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Diary index

1998 Clarets at Oddbins Fine Wine 30/06/2001 (TNB)

28/06/2001 (TNB)

27/06/2001 (RJB)

Penfolds wines presented by Peter Gago 16/06/2001 (TNB)

13/06/2001 (RJB)

Quick notes from a pre-auction tasting 13/06/2001 (TNB)

06/06/2001 (TNB)

06/06/2001 (RJB)

With a post-tasting supper at M.D's 01/06/2001 (TNB)

Wine Group at A.D's 01/06/2001 (TNB)

The Diary - June 2001

1998 Clarets at Oddbins Fine Wine 30/06/2001 (TNB)

  • Chateau Monbousquet (St Emilion) 1998 Very fruity, cherry cinnemon and clove nose (gingerbread later). A bit light-textured on the palate - those spices again, from wood perhaps - dominating the fruit. Fruit drops away in the finish: possibly it will fill out a shade, but I suspect this is as good as it will ever be. A bit flashy - not my sort of wine. ** (34.99)
  • Cotes de Blaye Cuvee Viva 1998 (Gigault) Deep cassis nose. Monolithic at the moment, lots of good tannins, good finish. Expensive for the appelation, but this is quite a serious wine. Possibly even *(**) (14.99)
  • Chateau Fontenil, Fronsac 1999 Closed on the nose - hints of the sea. Quite dry and austerely wood-influenced on the palate. Good length suggests quality. May turn out well - hard to tell. At least *(*) (12.99)
  • Chateau Bourgneuf, Pomerol 1998 More cabernet blackcurrant nose. Rather simple, undemanding palate. Scrapes ** (19.99)
  • Chateau Faugeres, St Emilion 1998 Plummy nose, hints of flowers. Fruitcake palate with excellent acidity. A well-balanced, well-structured, serious wine. I don't know the property but I will keep a look out for it in future. **(*) (14.99)
  • Clos du Marquis 1998 Refined, pencily nose, which I suppose you might hope for from the second wine of the great Las Cases. Medium weight, good length. ** (22.99)
  • Quilceda Creek 1997 Complex, sexy, slightly minty, blueberry nose. Mouthfilling. Won't improve much. Striking and obviously not claret - the ringer easily spotted! Scrapes *** (43.99)
  • Chateau Kirwan 1998 Dense marmite (or perhaps bovril - it's meaty too) nose. Dry palate, quite chewy at the moment but the fruit is there. It does seem as though this property is beginning to make proper wine again! *(**) (19.99)
  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1998 Very slightly sulphur-masked. Big, currently monolithic, with hints of that lovely lead-pencil flavour - tightly wound, concentrated and long. Quite big for Lafite with quite a hit of fruit. Clearly excellent - I would love to taste this in ten years. **(**) (99.99)
  • Chateau d'Armailhac 1998 Gingery marmite nose with a hint of cooked fruit. Curious spicy palate. Mellows on returning to it later. I am a bit unsure about this, but for now *(*) (14.99)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/06/2001   Return to top

28/06/2001 (TNB)

  • Brunello 1991 (Argiano) Rather lovely fragrant nose. Good weight of fruit on the palate, no very long finish which suggests to me that it is time to drink this despite the fairly marked tannins. Good effort in an indifferent vintage. A good **
  • Riesling 1995 (Rolly-Gassmann) Grapefruit nose and nice acidity, flavour and balance. Good for a basic level wine. Top *
  • Chasse Spleen 1983 Pleasant mature claret, fruitcakey, not particularly fine. Very decent, but I am not convinced by the view that this property should clearly be a classed growth. Scrapes ** I guess.
  • Valpolicella Superiore 1995 (Dal Forno) Fine blackberry liqueur nose, concentrated, silky fruit hiding substantial tannins and a lot of new oak ageing. Good acidity, long finish. One of the most prestigious Valpolicellas and the the price is correspondingly high. Certainly very good. May even improve. ***
  • Brancaia 1997 (La Brancaia) A Super-Tuscan Merlot and Sangiovese blend. Good, deep colour, complex berries and chocolate nose, lovely pure fruit hides the depth and structure. Good acidity and a long finish. Very good, perhaps even ***(*)
  • Banyuls Rimage Mise Tardive 1993 (Clos de Paulilles) Good blackberry and dark cherry flavours, nice balance with a good level of sweetness. Not unlike a really good LBV port. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/06/2001   Return to top

27/06/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/06/2001   Return to top

Penfolds wines presented by Peter Gago 16/06/2001 (TNB)

An Oddbins Fine Wine event with Peter Gago from Southcorp presenting the wines.
  • Chardonnay The Valleys 1999 (Penfolds) Fresh and fruity, supple oak. Slightly clothy finish. *
  • Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 1999 (Penfolds) Ripe fruit and a fairly traditional Ozzy character (quite a lot of soft oak) - will perhaps go vegetal. **
  • Yattarna Chardonnay 1998 (Penfolds) Closed nose, sweet-seeming palate again not giving up a lot, at least at the moment. I can't see this is that interesting but it does have good length. It might make an extra star in time, but for now **
  • Coonawarra Shiraz Bin 128, 1998 (Penfolds) Lifted berry fruits and a slightly insubstantial mid-palate. Pretty drinkable, but the cool Coonawarra climate doesn't seem to lead to any real terroir character: does the famous Coonawarra soil really give much character to a wine? A good *
  • Kalimna Shiraz Bin 28, 1998 (Penfolds) Spicy mulberries. Warmer climate than the Coonawarra shows in the richness. Scrapes **
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 407, 1998 (Penfolds) Soupy warm-climate cabernet nose. Palate a bit hollow and leafy. This is the sort of New World Cabernet that I really don't find very interesting. *
  • Cabernet Shiraz Bin 389, 1998 (Penfolds) There's a certain style to this unfashionable traditional Australian blend. This has complex fruit, decent length and good structure. A way ahead of the previous wines. **(*)
  • St Henri Shiraz 1997 (Penfolds) Pure fruit, and quite different in style from the other wines since it sees only large old oak barrels. Certainly interesting as a consequence and with some nice complexity but it seems a little flat in the mouth. The finish is pretty long, but sweet. This might turn out to be worth an extra star in time, but I'll stick with a conservative **
  • RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz 1998 (Penfolds) Back to 100 per cent new oak, and this is a pretty classy, spicy wine. Certainly it is good, but I don't get any real sense of character. Possibly **(*)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707, 1998 (Penfolds) Lovely, arrestingly complex nose that had me coming back to it several times. A good palate too but without the same compelling interest. I don't really see this going anywhere in the long run, but for the nose: ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/06/2001   Return to top

13/06/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/06/2001   Return to top

Quick notes from a pre-auction tasting 13/06/2001 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/06/2001   Return to top

06/06/2001 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/06/2001   Return to top

06/06/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/06/2001   Return to top

With a post-tasting supper at M.D's 01/06/2001 (TNB)

  • Meursault Poruzot 1995 (Rodet) Very tight, slightly gamey, austere. Interesting, but very good rather than great. **(*)
  • Meursault Poruzot 1989 ( Jadot) Richer than the Rodet wine, but showing its age a bit - slightly fading at the edges. **
  • Chateau Figeac 1990 Cedary, smoky, complex nose. Irony, slightly unbalanced at the moment, severe almost bitter finish. Old-fashioned. Is this the first closed up 90 I have had or has this wine always been this way? In any case it will be rather good in time - probably **(**)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/06/2001   Return to top

Wine Group at A.D's 01/06/2001 (TNB)

Californian versus Southern Rhone Rousanne an interesting match, with Bonterra showing well if not quite in the Beaucastel class. Argentina easily wins the Malbec battle against Cahors since one of the latter was corked and the other past it! There will be a discussion in the next FWD Newsletter.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/06/2001   Return to top