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Diary index

Wine group, guest of ZM. 30/06/1997 (TNB)

29/06/1997 (RJB)

29/06/1997 (TNB)

European whites at OFW 26/06/1997 (TNB)

25/06/1997 (RJB)

24/06/1997 (TNB)

22/06/1997 (RJB)

20/06/1997 (TNB)

15/06/1997 (RJB)

A Tasting at Bacchanalia, Cambridge 14/06/1997 (RJB)

Australian Shiraz at 5 St Bernard's Crescent 13/06/1997 (TNB)

08/06/1997 (RJB)

On holiday in Staithes 07/06/1997 (RJB)

95 Puligny at OFW 05/06/1997 (TNB)

Misc 05/06/1997 (TNB)

Generic port 03/06/1997 (TNB)

Wine Society's Chateauneuf-du-Pape 02/06/1997 (TNB)

The Diary - June 1997

Wine group, guest of ZM. 30/06/1997 (TNB)

  • Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling 95 (Brundelmayer) Very attractive floral, almost condrieu-like peachy nose. Quite sweet. Might or might not be going somewhere, but very pleasant now. 86.
  • Riesling 90 (Malat-Brundelmeyer) Quite spicy/petrolly, half way from Alsace to Germany. Pretty decent. 85.
  • Puligny-Montrachet Demoiselles 92, 89, 86, 83 (M. Colin) The 92 toffeed but fine, the 89 quite tight, but perhaps slightly thinner in the middle, the 86 a model Burgundy coming into its prime: powerful yet elegant, fruity yet still quite tightly wound in a way. The 83 similar, but slightly less balanced. These wines make a strong case for this vinyard (a tiny premier cru tucked in between the Montrachets) and this producer. All quite similar in style: lots of ripe fruit, but somehow very well-structured and not over-indulgent. 90(?+), 90(?+), 94, 92 respectively.
  • Pesquera 82 Good long fruit, not showing its age. 88
  • Vega Scicilia Unico 85, 75, 70 All showing quite young, the 85 more akin to the Pesquera, but I suspect it just needs time. Both the 75 and 70 have amazing concentration of ripe fruit and complex nuances. These wines justify a high reputation. 90 (?+), 94, 94 respectively.
  • Vouvray Le Haut Lieu 1947 (Huet) Now medium dry, honeyed, and brown sugar (almost muscaty) flavours. Very long, complex and very much alive. 96.
  • Vouvray Le Haut Lieu 1924 (Huet) Very citric, sour acid (not unpleasant) flavours, surrounding a core of fruit still. Perhaps no longer at its best, but intruiging flavours. 90.
  • Niepoort 77 High-toned raspberry fruit, but carrying good fruit. Quite tannic, but very ripe tannins. 90(?+)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/06/1997   Return to top

29/06/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/06/1997   Return to top

29/06/1997 (TNB)

  • Riesling Saering 89 (Schlumberger) Fat fruit, but I thought this lay over quite a restrained structural core. Rather good, with a question mark attached to the length, which was OK, but not quite as one might hope. 87 (?+)
  • Mumm Cordon Rouge 89 Twice recently, nice fruit, quite forward, drinking OK now. 88.
  • Leoville Barton 75 Funny wine: it shows none of the 75 faults. Quite accessible, solid currenty fruit overlaid with a lot of (perhaps one-dimensional) smokeyness. 89.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/06/1997   Return to top

European whites at OFW 26/06/1997 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/06/1997   Return to top

25/06/1997 (RJB)

  • Champagne Drappier Brut Carte D'Or From a half. A good reliable medium bodied Champagne without the intensity to be really good. Judging from the cork this had had some bottle age. 88
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/06/1997   Return to top

24/06/1997 (TNB)

  • St Aubin En Remilly 95 (Ch de Puligny) Mouthfilling melony fruit, nice weight. If one has to complain, it lacks subtlety. A bargain at about 12.50 from OFW. This seems to be an estate/negociant (does anybody know) on the way up. 88.
  • Barbaresco Feyles 79 Bin-end from Raeburn. Excellent healthy colour, decent fruit, but perhaps nothing really exciting. 86.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/06/1997   Return to top

22/06/1997 (RJB)

  • Petrognano 1994, Pomino A Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend. A medium bodied wine with pleasant balancing acidity. Good cherry fruit. 85
  • La Cuvee Mythique 1994, Les Vignerons du Val d'Orbieu A good Languedoc red from this co-op that Parker has rated highly in the latest Advocate. A mushroom and herb bouquet and zingy fruit. Very good value at 5.99 from Victoria Wine. 88+

    Cava Caveat. Some friends bought some Cava round, so an informal tasting ensued. This is not something I would recommend. I know Cava is not supposed to be at the top level of sparkling wine, and these are cheap versions, but in today's world I would expect the wines to be better than this.

  • Castellblanch Brut Extra Cava Pretty awful. Odd earthy dull flavours - if you have to drink this, then drink it very cold or mix with orange juice. Better still, just drink the juice. 68
  • Cava, Coniusa Brut A step up, but again dull. 75
  • Sainsbury's Cava Better, with refreshing acidity and light buttery flavours. 79
  • Tesco's Cava The winner! More zing and less flavour (which in this tasting was a good thing). 80
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/06/1997   Return to top

20/06/1997 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/06/1997   Return to top

15/06/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/06/1997   Return to top

A Tasting at Bacchanalia, Cambridge 14/06/1997 (RJB)

The tasting was held on a fairly humid day, so the wines may not have been giving their all.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/06/1997   Return to top

Australian Shiraz at 5 St Bernard's Crescent 13/06/1997 (TNB)

Are Ozzy reds as bad as we tend to think? The following wines were tasted in geographical flights, blind to everybody except me (partially blind) and ZM. All in all, the Clare wines showed typically good varietal character.

Reynella excepted (and that does seem a bargain), the "McLaren Vale and surroundings" flight was pretty dull!

The Barossa flight was a step up, but sad that everybody stops dead on the French wine and says "this can't be Ozzy -- it's such a pleasure to drink!". (Mind you, it was a couple of years older.)

Grange is Grange - a great wine - all it lack is a sense of terroir, I think. Hill of Grace can hold its head up in any circles too. So can one or two of the other Barossa Shiraz's, at least if the circles don't get too high!

And before/after

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/06/1997   Return to top

08/06/1997 (RJB)

Two wines from Bacchanalia - a new wine shop in Cambridge

  • Mitchelton III 1993, Goulbourn Valley A good Oz Shiraz/Mourvedre/Grenache blend with balance and zingy fruit. Needs a couple of years. Seemed thin at first but opened up. 87(+?)
  • Gosset Excellence Brut Champagne Superb fullish-bodied Champagne. Excellent balance and good acidity. Lovely apple nose with just a slight oxidative character. I could drink a lot of this. 93
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 08/06/1997   Return to top

On holiday in Staithes 07/06/1997 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/06/1997   Return to top

95 Puligny at OFW 05/06/1997 (TNB)

Moral: The village wines are by and large a rip-off. The Premier-Cru's seem only to cost 20-30% more, and while the prices are a bit of an outrage, at least you get some wine for your money!
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/06/1997   Return to top

Misc 05/06/1997 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/06/1997   Return to top

Generic port 03/06/1997 (TNB)

  • Calem 70 Nice medium weight raspberry fruit. 88.
  • Smith Woodhouse 77 Dry and winey: a nice but not great 77.
  • 80 vintage: All showing well: quite dry, more extrovertly fruity, sweeter and large scale, with lots of fruit but classic - dry and excellent.
  • 83 vintage: large scale, and very good. Ramos Pinto also fruity, but a bit dull.
  • 85 vintage: A lighter, elegant vintage: rather good, but a bit light. quite Portugese and pleasant, as was . quite classy too.
  • 91 vintage: unexciting.
  • 92 vintage: and both pretty classy, with the Niepoort looking better set for the long haul now.
  • Colheita 83: from excellent again, and from not bad, but less complex and a bit cloying.
  • Colheita 67 (Pocas) was perhaps the wine of the evening - lovely dark colour and cherry/wood flavours. Unfortunately they are "seeking an importer".
  • 20 year old tawney: Many pretty pleasant examples: and in a more elegant style and particularly good . On the other hand, a bit dull. is quite impressive too, but is a bit weak.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/06/1997   Return to top

Wine Society's Chateauneuf-du-Pape 02/06/1997 (TNB)

Class will tell!
  • Beaucastel Blanc 95 Honeyed, intense, long. 92
  • Beaucastel 95 Currenty "lifted" fruit. Balanced, quite long. seems less concentrated than the 94, but Pierre Perrin says this is only because it has just been bottled. 90(?+)
  • Beaucastel 94 Gamey, mushroomy, classic Beaucastel. 93.
  • Beaucastel 86 Minor vintage showing very nicely - just coming to some sort of maturity. 88.
  • Font de Michelle Blanc 95 Light, unexciting. 80.
  • Font de Michelle 95, 94, 93 The 95 very Beaujolaisish, but perhaps hiding a decent wine. The 94 and 93 sound, but not really exciting. 82-85ish.
  • Mont Redon blanc 96 Very estery and dull. 80.
  • Mont Redon 95, 94, 90, 89 The 95 OK (perhaps), the 94 dull and slightly metallic, the 90 good but not special, the 89 lacking fruit, and perhaps tiring.
  • Clos des Papes 95, 94, 93, 90, 88 95 and 94 both big, serious wines, a bit unforthcoming at the moment: 90(?+). The 93 similar, but clearly lighter: 87. The 90 is very serious indeed, a great monster. How long does one have to wait for something to emerge though? 92 (?+). The 88 a shade lighter, but pretty good again: 89.
Do the Clos des Papes really sing when they are old enough? I'm not sure I've ver had an old one.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/06/1997   Return to top