The Diary - November 2004
Rather late writing these up I'm afraid. I seem to recall tasting some serious stuff at this event in the past, but this year it was more of a plonkathon.
- Niederhausser Hermannshohle Spatlese 1985 (Statliche Weindomain)
Nice nose and broad palate that falls away a touch. Good but perhaps a bit straightforward. A moderate
- Condrieu La Bonnette 2000 (Rostaing)
Nice fruit but it has perhaps become a bit flabby. Still fairly classy. I oscillate between a good and three stars.
- Hermitage blanc 1985 (Chave)
Very closed at first and insubstantial-seeming. After a couple of hours, so fragrant and honied, even after intervening reds. That suggests it is in a closed phase and needs time.
- Corton Charlemagne 1970 (Tollot-Beaut)
Honied, gracefully maderised nose, fine mature slightly citric palate - lovely mineral finish. Good
- Rioja Imperial 1947 (CUNE)
Vanilla and germolene. Fresh (so fresh) and herby - fine and long.
- Barolo La Serra 74 (Marcarini)
Elegant - very fragrant, fresh. Dry palate and finish - needs food. Very nice. A good
- Barbaresco Gaiun Martinenga 1982 (Di Gresy)
Tarry, dried fruit, a touch reductive. Fragrant. Good but could do with a couple of hours in a decanter. A good treated well.
- Barbaresco Rabaja 1982 (Cortese)
Quite bright and fruity - but a bit bitter towards the finish. Nice fruit but quite austerely dry.
- Barbaresco 1982 (Giacoso)
Fascinating, complex, chemical almost, nose. Creamy palate. Oozes class - excellent drinking.
- Gewurztraminer Hengst VT 1983 (Zind-Humbrecht)
Bone-dry, essence of Gewurztraminer - long and mineral.
- Grahams 1983
Dry, aniseedy, long, balanced. Very good. Easy
Another excellent evening at Pembroke College. Thanks to Matthew Mellor for organising, and thanks to all who attended for their generosity.
- Comtes de Champagne 1995 (Taittinger)
Creamy, slightly exotic nose, and initially a harsh finish. Taut. With time though clear that there is some class in the glass and this wine needs time in the bottle. Serious stuff. An easy
- Vouvray Demi-Sec Mousseux 1999 (Huet)
Difficult after the Taittinger. Flatter, softer nose. Honeyed length and acidity. A clear chenin, but possibly showing rather more open than might be expected.
- St Aubin 1er Cru, Clos de la Chatenière 1999 (Hubert Lamy)
A slightly vegetal edge to this wine. A soft sweet Chardonnay with obvious oak. Good but lacking some character.
- Prelude Chardonnay 2000 (Leeuwin Estate)
Soft and with most of the flavour coming at the end. Balanced aniseed and oak.
- Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2002 (Shaw and Smith)
Quite, quite buttery vegetal. Creamy oak.
- Zöbinger Hailigenstein Riesling Alte Reben 1996 (Bründlmayer)
The colour of age on this wine. Astringent (tannic) edge. A bit all over the place and suffering. This is odd after previous bottles of this wine so I won’t score.
- Clos Windbuhl Pinot Gris 1996 (Zind-Humbrecht)
This is tasting even bigger than usual: sweet, unctuous and with a fine mushroomy vegetal edge.
- Riesling Spätlese Triere St Maximiner 1990
Petrol and flint, but with age has done this wine few favours. Coarse.
- Finca La Anita Sémillon Mendoza 2002
Soft parma violet nose. Thick, gunky and soft.
- Riesling Pflaenzereben de Rorschwihr 1990 (Rolly-Gassmann)
We had this slightly too warm and a yeasty edge was coming from the wine. Class stuff though, with balance and pure fruit.
- Vosne-Romanée 1996 (R Engel)
Short and with an astringent finish. Simple sweet strawberry gummy nose.
- Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert 1990 (Paul Jaboulet Ainé)
Lovely, ageing warm wine. Good tertiary flavours emerging. Perhaps
- Château Talbot 1975
Some (pleasant!) sandy tannins at the end of this lovely mature claret. Nothing heavyweight about this wine. Delicious.
- Château d'Angludet 1993
Leafy wine with cardboard on the nose.
- Château Clerc-Milon 1989
Juicy sweet maturing claret. Medium weight and with time ahead of it. Well made. A good
You may want to read the part 1 notes (below) first!
This tasting was actually a good few months ago.
- Classic Fino (Fernando de Castilla)
Lemony, hay in Summer nose. Mellow, light-bodied palate - fine rather than piquant. Quite vinous.
- Classic Amontillado (Fernando de Castilla)
Nice nose but slightly off-dry (young PX added). A good version of the traditional British half-sweet Amontillado, but it is just not a great idea to my mind. (just)
- Antique Amontillado (Fernando de Castilla)
The real thing, about 20 years old apparently. A touch of yeast, tarry - nutty, savoury core of fruit, fine and long. A good
- Antique Palo Cortado (Fernando de Castilla)
Complex, nutty, rounded and long. Tangy and rather fine. By a fairly narrow margin, the pick of the "antique" wines.
- Antique Oloroso (Fernando de Castilla)
Elegant round touch of fruit. Nice texture in the mouth. Long and elegant. Top
- Antique PX (Fernando de Castilla)
Raisins and cream. Unctious. A fine example of the style, but ultimately these are fairly simple wines. If you like the style:
- Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez (Fernando de Castilla)
Fruity elegant. Fine, balanced, with a broad range of flavours. Brandy is not really my area, but I will givce a rating anyway:
This was a good few weeks ago but I don't seem to have recorded a date!
- Cotes-du-Rhone blanc Reserve 1995 (Fonsalette)
Rich grassy, characterful nose. Decent acid, luxurious texture, nutty, delicious. Top
- Meursault Tete de Cuvee 2001 (Verget)
Fat, pineapple, modern, new-world style wine with a rich palate. Not a long-term wine and not really my style. Good though. Merits I guess.
- Rayas Blanc Reserve 1989
Herby nose, not so long but intriguingly individual. Top
- Echezeaux 1987 (Rouget)
Rich fruity nose, fantastic sweet fruit palate. Balanced and long.
- Hermitage La Chapelle 1982 (Jaboulet)
Gamy, meaty, fruit - tending towards baked (a very hot vintage) but not unbalanced. Bare
- Barolo Riserva Cascina Francia 1982 (G. Conterno)
Healthy young colour. Meaty, tarry, tannic - very old-fashioned. Needs time.
- Taylors Port 1980
Warm juicy peppery - touch of chocolate. Raspberries. Easy going but very good.