The Diary - June 2003
- Schlossbock Felsenberg Spatlese 1983 (Deinhard)
Deep gold. Quiet nose. Delightfully honied, mature, nutty, spicy Riesling palate. Very balanced. Excellent for spatlese.
- Hocheimer Herrenberg Auslese 1983 (R. Nagler)
Quite similar (the vintage perhaps) but a touch more intense although slightly inferior balance.
- Chablis Valmur 1995 (Collet)
Deep colour. Honey, curious (interesting in a way) aromatics. Appley fruit. Slightly ill-kept at some point possibly?
- Chablis Les Lisse Premier Cru 1995 (Defaix)
Bone-dry apple fruit. Appetising. Good finish.
- Chablis Vaudesir 1995 (Michel)
Slightly more evolved. Mouthwatering. Lovely balance. Mineral. Long again.
- Chablis Vaudesir 1994 (Michel)
Lovely: dry, mineral and long.
- Gran Coronas Black label 1978 (Torres)
An intercourse wine - sexy nose, gamey - luscious brambley sweet fruit. Fresh. Slightly baked finish. Not so cabernet but very stylish. Very top
- Barolo Riserva 1990 (Rocche dei Manzoni)
Tarry, fragrant. Dry, nice ripe fruit with tannic backbone. Possibly a shade light.
- Barolo Brunate 1988 (R Voerzio)
Very rubbery. Good fruit and bags of tannin. I don't like the rubberyness but it wears off to reveal meaty depths and a touch of class. Perhaps needs more time!
- Barolo Tettimorra 1982 (Scarpa)
Dry, concentrated baked fruit. Intense. plus
- Barolo Vigna Lazzarito 1982 (Fontanafredda)
Pretty rubbery. Wears off but then seems a bit thin.
- Barolo Marenasco 1978 (R. Ratti)
That rubbery, recently opened Barolo nose again. Wears off - shows maturity - fine fruit, gentle yet quite grand. plus
- Muscatel du Setubal 6 year old - bottled 1978 (J.M. da Fonseca)
Orange with a green rim. Savoury, off-dry, brown sugar burnt-marmalade palate. Lovely - what a pleasant surprise. Top
- Vin Santo 1988 (Selvapiana)
Really quite similar in character to the previous wine. Simpler though, more sherryish and perhaps less balanced. A bit toffeed. Still pretty good though.
- Warre 1977
Not too heavy, high-toned, nice acidity with attractive fruit - a touch of aniseed and chocolate. Lovely.
- Clos St Denis 1991 (P. Charlopin-Parizot)
Deep but healthy colour, meaty red fruit nose and a touch of gamyness. This is pleasant drinking Burgundy - the fruit has held up well and shows no sign of being past its best. On the other hand there is a lack of purity and real complexity: Parker writes that the estate was using extended cold maceration which resulted in strong colour in this vintage and I wonder if this is the consequence. Pretty good if not entirely typical Burgundy.
- Fleurie Vieilles Vignes 2000 (Potel-Aviron)
I don't drink a lot of Beaujolais and this (sign of the times?) doesn't have that word on the label - just "red Burgundy wine" near the bottom. This splendid wine could entice me back to drinking these wines - plenty of characterful bubble-gum fruit, some complexity and the over-all balance and structure of a fine wine. There is even a touch of sediment to testify to its seriousness. I think this will even improve in a year or two, specially given that this was tasted from a half.
- Rully blanc Premier Cru Gresigny 1999 (M. Briday)
Spicy, I want to say "peppermint" but I'm not sure that is quite the flavour, asparagus fruit. Attractive drinking.
- Chassagne Montrachet Ruchottes 1993 (Ramonet)
Very zippy with bags of acidity overlaying a core of quality, gringery (as so often with Ramonet) fruit. Rather stylish. I think this will even age well from now with the structure it has. Top
- Pommard Clos des Lambots Vielle Vignes 1999 (Girardin)
Rather good, boiled-sweet fruity, attractive Village Pommard.
- Cotes du Rhone blanc reserve 2001 (Perrin)
Almondy, apples, dry, but rather characterless. Scrapes
- Cotes du Rhone blanc Vigne du prieure 1996 (Chateau Gigognan)
Deeply metallic old socks. Undrinkable.
- Erbacher Marcobrunn Kabinet 1999 (Schloss Schonborn)
Sherberty, floral, very riesling. Quite a spritz - intentional I think and it will age well.
- Erbacher Marcobrunn Spatlese 1993 (Schloss Schonborn)
Intensely petrolly. Very rich, off-dry but good acidity. Relatively hefty for Spatlese but excellent.
- Erbacher Marcobrunn Auslese 1995 (Schloss Schonborn)
Deep colour. Very rich and broad with concentrated nectarine fruit. Lovely.
- Cos d'Estournel 1988
Warm cassis nose. Classic claret palate - earthy, balanced, quite dry.
- La Lagune 1986
Cedary cassis - good acidity and tannins. Scraping
- d'Issan 1983
Easy going - chocolate. Fragrant but fairly lightweight.
- Cos d'Estournel 1981
A touch dumb at first. Fills in to be classically drinkable - but drink up fairly soon.
- Opus One 1981 (Mondavi)
Smoky/gamey - very exotic. Survived very well. Lacks the balance to be really exciting.
- La Lagune 1976
Stylish, scented, redcurrants - quite dense - long and fine. Brilliant for the vintage. Very top
- Tokaji 3 Puttonyos 1993 (Oremus)
Appetising barley-sugar, typical but unremarkable Tokay.
- Vin de Constance, noble late harvest 1987 (Klein Constantia)
Very zippy, camphor. Orange peel. Very striking - oozes character. Perhaps even
- Champagne Krug NV
At the airport at 8.30 a.m! Believed quite old - delicately maderised, rich and long. Lovely. From a half.
- Palo Cortado (Lustau)
I like the savoury style of Palo Cortado. An attractive example.
- Waldracher Jesuitengarten BA 1971 (Schenk Oster)
A Mosel wine. Golden with qreen rim - rich fruit. Not much botrytis - a bit barleysugar like old Barsac. Good though.
- Puligny Montrachet Pucelles 1989 (Domaine Leflaive)
Deliciously savoury - quite fat and forward (the vintage and not a criticism). Classy. Ready now.
- Champagne blanc de blanc 1990 (Dom Ruinart)
Very pure, filigree, yeasty white bread, fine fruit and supple length. Youthful.
- Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 1996 (Raveneau)
Fantasically pure, mineral fruit, lovely acidity, hints of marzipan. Very long.
- Tursan 2000 (Chateau de Bachen - Geuraud)
An AC I haven't tried before. Quite fruity at first in a south of france sort of way. Odd astringent, hot finish. Not quite worth a star.
- Condrieu Les Terrasses de l'Empire 2000 (Vernay)
Dry, fresh, appetizing, attractive with the grapes peachykernelness coming through on the finish.
- Bandol 1990 (Pibarnon)
Cassis fruit, rich and a bit rustic. slightly varnishy finish. Decent enough. Won't improve.