Preamble Tasting December 2002
The Tasting We Can't Afford
Once again our esteemed chairman takes us through an
eclectic selection of the kind of wines we'd like to drink every day.
1. Clos Flordine Graves, Denis et Florence Dubourdieu, 2000
Interesting, big nose, something earthy: could have said Riesling if
tasted blind! Quite stern, with citrus notes. Oak. Needs
to come together a bit? Sauvignon/Semillon. 12.5%
2. Babich 'The Patriarch' Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay, NZ, 1999
sparkling clear. Very limey; acid drops, citrus, glycerine finish.
Keeps changing. 1 year in oak and 9 months in bottle before release.
Said to last five years 14.5% alc. Beautiful, even at the
Gleeson (not available yet) ~ €21
3. Riesling Grand Cru
Wiebelsberg, Marc Kreydenweiss, Alsace, 1997
Yellow green, deep and clean.
Very toasty, with petrol. Really very acid at first, buzz on the
tongue, and lots of citrus. Not at all what I expected. Cream
of tartar at the end. Smooth, lovely. Vines 30 years, will age
4. Steenberg 'Catharina', Constantia, S.
Warm nose. Loads of buzz and a fruitcake finish. Enough tannin,
Smooth, dry, stands up well after the whites. Merlot and Cab
Papillon / Vaughan-Johnson €21.50
Woltner Private Reserve Red, Howell Mountain, Napa, California, 1996
red, 'glittering infinities in a glass' as I think one of the Lawrences
wrote. Heavy fruitcake nose. Very dry, loads of crunchy
tannin, perhaps a little too much acid, coats the teeth. Very nice;
only the second vintage.52% Cab Sauvignon, 48% Merlot; 12 months in French
oak, 13.5% alc. Too young, will improve?
6. Chateau Palmer, Margaux, 1998
Served blind. Deep
brown red; no particular orange rim. Quite dumb. Raspberry,
lots of tannin, good fruit. Elegant. Warms up to an earthy,
gorgeous mouthful. This is a third growth. they say 2power,
flesh and delicacy" and I wouldn't disagree a bit. Mostly Merlot,
some Cab Sauvignon. the best Margaux of a very good year.
Presented by Terroirs, to whom much thanks
7. Castello di
Volpaia 'Coltassaia', radda, Tuscany, Italy, 1993
light with a hint of black. Rich nose. Quite elegant, with
a hint of amaro. Very nice, easy to drink. 95% Sangiovese, 5%
Mainolo, 13% alc.
8. Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru,
Gagnard-delagrange, Burgundy, 1999
Light red, no
rim. Nose develops as it warms. Lovely smooth wash of
strawberries. Really lovely. Young yet, but drinking well now.
Very approachable (too approachable!).Will it last?
Conor Richardson €26
9. Rex Hill King's Ridge, Pinot
Noir, Oregon, USA, 1996
blind. Fine light colour, pinky. Bit jammy, some glycerine, good
acidity, elegant. Could be falling apart rapidly rather than not come
10. Cuvee No. 3 de Castlemaure, Corbieres,
Very deep,purply red.
Huge, fruity, warm, sugary nose. Beautiful, approachable, some
sweetness, quite elegant, ends with fruit and a little burn. Long
aftertaste - spicy; cloves. Wellbalanced. 760 parcels of
vineyard, vinified separately, average age of vines is 60. Grenache
35%, Carignan 25%, Syrah 40%; 14 months in French oak, 14% alc.
Served with spiced beef - yum!
11. Babich 'The Patriarch' Cabernet Sauvignon, hawke's Bay, NZ, 1998
Deep red with a big, rich
nose. Loads of fruit but not in your face, good acid and alcohol buzz,
crunchy tannin. Good now and years to improve.
12. Concha y Toro 'Don Melchior' Provate Reserve, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile, 1998
Ribena! Huge, almost unbelieveable nose. Very elegant,
balanced fruit and tannin. Will improve too. One of the best
13. 'Alenza' Crianza del Condado de Haza, Ribero del Duero, Spain,
Dark and clean.
Big nose of prunes. beautifully smooth, fruity, elegant, gorgeous.
100% Tempranillo, 13% alc. Crianza means 'nursed'; for two years,
one in oak, one in bottle. (Reserva is two years in oak.)
10. Madeira 10 year old Malmsey, Henriques et Henriques
Brown with a hint of red.
polish and raisins. Clean, nutty, lovely. Served with
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