Preamble Tasting February 2002 
Lovely Wine from Nice People
Peter Dunne, Mitchell & Son

Confirms my view (January 2000) that the best wines come from the nicest people.  Drinking up wine was a very nice Fonseca too.

1. Domaine Muller, Sauvignon Blanc, Gut am Ottenberg, Styria, Austria, 2002
V. pale.  (Reminded me of Rainwater Madeira.)  Lovely nose, bursting out a slightly floral gooseberry.  Zing on the tongue, huge fruit.  Grapefruit with a hint of sugar, and a little cream of tartar.  Done all in steel by Gunther and Eva Muller.  Will last.  Styria (Steiermark) is in the south of Austria, bordering on Slovenia.  This is an extraordiary vintage, said to be the best in 100 years.  The grape is a clone of Ladoucette in the Loire.  14%.  Stunning.  Shame about the price.
23.49

2. Weingut Schumacker, Riesling Spatlese Trocken, Pfalz, Germany 1999
Light, hint of green.  Quite dumb, more petrol as it warmed up.  Fruity at the front, dry at the end, long finish.  Quite lovely, if a teeny bit watery at the edges.  13%
16.89

3. Domaine Garnier, Chablis, 1999
Silvery grey colour.  Long legs on the glass.  Steely nose.  Fresh, rounded, very odd - but pleasant - finsih.  No shortage of fruit.  Well put togerther.  No oak.  12.5%.  Superb.
15.22

4. Domaine Sipp Mack, Riesling Grand Cru "Rosacker", Hunnawihr, Alsace 1999
Light golden green.  Quite dumb.  Very much in its infancy.  Initial sweetness, sizzle, fruit.  Ends with petrol and lasts for ages. Lovely.  13%  Vineyard less than 1 ha. (Recently tried Sipp Mack Gewurtztraminer and was most impressed.)
18.98

5. Fleurie La Madone, Prosper Maufoux, 2000
Light, violet red.  Nose not too "raw Gamay", even very pleasant. Fruit and acid in good balance, a little doft tannin, lovely long finish.  12.5%  An excellent example of a very civilised 100% Gamay, from La Madone vineyard.  Pierre Maufoux is in his 70s and not well, which is a shame.  Let's wish him well!

17.71

6. Chateau de la Cour, Saint Emilion, 1998
Deep velvety red.  A it dumb, but soft, fruitcake nose develops.  Fruit and a lot of bitterness on mid-palate, lots of tannin.  Drinking nicely, won't last?  Needs food.  A good value St. Emilion (did you ever think you would hear that?), 85% Merlot, 115% Cabernet Sauvignon.  12.5%
16.45

7. Gigondas, Le Grand Montmirail, Domaine Brusset, 2000
Big, dark, velvety, very pink around the edges.  Again a bit dumb, brambles.  Really great fruit, intense but restrained.  Very complex, coming together nicely.  Plenty of tannin.  Wine Spectator wentmad over it.  Made by :Laurent Brusset.  65% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah, 5% Cinsault.  No yeasts added,  13% 
20.00

8. Chateau de Lamarque, Haut Medoc, Cru Bourgeois, 1996
Lovely orange red, pale around the edges.  Very stern, hint of condensed milk.  Very elegant as stated!  Quite gentle.  Not a long-lasting wine.  Made by Pierre-Giles Gromomd d'Ievry (hope I spelt that properly), right on the river.  70% Cab Sauvignon.  12.5% alc.

24.76

9. Alion, Rafael Alvarez, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 1997
Deep red.  Wow of a nose; very powerful. Very tannic.  Much better on the nose than on the palate.  Is there enough fruit?  Huge wine, very complex, said to be long keeping.  Others raved about it; I had reservations.  It's 100% Tempranillo, two years in French oak, 13.5%.  These folk own Vega Sicilia, btw.
31.00

10. Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva, Napa Sequoia Grove, 1997
Really dark, sparkling clear.  Gorgeous nose, concentrated but restrained.  Very stern, but with a wonderful finish.  Still quite puckering.  12.5%  Very French (Jim Allen, the maker, matches Pauillac) French oak.  Gorgeous but pricey.

46.00

11. Alto, Altavista Vineyard, Argentina, 1998
Almost as dark as the Sequoia Grove, Initially very stern nose, followed with gorgeous black cherry jam.  Smooth, intense, gorgeous, elegant.  Made by Michel Roland on behalf of Jean Michel Arcaute (from Bordeaux), it's 80% Malbec with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.9% alc. Keep this one; wine with attitude, the hell with the price.  

48.00

 

 
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