Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 12016 wines in 22 years 1 months and 6 days
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Diary index

Oddbins' Katnook Estate Tasting with chief winemaker Wayne Stehbens 25/09/2000 (RJB)

The Loire, presented by Justerini And Brooks at the Scottish Wine Society 24/09/2000 (TNB)

19/09/2000 (RJB)

Tasting at Justerini and Brooks' Wine Warehouse 16/09/2000 (TNB)

13/09/2000 (RJB)

11/09/2000 (RJB)

Noel Young Wines - 'New Australian Wines' 11/09/2000 (RJB)

11/09/2000 (TNB)

07/09/2000 (TNB)

Oddbins Fine Wine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 07/09/2000 (RJB)

The Diary - September 2000

Oddbins' Katnook Estate Tasting with chief winemaker Wayne Stehbens 25/09/2000 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/09/2000   Return to top

The Loire, presented by Justerini And Brooks at the Scottish Wine Society 24/09/2000 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 24/09/2000   Return to top

19/09/2000 (RJB)

  • Champagne Signature, blanc de blancs (Drappier) OK Fizz, light weight and reasonably elegant, but lacking the extra oomph to be anything other than **
  • Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 1990 (Trimbach) A wine that needs to be thought about - not immediately obvious how good it is. Elegant and restrained, with gentle floral flavours. Acidity seems strangely reticent. **(**)
  • Pinot Gris Clos Saint Urbain 1996 (Zind Humbrecht) Big wine with a sweet smoky palate (someone suggested new rubber door seals on the London underground, but didn't suggest which line) and lots of concentration. Long. We don't usually do too much food matching on these pages, but for the record this went brilliantly with a rich terrine of foie gras - one of those matches that is made in heaven. Superb wine. ***(*)
  • Bonnes-Mares 1988 (Robert Groffier) Gorgeous lifted nose - violets and berrie, and a mineral edge. Palate disappointing - lacking the charm that the nose suggests. A dry acidic finish. Slightly beyond peak? Just ***
  • Grand Puy Lacoste 1989 Top notch claret - dry cassis and cigar box, in fact everything one might expect from such (except perhaps for a lovely touch of fennel on the nose). Almost at peak maturity ***(*)
  • Ornellaia 1990 (Marchese Lodovicoa) Near perfection (but not to my mind worth the 100 points it gets from certain quarters). Tight, but generous and sensuous nose - sweet violets and berries. Compared with the nose, the palate is closed and tight - needs time to open up. Should be absolutely sublime. Easily **(***)
  • Reka Dessert Wine 1999 (Kim Crawford Wines) Mainly Riesling I was told - which I can believe. Sweet wine with acidity, but really rather simple. *
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/09/2000   Return to top

Tasting at Justerini and Brooks' Wine Warehouse 16/09/2000 (TNB)

A good showing of moderately priced wines.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 16/09/2000   Return to top

13/09/2000 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 13/09/2000   Return to top

11/09/2000 (RJB)

  • Langi Shiraz 1995 (Mount Langi Ghiran) Lovely wine reminiscent of a good Cote Rotie. Tight berry fruit and polished leather, peppery Shiraz flavours. Ageing slowly and well, this should turn out to be superb in another five years. Easily **(**)
  • Lloyd Reserve Shiraz 1997, McLaren Vale (Coriole) Young spirity nose masking what might be there (although an oaky gumminess and mocha does come through). Struggling with its alcohol content - will this integrate? Perhaps *(**)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/09/2000   Return to top

Noel Young Wines - 'New Australian Wines' 11/09/2000 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/09/2000   Return to top

11/09/2000 (TNB)

  • Vin de Paille 1997 (Chapoutier) Sexy, "bedding" nose. Zippy, ripe fruit. Rather gorgeous. This was at the end of a long dinner, and so I'd like to try it again. Gven the price these things sell for, that might not be so easy! **** perhaps more.
  • Champagne, blanc-de-blancs 1988 (Dom Ruinart) Splendid, slightly hazelnutty chardonnay fruit. Tight, needs years. I think on the whole I prefer some Pinot in my Champagne, but this must be one of the best blanc-de-blancs. **(**)
  • Oberemmeler Hutte spatlese 1997 (Von Hovel) Decent fruit, good acid. Nice liquorice/aniseed flavours. Young riesling is difficult to judge. Perhaps *(**)
  • Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg auslese 1990, Fuder 92 (von Schubert) Very complex, rather dry, oozes character. Super, but so tightly wound it is not easy to drink now. (After writing the above I noticed this has a rave review from Robert Parker too - 94 points and don't drink for at least ten years. I'm not always in sympathy with his assessment of German wines, but this is right on the money, to my mind. German wine remains so unfashionable that even this sort of write-up from the man himself doesn't cause the price to go mad. Just think what you'd have to pay for a Burgundy this good.) **(***)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/09/2000   Return to top

07/09/2000 (TNB)

  • Champagne Grand Millesime 1989 (Gosset) This had a bad review from RJB recently but I'm not so sure I agree. A full-bodied champagne in an old-fashioned style with the fermentation in wood quite apparent. The mousse has softened a bit and it is showing a bit of age. I enjoyed this and I think it will probably be better in a few years. This may be just a difference in taste, or it may be that Gosset does more than one bottling (as many old-fashioned French producers still do) and there are different versions about. It's marginal but I think this bottle scrapes ***(*)
  • Urziger Wurzgarten 1989 Spatlese (Moenchof) Spicey, guite long. Nice body. Starting to show some maturity. **(*)
  • Sylvaner 1996 (Rolly-Gassmann) Quite rich and off-dry. Sometimes with the lesser grapes I feel this estate tries to do a bit too much. Mind you, in a couple more years the balance might look right. *
  • Chablis 1997 (Bouchard Pere et Fils) Dry, minerally, yet with sufficient richness not to feel mean. A decent effort. (Just a coincidence that RJB had a Bouchard wine as well this week. I thought this negociant was on the up, but RJBs note doesn't seem to confirm that!) *
  • Les Tourelles de Longueville 1988 Second wine of Pichon Baron. Hefty blackcurrant nose and ripe fruity palate with some oak and a touch of real Pauillac character. Lacking the depth and excitement you would hope for from the real thing, this is drinking well enough. In fact quite structured, but I suspect it's not going anywhere much. Easily **
  • Haardter Herrenletten Riesling spatlese 1990 (Muller-Catoir) Quite heavily extracted grapefruity fruit with kerosene undertones. Nice acidity, but the slightly fat fruit makes it a bit tiring to drink and I'm not at all sure where it is going either. **, but perhaps it will surprise in time.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/09/2000   Return to top

Oddbins Fine Wine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 07/09/2000 (RJB)

Too many 'Just one star' or worse

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/09/2000   Return to top