The Diary - June 2007
- Auxey-Duresses Les Hautes 2000 (J-M Vincent)
The cooking wine! Pleasant for drinking too. Top
- Champagne Lanson 1996
Quite citric, appley, with a fairly sharp acidity. It has good persistence though and I think just needs some time. Bare
- Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvee 1981
Honey, apples, biscuits, mushrooms. A touch of maderisatio seems less intrusive with time in the glass. Nice mature fizz.
- Chevalier Montrachet 1998 (Domaine Leflaive)
Rich, beautifully-textured, almost fat and relatively low-acid, quite mineral. Lovely, but for drinking relatively soon. Not enough grip to be great.
- Beaucastel Roussanne Vieilles Vignes 1990
Honey, almonds, herbs, great depth. A touch of Jura-like oxidation. Really good. Top
- Beaucastel Roussanne Vieilles Vignes 1989
Riesling-like kerosene hints, more fruit complexity but perhaps a bit less poise than the 1990. Still lovely.
- Vosne Romanee 1er cru Cros Parantoux 1996 (Rouget)
Very pure loganberry fruit, great texture. At the moment, very high-toned: the acid needs to ameliorate and then it will be lovely.
- Vosne Romanee 1er cru Cros Parantoux 1992 (Rouget)
Fragrant, beautiful, and very lovely. Medium weight, and just a suggestion on the finish that this is for drinking in the next year or two.
- Vosne Romanee 1er cru Cros Parantoux 1993 (Meo-Camuzet)
Fantastically perfumed. Elegant yet concentrated. Structure emerges in the glass so there is substance too. Still on the way up, I think. Top
- Vosne Romanee 1er cru Cros Parantoux 1993 (Rouget)
Meaty at first, opens out to reveal peach and strawberry fruit. Also lovely but not quite as ravishing as the Meo wine.
- Vosne Romanee 1er cru Cros Parantoux 1991 (Rouget)
Fantastic poise and balance. Fragrant, beautiful , so mineral. Probably at peak. Top
- Chateau Climens 1990
Really lovely Barsac coming to maturity - quite a lot of botrytis but precise. Orange and coconut - a delight.
- Fonseca 1966
Violets and blackcurrants. Chocolate. Lovely. Justly famous.
- Morgon 1963
Very light, mature vintage port, pleasant enough but unremarkable.
- Arbois Savagnin 2001 (J. Puffeney)
Like a fino sherry but with better acidity, less alcohol (its 13%, unfortified) and probably more fruit - high-toned, quite lemony. Works well as an aperitif and goes quite well with cheese even. Very individual and rather enjoyable.
- Vouvray demi-sec 1981 (B.Pichot)
Honey, sour apples, bone-dry, intense. Quite enjoyable.
- Chablis Valmur 1998 (Voceret)
Mineral, very Chablis. Pretty good. Bare
- Chablis Vaudesir 1996 (Gaugherin)
Dry, a bit simple. Top
- Chablis les Clos 1996 (Pinson)
Oddly musty. Probably the pox.
- Chablis Preuses 1995(la Chablisienne)
Mineral - very fine.
- Chablis Grenouille 1995 (la Chablisienne)
Mild pox. Not very nice.
- Chablis les Clos 1992 (Malandes)
Very rotten - is this pox this far back, or just an odd oxidised bottle?
- Beaune Teurons 1999 (Morot)
Silky, refined. Poised. Very nice indeed. Top plus
- Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees 1999 (Lafarge)
Slightly difficult - will come through I think. For now, with reservations,
- Corton Bressandes 1999 (Tollot-Beaut)
Mentholy, rich open, long. Top
- Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees 1995 (Lafarge)
Dry, firm, structured, elegant. very fine. (rising to close to 4 stars)
- Volnay Les Caillerets 1995 (L. Boillot)
Very beautiful - iron fist, stony, mineral. Lovely. (almost more)
- Volnay 1er cru Clos de la Barre 1995 (Jadot)
Strong, quite extracted, a bit inky, tannic. Still, a good wine. (still on the way up)
- Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Auslese 1994
Lots of CO2. Very young-seeming. Great richness. Very good and improving. Bare
- Braneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese 1994 (F. Haag)
Lime and lanolin. Lovely.
- Graham 1980
Deep, pruny, sweet, incredibly youthful. Fantastic. Top
- Dow 1980
Violets on the nose and bags of finesse. I have slight reservations about this bottle - very slightly corked perhaps. Clearly excellent underneath. I suspect a perfect bottle would be top too.
- Graham 1970
Rich, high-toned, starting to drink very nicely. Delicious. Top
- Chardonnay Marina Cvetic 2000 (Masciarelli)
Quite interesting, but oddly unbalanced - not exactly flabby but going vegetal in a way I don't take to. Others may differ but I prefer the Trebbiano from this vintage!
- Chablis Vaillons 2000 (J-P Droin)
I have been drinking my way through a load of halves of this, bought at a provincial auction for no great money. This (apart from one corked bottle) is real Chablis, a touch of chalky minerality, pure fruit and so forth. Yet it seems a bit too easy, a bit short on challenge, to be really good. Bare
- Gevrey-Chambertin 1er cru Cazetieres 1992 (Rousseau)
Another auction wine that I have lazily been leaving making a note on to the next bottle. Beetroot, gamy Pinot, hinting at farmyard corruption - as one might expect, completely mature. Rather good in its way - I can see how the bottle RJB gave 5 stars to last year might have been not so different but I can't go further than a bare .
- Savoie Chignin Vieille Vigne 2004 (R. Quenard)
Citric apple nose, becoming honeyed with time in th glass. Nicely dry palate, unassertive but with a good texture and persistence from old vines. In fact, this apparently comes from 10 year old Jacquere vines - like many Italian whites there is no easy fruit to identify but the whole package is very elegantly drinkable. For interest and individuality - a bare
- Champagne Silver Brut Nature (A. Clouet)
A bit reductive on opening, but it opens out to be mineral, quite meaty, hints towards coffee, Bollinger-style perhaps. It will never be that elegant and is probably best with food, although I can happily drink it as an aperetif. The fruit is good enough to support the zero dosage, and I like the grown-up austerity that gives it. Still developing, I think. Bare
- Chardonnay 2002 (Adragna)
From Sicily, an odd bottle in an action purchase. Pretty decent: dry, nicely balanced, perhaps confusable with a basic Macon of some sort. Worth
I don't really trust my own views on spirits, but I have given ratings anyway to record my impressions.
- Dom Perignon 1999
Farmyard straw, yet elegant and creamily persistent. Bare
- Krug Grand Cuvee NV
Vanilla foam, nice balance, a touch meaty. Will age well.
- Krug 1995
Drier, quite evolved on the nose - a touch of mint chocolate. Quite hard now - needs time, but will be fantastic.
- Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame 1998
Meaty, showy, quite 98 in being forward and easy to appreciate but with no great finesse. Not my style really. Top
- Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1993
Autolytic, apply, creamy, dry. Rather fascinating with that mixture of freshness and maturity from the late disgorgment. Top
- Cheval des Andes 2002
Quite oaky, modern, silky-textured wine. A classy example of the type. Bare
- Cognac XO (Hennessy)
Spicy, leathery, rich fruit. Powerful.
- Cognac Paradis (Hennessy)
More gentle, elegant, nose. Chocolate and coffee. Suggestive of cigars.
- Cognac Richard (Hennessy)
Fruitier again. Rich, complex palate. balanced and very long. Very lovely. Top
- Glenmorangie 15 year old Sauternes finish
Touch peaty, smoky, less complex than the Cognacs. Perhaps I am not a Whisky person. Bare
- Glenmorangie - 1987 Chateau Margaux
Fruitier, perfectly pleasant. Again, I prefer the Cognacs which seem much closer to wine. Bare
- Ardbeg Lord of the Isles
Peat, smoke, fruity hints, hospital corridors - very Isla. This I can admire and appreciate - perhaps my enthusiasm for this is mainly because it is so different. Top
- Tokay Vieilles Vignes 1988 (Zind-Humbrecht)
Very mellow and pleasant. Top
- Nuits St George 1er cru Richemone 1988 (Pernin-Rossin)
Beetroot, slightly cooked, very pinot and in nice condition. Not entirely my style. Top
- Chateau Climens 1985
Refined barley sugar. Very pleasant if a bit simple. Not a great Climens, but of course not a great Barsac vintage. Top
- Recioto di Soave Calprea 2004 (Filippi)
Very botrytised, orange-peel and apricot, plenty of intensity but it interferes with the precision that the best of the style have. Good, even very good, in its way, and perhaps it will age to something exciting. For now
- Albarino Rias Baixas 2005 (Pazo Barrantes)
Mineral, rich, still quite hard. Rather good. Needs time. Top
- Albarino Segrel Rias Baixas 2004 (Pablo Padin)
Mainstream Albarino lacks the buzz of the previous wine, but pleasant. Top
- Condrieu La Bonnette 2002 (Rostaing)
Fragrant, dry, low-acid. Very fine.
- Condrieu 2004 (Chapoutier)
Yeasty, clumsy compared to Rostaing. Fuller yet less elegant. Yet it seems to come in to balance in the glass.
- Condrieu 2004 (Gangloff)
Gorgeous, rich yet balanced. Has it all - a lovely example. Bare
- Condrieu 2004 (Guigal)
Touch of oak - I'd prefer it without. Good though, but lacks the precision of the Gangloff. Top
- Chambolle Musigny 1er cru Beaux-Bruns 1998 (Barthod)
Masculine, quite firm and still a bit hard on the finish. Lovely fruit and structure. A classy 98. Top
- Chateau Montrose 1998
Dry, intense, classic. Pretty unforthcoming right now, but I am sure this will be fine.
- Chateau Angelus 1998
Quite closed, oaky. Serious wine but quite extracted and overwrought. I am not very keen - size is not everything. Top
- Clos Fourtet 1998
Complex, balanced, very fine. A real star wine - half the price of the SAngelus and rather better, to my mind.
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1998
Berryish, rustic, very Cos. Very good in its way and definitely proper wine, although there is a sort of clumsyness about Cos that I don't get on so well with. Bare
- Chateau La Gaffeliere 1998
Raspberry fruit, high-toned, old-fashioned. Lovely. This really is my sort of wine - made for drinking while the Angelus seems to be made for admiring. Top
- Amarone Castelberti 2003 (Filippi)
Very pure, fresh fruit. Complex cough-sweety fruit - not in the raisiny style of a lot of Amarone. Very interesting wine.
- La Poja 2000 (Allegrini)
Off-dry, quite big and oaky. A bit extracted. Bare
- La Poja 2001 (Allegrini)
Sweet fruit, yet rather forced with drying structure. This rather fits in with my perceptions of modern Allegrini, that they are striving for some sort of modern, ideal wine, and they are doing it well, but the result is wines that lack a bit of soul.