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Diary index

30/09/1996 (TNB)

29/09/1996 (RJB)

28/09/1996 (TNB)

Pinot Noir Tasting, Oddbins Fine Wines Cambridge 27/09/1996 (RJB)

Barolo dinner at Silvio's, and others 25/09/1996 (TNB)

22/09/1996 (RJB)

Oddbins wine fair -- edited highlights 22/09/1996 (TNB)

15/09/1996 (RJB)

Misc 14/09/1996 (TNB)

12/09/1996 (RJB)

Moet tasting at SWS 10/09/1996 (TNB)

Wine dinner at E. McCague's, 08/09/1996 (TNB)

08/09/1996 (RJB)

Krug tasting (Bottoms Up(!)) 06/09/1996 (TNB)

Gang of Six, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris 05/09/1996 (RJB)

04/09/1996 (RJB)

Guest at D.L.'s wine group 03/09/1996 (TNB)

The Diary - September 1996

30/09/1996 (TNB)

  • Coudelet 86 (Red) Nicely mature, rich warm fruit with chesnutty/mushroom overtones. Simple but pleasant. 85.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 30/09/1996   Return to top

29/09/1996 (RJB)

  • Chianti Ruffino 1995, Imbottigliato da Chianti Ruffino S.p.A A cheap Chianti drunk in an Italian restaurant in Cambridge. Not a great wine, but clean and with lightness, acidity and bitterness that went very well with a plate of fettucini al salmone afumicato - somehow a more complicated wine wouldn't have worked nearly as well. 83
  • Woodcroft Estate 1990 Australian Semillon A wine bought for a party four or five years ago at 2.99 a bottle. I thought the wine should age well, as indeed it has. Lime butter with good acidity. Simple but pleasing. 85
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/09/1996   Return to top

28/09/1996 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/09/1996   Return to top

Pinot Noir Tasting, Oddbins Fine Wines Cambridge 27/09/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/09/1996   Return to top

Barolo dinner at Silvio's, and others 25/09/1996 (TNB)

  • Barolo Riserva 67 (Borgogno) Healthy lightish colour, some "rustic" components with the still quite pleasant fruit. Dries a little on in the mouth. 87.
  • Barolo Riserva 65 (Borgogno) Again a nice colour, but more concentrated with no off flavours, and a good finish without the drying. Not terribly complex, but quite fine. 90.
Before and After:
  • Cornas 91 (Verset) Huge cassis overlying blackberries nose. Very concentrated fruit almost hides initially quite substantial tannic structure. Needs at least five years, but I think this will be very fine. 93.
  • Bourgoigne Rouge 90 (Barthod) Bags of ripe fruity pinot on the nose (like the 88 of this wine). In the mouth, quite a lot of tannin which may resolve, and to me a bitter component which I'm not keen on (possibly aftermath of cold(?)). Judgement reserved.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/09/1996   Return to top

22/09/1996 (RJB)

  • Barbaglio 1993 Rosso del Salento, CA Santa Barbara (5.25 VW) Red wine of the year and gold medal winner at the IWC. Nutty oxidative nose that evolved into bitter cherry flavours. Quite pleasant eventually. Like Taurino's wines (I prefer his wines) a mix of Negroamaro and Primitivo. 84
  • Mount Langi Ghiran, Langi Shiraz 1994 I believe Parker has rated this wine recently (92 or 94 points?). Initially closed (and I wondered what the fuss was about) it opened out into a classy wine: lightly chocolatey (perhaps the only thing giving it away as New World) with currant (Grenache-style) acidity and leathery flavours. Has the structure and depth to age well. It's nice to have an Oz Shiraz that isn't all upfront. 90
  • Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1994, Cornacchia (4.29 Majestics) This vintage has now replaced the 1993. The first taste of this was disappointing - spritzy and very out of balance. Giving the bottle a big shake did the trick - a lot of gas came out of the wine. I hope this is just a symptom of recent bottling (and not renewed fermentation). The wine without the fizz was much more pleasing and had much better balance with good zingy acidity and good concentration. 88
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/09/1996   Return to top

Oddbins wine fair -- edited highlights 22/09/1996 (TNB)

Tasting with the aftermath of a severe cold, so notes brief, and probably untrustworthy. It is astonishing that one can have an event on this scale, and not feature a single near-serious claret, no red burgundy, and the merest handful of Rhone. Also not a single German!

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/09/1996   Return to top

15/09/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/09/1996   Return to top

Misc 14/09/1996 (TNB)

  • Ch Rousset 82 (Cotes de Bourg) Simple but pleasant mature fruit, at peak probably. 85. (Old Wine Soc purchase.)
  • Champagne Pommery 89 On special at Oddbins, so sampling: straighforward middle-weight champagne, pleasant enough, were it not for a very faint hint of rotton eggs underlying. 84.
  • La Lagune 86 Initially austere in the glass, but opens out into a plummy wine with lots of oak. Has that lovely orangy lead-pencil nose I remember from Leoville-Barton (and, wonderfully, Lafite) in this vintage. A lot of underlying tannin, but this is almost hidden under the fruit. Needs years, of course, but suprisingly pleasurable now. 92.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 14/09/1996   Return to top

12/09/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 12/09/1996   Return to top

Moet tasting at SWS 10/09/1996 (TNB)

  • Torre del Gall 92 Moet's cava. Modern fruit, a bit thin, acidic and short. (Perhaps OK for Cava?) 78.
  • Green point brut 93 Round chardonnay fruit, slightly toffeed. Reasonably elegant for Oz, but didn't leave me thirsty for more. 82.
  • Moet Brut Imperial NV Reasonable apply chardonnay nose, slightly coarse bubbles, a reasonable mid-weight NV. 85.
  • Moet Brut Imperial 90 Larger and rounder than the NV, probably greater fruit ripeness. Needs a bit of age, but good rather than brilliant, I think. 87.
  • Moet Brut Imperial Rose 88 Unremarkable -- champagne with a bit of red wine thrown in to give boring rose flavours. Not very keen. 83.
  • Saran, Coteaux Champenois Still wine made from Dom Perignon chardonnay grapes. Like an old fashioned chablis, bone dry and steely. A mix of 85 and 88 vintages apparently. OK in a way, but the champagne makers don't like it because making a bottle of this stops two bottles of Dom P being made. I see their point! 85.
  • Dom Perignon 88 Classy fizz, with gingery notes like a top class burgundy. Nice wine, but lighter weight than the 85 -- perhaps not such a good vintage. 90.

The first bottle of Dom P was midly corked -- nose of wet dish-cloth over the fruit. Not very good, but not clearly faulty until put beside the good bottle.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/09/1996   Return to top

Wine dinner at E. McCague's, 08/09/1996 (TNB)

  • Bernkasteler Doktor Spatlese 79 (Deinhard) Fragrent, beautifully lively fruit, long, with an attractive streak of apply sourness which it was claimed is characteristic of the vinyard. 92.
  • Domaine de Chevalier 84 (white) Nice mature wine, with a nose of good creme anglais. A wine with a lot of oak for the fruit which has evolved into something very drinkable. 90.
  • Condrieu 91 (Niero-Pinchon) Delicate fragrant unoaked condrieu. Understated, but holding well. 88.
  • Palmer 79 Bags of cedary fruit. Very unevolved colour, with stunning concentration for the vintage. Needs time. 92+
  • du Tertre 78 Classic mature claret. Elegant, moderate concentration. No great complexity, but very drinkable. 86.
  • Giscours 61 From a half, CB. Healthy colour, Fragrant floral nose with nutty notes. Disjointed in the mouth, with fruit suddenly giving way to substantial tannins in the midpalate. 88.
  • Leoville Poyferre 64 From a half. Colour tending to chestnut, nose not very forthcoming. Quite a lot of fleshy round fruit, pleasant to drink, but of that slightly tiring brown sort. 88.
  • Pichon Lalande 64 From a half. Beautifully balanced mature claret, with some complexity. Lovely. 90.
  • Vouvray 59 (Bredif) Heavily botrytised fruit, but fresh alive honeyed chenin fruit. 91.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 08/09/1996   Return to top

08/09/1996 (RJB)

Also tasted the dregs of the 5/9/96 tasting - Kitterle falling to bits (perhaps a bad bottle); the other Tokays had all opened out and were showing better than on the actual night.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 08/09/1996   Return to top

Krug tasting (Bottoms Up(!)) 06/09/1996 (TNB)

  • Krug Grand Cuvee Gorgeous creamy long. Exquisite balance and a sort of mellow oldness (lots of reserve wine, probably). Everything that Champagne ought to be! 94.
  • Krug 85 More bready and autolytic, nutty, fantasic finish, fine burgundy with apply overlay and soft tiny bubbles that you feel in your throat. Still quite tight and youthful, but a joy to drink now anyway. 97.
  • Krug Rose The perfect rose champagne. Apple pie nose with cinammon spicyness. The slightest hint of roses. Again delicious balance. Olivier Krug says to drink rather than keep. 93.

And after dinner:

  • Cote Rotie Landonne 90 (Rostaing) A concentrated well made wine with lots of oak. Not very typically syrah, and particularly none of the smokey violets of Cote-Rotie. Perhaps this will emerge, or perhaps it is too much an "international" wine, and in particular too much oak. Not really what I want from Cote Rotie. 89.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/09/1996   Return to top

Gang of Six, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris 05/09/1996 (RJB)

Anyone who thinks that Gewurz is easy to spot in a blind tasting should try a tasting such as this!

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 05/09/1996   Return to top

04/09/1996 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/09/1996   Return to top

Guest at D.L.'s wine group 03/09/1996 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 03/09/1996   Return to top