Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 21 years 11 months and 10 days
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Diary index

Oddbins California tasting 28/02/2001 (RJB)

Domaine Weinbach at a Justerini and Brooks tasting 22/02/2001 (TNB)

Antinori tasting given by Berkmann Wine Cellars 21/02/2001 (RJB)

15/02/2001 (TNB)

14/02/2001 (RJB)

A tasting of the wines of Chateau Margaux with Corinne Mentzelopoulos 05/02/2001 (RJB)

A "compare with Parker" tasting at Oddbins Fine Wine 04/02/2001 (TNB)

Wine group Christmas dinner 01/02/2001 (TNB)

The Diary - February 2001

Oddbins California tasting 28/02/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/02/2001   Return to top

Domaine Weinbach at a Justerini and Brooks tasting 22/02/2001 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/02/2001   Return to top

Antinori tasting given by Berkmann Wine Cellars 21/02/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/02/2001   Return to top

15/02/2001 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/02/2001   Return to top

14/02/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/02/2001   Return to top

A tasting of the wines of Chateau Margaux with Corinne Mentzelopoulos 05/02/2001 (RJB)

  • Pavillon Blanc 1999 (Chateau Margaux) 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Lovely ethereal peachy nose with beautifully balanced oak. Excellent piercing acidity at the finish. Dry, tight and long. High alcohol, but it doesn't show. **(**)
  • Pavillon Blanc 1990 (Chateau Margaux) Quite grassy nose - a touch salty. Sea mussels. Gummy oak showing through. Dry, and with a touch resiny finish. ***
  • Pavillon Rouge 1988 (Chateau Margaux) Lovely warmly fragrant wine. Showing much younger than expected. Still some tannin at the finish. A touch of weediness. At peak. ***
  • Pavillon Rouge 1998 (Chateau Margaux) Lovely sweetness of fruit. Good soft but firm structure. Classic young claret *(**) plus
  • Chateau Margaux 1996 A wine that just oozes class and breeding, and quite uplifts the spirits. Closed nose but with toasty oak showing through. Tight on the palate with glimpses of varied aromas - fruit one moment, violets the next - breaking through. A fence of acidity at the finish (not unlike putting your tongue on the terminals of a battery.) Fine multidimensional stuff that should open out gloriously. *(****)
  • Chateau Margaux 1986 Tannins (apparently roughly the same level as the 1996) and a gummy oakiness breaking out at the finish. Rather a tough old bird (relatively speaking) at present. **(*)
  • Chateau Margaux 1953 From a magnum. Sample slightly cloudy. Tastes, lightly, of cider at the finish. Going downhill. But the mid palate aromas and flavours are fine indeed. ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/02/2001   Return to top

A "compare with Parker" tasting at Oddbins Fine Wine 04/02/2001 (TNB)

The idea of this tasting was to compare our blind notes with those of Robert Parker and other authorities. See the Newsletter for a discussion of how Parker's and the Wine Spectator's views compare with ours.
  • Chevalier Montrachet 1997 (Chateau de Puligny) Unforthcoming honeyed chardonnay nose at first - but it opens up a lot. Rich, textured palate. Nice balance. Long. Very good, particularly for a negociant-produced wine in a modest vintage. At least *** (59.99)
  • Damaris Reserve Chardonnay 1997 (Landmark) One bottle had a woody or unclean nose and slight spritz. The other bottle clean with a lot of rather tropical sweet, ripe fruit and adequate acidity that seemed a little disconnected from the fruit. ** (19.99)
  • Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune (Jayer-Gilles) 1998 Vanilla and ripe melon fruit dances happily on the nose. Attractive palate. Clever winemaking has integrated quite a lot of oak while not making the wine at all oppressive. Not for keeping. ** (15.99)
  • Soave Classico 1997 (Inama) Grapey nose with a hint of mothballs. Palate rather thin after the chardonnays but the mothballs blow away and coming back to this (knowing what it is) there is an elegant honeysuckle palate. * (7.99)
  • Sauvignon blanc 2000 (Dashwood) My first 2000 wine, I think. This has a very brash, gooseberry nose. I find it rather too obvious and one-dimensional. * (6.99)
  • Chateau Monbousquet 1997 Big, soft, berryish, cabernet nose. This is very much in-your-face, and quite a good drink, but a bit flashy to my mind. ** (29.99)
  • Ducru Beaucaillou 1997 Lots of cassis fruit, quite a lot of wood apparent. As it settles in the glass, quite classy, capsicum fruit with a good finish. More to my taste than the last wine. **(*) (39.99)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 (Katnook Estate) Gets up your nose rather like horseradish! That wears off a bit, and the palate is pure blackberry cordial. Very odd - more like a child's drink than wine in some ways. Not my sort of thing at all. Scrapes * (11.99)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz-Merlot 1996 (Elderton) Minty blackberry nose, rich lifted fruity palate, but reasonably dry. Very herby as it goes through. Quite tannic. Would perhaps rate more if you like mint. ** (17.99)
  • Beaucastel 1998 Toffeed creme-brule nose. Lovely ripe cherry fruit (more Grenache than usual this year, I think). Nice rich yet balanced and long palate. Very much my sort of thing - indeed I bought a few bottles. ***(*) (23.99)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/02/2001   Return to top

Wine group Christmas dinner 01/02/2001 (TNB)

  • Champagne 1992 (Jacquart) Good balance, nice champagne - perhaps clear that it's from an average vintage but a good effort from this reliable low-profile, champagne house. Probably even worth ***
  • Champagne 1989 (Billecart-Salmon) Very fine and rich with a creamy, textured mousse. Probably for drinking rather than keeping now. ****
  • Chablis Montee de Tonnerre 1990 (Duplessis) Steely, dry, mineraly, concentrated and very long. A very fine, subtle wine. ***(*)
  • Tokay Reserve 1989 (Rolly-Gassmann) Grapey, oily with a (to me) riesling-like spice, slightly off-dry, nice length. I suspect the sweetness will come rather nicely into balance in a few years like the 83 below. ***(*)
  • Tokay Reserve 1983 (Rolly-Gassmann) Fine, smoky bacon fat and grapefruit. Good length. Fine balance. A perfectly mature wine drinking rather well. ****
  • Clos St Denis 1987 (Dujac) Gamey, very rich, all the virtues of 87 (that lovely acidity) but real Grand Cru complexity and concentration. Really lovely. *****
  • La Mission Haut Brion 1983 Dark fruits, austere and smoky. Still very tannic. Lots of class. ***(*) plus.
  • La Mission Haut Brion 1974 Surprisingly fresh. Irony, dry and savoury with a decent if slightly "difficult" finish. Splendid wine from a modest vintage. (Rather better than another bottle of thiswine I drank recently.) ***
  • Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese one-star 1989 (Kerpen) Top stuff, rich yet quite backward, some spice. This suggests Kerpen is a top producer. ***(*)
  • Quarts de Chaume 1989 (Baumard) Slightly quiet on the nose, nice integrated botrytis. Drinking very pleasantly now, I don't know whether this is necessarily a long-term wine. For me a good ***
  • Grahams 1980 Plummy, dense fruit. Attractive acidity. Good concentrated port from this undervalued vintage. ***(*)
  • Grahams 1970 Interesting to compare with the previous wine: at first this seemed perhaps only slightly more concentrated than the excellent 80, but after a while extra fresh ripeness in the fruit became apparent to me compared to a slightly "cooked plum" character of the other wine. This didn't have any of the aniseed character I noted as very marked in another bottle (from the same case, in fact) of this wine. Quite inexplicable. ****(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/02/2001   Return to top