- Breg 1998 (Gravner) Grape skins, great concentration, needs time to breathe and warm up. Exciting wine.
- Brunello Riserva 1997 (Poggio Antico) Soft, velvety fruit, quyite gamy. Nice balance. Drinking fairly well - an early maturing vintage perhaps. Bare
- Fontalloro 2001 (Felsina Berardenga) Lovely, taught balance, bright fruit, good complexity. Bare
- Barolo 1964 (Bosca) Complex, creamy, splendid austere Barolo. Would be great were it not for a woody streak running through the wine.
- Grands Echezeaux 1994 (Engel) Restrained nose, pleasing fruit. Good Burgundy from a lesser vintage. Some said this opened up furher in the glass, but if it did, that was after I had finished mine! Top
- Nero Rosso del Salento 2002 (Conti Zecca) Quite gutsy, persistent fruit. Stylish wine.
- Spanna San Lorenzo 1958 (Vallana) Rounded berry fruit, a touch of rusticity, like most of these old Vallana wines. Also like most of them it seems much younger than it is. Good
- Barolo 1990 (Marchesi di Barolo) Acid freak that I am, the very, very high acid here is a bit offputting. There's a real problem with balance here. Can this be going anywhere? I'm not at all sure.
- Barolo Vigna Rionda 1997 (Odero) Quite modern-styled, tame Barolo. Good of the style I guess, but not my favourite sort of thing.
- Pinero 2001 (Ca del Bosco) This has a very beetrooty character. Good wine, quite strong fruit, fairly modern in style. Bare
- Ala Antico Liquervino Emarascato NV (I think) (Duca di Salaparuta) Characterful cherry fruit, but rather woody dessert wine. It has the air of being from an old (and not completely healthy) solera. Interesting perhaps.
- Flaccionello 1990 (Fontodi) Very, very reductive. Underneath there's a fine wine, but it's too hard to get to. Might be worth decanting it a few hours in advance.
- Ceparello 1990 (Isole e Olena) Lifted red fruits and chestnuts. great nose, long palate, all quite restrained but very well-judged. A star.
- Quartetto 2000 (Aldo Conterno) Piquant, bright fruit, made in a fairly modern style. Made well though. Bare
- Sassicaia 1984 Corked,damnit!
- Amarone 1998 (Tommasi) Unforthcoming nose, quite cooked fruit (as one might expect). Nearly dry. I don't find this very satisfying, although perhaps it is just late in the evening. Bare
- Vinsanto 1998 (Felsin Berardenga) Green-edged in the glass, gorgeous nose, quite sweet yet with splendid acidity making it effortlessly pleasurable. Very fine.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 01/11/2008 Return to top
- Vire Clesse 2006 (Rijckaert) Almond nose, quite dry, reasonable length. Decent basic Burgundy.
- Terre d'Argence 2006 (Domaine Mourgues du Gres) Viognier and Rousanne, apparently. Deep colour and low-acid peachy fruit. A touch flat in effect and tending towards oliy.
- St Peray Les Bialeres 2007 (Vins de Vienne) Persistent, peachy vanilla fruit. Quite delicate yet it has strength and substance. Vins de Vienne is a joint venture of some well-known Rhone growers. Pretty decent.
- Hermiage Blanc 1999 (J-L Chave) Darker colout=red, quite a toasty, smoky charcter- almost suggesting a certain sort of Chardonnay. Greta length - this will develop well I think.
- Meursault 2002 (Coche-Dury) Very fine, complex, taught and mineral. Brilliant for a village wine.
- Bourgogne Blanc Derniers Jus 2006 (Guffens-Heynen) Pleasant fruit, attractive on the nose. In the mouth, perfectly drinkable with a touch of residual sugar and it is rather thin compared to the wines either side. (Hardly surprising, I suppose.) Top
- Puligny Enseigneres 2002 (Coche-Dury) Lovely complex wine, a touch of gamyness, succulent and mothfilling. Lovely.
- Hermitage 2001 (J-L Chave) Terribly suave, cassis and raspberry fruit. It has some minerality too and is terribly lovely. I do slightly hanker for just a bt more challenge form the wine, fine as it is. Bare
- Cornas Vieilles Vignes 1999 (Voge) More animal, and to be honest a bit touch thinner. It does though have real character. Top
- Ducru-Beaucaillou 1988 One bottle corked, or perhaps it's TCA from Ducru's well-documented problems during this period. Another bottle drinkable but a bit attenuated. The outside of the bottle smells of "corkness" (something I have come accross before and soes not aleways seem to be fatal for the wine inside.)
- Rausan Segla 1988 Bright red fruits, piquant, attractively Margaux, nice classic Claret. Top and might even be better in a year or two.
- Vire Clesse Quintane 2006 (J-P Michel) Apricot and pineapple - a sweetie from Burgundy. Seems a bit too simple to get excited about.
- Jurancon 1994 (Bousquet) A touch of botrytis, decent fruit, pleasant dessert wine. Top
- Champagne Grand Cru Brut Reserve NV (Billiot) A nice palate-cleanser: the fruit has an almondy edge to it. Nicely made.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/11/2008 Return to top
- Barolo Cannubi 1993 (Prunotto) Really quite fine, floral fruit with quite challenging succulent tannins. Very drinkable to my mind, and rather good. Top
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/10/2008 Return to top
- Rasteau 1998 (Dom. Gourt de Mautens) I guessed there was a fair slug of Syrah in this but some research suggests it is 70% Grenache and the remaining 30% is quite a mixture. It has though quite a serious wine gamyness and minerality. Good balance too - not something universal in the Southern Rhone in 98, in my experience. Very good. Top
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/10/2008 Return to top
- Carso Malvasia Selezione 2000 (Kante) This takes a little time to open out, which is perhaps surprising at this age. Slightly musky peach and apricot fruit, honey overtones too, on quite a flat, broad base. Good persistence, but like a lot of Italian whites you need to concentrate a bit. Very good. Top
- Torbido 2001 (Cascina Ebreo) This is essentially Barolo - 100 per cent Nebbiolo from Ravera. It is made in a very traditional Barolo way too with substantial ageing in old barrels, but for some reason the estate does not want to be part of the system. Whatever, this has lovely pure fruit, quite high-toned, with substantial structure. But it is a pleasure to drink even now because although the tannins are very marked, they are also of fantastic quality. Lovely wine, very much authentic tar and roses Barolo. Excellent. Easy
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/10/2008 Return to top
- Pol Roger 1988 Quite evolved, brioche and river water nose. Nice mousse, long and flavoursome too.
- Chardonnay 2005 (Kante) Very rich, quite dense, some minerality but restrained and currently a bit closed. Very pure and concentrated. An interesting Friuli producer. and rising.
- Chablis 1er cru Montee de Tonnerre 1991 (Duplessis) Flinty, slightly bitter and vegetal yet very fresh with a fantastic finish. While many producers now seem to be struggling to make wines that last five years, this is very fine at 17 years old.
- Chablis grand cru Les Clos 1999 (Duplessis) Quite rich for Duplessis, but gorgeous fruit. Very fine authentic Chablis. and improving.
- Clos St Denis 1986 (Chezeaux/Ponsot) Good colour. Great raspberry fruit with a slightly rough edge being the only symptom of being made in a dire vintage. Fine Burgundy.
- Leoville Las Cases 1983 Very much a point now, with a very nice balance which by all accounts this property has lost in recent years. Lovely. Bare
- Sammarco 1996 (Rampolla) Berryish fruit, succulent, slightly rustic wine. Rather good. Top
- d'Aleco 1996 (Rampolla) I think this was the first vintage of Rampolla's Bordeaux blend super-Tuscan. I have mixed feelings about it: there is a suave purity about the fruit and extra structure compared to the Sammarco, and yet it doesn't have quite the sense of authenticity the admittedly lesser wine has. It's pretty good - say with reservations.
- Chianti Classic Riserva Il Poggio 1985 (Monsanto) Creamy texture, gentle sweet leafy fruit. Very delightful. Top
- Cote Rotie 1991 (Gentaz-Dervieux) Gamy, yet sophisticated, fragrant yet meaty. Wonderful wine still on the up. Bare
- Niepoort 1970 Very intense honey flavours of a quite unusual sort overlaying fine port fruit. Very nice, and interestingly unusual, but not as good a bottle as the stellar example drunk a couple of years ago. Bare
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/10/2008 Return to top