Preamble Tasting December
The Tasting We Can't Afford
1. Rias Baixas, 1996
This is Spanish,from Galicia, made from the Albarino grape. A very floral nose, but Chardonnay on the palate, with a lot of oak and some cream of tartar taste. Pleasant and diffferent but a bit overpriced.
2. Meursault Edouard Delaunay et ses Fils, Burgundy, 1993
Not the biggest nose ever, but lovely, with a hint of toffee. Quite a lot of oak, stern but smooth, good acid balance. Not as good as it might be, but lovely nonetheless.
About £24.00, Brangans
3. Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay, Paul Hobbs, 'Richard Dinner' Vineyard, California, 1994
Quite closed. Fruit wood and acid well balanced, although perhaps too much wood on second tasting. Its 13% alcohol is not too evident. Completely overpowers the Meursault. Iw ouldn't pay this much for it.
4. Clos d'Iere Blanc, Domaine Rabiega, Vins de Pays du Var, 1993
Again, quite closed nose. Perhaps some residual sugar, despite the heat - this is from Provence. Quite a spicy aftertaste, with wood showing. Unusual. This is owned by the Swedish Wine and Spirit Board and is their first attempt at a white. It's 50:50 Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc, and matured in three different varieties of American oak.
5. Duas Quintas Reserva, Duoro, Ramos-Pinto, Portugal, 1992
Quite stern nose but smooth. Made from Tourigo nacional and Tinto Barocca. Very elegant, smopth. Will get better. Good.
6. Domaine de la Courtade, Cotes de Provence, Iles de Porquerolles, 1994<
Very closed nose. Huge bottle differences - all three were different. Our bottle was tinny and unfriendly, I'm afraid. It is from islands off the coast of Bandol which are a plant reserve, and about 80% Mourvedre.
7. Nuits Saint-Georges 1er Cru, Clos des argillieres, Domaine Daniel Rion et fils, 1989
Incredibly rubbery nose. Tannin and fruit showing on the palate. Doesn't look its age, appeared to be still too young. Quite elegant, though.
8. Cepparello, Vino da Tavola di Toscana, Cantine di Isole e Olena, 1985
100% Sangiovese. Good nose, elegant. Was quite cold, and had an ester taste which disappeared as it warmed up. Still young. Stern, elegant, needs food. Very good
Courtesy of Terroirs, £?
9. 'Millenium', Yarra Valley Wine, Long Gully Estate, Victoria, 1994
Big jammy nose, with a hint of sterness. Taste is pure fruit pastille, with the Malbec showing through. Dry on the tongue at the end. Cab Sauvignon and Merlot with some Cab Franc and Malbec. 13.5% alcohol. Really lovely but at the £30?
10. Keyneton Estate, Henschke & Co., Barossa, South Australia, 1994
Hugely fruity nose; Shiraz dominated. Deep, deep red. Big and fruity; the Cab Sauvignon comes through on the palate, with the Malbec giving it the stern/elegant bit but no noticeable Shiraz taste. (It's 70% Shiraz, 15% Cab Sauvignon, 10% Shiraz Big, approachable, too dear.
11. Cuvee No. 1, Clos D'Iere, Domaine Rabiega, Cotes de Provence, 1990
The Swedish Wine Board again, but this time with a real cracker. A velvety black-red. No nose to speak of. Lots of tannin and lots of fruit. 13.5% alcohol, 100% Syrah. Gorgeuos.
Probably about £27.00, Courtesy of Brangans
12. Hermitage 'La Chapelle', Paul Jaboulet Aine, 1983
Deep and velvety black-red. Nose not as open as it might be. Really tannic; way too young. Very fruity; fruit pastilles. Not yet fully together. Pity to drink at this age. Elegant wine, though.
Courtesy of Mark Wilkinson
13. Bonnezeaux, Domaine du Petit Val, Cal Denis Goizil, 1995
Chenin blanc from Cotes de Lyons, will last 40-50 years in bottle. Interestingly tangy nose, Brownish colour with some pink. Complex taste, sweet with lightness. 14% alcohol.
£15.00 for 50 cl
14. Solera 1842 Sherry, Valdespina, Jerez, Spain
Huge nose. Creamy coffee ice cream. Wonderful complexity. Nuts and ice cream, with a good acidic background. Yum. And at that price!