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Diary index

30/11/1995 (TNB)

A tasting of 1993 red Burgundy (plus the odd 1993 American Pinot) Noel Young Wines 29/11/1995 (RJB)

CUWS 28/11/1995 (RJB)

A tasting for the Cambridge University Blind Tasting Team 27/11/1995 (RJB)

25/11/1995 (RJB)

25/11/1995 (TNB)

A blind tasting of seven clarets 23/11/1995 (RJB)

22/11/1995 (RJB)

A tasting of Australian wines for CUWS given by Noel Young Wines 22/11/1995 (RJB)

Italian tasting at Scottish Wine Soc with Raeburn Fine Wines (and dinner after) 21/11/1995 (TNB)

19/11/1995 (RJB)

18/11/1995 (TNB)

13/11/1995 (TNB)

10/11/1995 (RJB)

Piemonte tasting at V&C with Michael Garner 09/11/1995 (TNB)

05/11/1995 (TNB)

Leovile and Langoa Barton tasting by Lay & Wheeler, Edinburgh, 03/11/1995 (TNB)

The Diary - November 1995

30/11/1995 (TNB)

  • Tokay Pinot Gris VT 1989 (Hugel) Good colour. Big but curiously unspecific nose. In the mouth quite sweet, with beautifully balancing acidity. Long. Difficult to nail down particular flavours. May just be very closed at the moment. (OFW 18.99 a half) 89+.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/11/1995   Return to top

A tasting of 1993 red Burgundy (plus the odd 1993 American Pinot) Noel Young Wines 29/11/1995 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/11/1995   Return to top

CUWS 28/11/1995 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/11/1995   Return to top

A tasting for the Cambridge University Blind Tasting Team 27/11/1995 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/11/1995   Return to top

25/11/1995 (RJB)

  • Maglieri Shiraz 1992, Maclaren Vale Excellent, youthful concentrated colour. Black cherry and raspberry nose with oak well-balanced. Big but tight fruit on the palate with good length. A good value wine (6.99 from Tesco); my concern is that it lacked structure in the mid-palate. 87
  • Pinot d'Alsace 1993, Zind-Humbrecht A youthful estery nose with some lees character. Restrained on the palate with only a touch of residual sweetness. Clearly needs some time to be at its best. 89+
  • Marsannay Les Longeroies 1988, Dom. Bruno Clair From a half bottle. Fruit fading - the lovely plum-skin pinot fruit it once had has all but gone. Drink up. 83
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/11/1995   Return to top

25/11/1995 (TNB)

  • Condrieu 90 (Guigal) Elegant, refined, but pleasant rather than striking. An argument, I feel, for not aging Condrieu, or not for this ammount of time, anyway! 86.
  • Bricco del Ucellone 88 Tasted this time in more controlled conditions. Seems less idiosynchratic --- but good brambly fruit with chocolate overtones. Nice acidity, but balanced. Very drinkable. 89.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/11/1995   Return to top

A blind tasting of seven clarets 23/11/1995 (RJB)

  • Les Tourelles de Longueville 1988 Fragrant gummy-oak nose, goodish fruit with some tannin. Perhaps slightly unknit - or in an 'in-between' phase. Still needs a couple of years to be at its best. 88
  • Pichon Lalande 1989 As with 'Les Tourelles' a classic Pauillac nose, but classier. Lovely new oak and vibrant fruit nose. The usual charming Pichon style, but perhaps, once I knew what it was I would have expected better. I thought it might be the 1987 from the same property. Needs time. 90+
  • Cos d'Estournel 1984 Clearly from a bad vintage. Rather dull, medicinal, ill-defined nose. Drying out. 79
  • Ch. Le Couvent 1985, St Emillion Wishy washy Ribena nose with some Merlot character. Rather lightweight, with sweetness at the end. Beginning to die. 80
  • Mouton Baron Phillipe 1983 Violet and chestnut nose with dry and dusty tannins. Lacks fruit. Not going anywhere. 83
  • Fourcas Hosten 1981 Initial tasting revealed a touch of volatility and tannin - drying out I thought. However, with time in the glass a rather lovely sweetness emerged and it turned into rather a nice drop of mature claret. Perhaps it's on the brink. Drink up! 85?
  • Beau-Rivage 1961, Macau From a half bottle. I've had, or heard reports on, quite a few half bottles of this wine. Sometimes it has reminded me of an old Musar, other times it has behaved in a bizzare manner (an overpowering smell of bacon crisps for instance). This time it was showing at its best. Lovely gummy violet nose. A bit prickly on the palate to start with and initially a bit weedy. However, it opened out into clean, light to medium bodied mature falvours. It's quite an eye-opener that a 1961 Bordeaux Superieur in half bottle can be this good (if not that consistent). 87
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 23/11/1995   Return to top

22/11/1995 (RJB)

  • Ch. La Louviere 1986 (white) Actually tasted a couple of weeks back, but I've just found the note. Not showing many signs of age, but, then again, not showing many signs of anything. Light lemon fruit on the nose; light flavours on the palate. 79
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/11/1995   Return to top

A tasting of Australian wines for CUWS given by Noel Young Wines 22/11/1995 (RJB)

  • Penley Estate 1990 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Sparkling Good fizz with fine acidity and creamy, yeasty and appley overtones. Not overly New World in style. It will probably benefit from bottle age. (13.69) 85
  • Simon Hackett Semillon 1994 Good honest semillon with lemon and peach nose and citric acidity. Should age reasonably well for the next five years or so. (5.99) 83
  • Devil's Lair Chardonnay 1994 A big wine with plenty of alcohol. Oak and fruit well balanced, melons and ginger, and some lees character. Difficult to judge because of its youth. (12.29) 87
  • Veritas Western Ridge Shiraz/Cabernet 1994 Vibrant deep colour, spicy vanillin American oak nose. A touch lacking in the mid palate. Overall pretty good for the price. (5.49) 85
  • Hollick Ravenswood Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Slightly green cassis fruit with eucalyptus. Good acidity, soft tannins with decent length. Not for the long term though. (15.99) 87
  • D'Arenberg Ironstone Pressings 1991 A mix of old-vine shiraz and grenache. Green stalky nose rather unpleasant, but the underlying flavours seemed good. (11.99) 80
  • Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1992 The star of the evening. Quite closed up on the nose and palate, but gives the impression that there's plenty waiting to evolve. Good structure and impressive length. Sweet peppery fruity shiraz with unobtrusive oak. (15.75) 90
  • Hollick Sparkling Merlot 1993 Good of its sort. Strawberry fruit with an edge of acidity. Refreshing at the end of a tasting - Noel recommends it for Boxing day lunch, but if I had every wine he's recommended for Boxing day lunch . . . (13.99) 82
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/11/1995   Return to top

Italian tasting at Scottish Wine Soc with Raeburn Fine Wines (and dinner after) 21/11/1995 (TNB)

And after, with dinner:

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/11/1995   Return to top

19/11/1995 (RJB)

  • Sterling Vineyard, Winery Lake Pinot Noir 1993 A nasty odour to start with but this came off the wine once swirled a few times and is probably not a problem. Very clear soft beetrooty New World Pinot fruit - rather obvious - but not stewed. No great complexity. 83
  • Thalabert 1994, Crozes Hermitage Not aggresively Syrah, and seemingly a bit thin. Light chocolate shiraz nose and spicy. 83
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/11/1995   Return to top

18/11/1995 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/11/1995   Return to top

13/11/1995 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/11/1995   Return to top

10/11/1995 (RJB)

  • Sclumberger 1992 Pinot Blanc Nicely made, elegant style pinot blanc. Dry with light mineral flavours. 87
  • Rothbury Estate Semillon 1993 Not showing much at all. Light lemony nose. 83
  • Penley Estate 1989 Sparkling Not showing any obvious signs of age and, seeing that it had just been in the back of a car for two days and 360 miles, was drinking very nicely. Not over-the-top New World. Quite restrained but no great complexity. Last bottle I had did seem to have some good bottle-age characters. 85+
  • Schoffit Riesling Harth Cuvee Prestige 1992 Classic citric Riesling nose, but with a touch of residual sugar - a slightly unusual style but pretty good and seemingly gaining complexity. 90
  • Schoffit Riesling Harth Cuvee Presige 1993 Not as good as the 1992 (not at present anyhow). Difficult to see it as a riesling, but perhaps this is the youthful characters showing through. Unknit. 86(?)
  • Ch. La Rame 1990 St Croix-du-Mont Gorgeous Botrytis peachy nose, with lovely length and range of flavours - caramel and marmalade. Could do with a touch more acidity - more like a muscat in that repect. Extrovert. 91
  • Mountadam Noble Riesling 1990 From a half bottle. Disappointing stuff. Lacking body - tasted like glorified sugar water. Maybe it's been left too long. 82
  • L. A. Cetto Petite Sirah 1993, Mexico This has had good reviews recently although it didn't get me that excited. Lacking fruit in the middle, and rather commercial in style. Some tannins and some raspberry fruit at first. 83
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/11/1995   Return to top

Piemonte tasting at V&C with Michael Garner 09/11/1995 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/11/1995   Return to top

05/11/1995 (TNB)

  • Pinot Blanc Cuvee Caroline 1993 (Schoffit) Huge wine, a little residual sweetness. Good length. Has the slight esteryness of some young wines, and also very slight spritz. The weight, texture and fruit are reminiscent of a VT Gewurtz! Briliant stuff. 88+
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/11/1995   Return to top

Leovile and Langoa Barton tasting by Lay & Wheeler, Edinburgh, 03/11/1995 (TNB)

With Anthony Barton, a great raconteur: "When we dine at Lafite, Eric de Rothschild delights in serving us the Leoville-Barton 1899, because he seems to have piles of it, and we've run out ourselves."

  • Leoville-Barton 1993 Good slightly leafy, chocolatey fruit. Reasonable concentration. 84
  • Leoville-Barton 1992 Extremely high acidity (unripe fruit?) Not terribly interesting. 78
  • Langoa-Barton 1991 Fairly light, but reasonably pleasant. 81
  • Langoa-Barton 1990 Good deep colour. Quite closed, but large. 88
  • Leoville-Barton 1990 Good fruit, slightly minty. Lovely ripe fruit (seems characteristic of the vintage). Quite long. 90 (I may be under-rating this due to its youth.)
  • Langoa-Barton 1989 Very charming, but lightweight in the mouth. Lacking acid and structure. 86
  • Langoa-Barton 1988 Excellent concentration and structure. Deep, slightly unyielding. Long. I may be over-rating this for some reason, but 90.
  • Leoville-Barton 1986 Stunning nose of pencils and oranges, a scaled down version of the 86 Lafite. In the mouth, a huge wine with lots of slightly sandy tannins that one imagines will resolve. Seems to have a slight gap in the mid-palate, but perhaps that's the tannins. 92+
  • Langoa-Barton 1985 A charmer, very typical of the vintage. Lovely to drink. 87
  • Leoville-Barton 1985 A large generous fruity wine with all the charm of 85 married to excellent structure. The vintage seems to suit the property particularly well. 92
  • Leoville-Barton 1982 With dinner. An indisputably great claret. Complex, rich fruit, excellent length. Just getting over its youth and beginning to build towards its peak. 94
  • Langoa-Barton 1978 Also with dinner. A charming mature claret, completely resolved and at its peak. Very pleasant. 87
  • Lay & Wheeler's champagne NV A bit too obviously biscuity, and undemanding. Pleasant though.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/11/1995   Return to top