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Diary index

Wines from the Bacchanalia (Victoria Road, Cambridge) Wine Fair 30/01/2001 (RJB)

A Wine Dinner 24/01/2001 (RJB)

A top-end tasting from Oddbins Fine Wine 18/01/2001 (TNB)

17/01/2001 (RJB)

17/01/2001 (RJB)

Moet et Chandon Tasting 10/01/2001 (RJB)

10/01/2001 (RJB)

09/01/2001 (TNB)

Wine dinner at Plaisir du Chocolat 03/01/2001 (TNB)

Austrian and Italian wines from Raeburn Fine Wines 03/01/2001 (TNB)

The Diary - January 2001

Wines from the Bacchanalia (Victoria Road, Cambridge) Wine Fair 30/01/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/01/2001   Return to top

A Wine Dinner 24/01/2001 (RJB)

  • Champagne Grand Siecle 1988 (Laurent Perrier) the first of two 1988 Champagnes. Nicely put together and with good balance. A touch greener/coarser than the Krug if anything, but still an excellent wine which should benefit from further bottle age. ***(*)
  • Champagne Clos de Mesnil 1988 (Krug) Lovely stuff with a creamy elegance that pushes it just ahead of the Grand Siecle above. Again, this would benefit from further bottle age. Hints of peaches and a touch of yeast. Easily ***(*)
  • Clos St Urbain Riesling 1988 (Zind Humbrecht) Fine Alsace Riesling. Elegance and depth with minerality and hints of apricot. Classy stuff. Good now, but should do nothing but improve for the next five years. ***(*)
  • Rousanne Vielles Vignes 1995 (Beaucastel) White Rhone so often disappoints. And this wine is no exception. As is so often said with these wines, perhaps it's in an odd phase. Anyhow, this isn't a bad wine at present, just that one expects better. Light custard powder texture with white peaches. Seems rather lightweight. For now **
  • Tokay Pinot Gris Cuvee Clarisse 1989 (Schlumberger) Delicious stuff. Lovely oily depth and bacon fat without being overweight. White fruits and wet stone. ***(*)
  • Cote Rotie La Landonne 1996 (Rostaing) Poor wine for the appellation. Weedy and relatively thin. Will it pull round? **
  • Clos Vougeot 1993 (Rene Engel) Good Burgundy that still needs plenty of time to be at its best. Some tannins and good acidity on the finish. Tightly sensuous fruit. An easy **(**)
  • Chateau Lynch Bages 1961 On the way down judging from this bottle - signs of the diluteness that some wines get with age - but still drinking fairly well. Slightly burnt feel to it with a lack of sweetness. Too easy, though, to be critical of the wine rather than just sitting back and enjoying it. ***
  • Chateau Pichon Lalande 1986 Had this about ten years ago when it was showing as a beautiful wine with cascades of flavours. This time, however, the wine was in a closed phase. Good structure evident - it just needs time. Probably **(**)
  • Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1982 This should be a great wine, but as with many of the 1982s it is closed and unforthcoming at present. As with the 1986 Lalande, it just needs tlme. **(**) but I suspect that it will deserve higher.
  • Chateau Latour 1953 Gorgeous if not really brilliant. Lovely mature soft-to-mid toned wine. ****
  • Grange 1981 (Penfolds) Lovely stuff, that is fairly drinkable now, but still needs loads of time. Easily ***(*)
  • Chateau Sudairat 1983 Sweet wine - a touch woody and unrefined **
  • Chateau Rieussec 1953 Deepish amber - tarry, slightly burnt sugar nose. Not as sweet as one might expect (I think I might have placed this an oldish German spatlese). *** plus
  • Port 1963 (Taylors) Joyous! Great wine. Structure and sweetness combined in a massive yet balanced whole. No rush to drink up (in fact, it will probably still improve). *****
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/01/2001   Return to top

A top-end tasting from Oddbins Fine Wine 18/01/2001 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/01/2001   Return to top

17/01/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/01/2001   Return to top

17/01/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 17/01/2001   Return to top

Moet et Chandon Tasting 10/01/2001 (RJB)

  • Champagne NV (Moet et Chandon) Third of each grape roughly. Softish slight apple doughy nose. A touch of sweetness showing through. Decent. **
  • Champagne 1995 (Moet et Chandon) Good balanced wine, raspberry fruit - touch short and dilute on the finish. Drinking well now, and , I'd guess, not for keeping too long. **(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/01/2001   Return to top

10/01/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/01/2001   Return to top

09/01/2001 (TNB)

  • Il Favot 1997 (Aldo Conterno) A barique-aged nebbiolo: great fruit, quite sexy from the oak, good finish. The combination of nebbiolo tannins and wood tannins not entirely happy perhaps. It's really "one plus one" stars for me because I don't find the style so interesting, but trying to be more objective I'll go for **(*)
  • Barolo Monprivato 1993 (G. Mascarello) High-toned tar and roses nose, lovely sweet fruit on the palate that contrasts nicely with the pronounced tannins. Reasonable length. This is not a heavyweight, but it is fine, traditional Barolo. It might even improve a bit. ***
  • Sherry, Palo Cortado Viejisimo (Colosia) Attractive green rim, Bone-dry, explosive on the palate - perhaps could do with a bit longer to settle in the bottle. Madeira-like with bags of acidity. A rather good drink. **
  • Pavillon Rouge de Chateau Margaux 1985 Quite a big blackcurrant nose, surprisingly (for the vintage) structured palate. Nice mature claret, lacking the real complexity of the very best. ***
  • Champagne NV "D de Devaux" (de Devaux) Hints of yeastyness, appley Pinot nose. Ripe fruit, nice balance and length. Good mousse. On this evidence, a house worth noting. ***
  • Gewurztraminer Steingrubler VT 1994 (Mann) Thick, fruity nose, unctious palate, some botrytis, I suspect. Moderately sweet with adequate acidity (just), this sits a shade short of desert wine for me and lands in the "impressive, but when do you drink it" category. **
  • Gressier Grand-Poujeaux 1982 Good colour, showing some maturity. Marked scented raspberry overlying blackcurrant on the nose. Good fruit but a harsh note is slightly troubling. Rather structured, but I don't think it will get that much better. ***
  • Krug Grande Cuvee NV Wood influenced nose that I think of as (fancifully) remeniscent of brandy and oranges. Very lush, creamy palate. Long. From a half. *****
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/01/2001   Return to top

Wine dinner at Plaisir du Chocolat 03/01/2001 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/01/2001   Return to top

Austrian and Italian wines from Raeburn Fine Wines 03/01/2001 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/01/2001   Return to top