- Leoville Barton 1975 Drinking very well - it really is a very good '75. Mature claret flavours and only a light sandiness to the tannins.
- Leoville Barton 1985 The second wine in this smallest of vertical tastings. The thing that really came across comparing these two wines wasn't the difference in vintages, but the similarity of style - it's no surprise that they come from the same Chateau. This has more fruit than the '75 (but one would expect that since it's ten years younger) and similar mature flavours. This is the better wine, but not by that much, and I wonder whether it will be as good as the '75 is now in ten years time? It should be better by then, but I just have this lurking doubt . . . Anyhow
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 23/09/1999 Return to top
- Chinon 1989 Les Galuches, Jean-Maurice Raffault Interesting to try older Chinon. Good colour with only light browning, earthy flavours and a slight hint of apple juice (perhaps indicating it's past its best).
- Catarratto Chardonnay 1997, Firriato, Sicilia Good cheap Italian white (did I really just write that?). Proper fruit showing.
- Bollinger Special Cuvee I haven't had this for a while. This bottle was showing really well - finesse, balance and some bottle age (it was bought from a supermarket the day before - maybe it had been on the shelf a while). Top Champagne.
- Lanson Black Label Brut Not in the same class as the Bollinger - coarse and lacking depth.
- Beaune 1996, Vaucher Pere et Fils For relatively early drinking, clean and with obvious Pinot flavours. OK for a basic Burgundy.
- Marquis de Chasse 1996, Sauternes Well-balanced, light to medium weight Sauternes. Again for relatively early drinking.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/09/1999 Return to top
- Chardonnay 1993 (Foxen) Lots of drama now from this Californian. It's lost the youthful tightness I remember, and has become quite fat. Rather fun at the moment, but heading off towards vegetality quite soon, I suspect.
- Chainti Classico 1993 (Monte Bernardi) Nice pure fruit, bags of chocolate. Delivers just a touch less in the mouth than it promises perhaps. Succulent tannins. Pretty impressive. At least
- Sa'etta 1997 (Monte Bernardi) Lots of concentration, probably rather fine, if the fruit has complexity. It's a bit hard to be sure at the moment. Seems to have quite a lot of oak and strong tannic structure. Say at least
- Valpolicella Amarone 1993 (Tomassi) Slightly raisiny, attractive hint of bitterness. All it should be, if not particularly remarkable.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/09/1999 Return to top
Dinner at St Bernard's Crescent 10/09/1999 (TNB)
- Meursault Blagny 1989 (Jadot) Quite pleasant - fattish - fully mature.
- Puligny Montrachet Folatieres 1990 (Pernot) Genuine oily hazelnut character - good but lacks real distinction. Just about
- Haut-Marbuzet 1966 Lively fruit, good balance. A bit one-dimensional. Perhaps it had more complexity a while ago - or perhaps it has always been this way. A pleasant drink now.
- Talbot 1982 Almost leafy yet ripe blackcurrant fruit - very good wine coming round to som esort of drinkability.
- Leoville las Cases 1982 Stunning concentration, yet balanced. One gets the feeling that a mass of mature complexity is about to emerge. Justifies its reputation.
- Niepoort 1980 Lovely almost cherry flavoured fruit, nice chocolate flavours. A rather good wine from what remains an under-rated port vintage. For me,
- Taittinger 1990 Fruity, good ripeness - very good, but I still suspect this is not a long term wine.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/09/1999 Return to top
Wine group at DL's 06/09/1999 (TNB)
- Kiedricher Sandgrub spatlese 1989 (Von Simmern) Fat, leggy, rich, evolved. Quite good, but not so fine. Just about
- Eltviller Sonnenberg auslese 1989 (Von Simmern) Fatter, peachy. Pretty good. I do worry that this estate's wines in the 80s are a bit short-term.
- Laville Haut Brion 1992 Very oxidised - like a rather fine Jura wine! Presumably a dodgy bottle.
- Laville Haut Brion 1978 Dry, concentrated, long, very fine.
- Laville Haut Brion 1977 Toffeed, gooseberry, good but slightly forced - I get the impression that they had to try a bit too hard to get enough in this vintage. Still just worth
- Laville Haut Brion 1975 Very fine, tight, long. Waxy, gorgeous. Brilliant.
- Cantemerle 1995 Difficult to spot this flight as claret initially - an exotic tinge to the fruit, all very ripe, almost "warm-climate cabernet" on the nose. Warm berries. Oaky. Has a modernish air, but this is looking good. At least
- Cantemerle 1989 Woody. Probably flawed. Seems quite strong under it.
- Cantemerle 1983 Classic, warm, quite tannic. Needs time. V. Good.
- Cantemerle 1978 Classy pencily nose - almost showy. Seems a bit short on the palate.
- Cantemerle 1975 Herby, complex. The vintage's tannins there, but nicely integrated.
- Cantemerle 1971 Pleasant, mature, stylish claret. For drinking soonish, but in very good shape. Scrapes
- Cantemerle 1970 Rich, complex nose, rather fine. Lacks poise and balance a bit, at least compared to the brilliant 66. Just about
- Cantemerle 1967 Joking apart, quite decent wine. Slightly chapetalised impression.
- Cantemerle 1966 Fine, old, balanced, tight, classic claret. Really lovely. I've had a number of rather fine 66's recently - has their time come?
- Delaforce 1970 Slight spritz, Lush blackberry fruit. Quite evolved. A bit eccentric, but better than one might guess.
- Rieussec 1988 Difficult to assess with a plum tart!
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/09/1999 Return to top
Odd bottles quaffed during the Festival 04/09/1999 (TNB)
- Gewurtztraminer Pfersigberg 1988 (Keuntz-Bas) Drinking well. Nice balance. Preferable to my palate to the overblown Z-H wines I've had recently.
- Mouton Baron Philippe 1978 Rather a good, classic, cedary 78. Very enjoyable.
- Ladoix 1er cru Les Joyeuses 1983 (M. Mallard) Fruit holding up well, still quite tannic. Decent food wine now, but a touch of harshness about it, common in the vintage perhaps.
- Vouvray demisec 1990 (Dom des Aubuisieres - Fouquet) Quite a crowd pleaser, fatish, decent, but not classic ageing material.
- Hermitage 1982 (Chapoutier) Some suprisingly interesting notes on the nose, alongside some uncleanliness. A little better than I was expecting. I wonder if the squeaky-clean modern wines from this domain are really any better though?
- D'Angludet 1985 A good drink - classic blackcurrant and almost fragrant, but a little one-dimensional. A good bourgeois wine, rather than clear classed growth quality.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/09/1999 Return to top