Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12003 wines in 21 years 8 months and 8 days
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Diary index

28/05/2000 (TNB)

27/05/2000 (TNB)

26/05/2000 (TNB)

Wine group @ DW's 22/05/2000 (TNB)

21/05/2000 (TNB)

18/05/2000 (RJB)

13/05/2000 (TNB)

"First growths" at Oddbins Fine Wine 11/05/2000 (TNB)

06/05/2000 (TNB)

03/05/2000 (TNB)

03/05/2000 (RJB)

Burgundy Tasting, Oddbins Cambridge, 03/05/2000 (RJB)

Rolly Gassmann at The Atrium with Raeburn Fine Wines 01/05/2000 (TNB)

The Diary - May 2000

28/05/2000 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/05/2000   Return to top

27/05/2000 (TNB)

  • Gewurtztraminer Kessler 1989 (Schlumberger) Well into double figures now, brash youthful gewurtz. character gone, but plenty of attractive fruit, lovely texture in the mouth and a good finish. This has always been off-dry and without very marked acidity. In a way it comes in to better balance as the sweetness moderates with age. Pleasant drinking. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/05/2000   Return to top

26/05/2000 (TNB)

  • Gigondas 1989 (Domaine St Gayan) Rather worried that this cellared oddity would be shot. But no: lots of cassis and blackberry fruit, still some notable tannins, but a pretty pleasant drink. Probably not going anywhere exciting after this, and not to my mind rating quite the extravagant Parker score (91) I just discovered, but very pleasant. Just about scrapes *** for me.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/05/2000   Return to top

Wine group @ DW's 22/05/2000 (TNB)

  • White port NV (Niepoort) Sherry-like salty nose. Liquorice and chocolate palate. Less acidity than Madeira (say). A pleasant aperitif. **
  • Arbois Chardonnay 1998, Jura (Grandmaison) A bit cloudy. Slightly woody. Perhaps faulty. Not Rated
  • Cotes du Jura 1995 (Rolet) Peachy fruit, very vinegary on the palate. Not really my sort of thing. No Stars
  • Savagnin 1993 Arbois Sherryish, decent length, marked acidity, that curious peachy fruit again. Not bad, in a way. *
  • Redoma white Reserva 1995 New oak. A shade soft. Longish. Got a bit slaughtered by what was tasted before it, but seems pretty good. **(*)
  • Pinot Noir 97 (Dry River) Rich, slightly medicinal, lush nose. Lots of character, in some ways quite Burgundian. One of the best New World Pinots. **
  • Pinot Noir 1997 (Rochioli) Quite a lot of lush fruit, but if you pay attention to it, it seems rather simple. Pretty drinkable, but not remarkable given that this is (I believe) quite a sought after estate. (This is their basic wine, I think there are other cuvees.) *
  • Volnay 1995 (Coche-Dury) Very fine fruit and structure. Excellent for a village wine. **
  • Volnay 1994 (Coche-Dury) Medium weight, a bit less of everything than the excellent 95, but this is very nice too, and a particularly good effort for the vintage. **
  • Volnay Clos des Chenes 1992 (Lafarge) Forward fruit, yet quite tannic. Built to last a while, quite dry (perhaps just the style, or maybe starting to dry out just a shade). Good. Let's say **
  • Volnay 1993 (Coche-Dury) I prefer this to the excellent 95 because the fruit is very fine, and there is excellent structure. Perhaps just an example of how good this vintage is. ***
  • Maury 1975 Cuvee Special (Mas Amiel) Vibrant, nice acidity. Chocolatey. Not stunningly complex, but rather good. ***
  • Colheita 1937, bottled 1995 (Niepoort) Lovely green rim. Words fail me: absolutely lovely, fantastic complexity, good acidity and stunning length. To die for! ******
  • Verdelho 1934 VJH Quite a long way off dry, almost aggressive acidity, with those in-your-face medicinal Madeira flavours. Pretty good, but suffers in comparison with the Colheita. ****
  • Champagne Blanc de blancs 82 (Dom Ruinart) I must say I've always preferred some pinot in my champagne, but this is rather fine and very elegant. ****
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/05/2000   Return to top

21/05/2000 (TNB)

  • Spanna, Castello di Montalbano 1967 (Vallana) Levels, etc, looked good, but one bottle oozing a bit and completely oxidised. Another quite fresh in some ways, with the powerful fruit of the estate, but also some odd oxidation flavours. Dodgy storage, I wonder? Not Rated
  • Chateau Sociando Mallet 1985 I wondered from this half whether this wine is going anywhere now. It might need drinking. I'll retaste soon. **
  • Rosado 1998 Gran Caus Spanish rose, quite fragrant (that so-typical aroma of roses, or is it just the closeness of the words that always suggests it)? Slight spritz. Pleasant summer drink. *
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/05/2000   Return to top

18/05/2000 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/05/2000   Return to top

13/05/2000 (TNB)

  • Pommard Poutures 1988 (Lejeune) Cough-sweety fruit (not meant as a criticism), lots of tannins, and perhaps in danger of drying out in the not too distant future. A good drink, but a way behind the lovely 87 Rugiens from this domain. **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/05/2000   Return to top

"First growths" at Oddbins Fine Wine 11/05/2000 (TNB)

First growths from 88 (except Latour which was an 89) shown by Oddbins. They confirmed 88 as at least a **** vintage for me: always classic and good acidity.

  • Chateau d'Yquem 1990 Huge brown sugar nose and palate. Bags of botrytis fruit. No great acidity (enough, I guess) but stunning length. ***(**)
  • Chateau La Conseillante 1996 A Pomerol, so as to get a clean sweep of the major appellations. Brambly, plummy fruit. Fruity and tobaccoish nose. Leafy, almost stalky. Lacks the plummy voluptuousness that one might hope for. I'm not wild about this, but possibly it's just a bit closed. 59.99 **(*)
  • Chateau Cheval Blanc 1988 Good colour. Intriguing nose. Tight. Crisp. Iodiney finish. Lovely, lots of character, if a bit idiosynchratic at this stage. 116:99 At least **(**)
  • Chateau Margaux 1988 Floral (almost) nose, certainly perfumed, lots of tannins, closed at the moment, but promises a lot. Not quite greatness though. 132.99 **(**)
  • Chateau Latour 1989 Excellent colour. Capsicum, walnuts, '89 tannins are there but not disjointed like some of the vintage. Another excellent wine, but I don't think it has the density of a great Latour. 139.98 **(**)
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1988 Very deep and young colour (the sort of wine that has you guessing it's 3 years old). Flashy and oaky, but this has settled into something fine, if still hedonistic more than intellectual. ***(*)
  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1988 Fantastic colour. Lovely subtle lead-pencil and cassis nose. Amazingly compact but infinitely varied palate. Absolutely gorgeous - my sort of claret! Sheer class. ***(**)
  • Chateau Haut Brion 1988 Excellent young colour again. Has much of the complexity and excitement of the Lafite '88, but this is rather more forward. I suspect it is only that it is more forward, and that this is a wine close to the Lafite in quality. (I wonder if R.P.'s 90 points, grouping it with the Margaux rather than the Lafite, might under-rate it.) ***(**)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/05/2000   Return to top

06/05/2000 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/05/2000   Return to top

03/05/2000 (TNB)

  • Tokay Vielle Vignes 1989 (Zind-Humbrecht) I've been a bit bored by Z-H's highly extracted style recently, but this has aged rather well with residual sweetness less evident, long finish to the concentrated fruit and an unctuous texture. Like so many Z-H wines it is still for sipping rather than drinking, but it is impressive in its way. ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/05/2000   Return to top

03/05/2000 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/05/2000   Return to top

Burgundy Tasting, Oddbins Cambridge, 03/05/2000 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/05/2000   Return to top

Rolly Gassmann at The Atrium with Raeburn Fine Wines 01/05/2000 (TNB)

Second day running for tasting this Estate, but this time with dinner. The domain is trying to make very serious wine, and it is all interesting, and the good stuff is very good indeed. (All the Rieslings tasted come in that last category, and there's some lovely Gewurtz. too. Then there was the SDGN Tokay yesterday....) A **** estate, perhaps even more.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/05/2000   Return to top