The Diary - January 2007
- Maximin Grunhaus Abtsberg Spatlese 1997 (von Schubert)
Quite rich, mouthfilling fruit. Sherberty, good acid. More forward than some from this estate. At least a good
- Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese 1-star 1996 (Selbach-Oster)
Excellent density, firm acid, really good.
- Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Les Cloux 1998 (M. Ecard)
Quite animal, meaty, but elegant. A touch hard on the finish. Top
- Nuits St George 1er cru Chaignots 1998 (Gouges)
Quite hard. Succulent tannins, dense but needs time.
- Beaune 1er cru Greves 1999 (Tollot-B)
Splendidly ripe, round fruit. Excellent wine Bare
- Vosne Les Hautes Maizieres 1999 (Arnoux)
Moderate weight, pleasant but seems a bit dilute. Bare
- Chambolle Musigny 1er cru Les Baudes 1998 (H. Lignier)
Mineral, pure, very savoury, lovely tannins. Still improving. Top
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Champonnets 1999 (Heresztyn)
Middle of the road fruity, good Burgundy but not remarkable. Ready to drink.
- Charmes Chambertin 1998 (Serafin)
Charred at first - then quite fine and luscious. A bit oaky. Bare I guess but not entirely my sort of thing.
- Vosne Romanee La Grande Rue 1998 (Lamarche)
Coffee, all sorts of aromatics, complex. Unique.
- Clos de La Roche 1994 (H. Lignier)
Takes time to open out. Great poise. Subtle and complex. Fantastic effort for the vintage.
- Delaforce 1977
Pleasant, but really a bit lacking oomph. Bare
- Bucciato 2000 (Ca Rugate)
I bought a few of these a while ago and this is the last one. It's essentially Soave, made in a retro style with quite a lot of skin contact - hinting at the sort of thing that has made Gravner famous. I have slightly mixed feelings: on opening it seems a bit flat and dull, like other things in this style it needs to be close to room temperature to show its best. When it does, it's really got nice fruit, although you have to be in the right mind-set for it. I must try another vintage.
- Mrey St Denis 1er cru Chaffots 1999 (H. Lignier)
Like the other bottles from this producer I've tried recently, this is pure, unforced, transparent wine. Really good, and as it opens out some really attractive minerality emerges. A bit more oomph that the other wines but this is 1999 rather than 2000. Very good indeed. Just because I like it, rather than for really objective reasons, I'll go as far as a bare
- Palo Cortado El Cardenal NV (Valdespino)
Quite volatile nose, palate like licking mahogany. Splendid wine.
- Amontillado Coliseo NV (Valdespino)
Finer and more complex than the Cardenal, fantastically interesting: the finish is compelling, concentrated and long, but I can see one might almost find it difficult without food. Lovely.
- Sauternes La Tour Blanche 1990
A bit of a star, if Parker and Broadbent are to be believed. I find it a bit flat - acidity only adequate and a general lack of sparkle. That said, the fruit is quite fine. Possibly this is a poor half, but if not then only for me.
- Chateau Leoville Barton 1991
Surprisingly round and fruitcakey for what was not generally a Merlot year. Beyond that, rather a lovely mature Claret, cedary, no great hurry to drink. It just shows that class is much more important than vintage, although 91 is an odd one anyway - much of its reputation as a poor vintage seems to come from its being a small vintage. Did I really sell half my case of this? Top
- Barolo Paiagallo 2002 (Giovanni Canonica)
Fantastically pure, fragrant, juicy, crushed red fruits - very Burgundian (like the Nebbiolo tasted a couple of weeks ago). Good concentration and length and the fruit is of such quality that hides both the tannins and the hints of tar. Excellent wine from what is supposed not to be a great vintage in Barolo - a pleasure to drink but surely it will be even more so in a few years. At least a good