Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 22 years 1 months and 3 days
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Diary index

31/07/2005 (RJB)

Wine group at E. McC's 25/07/2005 (TNB)

In Maresfield with TNB 23/07/2005 (RJB)

Bollinger dinner at Harvey Nichols 21/07/2005 (TNB)

A summer fizz 17/07/2005 (RJB)

A summer fizz 17/07/2005 (RJB)

Recent bottles from the cellar 12/07/2005 (TNB)

The Diary - July 2005

31/07/2005 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 31/07/2005   Return to top

Wine group at E. McC's 25/07/2005 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/09/2005   Return to top

In Maresfield with TNB 23/07/2005 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/07/2005   Return to top

Bollinger dinner at Harvey Nichols 21/07/2005 (TNB)

  • Champagne Special Cuvee Brut NV (Bollinger) Weighty, meaty nose - autolytic plus apples. Similarly with the palate, but not at the expense of balance. Apples again, a suggestion of tannins. Long, quite complex, perhaps a touch young - I'm sure a year or two in cellar will be beneficial. Scrapes ***(*)
  • Champagne Grande Annee 1997 (Bollinger) Really quite forward - touch of vanilla - long and enjoyable but doesn't seem to have the guts to be a real keeper. Bare ****
  • Chapagne 1995 RD - disgorged March 2005 (Bollinger) Only a year or two delayed versus the standard vintage. Still very fresh, nutty and autolytic - really yeasty on the nose. Drier and tighter than the GA 97 too - lower dosage probably and perhaps the vintage too. Complex finish. Lovely. Scrapes *****
  • La Cotes aux Enfant 1997 (Bollinger) Red wine made from Pinot Noir, of course. Fairly complex nose, bone dry - seems a bit flat and old on the mid-palate. All the interest is on the nose. Rather dull in the mouth. If fizz could be made with these grapes, then this is a bit of a waste except that it gives some insight into the nature of fruit that makes good Champagne. Bare **
  • Chapagne 1990 RD - disgorged Spring 2005 (Bollinger) Very mushroom and truffle - and hinting at maderisation. Curious indeed, and not entirely positively. Old beyond its years - is it an odd bottle? The guy from Bollinger says not, but seemed to have decided this before nosing mine. Perhaps having this after desert was a poor idea (I did think of leaving my pud until later) and I wouldn't be surprised if there is more to this wine than I found. For now, the interest on the nose scrapes ****
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/08/2005   Return to top

A summer fizz 17/07/2005 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/07/2005   Return to top

A summer fizz 17/07/2005 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 21/07/2005   Return to top

Recent bottles from the cellar 12/07/2005 (TNB)

  • Rioja 904 Gran Reserva 1985 (La Rioja Alta) Fragrant, mellow, eminently drinkable. Fresh but a suspicion of drying at the end suggests this is not for keeping beyond another five or so years. ***
  • Gevry-Chambertin 1er cru Les Goulots 1999 (Fourrier) High-toned, a bit of cranberry, a touch of underlying meatiness and excellent fruit. Lovely but without the va-va-voom of the Combe aux Moins from the same producer and vintage tasted recently. Still scrapes ***(*)
  • Barolo Riserva San Giuseppe 1989 (Cavallotto) Lively, quite complex, proper tarry Barolo and more or less "a point". A bit coarse-textured to be worth more than *** however.
  • Barolo Riserva Speciale 1967 (Scanavino) The things one finds when cataloguing the cellar - an auction purchase of a couple of bottles I seem to recall. I opened one with trepidation but no need: actually a healthy light colour and a lovely, fresh, tar and roses Barolo nose. The fruit had that underlying sweetness that good Barolo has and which with the fragrance sets off the firmness of even mature tannins. Not terribly complex but really very enjoyable drinking. ***
  • Bucciato 2000 (Ca Rugate) I have oscillated a bit about this 100% Gargenega wine. It is Ca Rugate's interpretation of what old Soave might have been like, I seem to recall. It has a deep colour (from skin contact, I think) and a broad, flat, mouthfilling palate after a honeysuckle nose. It reminds me a bit of one or two other Italian producers who are pushing things in a similar direction: Massa Vecchia and Gravner. It is rather less grand than either (and a bit cheaper) but I like it, and I think time is making it more interesting. ***
  • Beaune 1er Cru Greves 1998 (Lafarge) Intense strawberry nose, solid, concentrated fruit, quite dry as often with Lafarge. A touch of Italianate bitterness and quite firm tannins make it rather a food wine at the moment. I hope that rawness wears off - I think it will. ***(*)
  • Antique Oloroso (Fernando de Castilla) Surprisingly high-toned almost Amontillado-like nose. Palate has warm raisiny character and a nice texture. ***
  • Cote Rotie La Landonne 1991 (Rostaing) Very pure, raspberry fruit. Now completely resolved and drinking very nicely. I think it lacks the real edge of terroir at this stage, or something to add complexity. Drinking pretty nicely however. ***
  • Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde 1985 (Guigal) Smoky raspberry fruit, begining to show its age a bit but still fresh. Very drinkable but not super-exciting. ***
  • Chablis Grand Cru Grenouille 1994 (J-P Droin) Quite fat and mouthfilling - I haven't drunk this producers wines or Chablis from this vintage much so I'm not sure about the cause of this rather atypical richness. Still, this has a lovely honey-influenced palate and enough underlying minerality to be very enjoyable. Absolutely at peak. From a half. Top ***
  • Cotes du Rhone La Sagesse 1999 (Gramenon) I seem to remember having mixed feelings about a bottle of this, but this one is lovely - completely drinkable medicinally-edged concentrated Grenache. Excellent. ***
  • Corton Charlemagne 1992 (Rollin) Herbs and spices, with rounded green-pea and other vegetal flavours. Quite individual but really, really good. ****
  • Chassagne Montrachet Les Champgains 1996 1er cru (Niellon) Another 96 from my cellar, opened partly to illuminate the controversy about this vintage. Healthy colour, fine fruit, creamy texture and excellent acidity. This seems just a touch subdued right now but is definitely very good. ***(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/07/2005   Return to top