- Guelbenzu Azul 2000 From a magnum. Good sweet fruit, chocolate and coffee. Good balance for drinking now. Top
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/01/2006 Return to top
- Riesling Herrenberg Cuvee Speciale 1990 (C. Schleret) Bone dry and with good intensity and length. It just seems to lack a bit of pizzaz - the whole effect is a touch (but just a touch) flat.
- Pape Clement 1997 Silky-textured and rich, one feels this wine is part of the transition to a modern style here. But this has produced a fine wine in this vintage, voluptuous, but still with enough stuffing.
- Riesling Pflaenzereben 1990 (Rolly-Gassmann) Nice mature riesling nose - completely resolved and really quite soft and lovable. Top
- Saarburger Rausch Spatlese 1993 (Zilliken) I have mixed feelings about this: on the plus side, fine nettle-like fruit, nicely balanced, now mature with a decent finish and a streak of minerality; on the minus side a slight lack of real presence, just a little underwhelming considering the reputation of the producer. Scrapes
- Chateau Musar 1983 It's easy to scoff at Musar, and until today I hadn't opened one of my own bottles for a year or two, but it's really not half bad you know. Rustic, yes - ultimately fairly simple, yes - but it does have lovely round, sweet, leathery fruit and it has aged very gracefully to a soft, amber-edged maturity. So it's easy to scoff in the other sense too.
- Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 1988 (Dopff au Moulin) Some will say this is past its peak but I rather like it. Mature riesling apricot flavours, old wine roundedness, very pleasant.
- Erdener Treppchen Spatlese 1990 (Moenchof) Quite big, ripe and sweet for spatlese. Very attractive, quite forward and engaging fruit. Very good rather than really riveting. Top
- Erdener Treppchen Auslese 1990 (Moenchof) Quite big, ripe and rich. This has a timeless quality - while showing some mature characters it is still quite sweet and very fresh - it will benefit from more time in bottle I think and will probably merit 4 stars in the long run. Impressive.
- Zinfandel Stellwagen 1997 (Joseph Swan) Remeniscent of a top Rhone Grenache: high-toned, a touch medicinal. This is really good wine - intense fruit but a nice balance. Top
- Riesling Steiner Hund Spatlese 1997 (Nikolaihof) This has now opened up nicely - gorgeous long, mouthfilling greengage fruit. It was so tight a few years ago and it has been fascinating to watch its progress. It is bone dry and has that Wachau sternness that (slightly to my surprise) I am often a bit ambivalent about. This though is drinking so nicely - perhaps it's just a mistage to try and drink these wines young. Very top
- Cadet Piola 1988 This seems to have become a touch more piquant and high-toned than I recall. A grown-up's wine with tanins that might never be entirely mellow until too late, and a classic Claret nose. Lovely. top
- Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Spatlese 1990 (F. Haag) Sherberty, very open fruit, and very pleasantly drinkable at 8% alcohol. A bit spritzy at first and ever so slightly hollow on the palate, if I was going to criticise. On the other hand, it has a lovely long finish. Ready to drink I guess, but no great hurry. Lovely. Top
- Gevrey Chamberting EnPallud 1996 (Maume) Raspberry fruit, nodding at cassis also, dry, very firm as this producers wines tend to be - still a touch hard. Very nice village wine coming round as it approaches its 10th birthday.
- Hochheimer Holle Spatlese 1995 (F. Kunstler) Rather nice - intense grapefruity riesling, with something towards nectarine on a persistant finish. Seems quite dry to me for a classic-style Rheingau but that may partly be the particularly good acidity. Drinking nicely but no hurry to consume - might even be better in a few years. Top
- Pinot Noir Saralee's Vineyard 2000 (Joseph Swan) A high-toned wine from this most European-styled of Californian winemakers, with rich yet piquant fruit. This will improve a bit I suspect but needs the right food. Bare and still with a little way to go.
- Soave Classico Superiore Vigneti di Foscarino 1998 (Inama) Seven year-old Soave? The fruit is now rather evolved - peach kernels and almonds, but still fresh and with a hint of floral notes on the nose. Some will say this is past its best but I like it a lot. Dry, attractive, drinkable. A good
- Faugeres 2001 (Domaine Saint Antonin) Dry, yet with with very nicely-textured fruit. A bargain at well the right side of a tenner.
- Castello Guerrieri 2000 (Rizzardi) Pleasant.
- Rutherglen Muscat NV (Campbells) Nice example, without any great extra complexity. Top
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/01/2006 Return to top
- Chassagne Montrachet Abbaye de Morgeot 1er Cru 1998 (Fleurot-Larose) Red Burgundy Wine as it helpfully says on the label. Rather dilute and lacking. Possibly just too old.
- Savigny-les-Beaune Clos des Guettes 1999 (Henri de Villamont) Sweeter fruit than the above, and with a simple charm. But hard work finding much flavour. plus
- Merlot 2002 (Groote Post) A bit unripe on the palate, and with coarse fruit. Some (pleasant) signs of maturity on the nose, but not coordinated with the rest of the wine.
- Pinot Noir Central Coast 2000 (Calera) Easily the best of the recent Pinots that I've had. A touch stewed, but at least not suffering the dilute characters of the two French wines.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/01/2006 Return to top
- Pouilly-Fuisse 2003 (Bouchard Aine & Fils) Medium depth, well put together for early drinking. Reasonably taut.
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003 (Louis Bernard) Liquorice and black cherry nose. Charming for early drinking.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/01/2006 Return to top