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Diary index

Recent Italian wines 30/09/2001 (TNB)

Tasting with Mark Lloyd of Coriole Vineyards, McLaren Vale at Bacchanalia, Cambridge 22/09/2001 (RJB)

A Fine Wine Dinner at La Garrigue 18/09/2001 (TNB)

Recent Clarets 14/09/2001 (TNB)

12/09/2001 (RJB)

Various Champagnes and a Chassagne 07/09/2001 (TNB)

07/09/2001 (RJB)

02/09/2001 (TNB)

02/09/2001 (RJB)

The Diary - September 2001

Recent Italian wines 30/09/2001 (TNB)

  • Barolo Cannubi 1993 (Prunotto) Quite deeply coloured and fleshy for a 93 (a bit of new oak, perhaps), with real "hot-road" tar and typical nebbiolo scentedness. Mushrooms too. Austere and dry with prominant tannins. Perhaps not at peak yet, but possibly never going to be worth more than a decent ***
  • Barolo La Serra 1993 (Marcarini) Very classic barolo: rose-scented over a tar base. This is earlier maturing than Marcarini's Brunate but it is still quite tannic, dry, yet florally scented and very attractive in a grown-up way. I think this is in its peak-drinking phase now. ***
  • Primitivo Prima-Mano 1999 (Fusione) A special selection bottling of the very popular (but I haven't tried it yet) A-Mano Primitivo. Bags of nicely textured, rich blackberry fruit and some new oak binding it together. Certainly good, but I would like to look at this a few years down the line. Probably worth an extra star in time but for now a conservative **
  • Nebbiolo d'Alba 1998 (Bruno Giacosa) Weighty fruit, dry and perfumed with roses, pretty tannic. Good, but not quite the cheap way in to the fantastic wines of Giacosa that I had been hoping for. A bare **(*)
  • Soave Classico Superiore, Vigneti di Foscarino 1998 (Inama) A very different flavour-profile from the usual Chardonnay and Riesling that I find myself drinking - nutty, slightly bitter, good length. I like this. ***
  • Chianto Classico 1998 (Isole e Olena) Uncompromising, meaty, dry, slightly austere wine, has a bit of class about it - perhaps best with food right now, but good. From a half. **(*)
  • Collio Piacentini Gutturnio, Romeo 1990 (Fugazza) Smoky, bramble wine, slightly rustic and quite tannic. A pleasant drink. **
  • Fontalloro 1990 (Felsina Berardenga) I have had this wine once or twice recently and I have some reservations about a rather "cooked" quality to the fruit and a general austerity that does not bode so well for the future. This particular bottle seems better than the last, with a rather fine, complex, scented nose but the doubts remain for what is a top wine in a highly regarded (perhaps over-highly except in Brunello) Tuscan vintage. I wonder if there has been a storage problem? Not really more than **
  • Selva d'Oro 1999 (Falchini) Vernaccia and some Chardonnay - dry, clean, appetising, a bit of richness from the Chardonnay, good length. Nice lunchtime wine. Top *
  • Casalferro 1995 (Castello di Brolio) Fragrant, rich nose. Lots of blackberry and fruitcake fruit backed by ripe tannins and really good acidity that shades in to a sort of green-pepper astringancy. I'm not sure how this last feature will evolve in an otherwise very good wine. ***
  • Moscato d'Asti 1996 (Marcarini) Marcarini's elegant Moscato needs a while in bottle to show its best, but this is getting a bit too old. It's OK but a bit more exuberant fresh fruit would be good. *
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/09/2001   Return to top

Tasting with Mark Lloyd of Coriole Vineyards, McLaren Vale at Bacchanalia, Cambridge 22/09/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/09/2001   Return to top

A Fine Wine Dinner at La Garrigue 18/09/2001 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/09/2001   Return to top

Recent Clarets 14/09/2001 (TNB)

  • Sociando Mallet 1982 Deep colour showing little age, berry and plum fruit with suggestions of forrest floor and cigar box on the nose, dense, concentrated fruit on the palate. Having had the 85 recently (pleasant mature claret) this just shows what a serously great vintage 82 is! ***(*)
  • Chateau des Trois Chardons 1994 Closed nose at first, but a lovely, floral, Turkish delight aroma emerges. Elegant, old-fashioned, medium-weight, good acidity, structured and balanced with a dry finish. A good **(*)
  • Chateau des Trois Chardons 1989 Some bottle stink and when that blew off, leafy fruit and after some air that perfume again. The same dry, elegant style with good acidity and integrated tannins (not unripe like so many 89's). ***(*)
  • Chateau St Pierre 1978 Good colour, attractive, leafy blackcurrant fruit and lots of good cigar-box flavours. This is a rather fine 78 and worth looking out for. At peak. ***
  • Leoville Las Cases 1978 Very similarly styled to the St Pierre, but with a bit more of everything and lovely savoury fruit. Again, at peak but this wine in particular has years ahead of it. Lovely. ****
  • Poujeaux 1997 Interesting to have a look at this in comfort having enthused about it at a tasting. It's pretty forward, with attractive blackcurrant fruit and notable complexity on the nose from well-judged oak use. A nice balanced palate that will develop gracefully for a decade or so probably, without ever being a lot better than it is now. ***
  • Phelan-Segur 1997 Another forwardly fruity 97 claret, perhaps a little more chunky in style than is ideal for the vintage and a shade weedy. *
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/09/2001   Return to top

12/09/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/09/2001   Return to top

Various Champagnes and a Chassagne 07/09/2001 (TNB)

  • Champagne Grande Reserve NV (Gosset) Bread and apple nose, moderate richness, creamy texture, good body, nice length. If there is a weakness then at the moment the mousse is a shade coarse. Still very good Champagne, just worth ****
  • Champagne NV (L. Roederer) This bottle had been in a cellar for at least six months. Fine, fairly weighty, complex, balanced Champagne with a nicely-textured mousse. Tempting to give this four stars but perhaps just a top ***
  • Champagne Celebris 1990 (Gosset) Lots of complexity, but also a slightly edgy note and over all a bit muted perhaps compared to what I was hoping for from Gosset's top wine. This was being sold cheaply as a bin-end by a large retail chain, and I do wonder if there may be just a slight storage problem. Probably very good. Not Rated
  • Champagne Brut Reserve, Mise en Cave 1995 (Charles Heidsieck) Floral nose with cashew hints. Slightly blowsy fruit and coarse mousse. OK, but not the best of these dated NV wines unless like the Gosset above it is a storage problem. **
  • Chassagne Montrachet Morgeot 1996 (Ramonet) Gingery, herby nose, quite characteristic of Ramonet. Slightly subdued at least at the moment: I could worry a bit, but I think it will gain a bit in time. ***(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/09/2001   Return to top

07/09/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/09/2001   Return to top

02/09/2001 (TNB)

  • Erdener Treppchen Auslese 1985 (Moenchof) Distracting toffeed quality to the nose at first, but it blows off. Fine fruit, quite forward, nice balance. Coming close to drinking time. ***
  • Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile VT 1989 (Trimbach) Restrained is the word here: on the nose, of the sweetness of the long, fine grapefruity palate. This is rather lovely and I prefer elegance to drama in wines, but is this a shade too far that way? From a half, this doesn't give the impression of having a long life ahead of it, but there's no hurry to drink. Feeling generous, it scrapes ****
  • Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 1978 Good colour showing a bit of age, lovely smoky nose, ripe blackcurrant and cedar fruit, nice dry finish. Classic claret, but for drinking over the next five years or so I suspect. A very good 78. ****
  • Champagne Grand Cellier d'Or 1990, disgorged 1999 (Vilmart) Nuts and apples, medium weight palate but quite rich. Lovely creamy mousse. A class act that will probably improve a bit yet. ****
  • Amarone Classico 1997 (Brigaldara) Powerful cherry nose, deep plummy fruit, good acidity and tannins. Might even improve. ***
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 (Chateau Tahbilk) This has certainly aged gracefully, retaining good colour and lively berry fruit. I suppose as it has melowed it has become apparent that the fruit is not that complex, but it makes a pleasant drink that it would be interesting to taste beside (say) a 1986 Bourgeois claret. I am pleasantly surprised by this! A decent **
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/09/2001   Return to top

02/09/2001 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 02/09/2001   Return to top