Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 21 years 11 months and 10 days
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Diary index

30/03/1996 (RJB)

Gang of five tasting: one white, one red 28/03/1996 (RJB)

24/03/1996 (RJB)

Jimmy Hogg, Rhone wines at SWS 19/03/1996 (TNB)

"Pick of the Tastings and New Wines", Noel Young Wines 19/03/1996 (RJB)

17/03/1996 (RJB)

in Riccall 16/03/1996 (RJB)

14/03/1996 (TNB)

Bordeaux for CUWS, Thos Peatling, tutored by Charles Eaton 12/03/1996 (RJB)

A mini "Port" tasting, 12/03/1996 (RJB)

10/03/1996 (TNB)

10/03/1996 (RJB)

- a blind tasting dinner 09/03/1996 (RJB)

08/03/1996 (RJB)

St Julien tasting, Oddbins Fine Wine 07/03/1996 (RJB)

06/03/1996 (TNB)

03/03/1996 (RJB)

Cellar warming dinner 02/03/1996 (TNB)

A tasting of the wines of Isole e Olena tutored by Paolo Demarchi and David Gleave MW, Noel Young Wines 01/03/1996 (RJB)

The Diary - March 1996

30/03/1996 (RJB)

  • Clos Floridene 1990, Whites Graves Better than the last one of these I had (going downhill and slightly maderised), but it has lost quite a lot of its earlier upfront floral bouquet. Toffeed, with a slight nuttiness. Nicish wine, but time to drink up I'd guess. 87
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/03/1996   Return to top

Gang of five tasting: one white, one red 28/03/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/03/1996   Return to top

24/03/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/03/1996   Return to top

Jimmy Hogg, Rhone wines at SWS 19/03/1996 (TNB)

Conclusion: 86 a pretty indifferent vintage in the Northern Rhone!

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/03/1996   Return to top

"Pick of the Tastings and New Wines", Noel Young Wines 19/03/1996 (RJB)

Many of these wines are quite young and/or had only just arrived in the shop. I have a feeling that many weren't showing as well as they will.

  • Brundlmayer Gruner Veltliner 'Ried Lamm' 1994, Austria (9.79) Youthful dry mead nose with pepperiness. Goodish length, goodish ripeness. 87
  • Verget "Le Verger des Fruits Defendus" Viognier 1993, VDP Cot. d'Ardeche (11.99) Light toffeed banana with creamy oak. A touch short and a touch hot. 86
  • Joseph Swan (Trenton Cellars) Angelo's Old Vine White 1993, Californis (10.29) Apparently no one knows the grape variety (not even the winery!), but probably a mutated Italian. Buttery spicey muscat-riesling-semillon nose that disappeared after a while. Flabby nothingness after a while in glass. As Noel said, "If it were me, I wouldn't buy it . . . and I just have!" 78
  • Bonny Doon Le Sophiste 1994 (18.99) The bottle with the top hat on -- useful for Monopoly. 76.5% Rousanne, 23.5% Marsanne. Closed but lots going on. Apricot, custard powder and mineral scents with excellent length and good acid. Classy, but no one was sure about how it will age. 91
  • Bonny Doon Ca' del Solo, Charbono 'La Farfalla' 1994 (9.39) The label has a girl trying to catch a piece of farfalle pasta with a butterfly net -- probably the most interesting thing about the wine. Spicey cherry nose, slight spritz, chocolatey and easy. Short. 82
  • Montgras Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1994, Chile (4.99) Slight greeness, but otherwise a minty, juicy wine with well integrated American oak. Well made at this price level. 84
  • Josef Pockl Pinot Noir 1993, Austria (13.99) Toffeed coffee nose - rather stewed feel to it. Peppery burny end. 84
  • Jade Mountain La Provencale 1994, California (13.49) A Syrah and Mouvedre blend. Cherry cough mixture nose with herbal overtones -- pleasant and it opened out more in the glass. Light soft tannins with fine acidity. Not for the long term but delicious now. 88+
  • Magpie Estate 'The Malcolm' Shiraz 1994, Australia (15.99) Air freighted over for the tasting from Noel's jointly owned winery. Probably about 16% alcohol (it had to be 'watered down' from the original 18%). Very difficult to judge the quality, but an amazingly deep colour (lacking vibrancy?). Chocolate and big hot flavours. It will be interesting to see how this wine develops (will it cope with the high alcohol? -- probably). Needs to open out. 88-93
  • Fritz Wieninger, Chardonnay Sweet Select 1994, Austria (10.49 per half). From a winemaker who sounds more like a speciality Belgian dish. Smells of soft ripe melon-fruit Chardonnay with gentle botrytis. Spatlese feel to the sweetness. Fresh with just sufficient acidity. Maybe an aperitif wine. Delicious. 89+
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/03/1996   Return to top

17/03/1996 (RJB)

  • Chateau La Tonelle 1975, Bordeaux Superieur Berry Bros bottling. Lovely fresh Merlot (plums and violets) nose initially, with good colour for its age. Medium body with typical '75 tannins, but seemingly with enough fruit. However, with time in glass (and a bit of warmth) perhaps drying out a bit? 87
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/03/1996   Return to top

in Riccall 16/03/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/03/1996   Return to top

14/03/1996 (TNB)

  • Chasse Spleen 85 From half. Good colour, smokey, slightly rustic Xmas cakey fruit. Slightly ungenerous for an 85 -- are they going through a slightly tougher phase? Good wine. 87.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/03/1996   Return to top

Bordeaux for CUWS, Thos Peatling, tutored by Charles Eaton 12/03/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/03/1996   Return to top

A mini "Port" tasting, 12/03/1996 (RJB)

Four "Ports", all in full size bottle, all Taylor's. The following on all the labels -- "Single grape variety microvinification, Quinta de Terra Feita (Pinhao Valley), Harvest of 1992."

  • Tinta Cao Rose petals, with excellent length and pepperiness. Slightly citric, stunningly good. 95
  • Tinta Roriz Softer and smokier, lighter and not so much structure. 90
  • Touriga Francesa Soft, currants and pencil shavings. 89
  • Blend of seven in equal proportions As well as the varieties already mentioned this also included: Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Nacional (clonal selection). The pepperiness of the Tinta Cao certainly seems to come through, but this blend seems a touch soft initially to cope with that. The blend is more compact. 90
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/03/1996   Return to top

10/03/1996 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/03/1996   Return to top

10/03/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/03/1996   Return to top

- a blind tasting dinner 09/03/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/03/1996   Return to top

08/03/1996 (RJB)

  • Hermitage La Sizeranne 1982, Chapoutier Some mature Syrah flavours floating into range ocassionally, but also some drying acidity from age. It's trying to be a good wine, but is fighting against the odds. 82
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 08/03/1996   Return to top

St Julien tasting, Oddbins Fine Wine 07/03/1996 (RJB)

  • Talbot 1978 (29.99) Good, quite deep mature colour; a sharpness to the nose covering sweetness. Tastes like burnt rubber, with an odd acidity at the end (beginning to dry out?). At the end of the tasting the bouquet had improved remarkably - silky tertiary aromas leaping out of the glass. May be better than this but from first impressions: 80.
  • Leoville-Poyferre 1982 (32.99) Vibrant blood red colour with a dumbish nose (gummy violets creeping out with time). Soft tannins with a slightly bitter edge. Needs time to open up. 88+
  • Ducru-Beaucaillou 1983 (32.99) Earthy mineral nose. Liquorice, hollow with a green tannins flavour at the end. 86
  • Leoville-las-Cases 1985 (43.99) Good colour, not really showing age. Good juicy fruit with new oak and tannin showing through at the end. Needs time to be at its best. 91
  • Leoville-Barton 1986 (29.99) Fruit seemingly more mature than the Las-Cases, but the whole wine more integrated. Dusty tannins at the end, but everything in balance. Good structure. Should be really good with time. 92
  • Gruaud-Larose 1986 (29.99) Juicier than the Barton with a slight greeness to nose. A bit restricted on the palate, but plenty of structure and clearly a star wine. Not showing quite as well as I remember from previous tastings. At an odd phase? Even so: 93
  • Talbot 1988 (16.99) Disappointing. Toasty but a bit stalky, weedy and grassy. Lacking after the above. 85
  • Beychevelle 1989 (25.99) Toasty nose with good fruit quality. Good balance. 89
  • Gloria 1989 (36.99 magnum) Not as concentrated as some of the other wines, but an excellent balance and with leathery tannins. Well made.88
  • Langoa-Barton 1990 (9.99 half) colour lighter than expected. A touch minty. 88
  • d'Yquem 1988 (70ish per half) Well, the wine might have been through St Julien at some time! Not as extrovert as I was expecting nor not so obviously botrytised, but..., Youthfully restrained, with so much going on -- lanolin, peaches, apricots, cabbage (just making sure you were still awake). Lovely length and complexity. Portions were rather small (it's the sort of wine that would keep showing different facets -- perhaps there is a fair amount of botrytis after all, it just doesn't scream at you) so it is difficult to judge just how good it is. At least 95+
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/03/1996   Return to top

06/03/1996 (TNB)

  • Niersteiner Pettenthal Riesling Kabinett 93 (Gunderloch) Haven't drunk many kabinetts for a while -- one forgets how appetising the combination of fruit with steely dry austerity (in a good one) can be. This gives the impression to me of being closed -- needs a few years, slight whif of SO2 on opening, but it soon dissipates. Very enjoyable. 88.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/03/1996   Return to top

03/03/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/03/1996   Return to top

Cellar warming dinner 02/03/1996 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/03/1996   Return to top

A tasting of the wines of Isole e Olena tutored by Paolo Demarchi and David Gleave MW, Noel Young Wines 01/03/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/03/1996   Return to top