The Diary - May 2005
- Champagne Fleur de l'Europe 1993 (J-P Fleury)
Rich, quite fat, slightly off-dry. Forward (perhaps the vintage) and nicely mouthfilling. A good
- Riesling 2004 (Dry River)
High-toned, dry, floral. Mineral.
- Riesling 2003 (Dry River)
Richer, keroseney, slightly off-dry (this vintage was quite warm in NZ too). Balanced, long. Forward.
- Pinot Gris 2000 (Dry River)
Fat, quite evolved. Dry and balanced but the fruit doesn't quite have the tone. A good
- Meursault Poruzot 2001 (F. Jobard)
Ungainly now. Hard. Fantastic underlying concentration, comlexity and length - will be excellent.
- Meursault Poruzot 1992 (F. Jobard)
Dry but rich. Complex, still a bit hard.
- Meursault Poruzot 1989 (F. Jobard)
Fantastic complexity - resolved I guess but nowehere close to decline. A delight and like the previous two wines, quite firm and masculine.
- Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 (Joseph Swan)
High-toned, so juicy. Lovely. Structured.
- Montebello 1985 (Ridge)
Riper and bigger. Complex and delicious. A bit easy-going to be really great. Bare
- York Creek 1984 (Ridge)
Shoe-polish. Showing its age a bit. No more than
- Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 (Joseph Swan)
Slightly off in some hard-to-place way.
- Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1976 (Joseph Swan)
Lovely - completely fresh, complex and long. Easy
- Botrytised Chardonnay 1997 (Dry River)
Pale but green rim. Loads of brown sugar. Fantastic fruit. A lovely dessert wine.
- Niepoort 1982
High-toned nose hinting at aniseed. Quite sweet light-to-medium weight palate. Very fragrant and elegant. Others found things they were less keen on in this wine but for me a top
- Champagne Brut, Cuvee Laetitia NV (Billiot)
White bread leaps about of the bottle on opening. Nutty, dry, green apples - the fruit changes every time you come back to it. A prestige cuvee that lives up the billing. Lovely drinking. Easy
- Champagne Grand Cru Bouzy, Silver Brut Nature NV (A. Clouet)
Could do with another year or so to mellow, but this is nicely structured fizz with floral aromas and refined, appley pinot fruit (it's a BdN, I believe) with overtones of white chocolate. Pleasingly dry. Top
- Champagne "1911", Qualite Superieure NV (A. Clouet)
A blend of grapes from 89,90 and 91 - Cuvee 5, disgorged March 04. Fresh bread and apple nose, rich full yeasty and meaty palate. Perhaps in danger of being a bit coarse without food (as Blanc de Noirs sometimes are) - possibly a little more time in bottle will help. Complex and with a long, honied finish. This opens up with a little breathing and is really rather good. Top
- Champagne Clos du Moulin NV, 93/95/96 blend (Cattier)
Honey, yeast, apples - a complex nose and palate that repays attention. This still seems a bit tightly wound as yet. My impression is that while very good there's no extra depth of character apparent from its "single vineyard" status. A prestige cuvee I'll try again but I won't be rushing. Bare
- Champagne Cuis 1979 (Diebolt-Valois)
Unpleasantly oxidised. I hope this is an odd bottle.
- Champagne Grand Cru Chouilly Blanc de blancs NV (Legras)
A half, opened rather soon after shipping. Seemed confected and estery at first, quite citric but with decent concentration. I think this is better than it initially seems. Let's say it is scraping for now.
- Champagne Cuvee 729 Brut NV (Jacquesson)
White bread and currants on the nose. Light to medium weight - elegant fruit. Quite a lot of Meunier - which shows slightly negatively on the palate. Very good but could one ask for slightly more intensity without sacrificing the elegance? I'm not sure. I'm being critical - but this is very nice. (2001 plus reserve wines - disgorged June 2004 - I like the informative back-label). Very top
- Champagne Brut Tradition Grand Cru NV (Egly-Ouriet)
Rich nose - chocolate, yeast, dense fruit. Quite a weighty, vinous palate - perhaps a bit heavy at the moment and perhaps rather wood-influenced, but this might mellow with a year or two in bottle into something very fine. Might even rate another star in its way but for now
- Champagne Brut Classic NV (Deutz)
Touch of white bread but mainly ripe Granny Smith apples on the nose. Pretty decent basic NV. Bare perhaps
- Champagne Grande Sendree 1990 (Drappier)
Perfectly pleasant but a bit nondescript. This has aged OK without really developing in an interesting way.
- Champagne 1995 (E. Barnaut)
This is rather dominated by farmyard straw on the nose an palate - too rustic for me in a way that I don't think will improve with age. OK, but no more than that. Bare
- Champagne Brut Les Vignes de Vrigny (Egly Ouriet)
100% old-vine Pinot Meunier and thus interesting. Floral and perhaps floury (or am I being influenced by the name of the grape) fruit, quite forward in the mouth and a bit colourless on the mid-palate with an ordinary finish. Real Champagne balance (quite dry) makes it pretty drinkable however, although it is hard to find much real complexity. An oddity that is worth trying, particularly if one wants to get a grip on the grape and what it might contribute to wines like Moet NV, for instance. Scrapes
- Wine Society Celebration Champagne 1982 (A. Gratien)
Quite autolytic, appley fruit, complex an honied, quite dry and with good pinot gutsiness. All this after seeming a bit maderised at first, but as often with Champagne this seemed to blow off. Excellent.
- Champagne Cuvee William Deutz 1996 (Deutz)
Citric, appley nose with yeasty notes - quite complex. Ripe, rounded fruit despite the excellent acidity of the vintage - needs a bit more time though - aspects of it seem quite tightly wound still. Quite long too and creamy textured.
- Champagne Fleuron 1er Cru 1999 (Gimmonet)
Light to medium weight, elegant, complex and nutty, quite long. Just occasionally it seems a little oily/keroseney on the palate but that may be the food I am having with it. Really pretty good, although probably for drinking over the next couple of years. A good deal from Oddbins at not muchover £20. Bare
- Crede Prosecco di Valdobbidene NV (Bisol)
A bit coarse on first sip, but this seems less noticable afterwards. The fruit quality is a way short of Champagne so a fairly basic wine. Pleasnat enough.