Preamble Tasting December 2002 
The Tasting We Can't Afford
Mark Downes

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
Quite pale.  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%
Searson 24.99

2. Babich 'The Patriarch' Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay, NZ, 1999
Deep yellow, 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 price.
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 10-15 years.
Terroirs  29

4. Steenberg 'Catharina', Constantia, S. Africa, 1998
Clean, mid-red.  Warm nose.  Loads of buzz and a fruitcake finish. Enough tannin,  Smooth, dry, stands up well after the whites.  Merlot and Cab Sauvignon.  13.5%
Papillon / Vaughan-Johnson  21.50

5. Chateau Woltner Private Reserve Red, Howell Mountain, Napa, California, 1996
Beautifully deep 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?
Terroirs  65

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
 Very 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.
37.50

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
Served blind.  Fine light colour, pinky. Bit jammy, some glycerine, good acidity, elegant. Could be falling apart rapidly rather than not come together yet.
Searson  23.99

10. Cuvee No. 3 de Castlemaure, Corbieres, France, 2000
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!

Terroirs 29

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.

Gleeson 21

12. Concha y Toro 'Don Melchior' Provate Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile, 1998
Deep red-purple.  Ribena!  Huge, almost unbelieveable nose.  Very elegant, balanced fruit and tannin.  Will improve too.  One of the best Chileans.
Findlater 35

13. 'Alenza' Crianza del Condado de Haza, Ribero del Duero, Spain, 1996
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.)
Searson  59.99

10. Madeira 10 year old Malmsey, Henriques et Henriques
Brown with a hint of red.  polish and raisins.  Clean, nutty, lovely.  Served with fruitcake.  Gorgeous.

Searson 23.99


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