Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 22 years 1 months and 6 days
... search our archive of tasting notes ... read our articles on tastings and dinners

Wine Group at my place 07/12/2003 TNB

It was my turn again to raid the cellar, put on the apron and entertain the wine group. I mulled over various ideas for what I hoped would be interesting and instructive comparisons, or at least for bottles that might show well. For aperitifs I served the 1988 and 1989 white Cotes du Rhone from Fonsalette - lovely wines that I bought a while ago at auction. The 1988 is the real star but of course that is the one I got less of - but they are both cracking wines. A bottle of Pape Clement blanc 1994 (supposed to be a good vintage for the property) was ruined by a fantastic quantity of sulphur - how do they manage this?  A bottle I had at The Peat Inn earlier in the year was just fine so perhaps my other two will be too.

The final whites I served were the Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Vergers from Colin-Deleger in the 1996, 1992 and 1990 vintages. As good producers go, his wines are fairly early maturing and have a delicious creamyness. The 1990 is quite evolved, the 1992 clearly the weakest wine and the 1996 attractive with the acidity of the vintage.

For reds I got out three 1993 Barolos:  the Monprivato from G Mascarello  was refined and elegant; the Brunate from Marcarini more difficult (three stars while the others got four) but it just might benefit from some more time; the Cannubi Boschis from Sandrone completely resolved and with a real depth of fruit. Three remarkable, characterful  wines that make me wonder why I buy so much less Barolo than Claret. For comparison I followed with three Tuscan wines. The Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 1990 from Felsina Berardenga pretty good - upstaging the Tignanello 1990 which was frankly rather disappointing - the latter was a leading wine in the quality revolution in Tuscany but I have a feeling it's not quite on the pace any more. A bottle of Chianti Riserva Il Poggio 1985 from Monsanto was showing its age a bit but was a refined, drinkable wine. If one is thinking of Piedmont versus Tuscany, this was a win for the former, but I guess you have to wheel out the Brunellos before there can be a real contest. Mind you, I think even then Piedmont would win.

And so to the sweeties: in a battle of Moelleux Vouvray from 1990, Huet's 1er Trie Clos du Bourg beat the good but less stylish Vieilles Vignes Tri de Grains Nobles  from Fouquet's Domaine des Aubuisieres. Gould Campbell 1977 seemed a bit hard and rustic but I guess it just needs a few more years.


added to Fine Wine Diary 07/12/2003   Return to top