The Diary - October 2004
- Corton Charlemagne 1999 (Bichot)
Very nice white Burgundy - balanced, nice acidity, complex fruit. Not a long-term wine - fully mature now although no great hurry to drink. A decent effort but not really pushing the envelope in a good vintage. Top
- Langhe 1998 (R. Voerzio)
Absolutely huge wine at first taste with a big rustic palate. Good Nebbiolo character although much darker and larger than one might expect - is this blockbuster-style winemaking or are there other grape varieties? All in all an interesting wine.
- Cotes de Rhone blanc reserve 1995 (Fonsalette)
Custard powder nose. Big, complex palate with a nice touch of balancing acidity. Probably still needs time. (could even rate 4 stars in a few years).
- Barbaresco Serraboella 1989 (Cigliuti)
A bit oxidised from the colour and palate but something emerges from the wreckage. Maybe an odd bottle.
And a week or so later from the cellar
- Barbaresco Serraboella 1989 (Cigliuti)
Oranging, but an entirely healthy colour unlike the previous bottle. Quite dry with tarry but fragrant Nebbiolo fruit. It has an air of drying out a little, but on the other hand it is quite persistent - a bit of an enigma and I can't quite decide where it is going. Just about merits
- Riesling Frederic Emile 1989 (Trimbach)
Quite open for Fred E. Developed, spicy riesling nose. Some minerality. Fully mature. Tightens a bit in the glass but it still lacks real tautness. Good, but perhaps not the best vintage for this wine.
- Riesling Frederic Emile 1983 (Trimbach)
Gentle - completely integrated - dry and elegant. Nice finish. Drink soon or perhaps even sooner - some felt it was a bit past peak. I quite enjoyed its graceful maturity.
- Chassagne Montrachet Chaumees 1995 (Colin-Deleger)
Round and a bit flat compared to next wine - opens out, but only so far. Rates I guess.
- Chassagne Montrachet Chaumees 1996 (Colin-Deleger)
Pure fruity, dry, creamy, touch of minerality. Probably will still improve a bit - scrapes
- Puligny Montrachet Truffieres 1995 (Colin-Deleger)
Rounded, creamy, rich. But ever so slightly corked, I think.
- Puligny Montrachet Truffieres 1996 (Colin-Deleger)
Pretty fine high-toned hazelnut Puligny. Very good indeed.
- Haut Cotes de Nuits 1990 (Jayer-Gilles)
Stunningly sumptious lifted red fruit nose. Pure long palate. It does owe a lot to oak
- Nuits St George 1990 (Chauvenet)
A bit toffeed at first. Dry but fragrant red fruits. Fading a bit. Top
- Beaune Epenots 1990 (Bouree)
Fragrant raspberry nose. Lightweight but not lacking concentration. Very drinkable.
- Savigny-les-Beaune les Bourgeots 1990 (Bize)
Ripe nose but drying out.
- Beaune Greves Infant Jesus 1990 (Bouchard)
Pretty good, mature, high-toned red fruits nose and palate.
- Beaune Clos du Rois 1990 (Tollot-Beaut)
Less high-toned - bigger but no longer. Another good but not exceptional wine.
- Vosne Romanee Chaumes 1990 (Faively)
Intense closed nose - slightly bitter finish. Does this need time - and if we give it time to mellow will it have faded? I'm not sure. A conservative
- Nuits St Heorge Les Porets 1990 (Faively)
Middleweight standard Burgundy, good without being stunning. Quite tannic I guess.
- Clos de la Roche 1990 (Dujac)
Perfect fine red fruits - no harsh tannins, gentle and feminine - lightweight but concentrated and perfumed. Very intense and very lovely.
- Savennieres Roche aux Moins Cuvee Chevalier Buhard 1990 (Soulez)
Touch of marzipan - needs a bit of time perhaps? I'm unsure - maybe
- Smith Woodhouse 1980
Quite young fruit, touch of aniseed. A very good port not quite at peak - like so many form this splendid vintage.
Oh dear - these notes have been sitting on my desk for months!
A tasting presented by Elizabeth Pichler and Raeburn Fine Wines.
I didn't have time to make notes on most if the wines. I rescued dregs of these two however for a quiet sip after the event!
- Amontillado Coliseo (Valdespino)
Savage, burnt, salty nose and palate - absolutely magnificent but very much a challenge. One of the greats.
- Oloroso Viejo (Hidalgo La Gitana)
Very fine nose, manzanilla-like salty tang over a palate of liquid walnuts. Very long and complex palate, luxuriously textured. Suave and refined compared to the savageness of the Coliseo. Lovely. A great wine.
- Champagne 1985 (Krug)
Very honied, creamy, fine and long. Just perfect.
- Chevalier Montrachet Demoiselles 1993 (Jadot)
A bit cabbagey - over-mature? Not a great success. A bare
- Chevalier Montrachet 1993 (Dom. Leflaive)
Nice acid - very fine and balanced. concentrated hazelnut fruit. Needs some time in glass but once it opens out it is absolutely delicious.
- Vouvray Haut Lieu Moelleux 1949 (Huet)
Quite understated - less intense than the amazing 46 - lots of brown sugar and still very long.
- Vosne Romanee Cros Parentoux 1991 (Rouget)
Essence of underbrush - so concentrated and long. Meaty too with - time in hand. Brilliant wine. Top
- Clos de la Roche 1991 (H. Lignier)
Gorgeous perfumed nose, lovely rounded and fruity palate. Feminine to the Rouget's masculine, as one of the other diners (L.W. I think) observed and completely mature. Also gorgeous.
- Grand Puy Lacoste 1982
Richer and generally better than last time I tried this wine - classic Claret coming into its plateaux of maturity. I was tempted by four stars just because five top marks in a row seemed a bit over-enthusiastic. But this is pretty damned classy.
- Ducru Beaucaillou 1961
Young-looking, quite understated, fresh fruit - mature claret complexity. This is a splendid 61, in better condition than many wines from the vintage.
- Moulin Touchais 1949
Decaying pineapple nose - but splendidly alive rounded barley-sugar fruit - quite sweet still, and fresh. Lovely, but lacking the grace and complexity of the Huet wine.
- Sandeman 1955
Very figgy - fine, fresh, fragrant, vibrant fruit. Easy late-night drinking - really good. From a half. Scrapes even.
- Vouvray Clos Naudin sec 1985 (Foreau)
Not past it - just delicately honeyed, fresh fruit. Very drinkable. Merits I think.
- Nuits St George Les Damode 1985 (Machard de Gramont)
High-toned cranberry at first - returning more meaty and slightly rustic. A good colour and lively, but I feel this isn't going anywhere now. An 85 Burgundy in this good a condition ought to be splendid drinking but this doesn't really sing. Possiblys it would have been better a couple of years ago. A bit of an enigma. A top
- Puligny Montrachet 1er cru La Truffiere 1995 (J.-M. Boillot)
All very fine and Puligny, decent length too, but this seems a touch thin to me to be regarded as one of Boillot's real successes. Pleasant enough but one might hope for a bit more.
- Chateau Petit Faurie de Soutard 1985
Another "Oh dear, I hope this isn't past it" wine lurking in my cellar, but it isn't, at least if you like mature, elegant Claret. Pleasant, still nice and fresh with understated mature Bordeaux cigar box. Time to drink up though.
The second wine really did have a claimed bottling date (but no vintage) in the auction catalogue, although I can't see any sign on the bottle. Seems about right though.