Dinner in Edinburgh 29/03/2001 (TNB)Wines from a recent dinner when Richard was visiting Edinburgh. The notes are based on some joint jottings made late that night!
- Champagne 1959 (Krug) Lots of life - good mousse - but a touch maderised as one might expect of Champagne this old. Still very fresh, fairly citric, with fine acidity. Quite classy.
- Chablis Les Preuses 1983 (Long-Depaquit) I don't think I've ever tasted the wines of this producer before, although apparently it is a well-known estate. Showing its years a bit although a lovely nutty character emerged after a while in the glass. Somebody remarked that it wasn't as fresh as the Krug, which is probably true, but a bit unfair to a good wine. My final taste inclined me to give this
- Portugieser Aperetiv Cuvee Rose 1991 (Pretterebner) Idiosynchratic, concentrated and serious rose with lovely strawberry flavours. This splendid wine has aged very well and is a lovely drink at ten years - a time when most roses are long dead!
- Beaucastel Blanc 1995 Oxidised - really quite unpleasant. An odd bottle, I hope.
- Volnay Champans 1995 (d'Angerville) Interesting to try this having sampled some difficult, tannic 99's from this estate recently. This has years ahead but is enjoyable now, particularly on the nose. Serious structure, but all in balance. This gives me more confidence in those 99's. Perhaps even
- Richebourg 1987 (Gros Frere et Soeur) One of a number of lovely 87's I've had recently, beetroot and those metallic, iodine notes. Splendid Burgundy at peak, although there's no great hurry to drink.
- Chateau Margaux 1981 Good colour. Quite powerful, with something in reserve at the moment. Still a young wine in many ways and as another taster remarked, more Paulliac than Margaux in character. Top stuff though.
- Chateau Margaux 1979 Much more open than the previous wine, with those splendid scented violet notes that Margaux is famous for. Very lovely indeed - probably the best 79 I have drunk. At peak now it possibly even scrapes
- Chateau Ausone 1962 I've had this wine before and been stunned by it - one of the great clarets. This bottle (from the same case) not really singing. Still probably a three-star wine, but I wonder if this bottle wasn't slightly faulty.
- Chianti Classico 1968 (Castello di Uzzano) A tremendously attractive old wine, a shade past best perhaps but if it is fading a bit it is doing so very gracefully with fresh fruit and still very much Chianti. It's from a good Chianti vintage. I perhaps enjoyed this more than its real quality merits (if that makes sense), let us say a good .
- Saint-Joseph Offerus 1999 (J.-L. Chave) Quite stylishly peppery young Rhone, although it is a little "modern and accessible" (perhaps it's just its youth). Decent, certainly.
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition 1989 (Domaine Monpertuis) This interesting weighty Chateauneuf seemed to have a slightly "masked" nose - almost suggesting a fault. Rolf Pretterebner who was dining with us (and whose rather interesting rose we enjoyed earlier) suggested this was saltyness, and thinking about it I had to agree. An interesting phenomonen - the wine didn't taste very salty though. The wine seemed pretty classy under all this!
- Lafaurie-Peyraguey 1983 Showing a bit more age than I expected, marked barley-sugar character. Good Sauternes. At least
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/03/2001 Return to top
Some Spanish wines at Oddbins 28/03/2001 (RJB)
- Albor Viura 1997() Rather oxidised - past it.
- Capellania 1995 (Marques de Murrieta) Very oaky - good acidity. Lemony. Resin. What's going on? ?
- Rosado Seco 1999 (Marques de Caceres) fresh easy toffeed rose. Touch of light sulphur on the nose. OK.
- Rioja Satinela 1999 semi-dulce (Marques de Caceres) Smoked ham nose, sweet finish - out of balance.
- Crianza 1997 Navarra(Palacio de la Vega) Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo. Tobacco and herbs on the nose, slight rubber vegetal nose. Rough dying finish - soft start. just
- Pagos Viejos Reserva 1996 Rioja (Artadi) Touch minty mineral subtle nose. Gummy oak. Leathery palate, but perhaps a touch hollow.
- Rioja Cosecha 1989 (Palacio y Hermanos) From a magnum. Blackcurrant high toned nose. Soft gentle stuff.
- Condado de Haza 1998 (Pesquera) Slight sulphury young. Soft plummy Tempranillo nose. A bit one-dimensional. maybe.
- Reserva 1996 (Pesquera) Lovely sensuous nose - plummy and with length. Not sure it's a top Pesquera. But still good.
- Glorioso Gran Reserva 1994 (Bodegas Palacio) Well made, goodish depth. Smoky gummy oaky nose. Good depth. Pleasing.
- Glorioso Gran Reserva 1978 (Bodegas Palacio) Subdued orangy apple nose. Nicish old wine.
- Glorioso Gran Reserva 1973 (Bodegas Palacio) Perhaps a bit gummy oak. Touch weak compared with the '78. Coarser.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/03/2001 Return to top
Chateau Cos d'Estournel with Dominique Arrangoits, Vineyard Manager 22/03/2001 (RJB)
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1997 Nicely balanced fruit and toasty oak. Perfumed. Short, and thin.
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1996 Harder wine. Structure hiding some perfume. Needs time to open out.
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1995 Acidity and tannins on the finish. Tannins perhaps a bit unripe. Nice oak.
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1993 A touch of almonds on the nose. Thin and bitter almonds.
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1992 Unripe wine. Thin.
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1990 Ah, proper claret at last. Lovely together nose and palate. Warm wlne with ripe structure. Excellent and perhaps worth more than
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1989 Quite lifted cherry fruit - not the depth. Simple figgy flavours.
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1988 Tannic stuff with a bitter chocolate nose (coming from the oak I guess). Sandy. Probably has the guts to come through. perhaps
- Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1986 Touch of weediness initially on the nose. Tannins, tannins, tannins on the finish. Some VA. Another disappointing bottle of this much lauded wine.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/03/2001 Return to top
At Kinnaird 21/03/2001 (TNB)A few bottles drunk during a short stay at Kinnaird - the cooking here again easily making the that we awarded it in Newsletter, Issue 7.
- Sancerre Le Chene 99 (Crochet) Very nice, typically Sauvignon blanc, but without any vegetality. A good
- Macon Clesse, Domaine de la Bongran 1996 (Thevenet) Pleasantly rich but well-balanced Macon. Might even rate an extra star in a year or two, but for now a good
- Colheita 1982 (Quinta do Noval) Not particularly concentrated or complex on the nose or palate, but quite a nice tawny with decent fruit.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/03/2001 Return to top
1997 Bordeaux at Oddbins Fine Wine 15/03/2001 (TNB)There will be an article on these wines in the next FWD Newsletter. Meanwhile, it is worth noting the Poujeaux as a bit of a bargain - I have certainly bought a few bottles myself.
- Leoville Poyferre 1997 Medium-deep colour. Good, fruity, forward nose with some oak (and slight sulphur hint). Ripe fruit and decent balance and length. Just a bit neutral. (26.99)
- Leoville Las Cases 1997 Attractive, classy, ripe cherry nose with undergrowth character. Voluptuous, fleshy wine - fruit and coffee. Very enjoyable. Almost ready. Top (79.99)
- Leoville Barton 1997 Slightly un-claretlike menthol and eucalyptus medicinal nose. Savoury, provencal herbs palate. Interesting. A good (28.99)
- Pichon Lalande 1997 Rounded oak-enriched dense slightly closed nose. More tannic but fruit (chocolate oranges!) carries through to a nice finish. (44.99)
- Chateau Poujeaux 1997 A fair amount of blackcurrant fruit, capsicum hints. Another very voluptuous wine but with structure under it all. A very good effort. (14.99)
- La Gomerie 1997 Attractive mouth-watering red fruits nose - carries through to the finish. Classy and balanced. (59.99)
- Bertineau St-Vincent (Lalande de Pomerol) Restrained but chocolatey nose - hints of the sea even. Attractive raspberry fruit. On return, quite hard and slightly rubbery/woody/smoky nose. I have mixed feelings about this. (8.99)
- L' Angelus 1997 Cherry and chocolate nose (somebody said "carrots" and I'm not sure they were wrong). Good palate - lots of tannins - "pencil" hints. Good finish. Needs a bit of time. A good (59.99)
- Chateau Larmande 1997 (St Emilion) Rich toasty cherry nose. Notable tannins again but does it have the fruit to carry it? I think probably yes. Grippy and slightly stalky - this just needs a year or two. (19.99)
- Chateau Beauregard 1997 (Pomerol) Sexy nose of subtle oak. A bit soft - mainly show. Still, pretty gluggable! (21.99)
- D'Armailhac 1997 Another well-coloured 97 with attractive blackcurrant and raspberry fruit, pleasant balance and finish. For drinking in the next five years or so.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/03/2001 Return to top
Late posted notes from a tasting at Noel Young Wines 14/03/2001 (RJB)
- Dry Hills Riesling 2000 (Lawson's) 7.99 Soft initially with a peachy nose, but then with good acidity. Aromatically lifted. Good length. Good now, but possibly needs a few years.
- Chardonnay Reserve 1998 (Glen Carlou) 10.99 Biggish soft hazelnut nose. Nutty maturing finish. For drinking now.
- Pouilly-Fuisse Vielles Vignes 1998 (Domaine Cordier) 17.99 Lightly powdered, mineral and hazelnut nose. Goodish depth with stoney length and textured oak in balance. Lovely. plus
- Champagne Cuvee D Brut (Devaux) 29.99 A Pinot Noir specialist. Disgorged 1999. Honeyed liquorice nose. Slightly tannic finish. Smooth and creamy, but good acidity. Should age well.
- Carmenere Reserve 1997 (Santa Rita) 6.79 Soft juicy easy. Lacks complexity. Leathery farmyardy finish.
- Pinotage Steytler 1999 (Kaapzicht) 14.99 Lemony high-toned. Plums. Red fruits and oak. Cherry. Good balanced finish. Perhaps alcohol showing too much. Good food wine.
- Chateau Reynella Shiraz 1998 (Australia) 11.99 Bitter finish. New oak. Slight stalky nose, but deep. Needs time.
- Geyserville 1998 (Ridge) 20.49 Big nose, pruney. Out of kilter at present. A bit of alcohol showing through. ? But would like to retaste.
- Vixen Sparkling Cabernet Franc - Shiraz (Fox Creek) 10.99 mostly 1998, but with some older wine. Too much like red wine with fizz, than fizzy red wine. That is, the base wine is too soft. Needs some acidity.
- Collectors Liquer Muscat (Stanton & Killeen) 12.99 From a half. Lightly resin. Thick and sweet. Coffee and spices. Hollow.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/03/2001 Return to top
- Volnay Caillerets 1987 (J-M. Bouley) Fearsomely tannic still, but lots of gutsy, ripe, fresh fruit. This has thrown lots of sediment too. Keeping it longer seems risky yet it is a forbidding drink. Perhaps this suspect balance comes from excessive new oak.
- Les Fiefs de Lagrange 1986 I thought I might have left this a bit long for a second wine (it's Lagrange's, as the name suggests), and worried as well that 86 doesn't seem to me to be a natural "second wine vintage". This is rather good however: excellent colour showing some maturity at the rim, very ripe cherry and plum fruit on the nose and palate with some mature claret cedaryness. Nice finish. Probably at peak. I think this scrapes
- Gevrey Chambertin Clos St-Jacques 1987 (Rousseau) Almost metallic fine mineral nose, lovely dry, savoury, meaty palate. A very different style from ssome other good 87's I've had recently, but equally enjoyable. I tasted this a bit hurriedly, but perhaps even
- Chablis Les Clos 1983 (M. Remon) Very unattractive nose at first suggesting a public urinal, but this blew off to reveal a rather good minerally, austere and fresh Chablis. A good
- Jaen 1996 (Quinta das Maias, Dao) Attractive, classy undergrowth nose, plenty of piercing brambley fruit. Quite a lot of succulent tannin. I think the length is there for this slightly closed wine to improve further. I will buy a few bottles and see how it goes. This may be optimistic, but I'll go for
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/03/2001 Return to top
Berry Bros. & Rudd Rhone tasting 06/03/2001 (RJB)
- Crozes-Hermitage Blanc Domaine Raymond Roure 1997 (Paul Jaboulet-Aine) (15.45) Oily, browning apple nose. Alcohol dominant on the nose and on the palate.
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1999 (Chateau la Nerthe) (18.45) Floral, honeysuckle nose. Nice balanced palate. Simple, but pleasant.
- Chenas Vieilles Caves 1998 (Fernand Charvet) (7.95) A Beaujolais in a Rhone tasting. Not a bad Gamay. This was included to show that Rhone is not poor man's Burgundy.
- Cotes du Rhone Villages 1998 (Domaine Sainte Anne) (7.95) This has intensity. Colour is youthful. Blackcurrant and blackcurrant leaves on the nose. Same price and vintage as the Chenas, but a better wine. Gutsy and vibrant. plus
- St Joseph Deschants 1995 (M. Chapoutier) (9.85) Stalky rustic finish. Astringent tannins. Poor wine.
- Hermitage La Pied de la Cote 1995 (Paul Jaboulet-Aine) (17.75) Nicely balanced wine with charm. All together, but lacks the extra oomph needed for greatness. .
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1995 (Chateau la Nerthe) (19.95)Lightly tarry nose. Touch too oxidative perhaps? Lacking life.
- Cornas Les Terres Brulees 1994 (Jean-Luc Colombo) (19.75) Lots of good quality tannins. Big wine with an oversoft initial palate.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/03/2001 Return to top
Wine group "Partners Dinner" 01/03/2001 (TNB)
- Champagne Brut Carte d'Or 1983 (Drappier) Disgorged in 1998 according to the label. Showing more maturity and generally a little less impressive than I remember from the Drappier dinner recently. I think also there was some bottle variation (we had four bottles). Large-framed, no-nonsense champagne, almost rustic (perhaps the high pinot noir content of this wine). Good - the best bottles perhaps just worth
- Meursault Charmes 1992 (Jadot) Quite big and a shade fat - probably the vintage. Lots of oak evident, and while the wine doesn't exactly lack fruit, it would be good to have it a little more prominant on the palate. Still, a good drink - for consuming over the next couple of years.
- Clos des Papes 1997 Silky and Burgundian with that attractive cough-sweet intensity of good Grenache. Neither a large nor a long-lived Clos des Papes, but this will provide good drinking for five to eight years. A very enjoyable drink already.
- Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau 1996 Young Sauternes with cheese is quite a good idea. This has lots of concentrated fruit. At least
- Port 1977 (Sandeman) Good high-toned fruit and chocolate. I was slightly concerned last time I had this that it was a shade insubstantial, but this is rather good vintage port, starting to drink quite nicely. I suspect it has a way to go yet.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/03/2001 Return to top