The Diary - May 1999
- Lagar de Cervera Albarino 1997
Floral, grapey. Pleasant.
- Pazo de Barrantes Rias Baixas 1998
Lemony, drier. Another Albarino. This can be quite an attractive grape.
- Meursault Rougeots 1994, Coche-Dury
Quite "green pea", seemingly very evolved chardonnay. Good though.
- Louisvale Chardonnay 1996
Toffeed. Softer. Fairly clearly a ringer (in fact South African), but good. (About 5-6 quid apparently.)
- Meursault Rougeots 1993, Coche-Dury
High acidity, and lacking some body. Fine though. Typical 93.
- Meursault Rougeots 1992, Coche-Dury
Good body, length and balance. Excellent.
- Dom de L'Oratoire St Martin Cuvee Prestige 1997
Blackberry, dry, shortish finish.
- Rasteau, Dom la Soumade 1996
Blackberry and cherry. Nice balance.
- Clos de Papes 1988
Some complexity but shortish. Possibly just slightly faulty.
- Syrah 1995 (Gramenon)
Blackberryish, grassy - or perhaps Provencal herbs. Develops Grenachey cherryishness in the glass. Impressive.
- Cote-Rotie 1988 Jasmin
Very leafy. Quite tannic - seems rather fine underneath.
- Hermitage 1988 Chave
Pretty classy as usual, but perhaps a bit closed right now.
- Coteaux de Saumur 1990, Bourdin
Fruity, pleasant, reasonably long
- Climens 1988
Quite heavily botrytised. Seems a bit simple at the moment (I've been struck this way by one or two 88's recently - perhaps it is not a good time for them.) At the moment at least, this wasn't living up to its reputation for me. Say
- Rauenthaler Baiken 1990, Kloster Erbach
Rich, but a nice appley acid finish. Fairly evolved, but clearly at least pretty good. Perhaps not absolutely all one might hope for from a great vineyard in a great year however.
- Chablis Montee de Tonnerre 1995, Michel
Quite ripe, restrained, quite long. Could do with a year or two. Michel's Chablis is always refined.
- Port Warre 1980
Mouthwatering fruit, nice length, drinking well, but good for years. (From a half.) Aren't the '80's delicious?
- Rully 1er cru Les Cloux 1990, Jacquesson
Lovely, ripe, sweet, luscious Burgundy. Drinking well. Just how an excellent "lesser area" Burgundy should be. The vintage helps, I guess, but this is a reliable producer. Scrapes
Impressive, as one might expect. I have a slight cold, so notes to be taken
with a pinch of salt.
The Vieille Ferme wines were OK but a bit thin, and the step up to the
well worth the extra pound.
- Vieille Ferme Blanc (Cotes du Luberon) 1998
Estery, dry, French country style. Lightish. (5.99)
- Perrin Reserve Blanc (Cotes du Rhone) 1998
A bit richer - generally more to it. Pleasant drink. (6.99)
- Coudoulet de Beaucastel blanc 1997
Very peachy - pretty good Viognier based wine. (10.99)
- Beaucastel blanc 1997
Good length. Rich, some peachyness again. Opens in the glass. (18.99)
- Vieille Ferme Rouge (Cotes du Luberon) 1997
A bit fruit-gummy. Lightish. (5.99)
- Perrin Reserve Rouge (Cotes du Rhone) 1997
Richer - decent food wine. (6.99)
- Coudelet de Beaucastel 1996
That Beaucastel leatheryness - pretty good concentration. Perfectly respectable Chateauneuf (which of course it is not, strictly). (9.99)
- Beaucastel 1996
As above, but more concentrated ripe fruit. Seems a pretty decent Beaucastel at first sight.
- Beaucastel 1995
Seems quite light, but maybe just closed. The estate think this is another 90 in the making. I'm not completely sure, though it is very good.
- Beaucastel 1994
Classic Beaucastel - mushroomy, leathery - lovely. Just emerging.
- Beaucastel 1990
Lovely, long, all the usual characters pronounced and in fantastic balance. Very fine - less rustic than usual, perhaps. A star!
- Champagne NV Berry Bros
Full, softish, not bad.
- Champagne 1989, late disgorged, Pol Roger
Powerful, but slightly vegetal - odd. I recall being a bit suspicious of the 89 before, and this "late disgorged" version doesn't change my mind.
- Champagne Brut Rose NV Marguet-Bonnerave Grand Cru
Pleasant, but quite sweet.
- Menetou-Salon 1997 (Dom. Fournier)
Pleasant enough. (7.85)
- St Veran 1997, Dom des Deux Roches
Rather toffeed. Typical, quite oaky. (7.45)
- Montagny Les Joncs 1996, Faively
Bags of oak - quite concentrated. Potentially rather good - provided the balance holds. (10.75)
- Berry's Puligny-Montrachet (Dom. Chavy)
Some Puligny character, but typical "village wine" lightness. (16.45)
- Meursault L'Ormeau 1996 (Boyer-Martenot)
Gutsier, good village wine. (18.95)
- Mercurey 1995, Ch. de Chamirey
Nice, red fruity, structured, basic Burgundy. (10.75)
- Chateauneuf, Les Galeans 1994 (Brunier)
Clarety, elegant. Not bad at all. (12.95)
- Gros Caillou 1994
Sound, basic claret. (8.95)
- Langoa-Barton 1994
Strong, thorough, classic. Good value by current Bordeaux standards! (20.15)
- Langoa-Barton 1995
Riper, still with a tannic kick. A shade softer (at least up front) than the 94. Perhaps deeper. (29.95)
- Pichon-Baron 1995
That 95 softness. Good, but not clearly better than Langoa. (52.75)
- Lynch Bages 1996
Hints of lovely penciliness to come, but perhaps a shade light to be great. (39.95)
- Kirwan 1996
As above, but a suspicion that you could see through it. Lots of tannins. (23.95)
- La Lagune 1996
Accessible, luscious, ripe fruit. Pretty good. (26.90) Perhaps even
- Cantemerle 1995
Fragrant, ripe, typical of the property. Very drinkable.
- Clos du Papillon 1990 (Baumard)
Clothy and vegetal - I do hope this is an odd bottle, and that this wine is not prematurely ageing!
- Gran Coronas 1982 (Torres)
Still very lively, berryish fruit. An unfortunate slight dirtiness overlies a rather pleasant wine. Is this another slightly "off" bottle?
Antonini is a "flying winemaker" who jets around telling people to reduce
resist any temptation to put the wine in dirty old barrels for a decade
I guess he is on the right side. The following are all from
estates he is involved with.
- Bianco di Pitigliano 1998, Tenuta Roccaccia
Tuscan. Some melony fruit (some chardonnay in the blend). Fairly dull. 7:49
- Colli Apuani Vermentino 1998, Az. Ag. Cima
Astonishingly watery look. Very, very neutral, but mouthfilling. That Italian essense of blandness - how do they do it, and why? 11:99(!)
- Sauvignon delle Colline Locchese 1998
Internationally styled, gooseberries, but not vulgar. Not bad at all. 9:99
- Tempranillo 1998, Finca El Retiro
Argentinian. Good colour, nice raspberry and cherry fruit. Decent balance - will drink well for a year or two. 5:99
- Malbec 1998, Finca El Retiro
Slightly dumb nose, very sweet fruit. Nice tannins. Another good basic wine - perhaps a shade more serious than the tempranillo. Decent value. 5:99
- Chianti 1998, Leonardo
Crushed red fruits - fairly basic Chianti. I suppose there's not much Chianti under a fiver these days. 5:29
- Chianti San Zio 1996, Leonardo
Blackberries and a hint of underbrush. This is one of the co-op's more up-market offerings. 10.99
- San Ippolito 1996, Leonardo
Slightly stalky, in a not unpleasant way. Some sort of International blend. Young vines - sound rather than exciting. 14.99
- Napa Sangiovese 1997, Benessere
Rather soft and warm - decent in a very New World way.
- Sonoma Sangiovese 1997, Seghesio
A bit dull and heavy. Hints of chocolate, otherwise uninteresting. A.A. compared Sangiovese to Pinot noir, and these wines seemed to suffer in the same way that Pinot does in the New World.
- Sonoma Barbera 1997, Seghesio
Quite luscious, the acidity helpful.
- Chalk Hill Chardonnay 1992
Holding wellish, getting slightly vegetal, but pleasant fruit.
- Clos Floridene 1990
Noted again as gracefully declining. Pleasant enough, but not a patch on the 89.
- De Fieuzal Blanc 1990
Classy, impressively oaked, lovely length. Fine wine.
- L'Enclos 1975
Plummy, cedary claret, with a nice finish, but an austere hit of 75 tannins in an agressive, difficult mid-palate. Pretty good.
- Langoa-Barton 1978
Perfect claret a-point. Nicely bracing acidity, everything in nice balance.
- Barbaresco Rabaja 1982 Cortese
Scented, balanced, coffee and chocolate palate. Pretty tough tannins, decent finish.
- Rabaud Promis 1988
Quite developed. Good, well-made sauternes. (From a half.)
- Smith Woodhouse 1985
Blackberry fruit, hints of a more complex background. I wonder how the 85s will comapre to the 83s in time. (From a half.)
- Josephshofer 1983 Auslese (von Kesselstat)
From before this estates current reliability, this is a sound wine, if a shade softer and waterier than one would like in an ideal world at this level and from this vintage.