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Diary index

27/04/1997 (TNB)

27/04/1997 (RJB)

Cambridge Food and Wine Society 26/04/1997 (RJB)

85 Claret at OFW 24/04/1997 (TNB)

Gang of Three, Californian reds tasting 24/04/1997 (RJB)

20/04/1997 (TNB)

Dinner at E.McC's 18/04/1997 (TNB)

13/04/1997 (TNB)

13/04/1997 (RJB)

85 and 83 Claret at OFW Glasgow 07/04/1997 (TNB)

06/04/1997 (RJB)

05/04/1997 (TNB)

The Diary - April 1997

27/04/1997 (TNB)

A St Bernard's Crescent" dinner party:

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/04/1997   Return to top

27/04/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/04/1997   Return to top

Cambridge Food and Wine Society 26/04/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/04/1997   Return to top

85 Claret at OFW 24/04/1997 (TNB)

  • Domaine de Chevalier 85 As before, refined, elegant, but really a bit light. 85.
  • Lagrange 85 Brambly fruit, slightly coarse finish - lacks some 85 charm. 85.
  • Talbot 85 Sweet attractive fruit, but really quite light! 84.
  • Ducru Beaucaillou 85 Slightly "planky" wood on the nose (unlike the one in glasgow a few weeks ago) - typical Ducru! Class act otherwise: refined and dry finish. 88.
  • Gruad-Larose 85 Full fruit: more rustic than Ducru. Good, but at the moment at least not very complex. 88.
  • Leoville-Barton 85 Excellent (again). Very fine, sweet-fruited yet dry, cedary claret, edging towards maturity. 92.
  • Leoville Las Cases 85 Absolutely stunning - another degree of concentration over the L-Barton, but beautifully balanced. Slightly closed at the moment, but with a stunning finish. 96.
Over all, 85 is an attractive vintage, excellent vintage. Perhaps a few wines are a touch dilute though?
  • Mouton Rothschild 94 Tasted at the end of the evening. Amazingly toasty, flashily fruity nose. A lightness on the palate that may well fill out. Very "orangy" finish. 90(+).
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/04/1997   Return to top

Gang of Three, Californian reds tasting 24/04/1997 (RJB)

Number in brackets indicates ranking in tasting decided by the average of the three scores for each wine.

  • Inglenook 1985 Charbono (6) Quite nice sweet nose initially, and thin and acidic on the palate. However, after time in the glass it was clearly falling apart and maderised. 82-
  • Newton Unfiltered Merlot 1993 (3) Lovely plum skin nose. Good structure with ripe tannins. Silky and long. Needs time. 91
  • Sky Zinfandel 1993, Mt Veeder (2) Pinot like nose. A touch leathery and with cherry flavours. Excellent balance. Very enjoyable. 90
  • Rocking Horse "Old Paint" Zinfandel 1993 (4) Fragrant, black fruits nose. Fairly good, but without the complexity of the Sky. 88
  • Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir 1990 (1) Initially it smelt volatile and past it. However, as it warmed up in the glass it exhibited lovely sweet fruit. Very Burgundian in style. The longer in the glass, the better it got - I guess that the early volatility was caused by the wine being too cold. 89+
  • Ridge Monte Bello 1989 Cabernet Sauvignon (5) Leafy, cardboardy Cabernet. Rather lacking charm. Not one of Ridge's better offerings on this showing. 85
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/04/1997   Return to top

20/04/1997 (TNB)

  • Champagne NV (Paillard) Replacement for bad halves noted previously. These disgorged July 96 rather than May 96. Much fresher: nice fruit in medium body. Slight "sherryish" or "spirity" flavours (which I thought was part of the fault) seem to be natural in Paillard's style, but here they add (if anything) to the effect. Overall a nice well-balanced fizz. 89.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/04/1997   Return to top

Dinner at E.McC's 18/04/1997 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/04/1997   Return to top

13/04/1997 (TNB)

While staying at The Cross in Kingussie:

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/04/1997   Return to top

13/04/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/04/1997   Return to top

85 and 83 Claret at OFW Glasgow 07/04/1997 (TNB)

  • Leoville Barton 85 Lovely classic, stylish, balanced claret. sweet 85 fruit. Delicious. 92.
  • Domaine de Chevalier 85 Charming smokey nose, very elegant, but a bit dilute. Also, faded a bit in the glass. Gorgeous to drink in a way, but perhaps will fade soon. 87
  • Gruad Larose 85 Plummier rounder fruit than the Barton, also a bit simpler, but lots of structure and more may emerge. 89(+)
  • Ducru Beaucaillou 85 Rather dumb at the moment - but when you work at it there's a rather fine nose, and complex fruit. 91(+)
  • Ducru Beaucaillou 83 Nice maturing claret, but seems a bit coarser than the bottle last month. More on the nose than on the palate, and finish a bit harsh. 87.
  • Leoville Poyferre 83 Quite classy, pencilly cedar, but again this slight harshness. Either needs 10 year, or maybe it won't improve?? 90(?)
  • Leoville Las Cases 83 Deep plummy very impressive nose. Again slightly less on the palate than one might hope for, and a slightly ugly finish. 89.
  • Haut Brion 83 Absolutely lovely, deeply smokey, long, sweet fruit. delicious! 93.

Vintage impressions: the 85's as expected, with lovely approachable sweet fruit; the 83's I'm a bit less down on than I once was, but Haut Bron excepted, they had a slightly harsh character, and were often showing more on the nose than in the mouth. Maturing fast perhaps.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/04/1997   Return to top

06/04/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/04/1997   Return to top

05/04/1997 (TNB)

  • Prieure de Meyney 85 Perfectly decent, nice ripe 85 fruit. Good to have a real red after Austria! 84.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/04/1997   Return to top