Preamble Tasting September 1996
1. Long Mountain Chenin Blanc
Pleasant, scented. Good drinking. Good value
2. Honore Lavigne Chablis, 1995
OK, but missing something in my opinion. Other thought it good.
3. Navarro Correas Chardonnay, 1994 Argentina
Oodles of oak. Fruity. A good zing. 12% alcohol. Bit young, and too dear.
4. Long Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, 1995
Fruity nose. Quite light and fresh on the palate, taste of blackberries. Quite a lot of tannin.
5. Alexis Lichine Chateau Brown, 1989
Lovely deep red, crystal clear. Big nose. Smooth, but a very bitter aftertaste. Heavily tannic. 60:40 Cabernet:Merlot. Way too young, but I'd be worried about laying it down.
6. Chateau Laroque, St.-Emilion Grand Cru, Alexis Lichine, 1988
Deep red, elegant wine. Smooth nose with some wood. Very tannic, still tough but enough fruit to see it through. "Hot country" taste. 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. 13% alcohol. Wine of the night.
7. Chateau Lascombe, Medoc. 1989
Deep red with a slight blackness, beginning to fade at the edges. Woody, deep nose. Bitter tannins, but smooth and drinking well. Others thought it superb; I found it elegant but not approachable and not a patch on the Laroque, especially when price is taken into account.
8. Luigi Bosca Syrah, 1988 Maipu, Argentina
Lovely light red. Big fruity nose - berries. Good balance of fruit and tannin, still a bit young. Some pepper. Bit of a hole around the edges, otherwise well rounded with good oak (18 months). Not a typical syrah.
9. Luigi Bosca Malbec. 1991
Mid red, going brown; not so black as expected. Jammy nose, jammy taste. Some tannins and a good balance of acid and fruit. Pleasant, some elegance, improving the more I tried it. Bottled in 1993 after 18 months in oak. Far superior to the Syrah.
10. Vigna Ijalba Reserva, Rioja, 1990
Deep, elegant red. Vanilla and fruit on the nose. Very little tannin left, with lots of fruit. Perhaps a little too jammy and light. Very good value, but not sure it would last. Tempranillo and Garnacho. 12.5%