With dinner the night before the Slow Food Piedmont and Burgundy evening 31/07/2004 (TNB)
- Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 1991 (Dauvissat) Lovely and creamy - great balance - just at peak. Probably just about
- Tokay Pinot Gris Reserve 1983 (Rolly-Gassmann) Very gentle, good depth of flavour but perhaps not the ideal wine at a lively dinner. Top
- Bandol Migoua 1989 (Tempier) Splendidly gamy, leathery wine. Lovely terroir. Top
- Rioja Glorioso Reserva Exceptionel 1955 (Palacio) Lovely, fresh but lightweight wine with that old Rioja nose of biscuits and bandages(!) Hints of vanila ice-cream on the palate. Very enjoyable. Top
- Bastor Lamontagne 1988 This bottle at least seemd to be more botrytis than fruit to me this evening. I suspect it is better but for now
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/08/2004 Return to top
Dinner with Magnus 26/07/2004 (RJB)
- Gigondas La Ramillade 2001 (Chateau du Trignon) Surprisingly chocolatey wine with some pepper and smooth cherry flavours. Middle weight for a Gigondas, and not one to keep for too long.
- Piemonte Moscato Passito 2001 (Araldica) From a half bottle. Refreshing, balanced sweet wine. Really rather lovely easy drinking. A palate cleanser and reviver.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/07/2004 Return to top
Wine group with Z.M. at Sylvio's 26/07/2004 (TNB)
- Sauvignon blanc - Quarz 2000 (Cantina Terlan) Very varietal but nicely done. Intense. Opens out - currants - minerality. Might even age decently for a while. Top almost more.
- Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 1998 (Valentini) Rich, rustic "straw in the sunshine" nose. Dense unctious palate. Interesting wine but it does owe a lot to its upbringing rather than the complexity of its fruit, I feel. Still, maybe makes
- Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 1995 (Valentini) Gentle yet dense; rich but not clumsy. Fine
- Spanna 1976 (Berteletti) Brambley, irony, scented. High-toned. Drinking very nicely. Easy
- Caramino Riserva 1990 (Dessiliani) Slightly difficult, drying and stinky. Has its appeal but it hasn't aged that well. Still scrapes but sinking.
- Caramino 1971 (Dessiliani) Lovely scented nose. Ripe, rich fruit. Long and excellent. As good as many an old Barolo. Easy
- Brunello 1998 (Lisini) Big rich creamy nose. Fine fruit and great length. Might even rate another star in time.
- Brunello Ugolaia 1994 (Lisini) Lovely cherry-menthol fruit. Long. Great effort given the vintage.
- Brunello 1985 (Lisini) Slightly edgy - but fine silky fruit. Probably slightly faulty but good underneath. .
- Brunello Riserva 1979 (Lisini) Scented, dry, savoury, long. Lovely mature wine.
- Brunello 1978 (Lisini) A bit dumb on the nose - drying a bit and showing its age. Quite stylish though: there is quite a lot to it. Scrapes
- Brunello Riserva 1997 (Casse Basse - Soldera) Fantastic pure fruit with a hint of volatile edge (very classy indeed). Lovely creamy palate - very compact at the moment. Lots of structure and a very long finish. This will be really great.
- Recioto della Valpolicella 1980 (Quintarelli) Herby rich and sweet but one hell of a spritz. Lifted yeasty cherry fruit. Lovely rich and long. An absolute one-off.
- Recioto della Valpolicella 1997 (Dal Forno) Fantastically rich. Beautifully balanced - quite sweet. Black cherry fruit with a touch of bitterness. This will doubtless age brilliantly.
- Barolo Chinato NV (Capellano) Made like a Vermouth by adding herbs to Barolo wine - rather good wine in this case I think. An interesting drink and a really excellent match with a chocolate dessert.
- Brunello 1989 (Lisini) Fine, almost youthful colour, fragrant nose with hints of underbrush and that and the fruit has something about it, I'm not sure whether animal or mineral that gives the whole package great distinction. Dry, ripe tannins, altogether stylish. Lovely wine from a less than great vintage for Brunello. At peak but no great hurry to drink. Scrapes even
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/09/2004 Return to top
Weekend Claret 25/07/2004 (TNB)
- Cadet Piola 1988 Dry, savoury - meaty almost. Touch of privet on the nose, not too ripe. Nice Claret, perhaps a bit too chunky to be really top-rate. Drinking well.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/07/2004 Return to top
At home 24/07/2004 (TNB)
- Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2000 (Fourrier) Pure fruit, very attractive, but it seems neither one thing (structured and developing) nor the other (forward and drinking) at the moment. But it has real depth and concentration as you might expect from this "ought to be a Grand Cru" vineyard and so I expect it is just not at its best. Pretty good though and my rating may well look conservative in a year or two. Top
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/07/2004 Return to top
Wednesday evening 21/07/2004 (TNB)
- Ribera del Duero Reserva 1995 (Briego) Lovely high-toned red fruits. Very silky, suave character to the Burgundy-styles fruit. Ripe tannins and a good finish. Very well-made wine just entering its drinking plateau. Top
I have heard by the way that the estate has now lost interest in making really high-quality wines.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/07/2004 Return to top
Sunday night with fish pie 18/07/2004 (RJB)
- Champagne Grand Cru 1998 (Marguet-Bonnerave) Nicely mature fizz that feels older than it should do given its age. Not for keeping, but good and full, slightly oxidised apple nose and palate. just
- Samling 88 Trockenbeerenauslese 2000 (Nekowitsch) From a half bottle. Delicious, well balanced sweet wine with marmalade and honey. Fairly simple, but very easy drinking.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/07/2004 Return to top
Michel Chablis 16/07/2004 (TNB)I am always telling myself I don't have enough of Michel's lovely Chablis - so I recently bought some Montee de Tonnerre from 97 and 95.
- Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre 1997 (L. Michel) Buttery fruit emerges from a layer of appetizing chalky minerality. Really quite rich, but bone-dry and mouth-watering. Very good. An easy
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/07/2004 Return to top
A fine Sherry 14/07/2004 (TNB)M.D. calls round to pick up a few bottles from old auction lots - a splendid excuse to open a half bottle.
- Amontillado Don Tomas (Valdespino) A "Sacristia" bottling with a yeasty tang on the nose and a dark, brooding palate with a burnt, severe, old-wine quality. Fantastically long, dry nutty finish. Very special and very good indeed. Perhaps even
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/07/2004 Return to top
A new Rioja 13/07/2004 (TNB)Or new to me anyway...
- Rioja Crianza Gorrebusto 2001 (Torre San Millan) This is one of those pure, silk-textured, Burgundian wines - suave, with ripe tannins. No really great complexity perhaps but rather a good finish.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/07/2004 Return to top
- Cotes du Rhone 2001 (Guigal) This is a well balanced medium-weight wine with gentle sweet strawberry fruit. Best drunk young.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/07/2004 Return to top
A pre-wedding tasting of fizzy wine for Sylvia and Roger 10/07/2004 (RJB)Sylvia and Roger asked me what fizz they should have at their wedding and, to be honest, I didn't know. So we had this blind tasting with a few friends. Everyone (five of us) scored out of 10. The results didn't show much other than the Yellowglen came bottom and the Bollinger probably came first. The Heidsieck became the wedding Champagne (and having spent most of last Saturday drinking it, quite rightly so).
- Champagne Brut (P. Boutet) Reasonable basic stuff available from a five-letter supermarket. Light weight.
- Pinot Noir Chardonnay Grande Cuvee Brut, Australia (Yellowglen) Soft and dull. at most
- Cava Brut (Cristalino) lemony decentish cava (but that dosen't say an awful lot)
- Champagne Special Cuvee (Bollinger) Clearly, to my mind, the class act of the night. Creamy but also with apple acidity. Good length, good bubbles. on this showing.
- Marlborough Brut Cuvee (Deutz) Well made, but just that bit too ripe and soft for my taste. Autolytic.
- Saumur Brut (Bouvet Ladubay) I like this stuff. It's not trying to be more than it is. Fresh lightweight fizz that has lovely, if rather obvious, acidity. Perfect Summer drinking when one doesn't want to think too much. It should age reasonably. plus
- Champagne Heritage Brut (Heidsieck) I've given up trying to remember which Heidsieck is which or whether they are all the same. In theory this is basic range wine, but I think it's rather better than that with its mineral flavours and fine textured palate. Good value and decent. perhaps
- Champagne Brut (Brossault) Rather thin and a bit course.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/07/2004 Return to top
At Home 10/07/2004 (TNB)
- Marques de Grinon Gran Vino tinto de Crianza 1982 Probably a touch past peak with slightly attenuated fruit. Attractively meaty and a touch medicinal. Quite characterful. Merits
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/07/2004 Return to top
Leoville Poyferre and Le Crock 10/07/2004 (TNB)
- Chateau Le Crock 2002 Aromatic, unformed, mulberry. Plummy fruit - quite tannic. Pretty extracted - or just very young?
- Chateau Le Crock 2001 Ripe, lifted, morello cherry. Quite concentrated, high-toned cranberry palate.
- Chateau Le Crock 1999 Red fruits. Another high-toned palate. Nice acid. A touch weak on the finish.
- Chateau Le Crock 1998 Scented, plummy. Nice palate - solid core of red fruits - not too weighty. just
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2001 Warm berry nose. Rather soft and unfocussed palate now but I think this will come together well. Lots of tannins - nicely balanced. Better than the 2000 to my mind. At least a good - perhaps more.
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2000 Creamy (nose and palate), like the 01 but more concentrated and less forced. Suave wine - but perhaps at the expense of terroir. Surprisingly modern and not entirely my sort of thing. Top
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1999 A bit less ripe (a good thing) - still quite extracted. A bit shorter than the others. Bare
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1998 Much nicer - drier - cedary hints. Maybe even
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1985 Herby, mineral nose. Finely poised fruit. Lovely timeless balance of the vintage. Good
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1988 Dry, austere, elegant, scented. Has years in it but drinking nicely. Lacks the easy elegance of the 85 but still scrapes
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1989 Complex herby nose. Slightly "bulky" on the palate - dry tannins and ripe fruit. Good but I have reservations about the balance.
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1990 Ripe, round, mouthfilling wine. Touch of chocolate. Very good.
- Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1996 Big, gummy, extracted, slightly bitter as a consequence. Concentrated but not so long. Unattractive finish, at least currently. Am I under-rating this?
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/07/2004 Return to top
LJM and AME come to dinner 02/07/2004 (TNB)
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc Reserve 1989 (Rayas) Interesting kerosene riesling-like nose. Lots of intensity and length. Top
- Barolo 1964 (G. Pippione) In an antique-style dumpy bottle covered with some rather fake-looking deposit, one could wonder about the authenticity of this. Inside a fading wine that oxidised rather soon in the glass. It had been shaken around a bit, and it was intriguingly fragrant. No more than in the end.
- Marques de Riscal 1952 Very good colour and one of those old Rioja noses somewhere in the spectrum from cashew nuts to bandages - I find it hard to describe. Lovely mature, balanced old wine.
- Eau Minerale Gazeuse 1650 (Chateldon) We don't usually give tasting notes for water but Z.M. convinced me this was worth trying. This is naturally sparkling from a spring, and 1650 is the first bottling and not the vintage. It tastes fine and does have a most agreeable, soft mousse. I won't go so far as to give it a star rating however!
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/08/2004 Return to top