Preamble Tasting December 1998
The Tasting We Can't Afford
Being the Chairman's choice of wines we'd be drinking if we could afford it.
1. Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese 1971 QMP, Deinhard & Co., Mosel
This is the first time I've ever given three stars to anything, but what a stupendous wine. Of course, you can't get it anywhere; this was bought umpteen years ago for £2.50! It is perhaps the finest vintage in the second half of this century. Deep yellow. A rich, petrol nose. Biscuity, with a long, lovely spicy sweet finish. 100% Riesling. Went beautifully with the biscuits. Glorious.
£2.50 when bought.
2. Rully Premier Cru "Les Cloux", J M Boillot, Pommard, Cote d'Or, 1997
Golden yellow. Gorgeous nose.Initially quite sharp on the palate, with good fruit and acidity. A hint of butterscotch. 13% V.good with smoked salmon, which softens the cutting edge.
3. Chradonnay Vintner's Reserve, Kendall-Jackson, Santa Barbara, California,1997
"Roasty, toasty, oaky style" Very light colour. Really yoasty nose. Acid matching great fruit, wood not too obtrusive. Quite oily. 13%
Cassidy Wines £16-£17
4. Los Cerros de San Juan, 1996
Served blind. Quite light in colour. Looks young. Quite tart. Not too impressed for £9. 12.5%
Verlings (now Oddbins) £9.00
5. Chateau Segur de Cabanac, Cru Bourgeois Saint-Estephe, G. Delon et fils, 1993
Deep, quite murky. Looks young. Slightly jammy but not very big nose. Quite sharp on the palate at first, quite tannic, but smoky, plummy fruit. Much better aftertaste; lovely leathery finish. Should improve a lot but maybe lacks concentration.
6. Chateau Lynch-Moussas Grand Cru CLasse, Pauillac, Caste JA & Co., 1990
Much clearer, browny tinge. Gorgeous, deep nose with hint of pastilles. Smooth as silk, but stern, with an acid fizz. Still quite a lot of tannin. Very complex, very good but a little pricey.
7. Nuits St Georges Premier Cru "Les Pruliers", Domaine Robert Chevillon, Cote d'Or, 1993
Still looks young but beginning to form a light rim. Gorgeous, fruity, strawberry nose. Even silkier than the Ch. Lynch-Moussas, with an unusual blast of acid. Some tannins left. Loads of fruit, still very fresh. Strawberry aftertaste. Long way to go still.
Conor Richardson £24.50
8. Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru, Les Beaux-Monts, Domaine Daniel Rion et Fils, Nuits St-Georges, 1992
Light orangy colour. Burnt rubber nose. Beautifully stern, still very fruity, good acid, some tannin, very well balanced. Raspberry, ends on tannin and redcurrrant. Beautiful.
9. Duas Quintas Reserva, Duoro, Portugal, Ramos-Pinta, 1994
Deep clear black red. Rich, gamey but not very pronounced nose. Hints of port, but quite a young feel to it. Well structured. Nacional and Tinta barocca. WIll last. V.good.
10. Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 1991
Looks serious. Weird nose, most unexpected. Big blackcurrant and eucalyptus, maybe mint. Amazingly smooth, some soft tannin, loads of acid to balance big powerful fruit. Definintely eucalyptus now. 13.5% Price is a problem, but it's lovely.
11. Crozes Hermitage "Domaine de Thalabert", Paul Jaboulet Aine, 1983
Deep colour, lightening at edges. Warm, spicy, slightly oxidised, bit of sultana. Surprisingly acidic up front. fruit cake and tannin. Showing a bit of age, but a fine, warm-country wine.Fruit is disappearing, but great to be able to try it.
12. Hermitage "La Chapelle", Paul Jaboulet Aine, 1985
Lovely cherry red. Nose quite closed. (Blunted by the cheese, I think). Initial sterness, good acid and superb, concentrated but not very broad fruit. Neat, gorgeous. It is said that the evil men do lives after them: In Gerard Jaboulet's case it is the good wine that lives on.
13. Bandol Domaine Tempier Cuvee La Migoua, Vignerons Peyraud, 1994
Light but black. Huge nose, very gamey. Huge fruit, sharp tannins but not very much, acid, lots of wood. Not together but big. 70% Mourvedre with Syrah and Grenache.
14. Pio Cessare Barolo, 1994
Served blind. Very light, Burgundy colour. Not a big nose, hint of astringency and sweetness. No sweetness on the palate, though. 13.5% Didn't really like, perhaps because it wasn't like my expectation of Barolo.
15. Madeira Malmsey, 10 years old, Henriques and Henriques
Served with walnuts. Absolutely gorgeous. Incredibly concentrated dried fruit, raisins. Hint of oxidation. Oily; lingers on. Wonderful. Best Madeira I've ever tasted... so good theynamed it twice.