Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 22 years 3 months and 2 days
... search our archive of tasting notes ... read our articles on tastings and dinners

Diary index

With dinner the night before the Slow Food Piedmont and Burgundy evening 31/07/2004 (TNB)

Dinner with Magnus 26/07/2004 (RJB)

Wine group with Z.M. at Sylvio's 26/07/2004 (TNB)

Weekend Claret 25/07/2004 (TNB)

At home 24/07/2004 (TNB)

Wednesday evening 21/07/2004 (TNB)

Sunday night with fish pie 18/07/2004 (RJB)

Michel Chablis 16/07/2004 (TNB)

A fine Sherry 14/07/2004 (TNB)

A new Rioja 13/07/2004 (TNB)

11/07/2004 (RJB)

A pre-wedding tasting of fizzy wine for Sylvia and Roger 10/07/2004 (RJB)

At Home 10/07/2004 (TNB)

Leoville Poyferre and Le Crock 10/07/2004 (TNB)

LJM and AME come to dinner 02/07/2004 (TNB)

The Diary - July 2004

With dinner the night before the Slow Food Piedmont and Burgundy evening 31/07/2004 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/08/2004   Return to top

Dinner with Magnus 26/07/2004 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/07/2004   Return to top

Wine group with Z.M. at Sylvio's 26/07/2004 (TNB)

And a week or so later to see whether my positive impressions of the quality at Lisini were justified:
  • Brunello 1989 (Lisini) Fine, almost youthful colour, fragrant nose with hints of underbrush and that and the fruit has something about it, I'm not sure whether animal or mineral that gives the whole package great distinction. Dry, ripe tannins, altogether stylish. Lovely wine from a less than great vintage for Brunello. At peak but no great hurry to drink. Scrapes **** even
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/09/2004   Return to top

Weekend Claret 25/07/2004 (TNB)

  • Cadet Piola 1988 Dry, savoury - meaty almost. Touch of privet on the nose, not too ripe. Nice Claret, perhaps a bit too chunky to be really top-rate. Drinking well. ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/07/2004   Return to top

At home 24/07/2004 (TNB)

  • Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2000 (Fourrier) Pure fruit, very attractive, but it seems neither one thing (structured and developing) nor the other (forward and drinking) at the moment. But it has real depth and concentration as you might expect from this "ought to be a Grand Cru" vineyard and so I expect it is just not at its best. Pretty good though and my rating may well look conservative in a year or two. Top ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/07/2004   Return to top

Wednesday evening 21/07/2004 (TNB)

  • Ribera del Duero Reserva 1995 (Briego) Lovely high-toned red fruits. Very silky, suave character to the Burgundy-styles fruit. Ripe tannins and a good finish. Very well-made wine just entering its drinking plateau. Top ***
This is my last bottle of this. I rated it **(**) at a tasting three years ago after which I bought a couple of bottles. This may have been a bit over-generous since though I rated it ***(*) a while after I have settled on a very good *** on the last couple of tastes despite the lovely quality of the fruit.

I have heard by the way that the estate has now lost interest in making really high-quality wines.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/07/2004   Return to top

Sunday night with fish pie 18/07/2004 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/07/2004   Return to top

Michel Chablis 16/07/2004 (TNB)

I am always telling myself I don't have enough of Michel's lovely Chablis - so I recently bought some Montee de Tonnerre from 97 and 95.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/07/2004   Return to top

A fine Sherry 14/07/2004 (TNB)

M.D. calls round to pick up a few bottles from old auction lots - a splendid excuse to open a half bottle.
  • Amontillado Don Tomas (Valdespino) A "Sacristia" bottling with a yeasty tang on the nose and a dark, brooding palate with a burnt, severe, old-wine quality. Fantastically long, dry nutty finish. Very special and very good indeed. Perhaps even *****
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/07/2004   Return to top

A new Rioja 13/07/2004 (TNB)

Or new to me anyway...
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/07/2004   Return to top

11/07/2004 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/07/2004   Return to top

A pre-wedding tasting of fizzy wine for Sylvia and Roger 10/07/2004 (RJB)

Sylvia and Roger asked me what fizz they should have at their wedding and, to be honest, I didn't know. So we had this blind tasting with a few friends. Everyone (five of us) scored out of 10. The results didn't show much other than the Yellowglen came bottom and the Bollinger probably came first. The Heidsieck became the wedding Champagne (and having spent most of last Saturday drinking it, quite rightly so).
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/07/2004   Return to top

At Home 10/07/2004 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/07/2004   Return to top

Leoville Poyferre and Le Crock 10/07/2004 (TNB)

  • Chateau Le Crock 2002 Aromatic, unformed, mulberry. Plummy fruit - quite tannic. Pretty extracted - or just very young? *(*)
  • Chateau Le Crock 2001 Ripe, lifted, morello cherry. Quite concentrated, high-toned cranberry palate. *(*)
  • Chateau Le Crock 1999 Red fruits. Another high-toned palate. Nice acid. A touch weak on the finish. **
  • Chateau Le Crock 1998 Scented, plummy. Nice palate - solid core of red fruits - not too weighty. **(*) just
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2001 Warm berry nose. Rather soft and unfocussed palate now but I think this will come together well. Lots of tannins - nicely balanced. Better than the 2000 to my mind. At least a good **(*) - perhaps more.
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2000 Creamy (nose and palate), like the 01 but more concentrated and less forced. Suave wine - but perhaps at the expense of terroir. Surprisingly modern and not entirely my sort of thing. Top **(*)
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1999 A bit less ripe (a good thing) - still quite extracted. A bit shorter than the others. Bare **(*)
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1998 Much nicer - drier - cedary hints. Maybe even **(**)
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1985 Herby, mineral nose. Finely poised fruit. Lovely timeless balance of the vintage. Good ****
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1988 Dry, austere, elegant, scented. Has years in it but drinking nicely. Lacks the easy elegance of the 85 but still scrapes ****
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1989 Complex herby nose. Slightly "bulky" on the palate - dry tannins and ripe fruit. Good but I have reservations about the balance. ***
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1990 Ripe, round, mouthfilling wine. Touch of chocolate. Very good. ***(*)
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1996 Big, gummy, extracted, slightly bitter as a consequence. Concentrated but not so long. Unattractive finish, at least currently. Am I under-rating this? **(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/07/2004   Return to top

LJM and AME come to dinner 02/07/2004 (TNB)

  • Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc Reserve 1989 (Rayas) Interesting kerosene riesling-like nose. Lots of intensity and length. Top ***
  • Barolo 1964 (G. Pippione) In an antique-style dumpy bottle covered with some rather fake-looking deposit, one could wonder about the authenticity of this. Inside a fading wine that oxidised rather soon in the glass. It had been shaken around a bit, and it was intriguingly fragrant. No more than * in the end.
  • Marques de Riscal 1952 Very good colour and one of those old Rioja noses somewhere in the spectrum from cashew nuts to bandages - I find it hard to describe. Lovely mature, balanced old wine. ****
  • Eau Minerale Gazeuse 1650 (Chateldon) We don't usually give tasting notes for water but Z.M. convinced me this was worth trying. This is naturally sparkling from a spring, and 1650 is the first bottling and not the vintage. It tastes fine and does have a most agreeable, soft mousse. I won't go so far as to give it a star rating however! Not Rated
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 09/08/2004   Return to top