- Redoma Douro White 1999 (Niepoort) Interesting, herby nose - like an Ozzy Semillon. Creamy. Possibly a touch too much wood influence. Top
- Redoma Reserva Douro White 2000 (Niepoort) Finer, quite compact now, tight. Creamy texture, excellent acidity and really good length. A touch of tannins (owing to an obscure variety of white grape in the blend apparently)
- Redoma Douro Rose 2000 (Niepoort) Scented, quite complex, nice acidity, proper wine. Top quality rose.
- Redoma Douro Red 2000 (Niepoort) Pure raspberry fruit with tannic grip from new oak. A bit more modern-styled. This is very young - the hope is that it will fill in - probably it will. Possibly
- Redoma Batuta 2000 (Niepoort) Intense raspberry truit, silky Burgundian, very concentrated and structured. I can see why this is making a stir in Portugal. Easy
- Redoma Douro Red 1996 (Niepoort) Blackberry fruit, lots of farmyard, touch of high-toned cranberry. Nice food wine. Scrapes
- Secundum Vintage Port 2000 (Niepoort) Quite forward fruit with lots of liquorice. Slightly drier than the real thing and decidedly more modern.
- Vintage Port 2000 (Niepoort) Much more herby complexity. Aniseed and liquorice and Niepoort chocolate. Will be a top wine.
- Vintage Port 1987 (Niepoort) Earthy aniseed, excellent chocolatey concentration and balance. Top quality. (I think I under-rated this giving it one star fewer when served it at the end of dinner a while ago.)
- Quinta do Passodouro Vintage Port 1994 (Niepoort) Very raspberry nose and chocolate palate. More fruit-driven. Awkward phase perhaps not quite developing mature drinking character yet.
- Colheita 1988 (Niepoort) Not a particularly weighty Colheita but intruiguingly complex. Easy
- Redoma Red 2001 Cask Sample (Niepoort) Tighter and higher-toned than 2000 - rather good.
- Redoma Batuta 2001 Cask Sample (Niepoort) Very high-toned piercing fruit - will be a splendid wine, I think.
- Charme 2002 Cask Sample (Niepoort) Very silky Burgundian - quite different in style and has the makings of something really exciting. Maybe
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/07/2003 Return to top
- St Romain 1997 (Vincent et M.-C. Perrin) A white that’s beginning to tire a touch with a maturing blousiness putting it out of balance. This has lost the freshness it needs.
- Reserve Pinot Noir 1997 (Coldstream Hills) I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Coldsteam Hills Pinot Noir – it has a purity of fruit and an elegance that many New World Pinots can’t manage. This is well crafted wine with tight cherry fruit and a touch of vanilla. plus
- Champagne Monopole Brut (Heidsieck) I wrote recently that this seemed to be a bubbly that was on the up. Again this bottle showed good depth, clean flavours and a complex autolytic edge.
- Chateau Malescot St Exupery 1994 Drinking well with a scented Margaux nose. Elegant and enjoyable.
- Port 1983 (Dow) Decentish port, but not really together and lacking grip.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/07/2003 Return to top
- Pouilly-Fuisse Vieille Vignes 1989 (Chateau Fuisse) Quite rich and vegetal in an attractive way. Mouthfilling, attractive, mature wine. Drinking very nicely now - probably at peak and for drinking in the next couple of years.
- Bastor-Lamontagne 1988 I have drunk this a bit over the years - I remember a more tightly knit youth but now it is quite unctuous, rich, mature Sauternes. I doubt it will improve much but there isn't a great hurry to drink either. A pleasure! (From a half.)
- Les Tourelles de Longueville 1988 Second wine of Pichon Baron - good colour, mature, cedary cassis claret. You could say it was just a bit chunky and lacking the complexity of a top wine. Now easing in to a graceful decline, not because the fruit is failing but because there isn't enough else to come through. Drink up. Top
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/07/2003 Return to top
- Oregon Pinot Gris 2000 (Firesteed) Forward, sweet, melony fruit. Modern but well-made.
- Kumeu Pinot Gris 2000 (Kumeu River) Flatter and softer, a touch appley. Mothballs. Slightly longer. Good
- Semillon Vat 31 Stevens Vineyard 1997 (Tyrells) Intense and grassy, vanilla, but finishes a bit short. Bare
- Semillon Reserve 1997 (Stellenzicht) Rich lemony wine. Oak rather over-apparent, like the bad old days of Ozzy Chardonnays. Striking, some thought, but to me it lacks focus.
- Semillon Vat 16 Short Flat Main Vineyard.1996 (Tyrells) Problematic balance but it evens out to another restrained, drinkable wine.
- Hunter Valley Semillon Vat 1 1995 (Tyrells) Stylish. Lemony. Dry and balanced. Lovely food wine. Good
- Petite Sirah Private Collection 1998 (Fetzer) Herby and rich. Raspberry and cherry.
- Petite Sirah 1999 (Parducci) Berries, a touch of fruitcake. Good
- Petite Sirah 1998 (Parducci) Ripe cherries. Pleasant
- Petite Sirah Reserve 1999 (Carmen) Ripe cherry fruit again but a bit obvious. Bare
- Petite Sirah 1999 (L.A. Cetto) Mexican wine! And not at all bad - a bit like top Beaujolais - a bargain.
- Petite Sirah 1998 (Ramsay) Slightly Beaujolais but added liquorice. Quite good
- York Creek Petite Sirah 1997 (Ridge) Blackberry again. More intense - serious wine.
- Petite Sirah 1996 (Stag's Leap) Gamy, farmyardy. Quite tannic and stylish. Needs a couple of years and might be rather good. even
- Jurancon 1997 (Dom Bellegarde) Peachy, low acidity - a touch flabby - slightly disappointing perhaps.
- Jurancon Cuvee Thibault 1997(Dom Bellegarde) Peachy again and a bit tighter - but still a touch cloying. Maybe scrapes
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/07/2003 Return to top
- Tokaji Aszu 3 puttonyos 1993 (Crown Estates) Apricots and a touch of honey and marmalade on the nose. Lovely intense acidity. plus
- Tokaji Aszu 4 puttonyos 1993 (Crown Estates) Apricots, dates, marmalade. Sweeter and so less obviously penetrating acidity. Nice richness of fruit and finish.
- Szarvas Tokaji Aszu 4 puttonyos 1991 (Crown Estates) More focussed, quite subtle - possibly a touch less concentrated - the vintage?
- Tokaji Aszu 5 puttonyos 1993 (Crown Estates) Intense apricot jam - that splendid 93 acidity again - very "primary" at the moment. Improving and currently makes (I think I under-rated this earlier this year at only two stars.)
- Szarvas Tokaji Aszu 6 puttonyos 1994 (Crown Estates) apricot and barley sugar - sweeter and less botrytis. Very rich but a touch simple. Modest acidity for Tokaji - but enough.
- Szarvas Tokaji Aszueszencia 1993 (Crown Estates) Smoky, complex. Doesn't seem very botrytised (an illusion?) Intense barley sugar. I am a bit unsure about this but there is a lot of quality - let's say
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/07/2003 Return to top