The Diary - March 2005
The friends very kindly came with two bottles of Champagne - one a back-up bottle in case the main one wasn't showing well.
- Champagne Brut 1990 (Vadin-Plateau)
Possibly just past its peak, but a nice wine for those who like their Champagne old (which I do). OK, 1990 isn't that old, but this isn't the greatest name in Champagne either. Good, slightly oxidised maturity with the 1990s softness evident. just
- Chateau Pichon Lalande 1987
This bottle has been shouting 'drink me, drink me!' for the last couple of years - eyeing me up each time I opened the cellar. I had it last in 1999, when it was disappointing. This time though it was a glorious claret with warm, pencil-shaving nose and palate. I'm glad I've resited its calling until now because this bottle was caught at its best. There is a touch of weediness (well it's not the best vintage ever), but the balance is fine. This is the sort of wine that makes keeping fine wine so satisfying. I could drink a lot of this, alas though this was my last bottle. A charming .
- Chateau de Pez 1986
A coarser wine than the Pichon above, with higher toned acidity and a more granular structure. Good, pleasant wine that held its own. A good, solid
- Griffith Botrytis Semillon 1987 (Lindemans)
From a half. Marmalade nose, and a waxy, lanolin palate. A bit simple possibly, but showing rather nicely.
- Sancerre Grande Cuvee 2002 (Jean-Paul Balland)
I can't usually get too excited about Sancerre, but this is rather enjoyable. It has enough age to have lost its initial zing, but still has a pleasing balance of fruit, acid and honeyed, grassy flavours.
- Terrasola Syrah Garnacha 2003 (Jean Leon)
This is Syrah, Garnacha and Tempranillo in the ratio 7:2:1. Modern wine, but well made with a dryness of fruit balanced by good tannins. A bit closed at present I feel, but it probably has some potential. A cautious
- Champagne NV (Joseph Perrier)
Rich and satisfying yet balanced. Has benefited from a bit of cellaring. An under-rated house. A good
- Haut Brion blanc 1983
Wax, lanolin, quite dry, grass and corn. Very, very long. Really lovely. (almost a rare six stars)
- Laville Haut Brion blanc 1985
A little lighter at first but very similar in character to the Haut Brion tasted with it. Long again. Fills out nicely once it has been open a while. Excellent.
- Chateau Magdelaine 1982
Fragrant fruity nose, liquorice, mineral palate. Really interesting wine.
- Chateau Magdelaine 1966
Lovely dry savoury palate. Sucks from your tongue after a ripe start. Classic mature Claret and really good.
- Chateau Canon 1982
Open, fruity nose - lovely irony palate. Scrapes
- Chateau Ausone 1982
Quiet nose - totally individual irony, dry, complex, long palate. A great pleasure.
- Chateau Coutet 1989
Stylish, high-toned. Integrated botrytis. A really good wine from a property that doesn't always do it for me.