The Diary - February 2004
- Rulandske Sede Kabinet 1999 (Michlovsky)
Moravia is very close to Austria and it ought to be possible to make good wine here. Judging by this, there's a way to go. This Pinot Gris has reasonable fruit (without particular varietal character) but a sort of slightly sour roughness that reminds me of how some French country wine used to be!
- Tokaji Aszu 3 puttonyos 1993 (Chateau Megyer)
Brown sugar, apricot jam, a bit of botrytis: a nicely elegant fresh wine that slips down a treat.
- Cote Rotie La Landonne 1991 (Rostaing)
Intense raspberry nose, with coffee and liquorice too on the palate. Pretty fine wine, if perhaps a shade clumsy. Top
- Chateau d'Issan 1986
Elegant, stylish, cedary, completely evolved, no hurry to drink. It is lightweight but is very charming. Luncheon claret certainly and pleasant to drink something that doesn't shout at you. Nothing could more clearly indicate the difference between Broadbent (who gives it ***) and Parker (who gives it 77/100). I am mainly with the former but it is pretty lightweight so I will restrict myself to saying it is a rather good
- Bandol Migoua 1998 (Tempier)
Lovely nose, mineral, succulent tannins, lovely ripe fruit and a touch of chocolate. This is already lovely and will improve. One could though almost worry sometimes that this vintage in the Southern Rhone and Provence is too fruity and immediate for long-term greatness.
- Sauvignon blanc 2002 (Kanu)
South Africa Sauv blanc: nicely made, not too vegetal, reasonable balance.
- Cote-Rotie Cuvee du Plessy 1997 (G. Barge)
At first quite meaty but with a bit of air some Cote Rotie perfume emerged. Quite open, forward wine with attractive fruit and a peppery finish. For drinking over the next five or so years I guess. Honest, unforced wine - I like it!
- Prosecco NV (Villa Sandi)
Slightly sweet and a bit dull - pretty ordinary. A decent
- Chassagne Montrachet Ruchottes 1993 (Ramonet)
Creamy, citric, gingery, nicely balanced. Not a great wine perhaps but so enjoyable I'm going for
- Ribolla Venezia Giulia 1999 (Gravner)
Orange colour, amazingly rich and concentrated apricot fruit. A bit of tannin too from skin contact. Quite unique. Top
- Chateau Chalon 1979 (Bourdy)
Austere, a touch of fino sherry, good. Will probably benefit from more age but already scrapes
- Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 1975
A complete wine if a bit insubstantial. Fills out in the glass. Tobacco nose and savoury palate. Good drinking.
- Chateau Haut-Bailly 1964
Liquid tobacco - completely fresh old Graves. Poised - lovely mature wine.
- Chateau La Gaffeliere-Naudes 1928
Good colour. High-toned, scented, edgy - a touch woody and a touch volatile. Fascinating complexity and a glimpse of an exciting terroire, but slightly flawed too. I could give this five stars for its interest but on overall pleasure I think I have to back off to a top
- Leoville Poyferre 1959
Very, very creamy - a touch of capsicum. Good length and rounded as 59's tend to be. Lovely wine.
- Cote Rotie 1985 (Gentaz-Dervieux)
Elegant, high-toned, dry yet beautifully delineated ripe fruit. Drinking well, but no hurry to consume it.
- Tokay Clos St Theobald Rangen de Thann VT 1996 (Schoffit)
Weighty, rich, substantial - could do with a touch of botrytis perhaps but very good in its way.
- Dow 1983
I must get used to the idea that 83's might be mature. Blackberry - touch of aniseed. Top
- Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 1996 (Willi Schaefer)
Quite evolved sour-apple fruit. Nice acidity. Very attractive.
- Champagne 1979 (Krug)
Toasted brioche nose - creamy palate - fine and dry, rapier-like, very precise.
- Tokay Pinot Gris Cuvee Ste Catherine Clos des Capucins 1994 (Weinbach)
Rich, seems almost sweet, but it's mainly ripeness. Creamy too. Great length. Good fruit.
- Rioja blanco Gran Reserva 1968 (Tondonia)
Fantastically delicate, complex wine. Hard to put a name to - around me I hear people say "artichoke" and "fish"(!) Completely fresh and balanced with nuances that keep emerging. Lovely.
- Corton Charlemagne 1986 (Moillard)
In good nic, one has to say and very nice - but perhaps no more than it should be.
- Nuits St George Damodes 1993 (Chauvenet)
Fruit tending to baked but high-quality. Earthy. Good. Bare
- Clos Vougeot 1988 (Meo-Camuzet)
Lovely fruit - more or less resolved, very mineral. Could it give just a touch more forthcoming - perhaps it needs even a couple more years. Still makes
- Chateau Ausone 1981
Dry, iodine nose. Mineral, piquant, complex fruit. Completely individual, terroir-driven, old-fashioned high-acidity wine and I love it.
- Brunello 1988 (Col d'Orca)
Alive but dull. Good
- Hermitage 1985 (Faurie)
Big, rustic, decent fuit. Not going anywhere but good basic old-fashioned winemaking.
- Champagne Grande Cuvee NV (Krug)
Dry and savoury - quite rich. Like the 79, it carries all this without any hint of heaviness - it is very clearly delineated. This was believed to be at least 10 years in cellar. Not quite as fine as the 79 but still
- Tokaji Aszu 5 Put 1982 (Hungarovin)
A bit stale. Communist wine - I get the impression nobody was making an effort with this one.
- Tokaji Aszuessencia 1964 (No clear maker).
Deep brown colour - green rim. Intense brown-sugar with a bit of grip. Richly mouth-watering - really good.
- Warre 1980
Big, rich, high-quality port coming into maturity. My already high opinion of this vintage rises yet again! At least a top
- Marsanne 2002 (Qupe)
Authentic Marsanne - flat palate but mouthfilling. A touch foursquare. Top
- Viognier 2000 (Bonny Doon)
Unfortunate toffeed nose dominates. Rich nectarine fruit - but quite a slug of oak. Very new wave. Good in a way but not quite my sort of thing. - grudgingly.
- Chardonnay Les Noisetiers 2000 (Kistler)
Rich buttery fruit on the nose with tropical hints but controlled. Good acidity and balance despite its size. Intense and long. Top
- Geyserrille 2000 (Ridge)
Milky blackberry fruit. Quite big and tannic. Old vine texture. Good stuff.
- Cigar Volante 2000 (Bonny Doon)
Fruit a touch soft on the nose. Nice medicinal Grenache fruit. Good acidity - although still a touch sweet on the finish. It's quite good but I feel one is tasting the winemaking as much as the terroir. Good
- Merlot, Stag's Leap 2000 (Shafer)
Fine fruitcake nose (a sort of essence of a component of the Claret nose) - earthy palate and a touch of chocolate. Rather good. Needs a few years.
- Auxey-Duresses 1999 (Comte Armande)
Quite intense, dry and savoury (particularly after the Californians), decent length. Pleasant.