The Diary - July 2009
- Clare Valley Riesling 1992 (Wakefield)
Definite petrollyness, bone-dry wine. Has aged very nicely in a slightly unrefined way.
- Champagne 2002 (Lilbert)
Creamy crsyallised lemon, fantastically stylish.
- Meursault Genevrieres 1990 (F. Jobard)
Very great, fresh yet I guess fairly much mature, deliciously mineral. Bare
- Barolo 1971 (Marengo)
Very fresh, beginning to take on tar and roses. Remains quite young. Lovely
- Barbaresco Crichet Paje 1998 (Roagna)
Lovely floral nose. Traditional wine, a long time in old barrels. Fantastic when it is done well, like this. Tannic, needs time. Top
- Barolo La Serra 1988 (Marcarini)
Very pretty, fragrant, fresh Barolo. Lovely.
- Vouvray Moelleux Cuvee Constance 1993
Bright gold. Pretty dry on the palate. Apricot fruit, Brown sugar. Seems fairly evolved, Bare
- Santorini Assyrtiko 2007 (Hatzidakis)
Nose recalls S. Australian Semillon, palate quite soft and Rhony. Nice herbal nose, palate lacks the last bit of interest. Surprisingly good though. Bare even
- Lirac blanc 2006 (Mordoree)
Quite rounded. Fruit a bit ripe and a touch sweet currently. A little time may help.
- Chablis 1er cru Vaillons 1998 (Raveneau)
Bone dry, old-fashioned mineral austerity. Hard to place blind. Yet I ought to have got it. very good indeed. Bare
- Chablis Grand cru Les Preuses 1998 (Billaud Simon)
A touch richer, and perhaps less complex in a sense than the Raveneau. Better vineyard but slightly less stylishly made, perhaps. Very much real wine. Bare
- Chablis Grand cru Les Clos 1998 (Dauvissat)
A touch more gutsy, less fine and less concentrated. I would expect more suavity. A little disappointing.
- Clos Vougeot 1993 (Gros Frere)
Raspberry fruit. Piquant and tangy, a slight touch of oxidation. Seems not have the intensity you might hope for. Attractive rather than excellent.
- Cote Rotie Peroline 2004 (Levet)
Black cherry liquor nose, quite tight and tannic palate. Possibly needs a bit of time? Opens up in the glass. Very fine old-fashioned wine. Top
- Cote Rotie 2000 (Burgaud)
Quite similar, a touch easier. Decent density and length. A bit simpler and less exciting than the Levet wine.
- Cote Rotie 2000 (St Cosme)
Suave and smoky. Attractive but a bit lighter towards the end of the palate. Good though.
- Cote Rotie 1997 (Gangloff)
Very peppery nose. Spicy, almost to excess. A bit shocking, but rather good, I think. Bare
- Campolongo di Torbe Reciotto Amarone 1985 (Masi)
Amarone-like nose but rather thin on the palate.
- Picolit di Capriva 1985 (Filli Pighin)
Quaintly honeyish, slightly faded old thing. Pleasant enough in its way. Bare
- Grahams 1980
Young colour. Blackberry, a touch pruney. Fresh. Delicious. Top
- Champagne L'Alchimiste L.V05 (D. Leclapart)
Quite dark coloured and closer in obvious red-wine character to a still rosť than to most Champagne versions. Dry (low dosage, I guess), elegant, but a little ungenerous. Not really great drinking currently. Perhaps it just needs time - the lot number indicates 2005 vintage after all - but I find it hard to guess where it is going. I can't detect anything wrong but can not help wondering whether the bottle was quite right. I can't decide about it so
- Leoville Barton 1975
Fruit a little attenuated now and taking on that slightly citric character. Rather fine typical smoky mature Bordeaux character though.
- Champagne L'Apotre L.V04 (D. Leclapart)
Light, very fine and elegant with a core of real concentration. Very suave and engaging. Lot number V04 is the vintage in disguise. Bare
- Chablis 2007 (Raveneau)
Typically cockleshed nose (Neal Martin's words), like a scaled down version of the familiar premier crus. Very drinkable.
- Puligny Folatieres 2000 (H. Boillot)
Seems a bit closed. Tight, straight down the middle, a touch mineral, pretty authentically Puligny. I'm not sure Boillot is quite my style. Bare
- Morey St Denis Monts-Luisants blanc 1988 (Ponsot)
Quite powerful and rich, very fresh, very characterful. Bare almost in its way.
- Bourgogne Aligote 1988 (Rouget)
A touch woody sometimes, softer than the Ponsot, alive and pleasant. Not as interesting as the Ponsot wine.
- Pernand Vergeleses 1990 (Rollin)
Opened to settle a discussion about the state of this wine, rather than as a planned part of the meal. One bottle corked, one pleasant and fresh if fading a touch. The good one
- Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Clos St Jacques1990 (M. Esmonin)
Raspberry fruit, quite understated, very fine and balanced. Just rather good quality Burgundy at peak, and with none of the cooked-fruit character that quite a lot of the vintage has. Bare
- Brunello 1981 (Soldera)
Quite low-register fruit - cooked plums perhaps. Creamy texture. Nice minerality. A touch rough perhaps. More rustic than the more recent Soldera wines. Great wine considering the very poor vintage.
- Brunello 2002 (Soldera)
Very creamy, herby, smooth vanilla ice-cream. More suave than the 81 - another splendid wine from a weak vintage. Perhaps the comparison with the 81 shows Soldera's winemaking is more sophisticated now. Drinking rather well now but will perhaps improve a bit too.
- Calon Segur 1966
Lovely - elegant, ripe, a touch of perfume and round fruit. Very fresh and engaging. None of the awkwardness that a lot of 66's seem to have. Really good classic Claret. Bare
The first two at Les Terroirs wine bar - a splendid place near Trafalgar Square.
- Champagne Brut Grande Reserve (Gosset)
From a half and the cork a long time nibbled by mice. This must be just a bit less than 10 years old I would guess (I know I should know but, well, I'm not that organised). The fizz has virtually disappeared but the wine has that lovely old Champagne nose that Jack Plumb used to liken, favourably, to stagnant rivers. Not to everyone's taste perhaps, but I love it. Top
- Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux-Saint-Jacques 2003 (Louis Jadot)
The second bottle I've had of this recently. The first bottle was good but didn't really go any further. This bottle, though, was really rather fine with excellent fruit and depth. Odd as I had this wine in the garden where wines don't always show that well. Maybe the temperature of the wine and the outside were just right for each other. Good, light tannic structure. A delight.
A bad evening for corked or otherwise slightly faulty wines: five dubious bottles out of sixteen!
- Very Old Oloroso No 2 bottled 2004 (Reid Wines, made by Hidalgo La Gitana)
Walnuts and prunes, the real deal. Very good indeed. Bare
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Caillerets 2001 (Blaine-Gagnard)
Quite flat and broad. Opens out to give great richness. Quite a restrained style. Ready to drink. Top
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Boudriottes 2001 (Blaine-Gagnard)
Slightly curious, herby, again quite a flat profile. Some suspicion this was not quite correct. Top
- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru St Jean 2001 (Blaine-Gagnard)
Back to a rich solid wine, quite big and broad but with a slightly hot streak. Lacks a touch of class compared to the Caillerets.
- Beaucastel blanc 2002
Herbs and cream, touch of glue. Will age on texture - probably rather well. Delicious. Bare
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1995 (Charbonniere)
Rather over-evolved. Probably a cork issue.
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Etienne Gonnet 1995 (Font de Michelle)
Lovely balance, a bit sauvage, I feel the influence of oak to some extent, but I have to say it is nicely done. If you don't mind that even
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 1995 (Charbonniere)
Weighty, inky, a streak of hotness - a touch unbalanced for my taste. Low
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1999 Cuvee Tradition (Monpertuis)
Very mineral and perfumed. Salty aftertaste. This is gorgeous. No hurry to drink. Top
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1998 Cuvee Tradition (Monpertuis)
Warmer vintage, a bit flatter and so the minerality less evident, otherwise similar. Bare
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 1997 (Marcoux)
Tending towards baked. Substantial but quite low-toned. Good but not quite my sort of thing - I don't feel like drinking a whole glass. Added later: yet it opens out with time in the glass - I need to try this properly some time. For now:
- Brauenberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese 1989 (Dr Thannisch)
Lightish for auslese and a touch short. Drinkable but only a decent
- Moulin Touchais 1959
- Ramos Pinto 1983
Soft, brambly, blueberry nose. A little unforthcoming on the complexity front. Pleasant
- Dow 1983
- Gould Campbell 1970 (Clode and Baker bottling)
Sweet fruit, mature, ever so slightly woody. Probably another slightly flawed bottle. Top