The Diary - May 2006
One of those evenings with a lot of corked and oxidised bottles - even before I arrived there had been some bad whites!
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc 1982 (Rayas)
Last taste from a nearly exhhuasted bottle (I arrived late). Seemed typically lovely.
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape rouge 1983 (Clos des Papes)
Gamy, succulent tannins. Lovely.
- Beaucastel 1985
- Beaucastel 1978
Completely shot - oxidised.
- Beaucastel 1979
Gamy, warm berries, very pleasant - typical mature Beaucastel of this period.
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1978 (Mont Olivet)
Substantial but rather oxidised
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Combe aux Moins 1997 (Fourrier)
To make up for the corked Rhones! Touch of game, lovely ripe fruit, quite low acid. Lovely.
- Niepoort 1970
Chocolate, cherries, strawberries, easy, rich yet appealing. Lovely complex palate. Really, really top Port.
- Cockburns 1985
Complete wine - really pretty good but so upstaged by the Niepoort. Bare
Mainly from my own cellar, tasted in the last month or two
- Chablis Montee de Tonnerre 1997 (L. Michel)
Quite mineral, but this seems a bit flabbier, flatter and lacking freshness than I remember. I could worry that we have a touch of premature-oxidation disease here although the wine is perfectly drinkable. I hope it's an odd bottle, the one I had in July 2004 was fine and I've had a couple since which I did not note because they were similar.
- Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru 2000 (Arlaud Pere et Fils)
Nice fruit, very drinkable. Quite luscious even with a richness that one might attribute to the standing of the vineyard. Good balance too. But nice though it is, I find it rather undemanding - no tautness, no succulence, in short no really grown-up qualities. I'd hope for more excitment from this vineyard. Still a fine drink, and it doesn't sell for huge money either.
- Chambolle Musigny 1er cru Les Groseilles 2001 (Digioia-Royer)
A bottle drunk over two evenings as opposed to my last notr from the middle of a wine dinner. Bright and attractive raspberry, cranberry and beetroot Pinot - a touch of oak and tannins but fundamentally in an easy drinking style. Very pleasant drinking but not profound. Will improve a touch over a shortish timescale but not a long-term wine.
- Bourgogne blanc 1996 (Leroy)
Very (excessively even) citric, good acidity and a modest finish. No sign of 96 oxidation. I was given this knowing only that it was a 96 white Burgundy - thought it might be a disappointing grander wine. Actually this is rather good for its level. Top
- Morey St Denis 1er cru Les Chaffots 2000 (H. Lignier)
On first opening, bright, high-toned, delciously fruity - mainly red fruits - and with good balance and length. Very quaffable. Later, some minerality appears too and it seems stylish too. Very nice indeed. Probably for drinking over the next few years. A very top
- Vougeot 1er Cru Les Petits Vougeots 1996 (Fourrier)
Even with decanting, still quite hard and needing food. Stylish - I hope it will resolve well.
- Chambolle Musigny Vieille Vignes 1997 (Fourrier)
A bit reductive at first, opens out to reveal strong high-toned fruit and a bit of pinot animality. A touch hard at the moment, particularly without food, but pretty good. Top
- Chablis Montee de Tonnerre 1999 (Raveneau)
Splendidly mineral and delicious. Bare
- Chablis 1er cru Monte de Tonnerre 1997 (L. Michel)
One bottle rather orange an unpalatable - oxidized Burgundy syndrome, I fear. Another quite mature and hinting at the same but still rather good and pleasantly drinkable. The good one:
- Volnay Vendage Selectionee 1997 (M. Lafarge)
Fresh strawberry fruit, moderate acidity, some tannins and still quite firm although the acidity is moderate. Opens out nicely overnight but still has a twist of bitterness at the end of the palate that I have mixed feelings about. Bare
- Meursault Blagny 1988 (F. Jobard)
Bone-dry, austere at first but then just very classic appetising white Burgundy at peak. Bare
The Champagne was the last wine of the dinner, and very good it was too.
- Champagne Silver Brut NV (A. Clouet)
Very elegant - specially considering this is blanc de noirs. Dry yet very appetizing. Bare
- Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles 2001 (Fevre)
Quite fine - creamy but a little sweet - lacks minerality and steelyness.
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Champgains 1998 (Niellon)
Dumb - or not quite right - could even be the early stages of premature oxidation.
- Meursault Clos de La Barre 2002 (Comte Lafon)
Tight, dry Meursault nuttyness, lovely acid, touch of lemon. Very fine.
- Corton Charlemagne 1993 (Bonneau de Matray)
Very fine, balanced, complex. Intense, very long. Still improving.
- Chassagne Montrachet rouge 1er cru Morgeot 1993 (Colin-Deleger)
Gamy, nice ruit, earthy, nice but not so long. Very pleasant mature wine.
- Charmes Chambertin 2000 (Rousseau)
Ravishingly gorgeous, elegant, fragrant fruit. Very lovely, if a little light and perhaps no more than it ought to be for a Grand Cru. Some want to keep this for 10 years and (probably) good it will be in rather a different way, but I love it now too.
- Champagne Cuvee des Enchanteleurs 1988 (Henriot)
Lovely mushroomy nose, perfectly fresh, nicely dry. Ripe but with excellent acidity and good length.
- Chablis 1er cru Forets 1999 (Dauvissat)
Creamy and mineral. Excellent
- Chablis 1er cru Butteaux 1996 (Raveneau)
Very mineral, stony and dry, lemony, intense, very Raveneau. Starting to drink well.
- Volnay 1er cru Clos des Ducs 1996 (d'Angerville)
Delicate, fragrant, almost floral. Medium-weight palate, succulent tannins gives some bite on the finish. Bare
- Vosne Romanee 1er cru Clos des Reas 1996 (J. Gros)
Very evolved colour. Open nose, rich, hinting at corruption. Slightly open palate that puts me off, but classy irony hints are rather lovely. Bare
- Rully 1er Cru 2003 (Olivier Leflaive)
Friends brought this round for lunch. Lovely medium weight Burgundy with touches of toffee, nuts and melon. Good to have a wine that doesn't seem sterile in its freshness and isn't trying to be any more than it should be.
- Rully 1er Cru Vauvry 2000 (Olivier Leflaive)
And here's the coincidence. I just happened to drag this out of the racks in preparation for the same lunch. This, as one would expect, has more signs of age - there's also a slight dirtiness/stalkiness to the wine (again none of that sterility that can make some modern wine so boring). Good maturing Burgundy. plus
- Nuits-St-George Les Damodes 1985 (Domaine Machard de Gramont)
This wine has been a bit of an enigma over the years - Toby and I have both given varying reports. This bottle, however, was exactly what it should be. Fresh and vibrant, sweet strawberry and beetroot, and with good acidity. More than pleasant.
- Champagne Grand Reserve NV (Barnaut)
Meaty, substantial, vinous, fairly soft. A bit short on elegance perhaps. A good
- Champagne Grand Cru Brut Reserve NV (Bara)
Frothy, fine mousse. Sweet fruit, quite exotic, rich. Very much a food wine. Scrapes
- Tokay Pinot Gris Reserve Rolly-Gassmann 2002 (Rolly-Gassmann)
Fat tokay nose. Rich sweet palate. Pretty good - needs time. A bare
- Chateau de Malle 1990
Botrytis - fairly rich. Barley-sugar. Tends to shortness and quite sweet. Quite evolved (green and gold too). Top
- Leoville Barton 1986
Christmas cake, underbrush, touch of smoke. Quite rounded fruit. Pretty elegant. (and still rising)
- Chateau Margaux 1986
Smokier, tea nose, fragrant, moderate weight. Quite easy-going fruit, very tannic finish.
- Cabernet 1986 (Lakes Folly)
Tobacco-leaf, elegant, but just slightly rough-woody too. Is it absolutely and completely right?
- Leoville Las Cases 1983
Pleasant mature Claret - a little nondescript perhaps. Maybe not a great bottle of this?
- Chateau Margaux 1983
Smoky, cigary, classic. Later, spring flowers. Perfect balance. Lovely.
- Meursault Rougeot 1993 (Coche-Dury)
Leesy, rounded, touch of nuttyness. Very fine.
- Bonnes Mares 1990 (Roumier)
Rich, easy-going. pure, effortlessly fresh. Elegant and lovely. Bare
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques 1990 (Rousseau)
Rounded, earthy, really quite splendid with years to go. A fine
The 05's all barrel samples and so notes not to be taken that seriously.
- Chassagne Montrachet 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
Pineappley oak from this (new) barrel, yeasty, rich and rounded fruit.
- Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Pucelles 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
Hazelnut fruit, quite tight and with good length. The acidity seemed moderate. Top
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru La Romanee 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
Back to round, Chassagne richness. Mouthfilling, and potentially very drinkable. plus
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Caillerets 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
Tighter than the Romanee, excellent Chassane again.
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Fairendes 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
Exotic, complex, yet well-defined. Lovely long finish.
- Batard Montrachet grand cru 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
Lemony fruit, clearly classy but a touch insubstantial, perhaps because this is quite young vines. Bare
- Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Pucelles 2004 (Morey-Coffinet)
Hazelnuts, quite etheriel with a lovely underlying richness. Splendid.
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Caillerets 2004 (Morey-Coffinet)
Quite closed currently, stony and dry. Good length. Bare
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru La Romanee 2004 (Morey-Coffinet)
More floral than the Caillerets, excellent length. Bare
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Fairendes 2004 (Morey-Coffinet)
Rounded forward fruit, but with a steely core not evident in the other Chassagnes. Very good.
- Batard Montrachet grand cru 2004 (Morey-Coffinet)
A touch of ginger on the nose. Lots of class but pretty moderate weight again - one could imagine this filling out though.
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Caillerets 2003 (Morey-Coffinet)
Jumps out of the glass - mixed tropical fruit and some veg. Rather exotic and not my sort of thing. Very early drinking. Bare
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru La Romanee 2003 (Morey-Coffinet)
Quite fat but much more in balance than the Caillerets, with a floral touch. Good
- Chassagne Montrachet rouge 1er cru Chaumes 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
Ripe and plummy, beetrooty, quite rich.
- Chassagne Montrachet rouge 1er cru Clos St Jean 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
Higher-toned, crunchy red fruits. Potentially rather good.
- Chassagne Montrachet rouge 1er cru Morgeot 2005 (Morey-Coffinet)
A synthesis of the last two, nice balance and quality fruit.
- Chassagne Montrachet rouge 1er cru Chaumes 2004 (Morey-Coffinet)
Elegant plumns and red fruits. Rather good.
- Chassagne Montrachet rouge 1er cru Clos St Jean 2004 (Morey-Coffinet)
Perfumed, more feminine than the Chaumes but still well-structured. A touch of beetroot too. Top
- Chassagne Montrachet rouge 1er cru Morgeot 2003 (Morey-Coffinet)
Plummy, baked fruit character - the berries were small and shrivelled. Bare
The 2005's all barrel samples. I have not made notes at all on some of the whites because they had all just been subjected to battonage - I have added a note and score to those that seemed more assessable.
- Auxey-Duresses “Les Hautes” 2005 (J-M Vincent)
Lees just stirred.
- Puligny Montrachet 2005 (Vincent-Escalier)
Lees just stirred.
- Meursault 2005 (Vincent-Escalier)
Easier to see through the effects of recent battonage on this wine particularly. Apples, nuts, good richness. At least
- Santenay blanc 2005 (J-M Vincent)
Forward, fruity, characterful. Top plus
- Santenay 1er cru Gravieres blanc 2005 (J-M Vincent)
Richer, probably will be very good.
- Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Garennes 2005 (Vincent-Escalier)
Pure, dry, penetrating, very classic. Maybe even
- Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Sous les Puits 2005 (Vincent-Escalier)
Lees just stirred.
- Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Chalumaux 2005 (Vincent-Escalier)
Lees just stirred - but suggests a strong effort.
- Pommard 1er cru Clos des Verges 2005 (Vincent-Escalier)
Pure and bright, nice fruit but rather tannic. Good
- Pommard 1er cru Epenots 2005 (Vincent-Escalier)
Lovely pure fruit, very fine - I do hope it doesn't get too much oak, but I fear it will dominate the wine. Top
- Aloxe Corton 1er cru 2005 (Vincent-Escalier)
Tannic again, but a nice purity of fruit.
- Santenay 1er cru Beaurepaire 2005 (J-M Vincent)
Concentrated, rich and tannic.
- Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Bretterins Rouge 2005 (J-M Vincent)
Not at a good stage for tasting - seems promising.
- Auxey-Duresses “Les Hautes” 2005 (J-M Vincent)
Forward, fruity, nicely made.
- Pernand Vergelesses blanc 2004 (J-M Vincent)
Quieter, less flamboyant than the Auxey. Attractive.
- Santenay 1er cru Gravieres rouge 2004 (J-M Vincent)
Fragrant, lifted fruit. Very nice but the oak a bit intrusive on the finish.
- Santenay 1er cru Gravieres rouge 2004 (J-M Vincent)
Soft-textured and ripe (the vintage I guess). Rich fruit. Bare
The star ratings below should be regarded as very approximate since the wines are a way from finished and I do not do a lot of tasting from cask. See the accompanying article for some discussion. In short though all the reds are very highly recommendable.
- Vougeot 1er cru Petits Vougeot 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Pure, dry, quite tannic.
- Chambolle Musigny 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Quite mineral, leesy now, fine, frangrant and elegant.
- Chambolle Musigny 1er cru Gruenchers 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Flamboyant, outgoing, splendid.
- Morey St Denis Clos Solon 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Stony cherries, really nice fruit.
- Gevrey Chambertin Aux Echezeaux 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Strong, iron, dry and reserved, with quite light-bodied fruit.
- Gevrey Chambertin 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
More rounded, fruity and earthy.
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Cherbaudes 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Intense, round cherry fruit, and a touch of farmyard.
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Goulots 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Mineral, light-bodied, dry and intriguing. plus
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Champaux 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Earthy, spicy, dry, quite reserved.
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Combe aux Moines 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Richly gamy, quite striking - flattering now but it could also become a touch tiring compared (for example) to the graceful Champaux.
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Clos St Jacques 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Both rich and elegant, it seems to combine the best of all the other Gevrey's. Lovely.
- Griotte Chambertin Grand Cru 2005 (J-M. Fourrier)
Reserved (compared to the St Jacques) elegant and intense with a very long finish. Very impressive.
- Bourgogne blanc 2004 (J-M. Fourrier)
Nice nose, pure and unforced. Fine, dry palate. A good example.
The 2005's below were barrel samples of as yet unfinished wines.