Offerus" 97 (J-L Chave) Pretty serous, full-blooded St Joseph. Very different from this house's Hermitage, but pretty good.
  • Amethystos 94 (Lazaridi) The first Greek wine tasted by this group for a while! Seriously tannic, plenty of acidity, soft and leafy fruit - rather "warm-climate cabernet" to my mind. Not at all bad, but 15 pounds is a highish starting point for a wine region with little reputation.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/12/1998   Return to top

29/12/1998 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/12/1998   Return to top

26/12/1998 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/12/1998   Return to top

19/12/1998 (TNB)

  • Chasse Spleen 83 Refined, mature, cedary claret with nice fruit. Near peak and pretty enjoyable.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/12/1998   Return to top

18/12/1998 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/12/1998   Return to top

12/12/1998 (RJB)

  • Bollinger RD 1985 Extra Brut Chenin-like acidity at the finish of this wine gives it a youthful character. Honeyed to start with and fairly severe. Needs more time to my mind. 90
  • Condrieu 1997 Clos Chanson, Andre Perret Ethereal peaches. Very fine viognier - length and depth without ever seeming heavy. 92
  • Vouvray Sec 1989 Domaine de Aubusieres, Fouquet Medium dry rather than dry - typical of 1989 as a vintage. Lovely honeyed drinking. 88
  • Erdener Pralat 1997 Riesling Auslese, Dr Loosen Slightly spritzy, but otherwise a good low-alcohol sweet mouthful. A touch too 'sugar water' for my taste. 88
  • Wehlener Sonnenuhr 1983 Riesling Spatlese, Deinhard Others thought this was fading - I, however, would like to see it with more age. Nose developing well. 89
  • Mountadam Chardonnay 1989 Rather too big and buttery for my taste. 84
  • Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay 1995 Drinking well with good, if rather obvious oak. Nice fruit. 87
  • Tokay Grand Cru Brand 1994, Boxler Highly enjoyable. Some residual sugar, but balanced with the rest of the wine to give a harmonious whole. Perfumed. 90
  • Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1961 Glorious 'fresh' old claret nose of violets and cedar. Palate seems on the way down with a slightly 'watery' feel to it. But this is being overly critical. 92
  • Chateau Pichon Lalande 1982 The last time I had this wine (nearly 10 years ago) it had glorious layers of lush flavours. Now it is more at one with itself. Superb nose - sweetly vegetal - followed by a palate that is everything one expects. A slight 1982 warmth to it. 94
  • Hermitage 1983, Chave Showing better than other times I've tried this - maybe the double decanting helped open it out a bit. Not a blockbuster, but fine and with silky syrah flavours. 90
  • Hermitage La Chapelle 1978 Ahh! Bliss! Not as aggresively smokey as last time I had this, but still a fair amount of charred flavours. Lovely on the nose - black fruits and game. Superb, and to my mind the star of an illustrious set of reds. 96
  • Chateau Rieussec 1983 This wine has always had a fairly deep colour, and this wasn't an exception - amber brown. Superb balance of acidity and sweetness. Classic. 93
  • White Muscat 1898, Massandra Collection Wow! Cloudy brown colour with bits floating in it. Usually such a colour would lead me to pouring the offending wine down the kitchen sink. What a mistake that would have been with this wine. Glorious orangey muscat nose with no signs of excessive age. The palate is long and soft, and without much obvious acidity - but I don't expect high acid with muscats. Superb. Probably the best muscat I've tasted. Scoring such a wine is difficult and unfair, but it doesn't fall far short of one point for every year of its age.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/12/1998   Return to top

10/12/1998 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/12/1998   Return to top

Noel Young Wines Christmas Tasting No. 2 09/12/1998 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/12/1998   Return to top

06/12/1998 (RJB)

  • Riesling Schlossberg Vieilles Vignes 1989, Blanck This was disappointing the last time I tried it (a year or so back?), however, the nose is better now and developing petrol aromas. The palate is still dull and unexciting. Who knows where it might, or might not, go. 84
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/12/1998   Return to top

Cambridge Food and Wine Society Tasting of Medal Winners 05/12/1998 (RJB)

Medal winners from this year's International Wine Challenge - all wines from Noel Young Wines of Trumpington

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/12/1998   Return to top

02/12/1998 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/12/1998   Return to top