Bill Nanson's Burgundy seminar at the superBOWL 26/10/2003 (TNB)
- Griotte Chambertin 2000 (Chezaux) Very high-toned cherry - good acidity. A good wine but just a bit ungenerous however.
- Griotte Chambertin 2000 (Drouhin) Softer and more open nose. Richer fruit - hedonistic Burgundy. Very attractive.
- Griotte Chambertin 2000 (Fourrier) Combines best of other two from this vintage - rich, complex fruit and high-toned. Good acidity. Pure dry and savoury. Top
- Griotte Chambertin 2001 (Chezaux) High-toned savory, wild cherry - lovely. This seems far superior to the 2000
- Griotte Chambertin 2001 (Fourrier) Very closed now, probably residual CO2 obscuring the nose particularly. I am pretty sure there is a very fine wine hiding in this however.
With dinner at the superBOWL 26/10/2003 (TNB)Some of these really are a bit brief - fleeting impressions in the midst of much conviviality at the end of a long vinous day!
- Vouvray Le Mont Sec 1983 (Huet) Relatively unforthcoming nose but a nice honied palate now.
- Piesprter Goldtropfchen Kabinett HalbTrocken 2001 (Kurt Hain) I'm not a great fan of this halbtrocken business but this seems pretty good.
- Erdener Trepchen Kabinett 2002 (Kurt Hain) Pretty good classic riesling.
- Savigny les Beaune Les Serpentieres 2000 (Javillier-Guyot) Pleasant young Burgundy - at least
- Corton Les Marechaudes 1971 (Doudet-Naudin) Very closed on the nose - opens a touch with time. Sweet palate that deserves more attention than is easy in the convivial surroundings. Real Burgundy, unlike some wines of this era that I have had from this producer. Easy
- Grand Puy Lacoste 1997 Quite rich - pretty good - spicy. Most of the better properties seem to be of about this good but not great quality in this vintage.
- Chateau Le Gay 1983 Dry, meaty, tannic still and severe but it is probably time to drink this. A touch towards cooked perhaps, quite a large wine and very good.
- Chateau Montrose 1996 Very deep berryish St Estephe. Bags of structure - needs years but will be first-class.
- Piesporter Falkenberg Eiswein 2001 (Kurt Hain) Pretty intense but rather simple - so much eiswein is like that and I must say I prefer a good BA generally.
The Walk-around tasting at the superBOWL 26/10/2003 (TNB)All very informal and one tends to end up tasting things in a far from ideal order! Scores consequently not to be taken overly seriously.
- Champagne Petraea Solera (Boulard) A blend of 97,98 and 99 vintages - I am not sure where this fits in Boulard's range. Seems pretty good but I need to taste it more seriously: young but promising - maybe even
- Art Series Chardonnay 1999 (Leeuwin Estate) Quite new-worldy on this showing (I thought this wine tended to be more classical and ageworthy) - will it develop? Good wine anyway. Decent
- Vina Tondonia blanco Gran Reserva 1981 (Lopez de Heredia) Not as fresh as old Tondonia usually is, and a bit dirty too. Possibly a poor bottle.
- Chateau Gruaud Larose 1988 Concentrated gamy nose, coming up towards maturity. Rather good. At least a very top
- Chateau Talbot 1988 Pleasant enough but side by side with the Gruaud it is clearly a less substantial wine.
- Rioja Pagos Viejos 1998 (Artadi) Very silky, refined wine as usual from Artadi. Modern-style of course but even so I am inclined to stretch to
- Spanna Campi Raudii 1955 (Vallana) Pretty fresh considering the age, as these old Vallana wines tend to me. Not fine perhaps but a satisfying mouthful of mature wine.
- St Henri Shiraz 1994 (Penfolds) Stylish and attractive. Sweet fruit unsupported by oak, and it carries it off. Good
- St Henri Shiraz 1993 (Penfolds) A bit stinky and old. Either past it or a poor bottle - hard to say which.
- Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 1987 (B. Clair) Oxidised and past it. The 87's are showing their age but this seems extreme. Might be a poor bottle but I suspect not, in which case
- Tokaji Aszu 5 puttonyos (Disznoko) Tropical fruits, very much "modern style" I think and good in its way.
- Picolit 2001 (Casal del Ronco) I hope I have the producer correct here since I can find no references. This is the second example of the very rare and rather expensive Friulian desert wine, named after its grape variety. This had an intense nose of tropical fruits and a young wine camphor component. I would like to try this properly - for now
- Chateau Climens 1983 Very classy and balanced - possibly not a wine to appreciate in a mixed tasting like this, but concentrating on it I see a lot of quality. Drinking well.
- Clos de l’Arbalestrier St Joseph 1988 (Domaine Florentin) One of the worst corked bottles I have ever had (it reeked of corkiness when the bottle was opened, but the wine itself took a few minutes to reveal the full blown effect). Not the wines fault.
- Clos de l’Arbalestrier 1991 St Joseph (Domaine Florentin) Silky medium weight stuff. Good.
- Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Vergers” 1990 (Michel Colin-Deleger) More austere than I was expecting with a lovely walnut oil nose emerging. Delicious. Top
- Barolo Cannubi Boschis 1993 (Sandrone) Too, too young but approachable and fairly drinkable nevertheless. Lovely bitter not excessively tarry fruit.
- Cos d’Estournel 1982 Drinking beautifully – approaching peak, but a while to go before it gets there. Elegant textbook stuff. Top
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/10/2003 Return to top
Neal Martin's 97 Claret seminar at the SuperBowl 19/10/2003 (TNB)
- Cos d'Estournel 1997 Intense blackcurrant nose. Dry and savoury. A touch of capsicum - a hint of (not unpleasant) under-ripeness. Slightly bitter finish. A difficult wine. (just)
- Pichon Lalande 1997 Nice balance - cedary blackcurrant. Charming and might be more so in a year or two although not for very long keeping. Top
- Ducru Beaucaillou 1997 Very nice fruitcakey Claret nose - becomes fragrant. Nice elegant balance. Stylish. Very top
- Leoville Las Cases 1997 Very dry and tight. More closed. Classy and really does need time. Top again
- Cheval Blanc 1997 Fine fragrant nose. Very fine and long. Very attractive indeed but will be at peak in a couple of years at most probably. So seductive it might even merit
- Haut Brion 1997 Fruitcake nose, mouthfilling, lovely, sweet fruit. Fairly seriously structured and like the Las Cases really demanding some cellaring.
- Doisy Vedrines 1997 Nice and rich - lots of botrytis. This seems quite forward and evolved. Very good indeed - it is amazing the quality one can get from Sauternes/Barsac at reasonable prices.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/10/2003 Return to top
At Braidwoods, before the SuperBowl 19/10/2003 (TNB)
- Pol Roger Winston Churchill 1990 Rich, mushroomy and lees-influenced - somewhat forward (largely the vintage style I guess). Lovely drinking.
- Chablis Blanchot 1991 (Raveneau) Very mineral, with a hint of the sea that I had not noticed until Neal M suggested cockle-sheds! Very fine! Top
- Chassagne Montrachet Chenevottes 1989 (Niellon) Lovely creamy palate (typical of the producer) but it is very evolved. I suspect this is an odd bottle given Niellon's standards, even though 89 is a forward vintage.
- Haut Brion blanc 1992 Candied fruits. So intense on the nose and palate, heavily oaked but with the fruit to carry it. Drinking but surely will improve. Not universally admired around the table but for me
- Musigny Vieilles Vignes 1991 (de Vogue) Deep, dense fruit, tending towards pruney - mainly from sheer concentration I suspect. Very complex and aging nicely - will probably benefit from another few years after which it might even rate higher.
- Richebourg 1990 (DRC) Terribly elegant and drinkable - meaty touches - none of the cooked fruit this vintage sometimes offers - very, very nice but a bit insubstantial. Quite advanced - possibly because this bottle had not been in a really cool cellar for several years of its life. This bottle:
- Chateau Montrose 1961 Fine old mature claret, dry and savoury - chunky as so many St Estephe's are. In pretty good condition. Making a tiny allowance for the fact that it had just travelled:
- Haut Brion 1983 Rather good, gamy, pretty much mature Claret. Quite animal (keen brett-spotters were on to this quickly). I thought this was splendid drinking and if not great, a bit better than its middling reputation (at least among other vintages of this splendid property). Just about
- Pichon Lalande 1982 Lots of ripe fruit, nice balance, first-class stuff but not absolutely singing. I suspect we are drinking it at slightly the wrong time and perhaps this will merit absolutely top marks in a few years.
- Hill of Grace 1986 (Henschke) Stands up in this company. Fine, if a touch sweet on the finish and simpler than some of the classics earlier. On a graceful downward slope I think. A very good
- Yquem 1983 I've had a few mature seeming 83 Sauternes recently and even the Yquem seems ready - although doubtless with years of interesting evolution ahead. Lovely complex flavours.
- Hochheimer KonigenVictoriaberg Auslese 1971 (Pabstmann/Deinhard) Gentle, graceful old German to finish the meal.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/10/2003 Return to top
Fizz tasted with Richard recently 13/10/2003 (TNB)
- Champagne Grand Rose Brut NV (Gosset) Fragrant with a nice mousse. There is a slight sweetness that works quite well - ripe fruit before a long finish. This has benefited from a couple of years in cellar. Serious for a Rose - indeed, such a good one I think it scrapes
- Champagne Belle Epoque 1990 (Perrier-Jouet) Quite a big wine with ripe fruit (the vintage) and a decent finish. Plenty of presence but lacks the fineness I'd hope for in a luxury fizz.
At James's after a concert 13/10/2003 (TNB)
- Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres 1994 (J-M. Boillot) Very fine elegant nose. Rich resolved mouthfilling palate. Just about
- Puligny Montrachet Les Pucelles 1994 (Domaine Leflaive) Unforthcoming and disjointed - but after an hour or so it opens up and has intensity and grip - it might even improve. Enigmatic - I'll decant my next bottle for an hour!
- Pommard Clos des Lambots Vieilles Vignes 99 (Girardin) "Made for a market" is all I wrote at the time - it is good stuff, well-made but a bit undemanding.
- Clos Vougeot 1993 (Meo-Camuzet) Very fine red fruits - excellent mature (or maturing perhaps - I suspect it is not quite at peak) Burgundy.
- Trotanoy 1988 Quite cedary and Medocish (not the usual Pomerol stereotype) - meaty, lots of iron, savoury - a very good claret indeed and it will benefit from a year or two yet.
Dinner after a tasting 13/10/2003 (TNB)
- Nuits St George Les Chaignots 1998 (H. Gouges) A bit cheesy - dry - quite intense, savoury, meaty. Fairly good and may yet improve. A good
- Lynch Bages 1983 Very berryish, mature, a decent
- Beychevelle 1986 Classic Bordeaux, if quite forward - this 86 really is drinking well now. Top
With Toby 01/10/2003 (RJB)
- Chavignol La Grande Cote 1991 (Francis Cotat) Elderflower nose and without any of the vegetal character old Sancerre can get. Fresh and with mineral flavours.
- Beaune-Greves 1997 (Michel Lafarge) This still needs more time with elegant plumy flavours lightly masked with gentle tannins.
- Vermentino Ariento 2000 (Massa Vecchia) Old-styled, deepish coloured wine with oxidative overtones and attractive peach/apricot fruit.
- Rioja Gran Reserva Prado Enea 1987 (Muga) I thought this claret and then I thought it Burgundy. Austere for a Rioja and with many of the flavours more usually associated with Bordeaux: pencil shavings, cedar and minerality.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/10/2003 Return to top