The Diary - March 2006
- Vouvray Petillant 1987 (Huet)
Grassy, very dry, elegant, touch of autolysis. Lovely balance. even
- Ried Loibenberg Riesling Smaragd 2000 (Knoll)
Peachy, off-dry, nice balance. Fairly low acid. A lesser vintage but it might well age nicely.
- Ried Loibenberg Riesling Smaragd 1998 (Knoll)
Touch of kerosene, very textured. Quite intense and long. The richness is down to a a touch of botrytis apparently. Bare
- Ried Loibenberg Riesling Smaragd 1991 (Knoll)
Amazingly long. Mineral too. Dry, complex. Drinking well but completely fresh. Gorgeous. Scrapes
- Santenay 1er Cru Clos du Beaurepaire Blanc 2001 (J-M Vincent)
Bone-dry, nice range of flavours. Very good basic Burgundy.
- Santenay1er Cru Les Gravieres 2001 J-M (Vincent)
Broader, slightly flatter. Quite rich - rather impressive. Decent
- Meursault 1er Cru Les Cras 2001 (H. Boillot)
A touch of toffee, quite complex. Very minty. Odd but interesting. Very mineral too, which seems a good sign. There's an element of "benefit of the doubt" in going for a bare
- Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Fairendes 2001 (Morey-Coffinet)
Very fresh and clean, sophisticated Chassagne from a vineyard I hadn't really heard of. Nicely poised. Top
- Gevrey Chambertin 2000 (D. Mortet)
Mainstream, quite beetrooty, fairly rich. Very nice. A basic
- Clos Vougeot 1994 (D. Mortet)
Rustic edge. Dry finish. Not totally sucessful in a difficult vintage.
- Gevrey Chambertin au Velle 1993 (D. Mortet)
Gamy, exotic. A touch rustic. Slightly dry and edgy from the oak. Perhaps it will soften but I worry it's been pushed a bit hard. Bare
- Gevrey Chambertin en Motrot 1993 (D. Mortet)
Rich, full, impressive. Carries the oak rather more easily. Still a bit hard at the end.
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Champaux 1993 (D. Mortet)
Better drinking - the quality of the vineyard means the fruit has the density to carry the oak. Top
- Gruner Veltliner TBA 1998 (Knoll)
Brown sugar - quite restrained. Very fine and long. Top
- Colheita 1988 (Niepoort)
Fragrant, easy,light. Salty and appetizing. A bit too easy to be great, perhaps. Top
RY, DL and JA came to a small midweek dinner. Notes are from memory - I was feeling too lazy to write anything down.
- Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons 2003 (William Fevre)
A bit disappointing - too easy to drink. That may sound odd, but I want my Chablis with some green acidity and this wine is too soft and lacking structure. Having said that, it's not bad. I suppose a grudging
- Verdelho 2003 (Oro de Castilla)
Easy, peachy fruit. Pleasantly fruity.
- Verdejo 2001 (Oro de Castilla)
Fragrant in an oily sort of way. A touch flabby. Fading.
- Riesling Saering 2000 (Schlumberger)
Rieslingy. Nice weight. Bare
- Rielsing Rosacker 2000 (Cave Co-op Hunawihr)
A bit flatter and a touch dull. OK, but only
- Riesling Frederic Emile 2000 (Trimbach)
Dry, good concentration. Nice balance. Top quality in a restrained style.
- Riesling Frederic Emile 1999 (Trimbach)
Mineral. Good length. Lovely too.
- Gigondas 1999 (Dom du Terme)
Lifted cherry cough sweet. Pleasant wine.
- Gigondas 1998 (Dom du Terme)
Similar, quite concentrated. Bigger and riper. Bare
- Gigondas VV Les Espnanines 1998
Quite suave. Serious. A touch of vanilla. Modern-style - "fut de chene" proudly advertised -never a good sign.
- Gigondas Cuvee des Dentelles 1995
A bit hollower. Corked.
- Gigondas 1995 (Ch de Trignon)
Stylish mature wine. Fades in the glass though. Bare
- Gigondas Castelmirail 1989 (CVG)
A bit rougher but interesting. Mature rustic wine - reasonable enough. Bare
- Le Chai de Cilaos NV, Reunion France
Very pale. Thin on the palate. A curiosity - technically French but made in the Southern hemisphere.
- Chenin blanc Special Late Harvest 1999 (Blauwklippen)
Middle weight - a bit colourless.
- Eminence Auction Reserve, late harvest Muscadel 2001 (Nederburg)
Xmas cakey Muscatel grapes. Citric. Quite sweet but balanced. Nice.
- Eminence Auction Reserve, late harvest Muscadel 1999 (Nederburg)
Drier, nicely poised. Slightly hot, bitter finish. Bare
- Auction Reserve late harvest Semillon (Nederburg)
Orange peel, grapes and cofee beans. Smoky. Interesting. A good
- Vouvray Demi-Sec 1983 Reserve Methode Champenoise (Foreau)
Almost a maderised feel to it with honeyed apples and a slight woodiness on the nose. Good stuff.
- Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne 1996 (Etienne Sauzet)
Opened with trepidation given Toby's recent article ablout 1996 white Burgundy. This one, however, was fine. Elegant, light to medium bodied and with good use of oak. Good texture to the wine. Possibly needs more time in bottle to be at its absolute best.
- Chablis 1993 (Vocoret)
I don't know whether to score this wine or not. When first opened there was an immediate whiff of corkiness. However, returning to the wine later in the evening no corkiness was present, but it did seem a bit flabby and with an oxidised edge. I am now drinking the rest of the bottle as I type. Again, when I first took the cork out (a different cork to keep it stoppered up over night) a corky edge lurked within the wine. But it disappeared! As had the oxidised edge! The wine I am drinking now is a delight of steely mature chardonnay. Wine left overnight like this usually leaves me cold (see the note for Pichon '92 below). But this wine seems to be living in reverse (if I left it another few days I'd probably end up with a bunch of grapes). Quite a lot of crystals are present in the wine (they actually made a noise on the bottom of the glass when I poured the last glass from the bottle). Scored as it is now drinking: top
- Grand Echezeaux 1987 (Domaine Gros Frere et Soeur)
Beginning to tire - fruit oxidising. Drinkable, but not for too much longer.
- Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 1986
A joy. Not a wine that needs too much thinking about, but delivers what is expected of a decent twenty-year-old Pauillac. Elegance and grace, and with the clarety minerality of age. At peak, I think, but no rush to drink up.
- Chateau Sociando-Mallet 1986
I have quite a lot of this wine, and I have been a bit concerned of more recent times whether I needed to rush to drink it up. On this bottle's showing, I need not have too many worries about that. Not quite up to the standard of the previous wine (it somehow lacks the breeding), but good nonetheless with fruit and maturity working well together. No rush to drink up. just
- Chateau Longueville au Baron de Pichon-Longueville 1992
A bottle opened the night before which LJM brought round on the off chance. Alas, not really fair to judge this wine in such condition. So I won't score.
- Sauternes Australian Botrytis Semillon 1987 (De Bottoli Wines)
From a half. Dark tarry, amber colour. Lovely black treacle nose. plus
Theme of Alsace white "Preferably on the VT+ side of richness" and "Spanish reds from anywhere (but obviously from Spain)". Oh, and a fizz to start with.
- Meursault Blagny 1988 (F.Jobard)
Mineral, dry, fairly austere, quite flavoury. Very nice. Top plus
- Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Les Folatieres 2002 (Domaine des Lambrays)
Quite forward - eminently approachable already. Authentic Burgundy fruit, decent acidity and a sophisticated creaminess to the texture - all very good. It seemed to lack a measure of intensity, particularly late on the palate - it seems to fail to be either properly intellectual or properly hedonistic. A good wine, for drinking over the next couple of years. Top
- Chablis 1er cru Montmains 2002 (Moreau Naudet)
Genuine chalky minerality and, once it has opened up, rich (but not excessively so) nectarine-kernel fruit. Nice acidity and good length. Starting to drink quite well now but no hurry to consume. Easy
- Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre 1995 (Michel)
Clean, mineral, pure and delicious.
- Chassagne Montrachet Champgains 1996 (Niellon)
It's a good trick, combining tautness and minerality with creamy-textured fruit. Delicious - and nosign of the problems thatplague the vintage. Bare
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Les Vergers 1996 (Colin-Deleger)
Rich and full, fairly advanced (as the wines from this producer often are) but no sign of the premature oxidation tha plagues the vintage. There's a bitter edge to the fruit that stops me giving the highest rating - it's a funny thing, bitterness: sometimes it seems an asset to a wine sometimes a problem. I'm not so keen on its manifestation in this wine. Still a top