Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12003 wines in 21 years 8 months and 10 days
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Diary index

28/02/1999 (RJB)

27/02/1999 (TNB)

Gang of Five 'Any Red, Any White' 25/02/1999 (RJB)

American Cab Sauv at OFW () 25/02/1999 (TNB)

23/02/1999 (RJB)

21/02/1999 (TNB)

18/02/1999 (RJB)

17/02/1999 (TNB)

After the Nikolaihof tasting at MD's 15/02/1999 (TNB)

Weingut Nikolaihof at Raeburn Fine Wines 15/02/1999 (TNB)

Annual Wine Group "Partners Dinner" 12/02/1999 (TNB)

Claret at Oddbins Fine Wine 11/02/1999 (TNB)

10/02/1999 (RJB)

07/02/1999 (TNB)

The Diary - February 1999

28/02/1999 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/02/1999   Return to top

27/02/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/02/1999   Return to top

Gang of Five 'Any Red, Any White' 25/02/1999 (RJB)

The whites . . .

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/02/1999   Return to top

American Cab Sauv at OFW () 25/02/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/02/1999   Return to top

23/02/1999 (RJB)

  • Remelluri 1995 Rioja Brilliant wine - Rioja, but not as we know it. Big and with a leathery overtone - juicy and full. needs time. **(**)
  • Mas de Daumas Gassac 1987 The last time I had this wine (a couple of years back) it was distinctly past it; I was rather dreading this bottle. However, this was good (if not great) wine with a lovely balance of maturity and fruit. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 23/02/1999   Return to top

21/02/1999 (TNB)

  • Tokay VT 1990 (Hugel) Fine, concentrated, nicely botrytised, long. Is there a hint of tiredness, casued by this having been rescued from a Grocer's shelves where it may have been for a while? Also, has a slightly off taint, I think. Must try it again. From a half. Not Rated
  • Chianti Classico 1995 (Montefili) Lovely, mouthwatering blackberry fruit and a hint of chocolatey depth. I begin to understand why this estate has a reputation! ** but almost more.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/02/1999   Return to top

18/02/1999 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/02/1999   Return to top

17/02/1999 (TNB)

  • Champagne Billecart 1990 Another half - it just seems worth recording again what a lovely champagne this is: ripe flavours yet elegant and grip to improve for at least a few years. ***(*)
  • Ch. Val Joanis Les Griottes 1992 (Cotes du Luberon) Provencal herby nose, with a slightly green, astringent edge at first, that seems to mellow a little in the glass. Lots of character. Unusual. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/02/1999   Return to top

After the Nikolaihof tasting at MD's 15/02/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/02/1999   Return to top

Weingut Nikolaihof at Raeburn Fine Wines 15/02/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/02/1999   Return to top

Annual Wine Group "Partners Dinner" 12/02/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/02/1999   Return to top

Claret at Oddbins Fine Wine 11/02/1999 (TNB)

Interesting to have a look at some of the same wines through 88, 89 and 90. My prejudices were largely confirmed. 88 looks like a lovely classic vintage that is going to drink very well in years to come. 89 is clearly very good, but I am not personally keen on the balance of the wines - they have bags of low acid fruit, followed by dry slightly astringent tannins. 90 seems to be a start, although I was struck by how raisiny both these wines are. Did the heat take a toll? I do just wonder whether in 20 or 30 years the 88s will seem to be the stars, in much the same way that now 61's seem no better than the once less highly regarded 59s and 62s.
  • Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1988 Deep colour, with a slight hint of maturity at rim. Classic young claret - lots of blackcurrent and oak. Moderate tannins, a shade green. Hints of tobacco. Goodish length. **(**)
  • Chateau Gruaud Larose 1988 A tiny bit lighter. Less open on the nose. A bit sweeter, but rather tannic. Some up-front fruit. **(*)
  • Chateau Lynch Bages 1988 A shade darker and even younger looking. Again slightly closed. Classic pencily notes. Again, pretty tannic, but this is very serious. Will be first class. **(**)
  • Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1989 Dense young colour. Ripe merloty fruit (slightly "eggy"?). Good claret, but nothing like the superb wine I remember. Perhaps a phase. For now, **(*)
  • Chateau Gruaud Larose 1989 Dense young colour. "Lifted", smokey fruit. Lighter in the mouth. Decent length. **(*)
  • Chateau Pichon Lalande 1989 Even deeper. Berryish merloty fruit. Warm in the mouth, with that 89ish hit of disjointed dry tannins. ***(*)
  • Chateau Gruaud Larose 1990 Dense colour. Very warm datey fruit. Merloty. Complexity emerges. Very good. At least ***(*)
  • Chateau Pichon Lalande 1990 Slightly dumb but classic. Long, warm fruit. Tannic. Good, fine, plummy claret. For the second time, I couldn't decide whether this wine is a shade lighter than it ought to be. Is it just not very Pichon in style? ***(*)
  • Matthews 1996 Lighter colour. Toffeed nose. Ripe, New-worldy fruit. Perfectly pleasant. A Washington state ringer that fooled nobody. Interesting to note it didn't seem any younger than the clarets. *
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/02/1999   Return to top

10/02/1999 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/02/1999   Return to top

07/02/1999 (TNB)

  • Champagne Cuve Louise 1988 (Pommery) Recognisably pretty good stuff, but a bit lacking fineness for a prestige cuvee in a good vintage. Probably near best. Just about ***
  • Brunello 1989 (Lisini) Coming round to some sort of drinkability - brambly fruit, good structure, length OK (I guess not a great vintage in Tuscany). **(*)
  • Champagne Grand Reserve (Gosset) Old fashioned, wood influenced, suggestive of brandy - will be excellent in a few years if you like this sort of thing. (I do!) ***(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/02/1999   Return to top