Preamble Tasting February
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,
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
2. Weingut Schumacker, Riesling Spatlese Trocken, Pfalz, Germany
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
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.
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.)
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!
6. Chateau de la Cour, Saint Emilion, 1998
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.
7. Gigondas, Le Grand Montmirail, Domaine Brusset, 2000
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
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.
9. Alion, Rafael Alvarez, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 1997
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.
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.
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.
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