Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 21 years 11 months and 7 days
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Diary index

31/07/1997 (TNB)

A Riesling Tasting 29/07/1997 (RJB)

27/07/1997 (RJB)

26/07/1997 (TNB)

Noel Young Wines Presents a Tasting of Pinot Noirs 24/07/1997 (RJB)

23/07/1997 (TNB)

Miscellaneous 20/07/1997 (TNB)

20/07/1997 (RJB)

Bottoms Up! 19/07/1997 (RJB)

New world whites at OFW 17/07/1997 (TNB)

Gang of Four, Riesling and sweet wine tasting 16/07/1997 (RJB)

14/07/1997 (TNB)

12/07/1997 (RJB)

08/07/1997 (TNB)

06/07/1997 (RJB)

04/07/1997 (TNB)

Noel Young Wines Champagne Tasting 02/07/1997 (RJB)

The Diary - July 1997

31/07/1997 (TNB)

  • Gewurtztraminer Herrenweg 92 (Zind-Humbrecht) Good for the vintage, quite dry, not enormously deep or complex. 84.
  • Brane Cantenac 67 Very healthy colour. Pleasant mature claret cedar/cigar nose, but palate a bit empty except for ciric acidity at first. An hour or so after opening, the fruit filled out a bit to make a rather pleasing mature claret. Requires careful attention to appreciate it. 87.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 31/07/1997   Return to top

A Riesling Tasting 29/07/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/07/1997   Return to top

27/07/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/07/1997   Return to top

26/07/1997 (TNB)

  • Chardonnay 92 (Newton) Having been criticising New World chardonnay vociferously recently, I thought I should try one! Good wine, I suppose, but lacks tautness, and the fruit and drama I remember is fading. (Oddly though it seemed quite good 24 hours later.)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/07/1997   Return to top

Noel Young Wines Presents a Tasting of Pinot Noirs 24/07/1997 (RJB)

A fairly hot and muggy evening, which didn't give ideal conditions for Pinot Noir tasting. I believe the wines were showing 'flatter' than perhaps they really are. Disappointing to see only one French wine on the list, but three out of the four American wines were showing well , and I honestly think I'd have trouble distinguishing them from Burgundy had it been a blind tasting.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/07/1997   Return to top

23/07/1997 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 23/07/1997   Return to top

Miscellaneous 20/07/1997 (TNB)

Slightly ill-remembered, so only brief comments:
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/07/1997   Return to top

20/07/1997 (RJB)

  • Joseph Phelps Los Carneros 1993 Chardonnay Initially fairly Burgundian in nature - buttery and nutty - but the wine soon became tiresome. Big and alcoholic. 85
  • Val d'Orbieu Viognier 1996, Les Vignerons du Val d'Orbieu A bargain (2.99 at Tesco). Real varietal characteristics, and real length. Apricot and butterscotch. Perhaps rather commercial in style, but a white wine with real interest and a constantly interesting nose (hints of this, hints of that). I would like to try this blind against 'more serious' Viognier (which can so often be too ethereal!). 87
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/07/1997   Return to top

Bottoms Up! 19/07/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/07/1997   Return to top

New world whites at OFW 17/07/1997 (TNB)

Turned out to be a tasting of three varieties, comparing a couple of new world "stars" with proper French wine!
  • Sauv. Blanc Katnook 96 Quite varietal, rather soft, the usual Ozzy lack of "grip". 82.
  • Sauv. Blanc Brancott 94 Up front gooseberryness, quite acidic, oddly hollow in some way, sherberty finish. Not very keen. 82.
  • Blanc dy Lynch Bages 95 Hefty dose of aromatic vanillan, spicy oak. Grapefruit an gooseberry notes. Probably for early drinking. Pleasant, but perhaps no great amount of fruit. 87.
  • Viognier 94 (Alban vineyards) Slightly sulpherous nose, genuinely varietal, but a bit dull. 83.
  • Viognier 95 (La Jota) Denser fruit, real peachy/apricoty flavours, but a bit heavy. 84.
  • Condrieu Les Chaillets Vielle Vignes 94 (Cuilleron) Better concentration and, most noticably better precision than the preceding wines. As every other time I have tried this producer's wines, this seemed a bit oily and flat. Perhaps it is over-extraction, but this had nowhere near the verve of the 95 Rostaing I had recently. 86.
  • Chardonnay, Mer Soleil 93 Rich tropical fruit, but perhaps less exciting than last time I had it -- perhaps it is starting to go the way of all californian Chardonnay? 86.
  • Puligny Montrachet La Garenne 95 (Sauzet) Lovely hazelnut notes over refined fruit. Not the best 95, but very good. 91.
  • Chardonnay 95 (Pahlmeyer) Others thought this to be like the Mer soleil, only a bit beter -- it seemed very unforthcoming to me
  • Noble One 93 (De Bertoli) Brown sugar and botrytis, a bit cloying. Pretty pleasant, but it costs 13 quid a half these days! 84.

And with dinner after at "blue":

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/07/1997   Return to top

Gang of Four, Riesling and sweet wine tasting 16/07/1997 (RJB)

Four Rieslings and Four sweet wines tasted blind. Numbers in brackets indicate position in flight taken from the average of the four tasters' scores.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/07/1997   Return to top

14/07/1997 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/07/1997   Return to top

12/07/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/07/1997   Return to top

08/07/1997 (TNB)

  • Champagne Blin 89 Quite new-worldy - pleasant but lacked muchinteresting character.
  • Bourgogne Rouge 87 (H. Jayer) What can one say? Undoubtably rather fine for a basic wine from a moderately good vintage. Nice fleshy strawberry fruit.
  • Rioja Riserva M. de Riscal 46 Tasted briefly in a restaurant: amazingly fresh raspberry fruit (I thought it was burgundy). Vibrantly alive.
  • Cantemerle 55 Situation as above. Delicate fragrant and delightfully cedary.
  • Rabaud-Promis 88 Lots of fruit and botrytis, but seemed a little dull and perhaps a shade short. Hope it's just an awkward time!
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 08/07/1997   Return to top

06/07/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/07/1997   Return to top

04/07/1997 (TNB)

  • Conundrum 95 (Caymus) Dumb nose, but very rich in the mouth with Condrieu-like floral frutiness. Dry. Excellent wine.
  • De Pez 89 Powerful fruit, but with that 89 hint of hollowness. Fresh-cut wood nose and nice grilling flavours, but perhaps the oak is a bit clumsy? From a half.
  • Caramino 90 (Dessilani) Very high acid, quite fine in a way, but I wouldn't like to have to guess its evolution - there seems to be quite a lot of fruit, but... (Next day, showing quite nicely, with chocolaty overtones - perhaps it is going somewhere?)
  • Zinfandel Paso Robles 91 (Ridge) Lovely brambly fruit with chocolaty overtones. Nice drink!
  • Ferreira 77 This had a good notice in one of the recent tasting reviews downgrading the 77's. Seems more like a good rather than great, Portugese-style, port from a first-rate vintage. Pleasant.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/07/1997   Return to top

Noel Young Wines Champagne Tasting 02/07/1997 (RJB)

"An Exclusive tasting of Champagne for the millenium (sic)" - or should that be "sick of the millennium"?

  • Jaques Selosse Brut Tradition NV (20.59) Degorged 6/8/96. A blend of 1989, 90 and 91. Honeyed nose, good acidity, medium bodied, nicish length, well made and refreshing. Should age well over the next three years. 88+
  • Bauget-Jouette Blanc de Blancs 1990 (21.99) Not as honeyed as the Selosse, and lighter bodied. Tongue-curling (but good) acidity with mineral salts flavours. 88
  • Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier D'Or 1990 (23.99) 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir. Apparently this has been written of as the Krug of growers' Champagnes. I found it rather confected in its flavours, and simple. A disconcertingly sweet finish. 83
  • Gosset Grande Reserve Brut NV (27.99) A blend of 1989, 90 and 91. 46% C, 38% PN, 16% PM. Closed but classy nose with a tight and elegant palate. Gosset suggest this will be at its best in three to four years' time. Clearly a step up in quality. 90+
  • Duval Leroy Cuvee Des Roys 1986 (31.99) This has done very well in recent press tastings. A tight, sharpish nose, but a bit soft and short. 87
  • Bollinger Grande Annee 1989 (37.99) 61% PN, 39% C. A big creamy, chocolatey mouthful. Very approachable and easy, but with aging potential. I am not particularly sure that this is my favourite style. 89
  • Gosset Grande Millesime 1989 (35.99) 66% C, 34% PN. This, however, most certainly is my style of Champagne. Lovely, with a coarse elegance (if that's possible). Good balance, superb length and fine acidity. So much going on, yet so tightly wrapped. This should age extremely well. 94
  • Bollinger RD 1985 (52.99) Degorged 26/5/97, 65% PN, 35% C. Honey and toast, nutty. A quick, dry finish (indicative of the extra age). This might be suffereing slighltly from being very RD. 90-92

    ... plus two old non-vintages for fun ...

  • Charles Heidseick Finest Extra Quality Brut Probably in the region of 30 years old (judging from the other stock which Noel got with it). The label has "Purveyors of Champagne to His Majesty the late George VI" on it, although this isn't exactly a good advertisement for any possible health giving aspects of Champagne. The fizz excellent, the nose sublime (toast and nuts). a very, very good argument for keeping NV Champagne for serious lengths of time. If only it were possible to know what this was like in its youth! 91
  • Charles Dennery Probably about 15 years old. The cork was loose in the bottle, so it was a suprise that the wine was still fizzy when poured into the glass, and that the colour was acceptable. A pleasant-ish nose of boiled cabbage (not unlike the nose old Pinots sometimes get), the palate simple. Probably better than when it was first bottled! 80
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/07/1997   Return to top