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Diary index

27/09/1998 (RJB)

"The best" from Oddbins Fine Wine 24/09/1998 (TNB)

Noel Young Wines 'Old and Rare' Tasting, 24/09/1998 (RJB)

Domaine De Chevalier by Raeburn Fine Wines, at the Scottish Wine Soc 22/09/1998 (TNB)

21/09/1998 (RJB)

Wine Dinner at St Bernard's Crescent 19/09/1998 (TNB)

Noel Young Wines Merlot Tasting 17/09/1998 (RJB)

17/09/1998 (TNB)

Oddbins Wine Fair 13/09/1998 (TNB)

13/09/1998 (RJB)

11/09/1998 (TNB)

09/09/1998 (TNB)

Misc 06/09/1998 (TNB)

Champagne at OFW 03/09/1998 (TNB)

The Diary - September 1998

27/09/1998 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/09/1998   Return to top

"The best" from Oddbins Fine Wine 24/09/1998 (TNB)

  • Puligny-Montrachet Refferts 96 (Sauzet) Pale colour, almonds, lemon and melon on the nose, absolutely explosive palate that had us guessing "grand cru" (everything was tasted blind). Nutty puligny fruit. I noted before that Sauzet's 96's seem excellent, and this more considered look at one confirms this. Superb. (34.99)
  • Vouvray Le Marigny 96 (Aubusieres, Fouqet) Sweet honeyed aricot/peach. Qyuite sweet and long with enough acidity. A bit soft for serious ageing (and for spotting blind as Vouvray - or that's my exccuse). (18.99)
  • Yquem 89 Deep greeny gold, Gloroius, rich boitrytised nose with a hard to decribe delicious vegetable component. Fine deep and long. Superb, but a shade loose to be a really long-lived Yquem, I suspect. (From 1 half, at 74.99/half.)
  • Leoville Poyferre 83 Decent matturing claret colour. Pencily, almost smokey evolved claret nose. Good tarry fruit and a decent finish. Very good. (Not universally admired - some found it unbalanced. I suppose it is a bit ungainly.) (42.99)
  • Leoville Las Cases 85 Good colour, ripe merloty nose, tightly wound in the mouth at the moment, in a slightly un85y way. Good length. A decent 85, but is this really the same wine as the superb example I drank last year? 74.99
  • Beaucastel 94 Moderate colour. Sweet Burgundian nose. Raspberry fruit. Quite grenachy in the mouth with decent length. Suprisingly light for this property in this year. Will it fill out a bit? (17.99)
  • The Armagh 95 (Jim Barry) Amazing indian ink colour. Sweet warm-climate fruit with an amazingly pervasive (and for me dislikeable) mintyness. Outrageous concentration of cloying fruit. Are people really paying more for this than for top Cote-Rotie and Hermitage? (34.99)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 95 (Viader) Deep red, dense warm-climate cabernet fruit, thankfully unminted. A remarkably concentrated and, I suppose, serious wine. The price seems at least as badly out of line as Bordeaux though. 23.99
And for a drink after:
  • Cabernet sauvignon 91 Blauklippen (Stellenbosch) Hard to return to this, which seemed to me to have that disjointed marriage of very ripe fruit with acidity which I associate with artificial acidification. Probably a decent drink, at no great price.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/09/1998   Return to top

Noel Young Wines 'Old and Rare' Tasting, 24/09/1998 (RJB)

Two bottles of each wine (each pair from the same source), and vast amounts of bottle variation in places. All bottles had good fill levels.

A weird tasting (but interesting for that). Forget Claret and Barolo, the Burgundies seemed to be the agers (but then again they probably had some Rhone, Algerian or Australian wine in them and a dash of Port for good measure)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/09/1998   Return to top

Domaine De Chevalier by Raeburn Fine Wines, at the Scottish Wine Soc 22/09/1998 (TNB)

This confirms my belief that this is a first rate property. The wines are fine, elegant and ageworthy. Last time I had the 88 it seemed a shade light, and I was disappointed compared to the time before (when I bought a few bottles). Possibly I just tasted it in the wrong company (of wines I mean, not people). One could underestimate Dom Chev in the company of more "Parkerised" wines.
  • Domaine De Chevalier 95 Deep colour, very rip blackcurrent and cherry fruit with moderate oak and that slight Graves rusticity. In the mouth, it has that ever-so-sweet ripe fruit of the vintage, unevolved but with great length. 90(?+)
  • Domaine De Chevalier 94 Good red, but a tinge of orange near the rim. Nose a much dumber version of the 95. Palate is dominated by very high acidity, but again a longish finish. Perhaps a bad time to be tasting this. Certainly a bit problematic at the moment. 86
  • L'Esprit De Chevalier 93 The second wine is quite high in merlot, using fruit from vines planted to replace losses in 85. Rich and fruitcakey, slightly cough-sweetish, decent for drinking now. 82.
  • Domaine De Chevalier 93 Notably evolved Graves smokeyness on the nose, with some cedary maturing claret flavours on the palate. Again, a goodish finish. A nice balanced claret. 87.
  • L'Esprit De Chevalier 92 Deeper colour than the 93, in a similar style, but a bit more one-dimensional. 80.
  • Domaine De Chevalier 92 As with the L'Esprit's, the 92 is superficially heavier, but perhaps less concentrated in real flavour and finesse than the 93. Evolved smokey/gameyness on the nose, perhaps lacking ripeness in the mouth? 85
  • Domaine De Chevalier 89 Gorgeous smokey, deep, concentrated nose, quite oaky on the palate for this property. Plummy fruit. Delicious. 92.
  • Domaine De Chevalier 88 Interesting to try this again: very fine `undergrowth' nose, tighter on the palate than the 89, with startling length. One for long cellaring! 92(?+)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/09/1998   Return to top

21/09/1998 (RJB)

The following two wines had with dinner at One Paston Place - highly recommended if you happen to be near Brighton.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/09/1998   Return to top

Wine Dinner at St Bernard's Crescent 19/09/1998 (TNB)

  • Forster Freundstuck Auslese 76 (von Buhl) Fresh, apricoty nose. Honeyed. Fairly luscious, but no excessive 76 flab. Excellent.
  • Chasagne Montrachet Champgains 94 (Niellon) Decent concentration, deft use of oak, very drinkable. A slightly short finish gives it away as an excellent effort in a very ordinary vintage.
  • Haut Brion 80 Good tobacco nose, quite light in the mouth with a short, sharp finish. Proper wine though, and a decent effort in a dismal vintage.
  • Mouton Rothschild 80 Little nose and very hollow on the palate. Thin and acidic. Might have been a bit better 10 years ago.
  • Pichon Lalande 81 Blackcurrent and plum, a completely balanced wine, slightly too perfect to be interesting now, or perhaps just needing another 10 years.
  • Pichon Lalande 79 Rather more than two years more eveolved - classic cigar-box claret. If one is to criticise a very fine wine, there is a slight hollowness in the late mid-palate (characteristic of the vintage perhaps).
  • Lascombes 61 (CB) Rich, dry, slightly biscuity, fragrant. Quite a lot of citric acidity on the finish - nice, but time to drink, I think.
  • Coteaux De l'Aubance 59 (Daviau) Very deep amber with a classic fine-old-wine green tinge at the rim. Very marmaladey, with excellent acidity keeping it very much alive. Has a slight woody edge of a not unpleasant sort.
  • Raymond-Lafon 79 Suprisingly marked botrytis for the vintage, lovely honeyed classic sauterne. Excellent effort.
  • Maury 83 (Mas Amiel) I remember this as disappointing (from before these notes, I think). This bottle is delicious - rich currenty/damsony moderately sweet dessert wine with some aged character.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/09/1998   Return to top

Noel Young Wines Merlot Tasting 17/09/1998 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/09/1998   Return to top

17/09/1998 (TNB)

  • Barbaresco Rabaja 90 (Chiarlo) Deep colour (for nebbiolo), dense, slightly tarry fruit and quite a lot of firm yet ripe tannins. It seems to have no particular character now - perhaps it will be good in time.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/09/1998   Return to top

Oddbins Wine Fair 13/09/1998 (TNB)

There follow brief notes for that which I had the perseverence to taste! Champagne first: Fouquet's (i.e. Domaine Aubusieres) Vouvray (likely to be in short supply, at least at the bottom end, owing to a fire). The Oddbins buyer was saying that Fouquet is not aiming for really long aging, which perhaps explains the lowish (but not deficient) acidity. I'm afraid I prefer Huet.

And some miscellaneous notes:

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/09/1998   Return to top

13/09/1998 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/09/1998   Return to top

11/09/1998 (TNB)

  • Champagne Gosset 89 Excellent structure from wood (I assume) like a first class Burgundy. Lovely bubbles and a good finish. Lovely!
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/09/1998   Return to top

09/09/1998 (TNB)

  • Mercurey Croix Jacquelet 90 (Faively) Tasted again. Still seems a bit lacking, and I thought it had just faded. There is a core of fruit in there though. Next day, it seemed to have improved (a far rarer ocurrence for me than many people seem to claim). I'm still dubious, but perhaps it has something going for it?
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/09/1998   Return to top

Misc 06/09/1998 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/09/1998   Return to top

Champagne at OFW 03/09/1998 (TNB)

  • NV, A. Gratien Quite honeyed, buiscity nose, zesty, frothy, pretty good. Not quite the old-fashioned full-bodied style I expect from this producer. (20.00)
  • Krug Grand Cuve Mousse dies a bit in the glass, but is characteristically fine in the mouth. This has a full-bodied, balanced richness, but like the last time I had this, it seems a bit over-evolved - with an almost oxidative character. Storage problem? (50.00 special offer)
  • Shadow Creek NV Slightly soft in the mouth, and in danger of cloying, despite some unknit acidity. Easy to spot (although everything was blind) as the New World pretender. Not bad for the price, I suppose, but I would tend to go for sparkling Vouvray or similar at this level. (10.00)
  • Rose 1990 (Billecart Salmon) Very delicate pale rose with graceful strawberry fruit. Creamy and balanced. What a rose ought to be! (30.00)
  • Belle Epoque 90, Perrier-Jouet Seems quite chardonnay dominated, slightly rustic gutsy style with good grip and length. Pretty classy - needs time. (2 for 75.00)
  • Diamant bleu 85 (Hiedseck) More cultured and balanced - or possibly just more mature. Also more obvious pinot. Seems slightly sweet. Probably near peak. (2 for 75.00)
  • Cuve Winston Churchill 86 (Pol Roger) Fine mousse, high-toned, elegant lime-rind character. Lovely to drink - but finishes a shade short. I put this down to the vintage though - this is a superb 86. (65.00)
  • Cuve 2 sparkling Cab Sauv (Yalumba) If you like heavyweight sparkling reds......... (8.50)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/09/1998   Return to top