Preamble Tasting December 1999 
The Millennium Tasting We Can't Afford
Mark Downes

  Since most of this stuff is unobtainable the star ratings, which include price, can be impossible. So beware.


Aperitif: Valdespino Deliciosa Manzanilla Dry Sherry. Sancular de Barrameda, Spain.

1. Soave Foscarino 1995, Stefano Inama, Veneto, Italy
Nose says age; light gold green. Garganega grape, from Foscarino vineyard; 10,000 bottles per year. 13% alcohol. Smooth, woody, still fruit, maybe residual sugar. Many different tastes come through. Very good..
Brangan 15.00

2. Equinoxe Domaine de l'Arjolle, Cotes de Thongue, 1996
Gorgeous green, crystal clear. Nose full of amazingly complex, sweet, zingy tones; acid drops smell. Very dry, beautifully fruity. Maybe a teeny bit watery on the aftertaste but gorgeous. 40% Viognier, 40% Suavignon Blanc, 40% Muscat of Alexandria. The SB and Muscat only are matured in oak casks.
Terroirs £11.00 - 12.00

3. Moulin a Vent, Edouard Delauney, 1997
Served blind. Thought initially might be Zinfandel (Yes, I still don't like Zin); thought it was made by maceration carbonique (it was, and I really don't like this technique). Mark says it's good Gamay. I found it hard, didn't like it at all.
Brangan £11.50

4. Chateau Fourcas Hosten, Listrac Medoc, Bordeaux, 1985
Gold medal Paris. Deep crimson.Not a big nose (but too cold). Still very tannic, and quite a lot of fruit but maybe not enough. Not together yet. Going to be great. Very interesting.

5. RSV Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Stag's Leap, Napa Valley, California, 1992
Looks young. Clear dark crimson. Austere nose. good tannins and fruit. Big burn (but only12%), jammy, inky. Definitely not togetehr yet. Big wine, elegant taste and elegant label too. 20% Merlot, 75% Cab Sauvignon, 5% Cab Franc. 12% alcohol.

6. Isole E Olena Cabernet Sauvignon, Tuscany, Italy 1996
Dark and inky. Looks heavy. Lots of legs. Big warm nose. Initial flavour is dry tannic, then fruit begins to come through, and it ends up with a puckering taste and fruity centre. Elegant, smooth, interesting herbaceous flavours; not sure it's worth...

7. Millenium Wine, Tarapaca Vineyards, Chile, 1996
Served blind. Light red, nose initially odd; acid drops, becoming fruit gums. Light and fruity, zingy, oily. This is the top wine of Tarapaca; 13 months in French oak (still quite tannic). Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot. Very interesting, very different. Will it or won't it come together?
Gleeson's £35.00

8. Duas Quintas Reserva, Ramos-Pinto, Duoro, Portugal, 1994
Mid to deep red, light edge, light nose. Clean, elegant, smooth. Touiga Nacional and Tinto Barocca. Intends to keep for five years and charge about £30. Now
Searson's 16.95

9. Clos des Argillieres, Premier Cru, Daniel Rion, Nuits Saint Georges, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, 1989
Very light, browning. Nose has hint of rubber. On the palate a great zing. Still some soft tannins, good fruit. Ends with a very long tingle, some strawberries, leather. Gorgeous.

10. Domaine de Thalabert, Paul Jaboulet Aine, Crozes Hermitage, N. Rhone, 1990
Dark and murky. Intense nose of fruit, prunes. Strong tobacco centre. 100% Syrah. Still time to go. Superb.

11. Hermitage 'La Chapelle", Paul Jaboulet Aine, Tain, N. Rhone, 1983
Cl;ear brown red. Beautiful nose; burnt rubber and pastilles. Huge, elegant, still tannins but soft. Gorgeous.
Courtesy Mark Wilkinson

12. Clos d'Iere Cuvee 1, Domaine Rabiega, Cotes de Provence, 1990
Really deep, murky dark red. Not much nose.100% Syrah. Spicy, fruity, still some tannins. Really good. 13.5% Owned by the Swedish Wine Board.
£17-18.00 (1997)

13. 'Steve Maglieri' Shiraz, Maglieri Wines, McLaren Vale, South Australia, 1995
Clear, very dark. Nose of fruit pastilles. Intensely fruity, very gentle tannins, smooth, sensuous. Chocolate, spice, acid to balance. Not the complexity of an Hermitage, but very good

14. Vina Tondonia, R Lopez Heredia, Rioja, 1992
Light red. Nose is light (better as it warms up). Tempranilla with some Garnacha. Good fruit, quite a burn. Very refreshing, quite tannic (six years in oak).
Burgundy Direct (!) £15-16.00

15. Clos de Sainte Catherine, Jean Baumard, Coteaux du Layon, Loire, 1989
Silvery, greeny gold. Lots of glycerine. Nose quite stern. Beautiful palate; fresh with a honey background. Spicy, gorgeous.
£10.00 ?

16. Madeira Malmsey, Henriques & Henriques, Funchal, Madeira.
Aged 15 years in oak. 20% alcohol. Brown and watery in colour. Typically somewhat oxidised nose. Very rich but sharp. Good, sweet taste lingers long after. Great Malmsey.


A night of excess ... may we have many more of them. Best wishes to all; back in 2000, millennium bugs willing.





Home  Tasting Resource  Tasting Notes  Quotes  Links  Archive