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Recent wines 20/05/2017 (TNB)

  • Champagne blanc de blancs 1er cru Vertus 2002 (Veuve Fourny When you get down to Vertus, it seems to me, one loses a toch of fineness and minerality that one gets higher up. But that said, this is really good Champagne from a fine vintage. It has its own slightly tougher appeal. And it's 15 years old and just reached its peak. Delicious. ****
  • Riesling Dragon 2008 (Josmeyer) Understated, rather fine riesling nose, pretty much dry and long on the palate with some minerality. Fantastically drinkable. Bare ****
  • Carso Sauvignon blanc 2005 (Kante) 12 years old and pretty delicious. There's maturity here but it maintains varietal character without any of the excesses that the grape, for me, is prone to. Top ***
  • Sancerre La Grande Cote 2000 (F. Cotat) This must be pretty much the tops for Loire-style sauvignon blanc that ages. Lovely, mellowed varietal character, great texture and a sort of timeless quality. It seems younger than the previous wine. Really good. ****
  • Aloxe Corton 1er cru Les Vercots 2005 (Follin-Arbelet) Fruit somewhere in the blackberry direction, in balance and drinkable but still quite tannic. A food wine. Quite assertive, a bit more power than beauty. Could one even keep it a bit longer? Good Burgundy. Bare **** perhaps.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/05/2017   Return to top

02/04/2017 (TNB)

  • Santenay blanc Les Potets 2013 (J-M. Vincent) Rather characterfultouch of minerality - it has almost a Chablis profile. Not that intense but very drinkable. ***
  • Schioppettino 2011 (Duline) I always have slighttly mixed felings on this. On the one hand, if you want a dry, strawberry scented, light but fairly serious red, this is it. On the other hand it sometimes seems a little insubstantial. Worth trying - let's say a modest ***
  • Piglio 2013 (Costa Graia) On first taste a little gummy, new oak influenced. Rather better a day later when the lovely, textured fruit comes through. Very good, but I would love to taste it without the new oak. **(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/04/2017   Return to top

19/03/2017 (TNB)

  • Dolcetto d'Alba Superiore 2011 (F. Roddolo) Very substantial, rather tannic, and still quite hard. The fruit seems excellent and I think it just needs more time. A bare *** and rising.
  • Derthona 2012 (Massa) An intruiging mixture of almost chalky minerality with riesling spice. In fact it is Timorasso. Engagingly different. Top *** at least
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/03/2017   Return to top

17/03/2017 (TNB)

  • Chateau Cantemerle 1970 A touch citric and, as many wines from this vintage, a little ungenerous but a very enjoyable, classic Claret in good condition. Top ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/03/2017   Return to top

Dinner with friends 11/03/2017 (RJB)

  • Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2007 (Le Mesnil) Lovely fizz with good aged flavours. Fine acidity, nuts and sawn wood. I have the feeling this would be even better in 5 to 10 years - it seems to have the structure to survive. ***(*)
  • Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 1993 (Au Bon Climat) Just under 10 years ago I wrote of this wine 'Restrained wine that reminds me more of a Macon than a Californian wine. This isn't showing any signs of age, but it isn't showing many signs of youth either. I'm not sure what to make of it!'. Well I'm still not sure what to make of it! Good (maybe too much) acidity with no signs of age but rather sterile and one-dimensional behind that. Fine to drink, but it gives the impression it has little more to give. *** maybe
  • Chateau Margaux 1982 Joyous. Elegant, but deep. Violets and a touch of cigar. Just so drinkable! A very easy *****
  • Chateau Rausan-Segla 1986 Showed well given it was in such illustrious company. Really very enjoyable with what 1986 tannins there might have been gently integrated. Violets again. ****
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/03/2017   Return to top

At Blandford Comptoir 12/03/2017 (TNB)

Food excellent by the way.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/03/2017   Return to top

Oddities 09/03/2017 (TNB)

  • Pinot Gris Kitterle 1989 (Schlumberger) This has the mosty beautiful, bright burnished gold colour with an appealing touch of green. Delicate, rather beautiful, highly evolved yet lively. Fading a little on the finish. Grand, like an aging but ill-maintained hotel. Top ***
  • Riesling Le Dragon 2008 (Josmeyer) Dry, pure, relatively understated, I am becoming rather keen on this estate. Riesling spicyness of a good sort that refutes the idea that petrol character is some sort of fault. Very drinkable and rather good. ***
  • Muscat Altenberg de Bergbieten grand cru 2010 (Mochel) I rather like this estate too, and particularly this wine which has a restrained grapey character and a nice length of just slightly off-dry, engaging fruit. Top Alsace Muscat is seriously undervalued. Bare ****
  • Barbera d'Alba Superiore 2008 (Roddolo) Very old-fashioned, the grape's nose and palate only really emerged after 24 hours open. Blackberry fruit, moderate acid and generally serious wine. Possibly even ***(*)
  • Fino En Rama, Saca de Mayo 2015 (Equipo Navazos) The fruit comes from Valdespino's Macharnudo and hints at a slightly woody edge that I do not always warm to. This though is so fruity and vinous for a fine and thoroughly delicious. ***
  • Madeira Bual 15 year old (Henriques and Henriques) Rather pleasant drinking with a tangy Madeira character, but I feel they are sweetening things a touch for the modern market, much as some sherry houses have done. It loses the bite of the real thing for me. Top **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/03/2017   Return to top

A Celebratory Drink 25/02/2017 (RJB)

  • Bloomsbury Brut 2013 (Ridgeview) An 'English Quality Sparkling Wine' made in Ditchling in Sussex. A Chardonnay dominant fizz with a touch of greeness about it at the moment. Elegant and with fine bubbles. Good stuff that needs more time to be at its best. I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been, but I think three stars for now and ***(*) with a few years.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/03/2017   Return to top

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Diary index

Recent wines 20/05/2017 (TNB)

02/04/2017 (TNB)

19/03/2017 (TNB)

17/03/2017 (TNB)

Dinner with friends 11/03/2017 (RJB)

At Blandford Comptoir 12/03/2017 (TNB)

Oddities 09/03/2017 (TNB)

A Celebratory Drink 25/02/2017 (RJB)