The Diary - March 2001
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
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.
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)
Also drunk recently from the Oddbins Fine Wine list (at 14.99)
- 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.
- 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
- 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.