Miscellaneous Tasting Notes, warts and all, from smaller tastings, in restaurants, at home etc.
(most recently tasted at the top)
Last updated: 20 September 2016
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Attractive bright garnet colour.
Lovely nose, packed with red fruits with some sous bois and some hints of coffee.
Delicious palate. Soft, gentle, supremely elegant red fruit. Light, yet at the same time full, with notable depth and remarkable length. Some sandy tannins on the finish, but not much.
Elegant, complex, and just delightful. (93 points)
A hefty two inches of sediment has now built up in these bottles. On the one hand, this means that at last the Quinta do Noval decanter that I got at their shop in Vila Nova de Gaia is big enough to hold the drinkable contents of the bottle - why do they sell such small decanters? On the other hand, as careful as I could possibly, there were still some flakes of sediment made it into the decanter.
A good, even maturing colour - it's lost its youth, but isn't really looking particularly mature yet.
Gorgeous nose. Deep black fruits, lots of leather, demarara rum, some furniture polish and a hint of pencil rubber. Powerful and deep.
Powerful palate. Feels much younger than you'd expect. Lots and lots of black plum and blackberry fruit and rich chocolate flavours. An interesting sour note. Very deep and complex. Improving, opening up and developing additional complexity in the time it's taken to type this tasting note. Terrific stuff. (94 points)
Very elegant nose. Black fruit still but balanced with some torrefaction notes.
Very smooth, silky palate. Very elegant. No woodiness. Very impressive. (91 points)
40% merlot; 30% cabernet sauvignon; 30% cabernet franc from 20 year old vines producing c. 45 hl/ha. Elevage in stainless steel.
Lovely nose. Nice and complex with layers of aromas. Black and mainly red fruits, with a hint of plasticene.
Attractive, plush, mouthfilling palate, but retaining a light, fresh elegance. Very interesting layers of flavours. Lots of finesse. (90 points)
Deep black fruits on the nose - very rich. Gorgeous silky palate - a nice weighty silk. Lovely balance and elegance. Good depth. Nice wine. (89 points)
Perfumed black fruits on the nose. This is a rather good, very attractive rich, sweet vin doux naturel. Chocolatey, blackberry, tarragon/anise notes.
Quite precise & focused on the palate, though a bit spirity on the finish. But that's in check. Very long. (89 points)
60% mourvedre; 30% syrah; 10% grenache from very old vines. Aged for two years in small foudres.
Very elegant nose, tending towards slightness.
Quite concentrated, but still fresh and light, yet also with good structure. (89 points)
Meaty, yet elegant nose: nicely integrated. There's also a very floral perfume to it too.
Very pleasant palate: refined and interesting. Good concentration of ripe fruit and also a bit of fresh greenness. (89 points)
55% chardonnay; 30% chenin blanc; 15% mauzac
Bright, fresh stone fruit nose.
Lemony attack. Nice creamy middle and finish. Very attractive. (89 points)
A blend of piquepoul blanc, roussanne and grenache blanc.
Big, bright, fresh, attractive nose - a very interesting nose. Minerally, light stone fruit and marine air.
Fresh, crisp palate. Easy, but with a nice character too. Rather good. The roussanne character comes through well. (89 points)
Really nice black fruits nose. Nice and integrated.
Round and full palate. Full of lovely fruit character. Very interesting and characterful. (89 points)
Attractive nose. Buttery, herby, melony.
Very attractive palate. Fairly full with good depth and a pleasing creaminess. (89 points)
Not listed on Rocca Maura's website, which only has a rosé Effet Mer. But this was definitely red, a blend of marselan, grenache and carignan.
An attractive nose with black and red fruit. Very attractive with lots of interest.
Very good palate. Full of layers of interesting flavours. A slight hint of bubblegum on the finish. Lovely wine. (89 points)
60% grenache; 25% syrah; 15% carignan
Immediately a big, full nose, feeling very expressive.
Good structure, without being overly tannic. It has a nice spicy bite. Works very well. (88 points)
Quite restrained, juicy black fruit on the nose.
Silky texture. Elegant. Ripe fruit, yet elegant. (88 points)
A blend of syrah, grenache and carignan, aged for one year in a mix of demi-muid, foudres and fûts.
Great nose - fruit tempered by judicious oak.
Lovely palate - velvety with lots of black fruit and a hint of chocolate. (88 points)
Lovely, bright, subtle viognier nose.
Very good palate. Light, clean, bright flavours. It's only a fairly simple, straightforward viognier, but a very good example. (88 points)
40% syrah; 30% grenache; 30% carignan
Very attractive nose - nice herbal lift to black fruits. Lovely ripe fruit on the palate. Very balanced. Nice depth. Not earth-shattering, but very good drinking. (87 points)
Big, rather extracted nose. Lemony, with hints of wet dog.
Very pleasant palate. Good weight in the mouth. Good balance. Lots of character. (87 points)
A very, very pale pink.
Light strawbery-peach fruit on the nose.
Nicely rounded, easy and in its own style. Very feminine.
Drink in the garden in the sun. By the gallon. (87 points)
50:50 merlot:cabernet sauvignon.
A rather straightforward, uncomplicated cabernet sauvignon dominated nose.
Good, round palate. Well made. Uncomplicated, easy drinking. Very good. (87 points)
80% grenache noir; 20% cinsault
A very pale pink. Bright and floral nose with some perfume.
Light and fresh on the palate. Easy. Good character though. Not just simplicity. Very pleasing. (87 points)
Big black fruits on the nose - very masculine. Some bloodiness too.
Very smooth & elegant on the palate, yet also very rich. Chocolate and coffee notes come to the fore on the finish. (86 points)
Attractive Pinot Noir nose, which feels a bit new world with some beetroot and smokiness. Lovely, fresh, young PN. A touch of greenness on the finish. (86 points)
A blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc, mauzac and pinot noir.
Attractive nose with blackcurrant and blackcurrant leaf, and some nuttiness.
Good palate. Crisp and minerally. (86 points)
60% maccabeu; 30% grenache gris; 10% grenache blanc
A curious nose: a bit spirity and extracted. Nice palate, though. Very characterful. Pleasant drinking. (85 points)
70% syrah; 30% grenache
A more rustic nose than the Domaine's Equinoxe from the same year. A simpler, more basic wine. Nothing wrong with it and perfectly drinkable. Just no particular interest. (85 points)
There's a slight murkiness to the black fruits forward nose.
Good, easy table wine. Would make a good restaurant/bar house wine by the glass. (85 points)
A medium salmon pink. Lovely fresh strawberry nose. Bright, sweet strawberry fruit on the palate. A touch of hard acid on the finish. (85 points)
A blend of grenache blanc, vermentino, chardonnay and sauvignon.
A rather slight nose.
Not bad on the palate. Good finish.
It's an interesting blend making a decent wine. It would make a good house wine in a bistro/café. (85 points)
A big, open, fresh chardonnay nose with very good fruit. But a rather slight palate, with notable acidity on the finish. (85 points)
A slightish nose with hints of black fruit and of stone fruit and peach kernels. A good, clean palate. Fairly straightforward, but good. (85 points)
60% syrah; 25% grenache; 15% carignan
Very deep black fruits on the nose, with a hint of stink.
Pleasant. Rather separate tannins. (84 points)
40% merlot; 30% syrah; 30% cabernet franc.
An unexciting nose. Very straightforward.
A good, simple Limoux. (84 points)
Very pale salmon pink.
An undistinguished nose, with maybe a hint of strawberry.
Decent enough palate. Light and fresh. Would be deliciously refreshing on a summer's day. (84 points)
Fresh, remarkably green chardonnay nose. Light and easy. Innocuous. (83 points)
55% piquepoul blanc; 45% chardonnay
Light, fresh palate. More pétillant than sparkling.
Innocuous. (83 points)
Virtually no nose.
Light & fresh. OK. Any character only comes through on the finish. (83 points)
A blend of syrah, cinsault and grenache noir.
Mid salmon pink colour.
Slight strawberry fruit. A bit hard.
Not a lot to recommend it. (82 points)
30% merlot; 40% cabernet franc; 30% syrah.
Rather stinky-drains nose with some rubbery notes.
Undistinguished, and there's a touch of drains on the palate too. (81 points)
From a 100ml bottle. Unlike the last bottle, this has a proper screwcap. A dark caramel colour; pretty much the colour of unsulphured apricots. Very viscous - almost gloops out of the bottle rather than pours.
Enormous nose - can smell it easily at arms length while pouring, and there's an immediate freshness and brightness to the nose. Sweet raisins and dried figs, notes of honey that's just started to caramel. Dried apricots and a certain salinity. Then there's some coffee and cold stewed tea. A hint of pineapple and orange freshness - maybe if you imagine a pineapple & orange fondant coated in dark chocolate. Utterly fascinating nose, that you could just keep finding new things in forever.
Very viscous feel on the palate. Yes, it's sweet. But the sweetness is just a bit player in the three-act play of how this wine plays in the mouth. Lots of fresh apricot, apple, marmalade flavours, with a honeyed lusciousness. A remarkable mouthfeel. Bright, bracing acidity underpins it all. Massive depth and interminable finish. You have to taste something else, or rinse with water, to "stop" the finish.
4.5% abv, which seems a little high for true essencia. (97 points)
Ripe, strawberry and cherry fruit.
Straightforward palate. Light, fairly fresh. Fine grained sandy tannins.
Pleasant, easy drinking.
Feels a bit simple overall. (87 points)
Big bright fresh nose with red fruits, ripe blueberries & some hints of tobacco. Bit of shittiness.
Ripe yet very zingy, very fresh fruit. Quite unusual, especially for Priorat.
Very interesting flavours. Very unusual. Really not quite sure what to make of this. Very atypical Priorat, but a very interesting wine. (88 points)
Pale lemon gold colour. Gorgeous nose: stoney, slatey minerality, like a slate mine in the rain; some peach fruit, some lemon-lime zestiness; slight hint of honey. Really integrated and interesting. Still feeling pretty young on the nose, 13 years on.
Massive elegance on the palate. Such precision, vibrancy and elegance! Minerality in spades. A gentle sweetness, that is quickly snatched away by fabulous, razor-sharp acidity. Only 9% abv, but the depth and interest in this is remarkable. Huge balance. Enormous length - goes on for ever.
Drinking extremely well now, but I don't think there's any rush whatsoever to drink up.
AP Nr 77530100603 (93 points)
A fairly even bright-ish light red with clear signs of youth at the rim.
Quite a big red fruit nose, with almost meaty-beetrooty overtones and some sort of vaguely marjoram-like herbal notes.
Light, fruity palate with fragrant, juicy red fruits. Initially, it seems rather delicious and inordinately drinkable. It's not at all overdone: there's a bit of sweetness to the fruit, but no hint of jamminess whatsoever. That initial bright, youtful fruit gives way to some depth and good character. There's a notable acidity that keeps it balanced. Just a hint of tannins on the finish. Very, very, very long after.
There's actually plenty of interest in this, beyond being merely delicious.
I am much more impressed by this, than I thought I was going to be, and at a mere £12.99 from Edencroft Wines, it seems a very good buy. (91 points)
Definite pop and "fzzzzz" on opening the bottle. Has there been some secondary fermentation?
Pale-to-medium lemon gold, with quite a few bubbles clinging to the glass.
Big, oily, honeyed, rotting apples nose, with some obvious sulphur.
Only a slight spritz on the palate. A bit sugary sweet, with lots of zing. Quite oily riesling fruit on the palate. Almost a bit of a resinous feel. Great depth, very long, but somehow feels incomplete, or maybe just not in the best of places at the moment. Closed or falling apart? Puzzling. (85 points)
Very youthful appearance. Big, bright bubblegummy red fruits on the nose - a bit reminiscent of a sweetshop.
Soft, ripe, red fruits on the palate. Nothing especially complex or intriguing here, but it's an enjoyable, easy-drinking Fleurie. (86 points)
Pale green straw.
Very lemony, bright, fresh nose with some lanolin notes.
bright, fresh, clean palate. Remarkably crisp. Fills out nicely. Nice balance. Good clean finish with fair length.
Increasing depth and complexity as it warms up. Balances weight and some richness with a zingy freshness. (87 points)
Fresh, bright nose with white flowers, a hint of citrus, and white pepper. Quite a savoury feel to the nose. Bright clean palate. Good weight and balance. Fresh yet full. It's hardly the most complex GV you'll find, but it has fair depth and interest and is eminently drinkable.
We shared the bottle with some turbot served with girolles, smoked eel & chervil and a dish of lamb with courgettes, smoked aubergine & Moroccan spices. Nice with the turbot, but an excellent match with the lamb. (88 points)
Pale lemon colour - really not showing any signs of age, just to look at it. Quite a rich, nutty, buttery, creamy nose, with a bit of a feel of a white Rhone to it. Gently floral and citrus notes too, as it warms up a bit.
Rich, full, concentrated palate with a slight hint of raisining or oxidation. But it's not at all oxidised. Lots of acidity. Some saline umami notes, giving a hint of olives. Huge depth. There's a tiny bit of tannins, giving a sort of soft leather feel. Some white flower notes. Hint of caramelised agrumes on the finish. Massive length.
A fascinating, intriguing wine, that's also extremely enjoyable drinking. (96 points)
Warm red fruits on the nose. Touch of farmyard stink & very slightly volatile lift. Bit rough around the edges maybe.
Soft open palate. No particular depth or complexity, just a good solid Gevrey Chambertin: open, easy & ticking the boxes for easy drinkability. (87 points)
Big peachy white flowers on the nose. Initially feels a bit extracted on the nose though that blows off a bit as it warms up in the glass.
Big ripe fruit on the palate. Definitely feel that extracted note on the palate, giving it a spirity viognier like note. Lots of peachy-nectarine type fruit though.
Overall a bit disappointing.
Ordered in a restaurant as an experiment with grouse, given that the grouse had been roasted with lavender and then served with peach & fennel. Ended up an absolutely excellent match. (85 points)
Slightly stinky rubbery reductive nose initially, but that quickly blew off. Interesting nose, still some rubbery notes but not at all offensively so ; lemon, savoury notes
Interesting palate: savoury umami richness above all with some bright citrussy notes behind. Very good length. (87 points)
Dinner with Enzo Barbi of Decugnano dei Barbi (La Locanda, Gisburn): Very minerally, chalky nose. Very elegant and refined nose, with some citrus and garriquey herbaceousness, with a hint of anise.
Lovely precise palate: fresh, minerally, balanced. Somehow this manages at the same time to be both delicate and aristocratic-feeling, and deep and complex. Enormous length, with some hints of fennel on the finish.
This really is a remarkably impressive wine. (95 points)
Dinner with Enzo Barbi of Decugnano dei Barbi (La Locanda, Gisburn): A blend of sangiovese, montepulciano and 40% syrah, part aged for a year in oak, and bottled in 2013.
This has a very attractive nose with rich, silky black fruits. You can really feel the syrah on the nose, not least in some chocolate notes, though there''s a nice herbal lift too. An utterly charming, elegant, suave nose.
On the palate, it's much, much fresher feeling than I was expecting from the nose. Quite zingy actually, initially, with a touch of greenness, though a greennes of underripeness at all. Initially the alcohol is quite evident, but it quickly softens in the glass. At this stage, 91/100.
But it then improved greatly with food, and with just sitting in the glass. There's a fascinating depth of flavours. After twenty minutes in the glass, it comes across much more integrated. Some peppery spice right on the end of the finish.
While the syrah seemed to be dominant on the nose, in the mouth, the montepulciano seems to elbow itself to the fore. There's some nice cherry fruit character that starts to come through after a while. Then some cherry-stones and peach kernels on the finish. Fascinating stuff. (94 points)
Dinner with Enzo Barbi of Decugnano dei Barbi (La Locanda, Gisburn): A brand new release, on sale just a few weeks now. This is a single vineyard Chardonnay from a vineyard particularly rich in oyster shells. Just 3000 bottles were produced.
A big, full perfumed, minerally, saline nose, feeling a bit extracted, with aromas of seawater, butter and pear fruit. On the nose, you would never guess this was so young.
On the palate, it's a lovely, mouthfilling savoury chardonnay. Very individual and characterful. Quite different than you might expect, and very attractive.
An excellent match with chicken livers and truffle, and very good with smoked goose breast and a wild boar mortadella with black truffle. (92 points)
Dinner with Enzo Barbi of Decugnano dei Barbi (La Locanda, Gisburn): A markedly rich nose, with the pinot noir evidently to the fore in this classic Chardonnay-Pinot Noir sparkling blend. Rich and really quite savoury.
Rich and full on the palate, with a slight sensation of sweetness. Lots of ripe black fruit. An interesting wine. A bit different than the usual fizz, with rather more character. (91 points)
Dinner with Enzo Barbi of Decugnano dei Barbi (La Locanda, Gisburn): Honey, apricots, sea water and oyster/mussel shells on the nose - an unusual combination in a sweet wine, but very attractive.
Very sweet attack, but it is very quickly balance balanced by a notable acidity. An unusual combinaton of sweet and savoury in a glass. Very balanced, very attractive wine. Superb length.
Went fine with a selection of different pecorino cheeses, but could really have done with some gorgonzola or other blue cheese. It was, however, excellent with the marmellata and the fruit accompanying the pecorini. (90 points)
At Hawksmoor Manchester. £38
Big soft black fruits on the nose. Bit of mint and a chocolatey richness - more the velvety sweet richness than actual chocolate.
Very smooth fairly ripe black fruits on the palate. slight hint of alcohol (13.8%). Very clean, quite a velvety mouthfeel: cossetting & mouthfilling. Grainy tannins on finish. (91 points)
A bright, even colour with no youth evident.
Bright red fruits with some peppery spice and sweet fresh vanilla on the nose. Possibly some high-toned hints.
Very light for a Rasteau, though nice and full-flavoured. Red fruit and some green herbaceousness. Soft, mouthfilling tanns on the finish. (89 points)
Medium lemon straw colour. Rich, floral nose with some lemon notes and a hint of nuttiness .
V interesting palate. At once rich and fresh. Despite the richness it's bone dry. Very interesting wine. Fresher than a white Rhône, but there are some similarities. (90 points)
Just a quick taste, as opened mainly for cooking, and tasted at room temperature, not at all chilled.
It has darkened in colour a bit since the bottle drunk in 2005 to give a deepish, even, brassy gold. Fairly subtle nose, with honey, almonds and citrus fruits. Fairly sweet on the palate, but not fully sweet. Touch of raisining. Like the nose, fairly restrained. Nicely balanced, with good orangey acidity. (87 points)
Deep, dark colour: it's lost any sense of youth, but there's no sign of any bricking or other sign of any particularly advanced age.
Big nose with deep black fruits. On first opening it smelled a bit jammy and overripe, with some VA, but within minutes all that has blown off. A hint of peppery spice alongside roast meat and a hint of garrigue-y type herbs - think rosemary, thyme, lavender. Just a hint of floral lift too.
Nice, smooth, rich attack. Very nicely integrated and balanced wine, with quite an elegant feel. Soft, sandy tannins come along on the finish. Very good length, with some greener flavours of black fruit and leafiness lingering long after.
Impressed by this. It's 15 years old, but is showing no sign of needing to drink up in any rush whatsoever. (94 points)
Particularly vibrant mid yellow with a slight green tinge. Glorious nose. Buttery lemons. Bit of melon. Really fascinating nose. Lovely rich, palate. Has a nice chardonnay richness to it with some lovely freshness. Good complexity. Huge length. Really quite fascinating wine. (94 points)
Elegant fine.bubble stream through a fairly deep salmon pink. Pretty powerful nose with lots of red fruit & especially strawberries. Very fine, elegant palate. Lovely balance. Huge elegance, notably so for a rosé. (93 points)
Simple, refreshing, gluggable. Very straightforward, but perfectly pleasant and innocuous. Pretty much without any distinguishing features. (82 points)
A rich, slightly farmyardy nose, with some rubbery notes and some raisining. Unusual, verging on the odd.
Fresh, bright fruit flavours initially. Rich and complex, verging on the challenging.
Certainly very interesting and different. There's almost a hint of sweetness. Yet it's also very savoury.
Very, very long. (89 points)
Very interesting, characterful nose. Very minerally, with lemon zest and a hint of wild garrigue herbs.
Lovely palate. Fresh, very minerally and bone dry with excellent acidity. Massive depth & complexity, yet also very moreish and supremely drinkable, helped along by some umami character. (94 points)
Pale lemon gold with a greenish hue.
Gorgeous nose. Classy, sweet-feeling riesling fruit with apples and especially noticeable lime and some stony, slatey minerality in the background.
Beautiful, hugely attractive attack. Lots of fresh, minerally riesling fruit. Quite zingy and sherbetty. There's some sweetness, but it's far from dominant, even before you take into account the lovely limey acidity. It seems to fall away a bit towards the finish, with an almost watery feel, but comes back on the finish and lingers long after with lots of oily-mineral notes after. Immense length. (93 points)
attractive nose. Elegant black fruit, a bit of farmyardy stink, peppery spice
Lovely palate. Poised yet fairly full & rather more opulent than I was expecting. Good fruit, balanced by some sappy leafiness. Soft tannins.
Worked v well with some truffled cheese sausage "hot dog" (91 points)
Mid to deep gold. Quite a closed nose with some nuttiness & caramelised peach. Full and more than a bit oxidised on the palate, but very far from too far gone, the oxidation lending some additional complexity. Full, complex deep flavours. Growing on me more & more as it's open. (89 points)
Deep, notably mature garnet colour with extremely firm legs.
Gorgeous nose. Deep, complex, brooding plummy black fruit with hints of sour cherry, chocolate, thyme and the merest hint of eucalyptus.
Silky attack. Lovely mouthfeel. Rich, yet bright black fruit. Lovely integrated feeling with a pleasant floral perfume. Still plenty of sandy tannins, especially noticeable on the finish. Might leave it another 5 years before opening the next bottle. (92 points)
Very pale straw. Fairly vigorous, very fine bubblestream. Tiny bubbles.
Crisp, bone dry, minerally nose with a hint of green apple and another hint of lemon.
Nice and full on the palate, with some good, rich fruit initially and no little complexity. But then it hones itself down on the palate to a very precise, very dry finish. (92 points)
Deepish orangey gold colour.
Less expressive on the nose than the last bottle, and really rather muted. Sultanas and orange caramel. No botrytis evident.
Much, much richer on the palate than the last bottle - possibly not surprising as that was nearly 10 years ago! There's an immediate sweetness, though the overall impression is of a medium wine rather than particularly sweet. Spätlese rather than Auslese feel, to put it in German terms. Some tropical fruit, and a hint of grapiness. There's some raisining on the palate, especially towards and on the finish, but overall it's quite elegant and restrained. Despite being 12 years old, it still seems a good, typical example of a sweet Jurançon. (89 points)
The cork crumbled on opening, hence decanted.
Deepish golden colour.
Fairly powerful nose - very mature riesling aromas: dried grapes, caramelised dried apple, a hint of tobacco-smokeyness, honeyed paraffin and some peaty-whisky like notes. Not noticeably petrolly though.
Lovely full, rich, very mature-feeling riesling. Not sweet, but not bone dry either, although there's still a significant acidity which makes it feel drier than it is, and lends it a really fresh feel, despite its nearly 40 years. Very long after.
Improving all the time it's been open in the decanter. (91 points)
Mid straw colour.
Attractive nose: fairly rich, with some nuttiness, lemon and a hint of pear.
Good full palate. There's some notable acidity keeping this fresher than I expected. Almost a hint of tannin. Nice richness on the palate, balanced by a fresh zestiness. An uncomplicated, fairly basic level Côtes du Rhône blanc, but very drinkable and a good food wine. (88 points)
Lemon gold colour. Lovely buttery nose with gentle PG spicing. Very gentle, subtle nose.
Very attractive palate. Bone dry, hints of butter, some citrussy notes. Superficially light and a bit simple, but there's real character and some depth in there too, and pretty remarkable length for a lightish pinot gris. (89 points)
Good maturing colour.
Beautiful, expressive nose.
Fragrant perfumed red & cherry fruit with some sweet oak & hint of high tones.
Attractive fleshy palate. poised, elegant fruit. Very integrated. Soft tannins on the finish from a well-handled oak treatment. (91 points)
Deep, rich black fruits on nose with a v pleasant blackberry note.
Big, rich, silky palate with sweet black fruits& grappa soaked crystallised plums.Immediate gratification but lacks depth & complexity. (87 points)
Warm, soft red fruits with a pleasant herbaceous note on the nose. Soft red fruit and lots of cherries on the palate. Very approachable. Some fruit kernel flavours are representative of a slightly bitter edge. Very good wine. Worked very nicely with maple glazed belly of suckling pig with kimchi, forced rhubarb and a mead sauce. (89 points)
A very bright, fragrant nose with crisp, lemony acidity. Bright, fresh palate. It's been a few years since I've had the Villa Wolf Pinot Gris and this is much more impressive than I remember. I could easily drink this. It's got good balance and excellent character. (89 points)
Lots of buttery minerality on the nose. *Lots* of minerality. Initially served too cold, but quite an interesting palate once it had warmed up a bit. Quite a depth of flavour and some complexity. A hint of oak on the finish.
Very good with roast scallop with scrambled duck egg and lots of winter truffle. (87 points)
Warm, rounded, inviting nose with spicy black fruits. Very wintery feel to the nose - i.e. the sort of wine you feel you want on a cold, winter's day.
Simpler on the palate than on the nose. Good, maturing black fruit with nice spiciness. Good, firmish tannins. (86 points)
Dark brooding purple colour, with no youth evident.
Gorgeous nose: rich, chocolatey, cherry and blackberry fruit. There's a lovely fresh raspberry note in there too. None of that feeling of spirituosity that can often be present on the nose of fortified wines.
Luscious velvety palate. Initially, a combination of the mouthfeel and the smell and the sweetness makes it feel a little portlike, but that soon recedes, and you get much more of an essence of grenache character. A stunning wine and a classic example of how all fortified red wine are *not* like port. (95 points)
Quite a pale lemon yellow colour. Very attractive, enticing nose: white flowers, lemon with just a bit of weight with a feeling of nuttiness and maybe quince.
Rich, full palate, with some delicious, vibrant mature notes, the sense of maturity mainly coming from the weight in the mouth, I think. There's a creamy, slightly citrus- and olive-oily feel. Loads and loads of character and depth. Beautifully balanced, and very clean. Really terrific, enormous length with delicious flavours lingering in the mouth long after.
The last bottle I had of this was around 15 months ago. This bottle feels about two years younger than that bottle.
For £13 a bottle in 2008, this is terrific, quality drinking. (95 points)
A good, maturing colour.
On the nose there are strawberries, fresh and stewed, with some dark cherry notes too, along with some fresh green herbs and a tiny hint of VA.
Very good palate. Very open, mature red fruit in the mouth, and avoiding the overly stalky character to which some lower and mid range nebbiolo can be prone. Good, yet reasonably tender tannic structure. Very good length. (89 points)
At least five years bottle age (bought 2009).
Blended rosé, chardonnay dominated blend with addition of a still red pinot noir from Mareuil surAӱ. 12% abv
Medium salmon pink. Excellent, fine, persistent bubble stream.
Very attractive nose: some danish pastry notes with strawberry and cherry fruit.
Attractive palate. Quite rich and full initially, but doesn't live up that promise as it seems a little thin and hollow. Very long, but with a touch of acidic hardness dominating. (88 points)
A 2002 bottling which had thrown sufficient sediment to make it necessary to decant.
A slightly reddish browning tan colour. Attractive, but not particularly enthralling nose. Rich, nutty fruitcake with some dark plums, chocolate and a hint of gingery spice. A touch of high-toned furniture polish too.
Lovely attractive, intriguing palate. Immediately you get savoury notes, with some sweetness behind. Rich, silky-creamy texture. Rich fruit cake-plum pudding fruit characters. Chocolate coated plums on the finish. Very balanced. Exceptional length. (93 points)
Deep, maturing ruby. Bright fresh black fruits initially, turning much more chocolatey and rich with aeration. Actually, there's really mature plummy fruit alongside fresh blackberry notes. Then layers of leather and garrigue with hints of tobacco and bacon fat.
Lovely rounded, open attack. Lots and lots of mature black fruit. Feels rather simpler on the palate than the nose, at least straight after decanting. Very savoury, with prunes and bitter chocolate. Lots of firm, grippy tannins. Mature but no rush to drink up. (90 points)
Rich deep straw colour with a fine, but slightly interrupted bubble stream. Rich, creamy nose with remarkable apricot danish pastry notes.
Very attractive palate. A fairly light mousse in the mouth, which allows some charming fruit and pastry notes to shine in the forefront. Rich and full, and really very enjoyable. Drinking beautifully on its own. (94 points)
Possibly the crumbliest cork ever. Slightly scalped, sweet black fruit. Slightly high toned and a touch rubbery. Hmm, doesn't seem in the best of places.
Very, very sweet and jammy palate. Far too sweet and jammy for me. Oddly, given the state of the cork, it doesn't seem at all oxidised, but more reductive - something's clearly gone wrong. Very tannic finish. (NR/flawed)
Quite a pale, slightly orangey caramel colour. Explosive nose: caramel, orange, furniture polish, salted almonds, crystallised grapefruit peel. Deep, complex and fascinating nose.
Luscious, cossetting, silky-textured palate. Rather lighter than the nose suggested, and really very, very elegant. Lots of complex flavours with dried fruits, agrumes, a slightly salty-nutty note, and lots of umami. There is sweetness of course, but not a great deal: there's no sense of any sugary or caramel sweetness on the palate, and a gentle acidity keeps everything in beautiful balance. Immense length.
Really lovely, elegant drinking.
Quite an approachable style for Madeira virgins, I think, too. (94 points)
Nice mature burgundy colour. Lots of sweet red fruit on the nose with plenty of mushroom and truffle notes too.
Light, bright and remarkably fresh on the palate. Lovely integrated fruit, very soft and open. But really fills the mouth too. Beautifully balanced with a very pleasing acidity and the residues of some sandy tannins.
This is pretty much à point, though there's no sign of fading, so it would probably hold happily until the end of the decade, I think. Finishes well and has very good length. Perhaps a little one dimensional and missing a bit of complexity. But still a treat. (91 points)
From a 50ml Bocksbeutel. 6.5% abv.
A burnished brown gold colour, almost like polished teak. Intense, deep nose with honey, apricots, sweet golden sultanas and maybe a hint of black tea.
Bright, vivid attack, which very quickly turns into the most luscious, almost unctuous mouthful. You definitely notice richness and lushness more than sweetness, thanks to a a vibrant acidity. Really good balance right through to the finish, when the acidity comes to the fore and quickly cleanses the palate, leaving you with a feeling in the mouth of a really intense riesling.
Stunning wine that's almost taking my breath away. (98 points)
Quite a young colour. Deep, brooding, complex nose. Very black fruit.Smoky tobacco.
Much smoother and rounded and open on palate than nose suggests. Good plummy fruit characters with a pleasant freshness. Good structure with fine grained tannins on finish. (90 points)
Pale golden colour.
Glorious nose with everything you'd expect in a ten year old Spätlese: honey, fresh and baked apples that's just starting to hand over to peachy stone fruit, lovely precise minerality. Lovely attack; really lovely. Losing its freshness and taking on a bit of a caramelised note - caramelised orangey citrus fruit (mandarin, clementine maybe), at least on the attack. On the mid palate there is still some pleasing freshness. In its youth, the very hot summer of 2003 seemed to have made this Spätlese a bit lacking in acidity. Now that the sweetness has begun to age and mellow, that's less of an issue and it seems very balanced, with some acidity making itself apparent on the finish. Utterly immense length.
Although it lacks the complexity that would be expected in better years, this is undoubtedly a hugely enjoyable wine. (90 points)
The restaurant had trouble with the first bottle as the cork broke twice, despite extreme care in opening when they realised it wasn't coming out cleanly. That was followed by concerned looks when they sniffed the cork, and another bottle was produced without comment. That opened easily and was decanted.
A lovely wine. Very approachable. Very appealing nose with dried and sour cherries, a touch of strawberries and a hint of something vaguely sous bois like. Nice and open on the palate. Soft, rather fresh attack. Very integrated. There is indeed a leanness, but it suits it and it works well. Very dry sandy tannins on the finish. Curiously I didn't detect much development in the glass over a couple of hours. (89 points)
Bright young purple. Really gorgeous nose full of a mix of red & black fruits, blueberries & hint of cherries.
Lovely, soft hugely attractive palate. Great balance. Quite delicate fruit characters and a bit of spice. Some gentle tannins provide a very pleasing structure
Has the lightness & freshness of a Beaujolais (even Nouveau), but considerably more depth and character. Very interesting wine (92 points)
Glorious nose: orange, roast almonds, caramel, furniture polish and a rock pool on the seashore. Salted caramel immediately. Actually really feels rather salty. Caramel, olives, searing acidity, orange zest, with a leathery texture. Fascinating stuff. (94 points)
A bright, orangey nose with good botrytis character. A bit simple maybe? Lovely palate: there's great acidity which keeps it from any sense of over-sweetness at all. Terrific balance. Great palate. Stood up well to lemon meringue pie. (89 points)
Orange, nuts, salinity and a hint of anchovy on the nose. On the palate, there's a bit of a caramel feel at first, along with candied orange and lots of umami. Possibly a touch simple, but very good match with a gutsy, almost feral game terrine with pickled quince. (88 points)
An open warm-climate pinot noir nose with stewed raspberries and a certain bloody fleshiness. A vibrant, lively palate with quite zingy red fruit. Feels very integrated.
It was a decent match with a rather unsuccessful pigeon, carrot and walnut dish, which itself was marred by poorly cooked, tough pigeon. (87 points)
Remarkably sweet and fruity for a tawny, even an entry level 7 year old like this. Violet perfumed black fruit on the nose. Big, spirity plummy black fruits on the palate, but it has good balance.
An unusual, and extremely good match with sticky toffee-walnut-ale cake dessert, with an ale ice cream. The bitter and sweet flavours of the dessert played wonderfully with the wine. (87 points)
Quite a gentle nose. Peppery red fruits - lots of fruit. It feels more pinot like than nebbiolo on the nose. Quite spicy red fruits and cherries on the palate with some pretty savage, raw tannins dominating.
Served with a terrific dish of venison, ox tongue, blackberries, kale and celeriac. Though this was a case, I think, of the food doing more for the wine, than the wine did for the food. (85 points)
A very light, slightly savoury, peachy nose. Sweetish red fruit on the attack. Fills out well. Very, very dry, yet a lack of acidity manages to make it feel ever so slightly flabby. There's a slightly hard metallic note on the finish that puts me off.
A good match with cured river trout with sea buckthorn. (84 points)
Mature ruby red. No obvious bricking. Quite a deep colour. Some black fruit and some mushroomy notes - fairly bright fruit aromas, but really extremely simple feeling. Mature palate. Some fruit, some wet forest mustiness. Grainy tannins remain and clear away any flavours that make it through to the finish. (81 points)
Deepish, slightly orangey salmon-pink. Deep, sweet red fruits, sweet grapefruit and vanilla on the nose with some raisining. Big. I mean BIG in the mouth. Lots of sweet, slightly raisined red fruit, but it's one dry. Absolutely enormous length. Amazingly, it carries its massive 16% alcohol very well, and it's lost the alcoholic heat of its youth.
Tasted blind, you would undoubtedly put it as a 10, or maybe even 20 year old tawny port.
It's still pure lunacy, but it's getting a lot more drinkable now. (89 points)
Bright mid gold colour.
Gorgeous nose. Lots of precise minerality with some almost tropical fruit characters with hints of marmalade.
Big, open palate. Bone dry with a searing minerality. Feels slightly more advanced than I'd expected, with some clearly mature character in the mouth. As well as the minerality and a firm acidity, there is some good, slightly honeyed orchard fruits. Absolutely enormous length. (93 points)
Medium gold colour. Not exactly impressive or even expressive nose. Beurre noisette turning to butterscotch dominate the nose with a hint of peach and tropical fruit.
Quite full palate with lots of creamy, buttery weight. Good minerality and good acidity. Excellent length. But lacks depth and much in the way of interest.
Pleasant, but there are so many much more interesting and massively better value bottles of white Burgundy and certainly non-Burgundy chardonnay out there.
88/100 but I've docked a point for such poor QPR. (87 points)
Medium gold, slightly coppery. Fully mature, even slightly tired riesling nose, initially quite raisiny and honeyed, but with aeration a lot of the nose blows off leaving ... well ... not a great deal on the nose.
Good, mature riesling palate. Quite rich and mouthfilling, yet absolutely bone dry to the point almost of crispness. There's a slight eau de vie de poire william spirituosity that fades in and out. Good depth, though not as complex as I might have hoped. Massive length.
Elegant, mature Alsace riesling. (89 points)
Pale-to-mid lemon gold. Very complex nose with lots of stony minerality, a touch of peach and a touch of lime.
Quite a big mouthful. Deep, complex with a laser-acidity emphasising the dryness. Great depth and absolutely massive length. (95 points)
Less of an obvious pop on opening than previous bottles, but this is a 7-year old DYA.
Very pale lemon straw colour with a slight petillance.
Subtle lime & sherbert, slightly grapey muscat nose. Very light and fresh.
Very slight petillance indeed in the mouth. But other than that, there's nothing to show the age of this wine. Light, fresh, vibrant muscat with a touch of sweetness. Very pleasant drinking. (88 points)
Design-first, rather supermarket-y label. But even supermarkets tend to put the producers name, or at least some reference code, but not this one. Looked with magnifying glass to see if I could see the producer anywhere, but without success. However, the internet comes to the rescue including confirmation from Cellartracker.
The back label does, however, say it's imported by Direct Wines, one of the Laithwaites brands here in the UK. Why Laithwaites require the producer's name to be completely suppressed is anyone's guess, but it immediately sets off my alarm bells suggesting that they're trying to pull the wool over our eyes somehow.
Screwcapped, and with a massive 14.5% alcohol.
Very even deep purple, with no particular sign of youth.
Good nose - fairly straightforward, but good, pretty restrained plummy black fruit with a bit of a floral lift and some integrated dusty oak.
Good palate - crowd-pleasing maybe, and relatively simple, but eminently drinkable. Good, clean fruit, not a lot of depth, but excellent length. Still some reasonably grippy tannins. As it's standing open, that massive 14.5% abv is making itself more and more obvious in the mouth, with just a touch of alcoholic burn. (86 points)
Good colour, starting to mature. Giving little away on the nose.
Not much on the palate either, initially. Despite decanting, took 30-60 minutes to start to open up, but it never really got much better than fine. Good, solid luncheon claret. A bit weedy. Fine. (86 points)
Very attractive mature colour.
Gorgeous, mature nose with mushrooms, decaying flesh and an abundance of sous bois. Everything you want and expect.
Very classy palate. Beautifully mature, classic flavour. Great balance and finesse. Really lovely stuff. (92 points)
Good maturing colour, though looking a bit murky.
Rather pruney black fruit on the nose with some dusty oak.
Big, ripe, rounded, mature, very tasty black fruit. Some grippy tannins. Feels pretty mature, but I think it has the potential to last another 5-10 years. (93 points)
Very attractive yellow gold appearance. Rich, creamy, buttery nose with more than a hint of North African preserved lemons.
Gorgeous palate. There's a hint of nice maturity in there, beautiful balance of richness, ripeness and acidity. Buttery, gently citrussy flavours with a hint of unsweet caramel. Some gentle coriander spice. Layers and layers of flavour, with a complexity that grew as the bottle warmed up from fridge cold.
This is a stunner.
Don't let anyone tell you that Verdicchio doesn't age (94 points)
100% albariño, méthode champenoise, 12.5%.
Bright yellow straw colour with a fine and remarkably persistent bubble stream.
A restaurant purchase, so not only was it a pretty rubbish heavy flute, but in the context of a busy restaurant, with lots of Spanish food all around, it simply wasn't possible to assess its nose.
Crisp, fresh palate, but with a noticeably different character from the 100% albariño. Broader, bigger flavours than I expected, yet remaining very elegant.
Very pleasant drinking with some interest. (88 points)
Pale lemon straw.
Truly gorgeous nose: some ripe melon and alfonso mango immediately, then buttery lemon and lemon zest notes, but also some grassy and floral notes. Really is gorgeous.
Lovely, fresh attack. Rich and buttery on the palate, with tropical fruit, apples and lemon fruit notes.
This really is bloody gorgeous. Wish I had another 2 cases of it, rather than just one bottle left. (95 points)
Excellent nose: prunes, black plums, wood ashes and onion ashes - all in all a lovely, rich, rounded feel.
Really good palate. Pretty full with lots of restrained, slightly spicy black fruit. Still pretty firm, grippy tannins. Very pleasant sour cherry note on the finish with a bit of charred oak.
Good, maturing Crozes. (91 points)
Fragrant strawberry nose with a touch of peach. Just a bit boiled-sweet sweetness to the nose.
Fresh and dry on the attack. Fills out in the mouth. Just a touch on the sweet side, but once we started drinking it with food, we didn't notice that any more. (85 points)
Unsurprisingly (given the age) a deep, brassy golden colour. Very mature pinot gris nose: rich, buttery, every so slightly caramel, overripe tropical fruit. Poised, ripe, very mature palate. Still very big. Really can't detect any oxidation on this despite the appearance. It's just a fairly noble old pinot gris.
Pinot Grigio fans would hate it. But I'm loving it. Rich, ripe, complex, mature wine. Lovely stuff. (90 points)
Very attractive citrussy nose. Excellent palate fresh yet also fairly full bodied. Very clean. excellent length. (90 points)
Mid gold fading to clear at the rim. Big, minerally, mature riesling nose. Ripe, golden, creamy palate. Fully mature. Notable acidity which keeps the latent sweetness completely in check. Very, very pleasurable. (94 points)
Pale to mid gold. Fragrant and buttery nose at the same time. Very good palate: again rich yet fresh at the same time. Good depth and flavour. Really rounded. Definitely in a good place now. (92 points)
Good, even colour showing some maturity. Lovely nose: perfumed, slightly garriguey, slightly horse-sweaty, bloody red and dried black fruits.
Really rather gorgeous palate. So beautifully integrated. Really rather poised. Still plenty of good fruit, with some sour cherry and chocolate touches. Most of the tannins have integrated, but there's still just a touch of gentle drying at the sides of the mouth from the remaining tannins.
A really stunning bottle. (95 points)
Classic Prüm young WS nose: sulphur, some sugariness and some tart apple fruit.
Light, fresh palate with lots of minerality and a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.
Drank beautifully with both a French onion soup and a red mullet with almonds and blood oranges.Also with a stunning complex rabbit dish with a sauce lightly favoured with licorice. (93 points)
Very good nose. Deep, rich black fruits with some licorice and some black pepper spice.
V attractive palate. still quite fresh & fairly vibrant tasting. Tannins have started to integrate. Very pleasant wine indeed. (91 points)
Lovely attractive nose with ripe melon aromatics. Good round palate. Nothing over complex, but very pleasant. Nicely aromatic with a good weight. Very good food wine. (88 points)
Decanted off a fair amount of sediment.
Good mature, or rather maturing colour - certainly doesn't look old.
There's quite a bit of funk on the nose, alongside some fresh leather and some red and black fruits, which come to the fore as the funk slowly blows off. Then the slightly plummy blackberry fruit takes over, with a streak of lighter raspberry fruit, and a hint of tobacco.
Definitely showing maturity on the palate. Lighter palate than previously. Good, balanced flavours with some good fruit still showing through and a residual structure of rather sandy tannins. (90 points)
Good colour: still a hint of youth. Sweet plummy fruit on the nose with a fair bit of vanilla. Fairly mature palate with some very spicy tannins overwhelming the soft red fruit. After it's been open a while, the tannic structure really firms up making it a bit chewy and a bit hard work. I have to say that I don't find much pleasure in this, which is very unusual in a wine from the Poggio Argentiera stable. (82 points)
Light, fresh and clean. Lighter than I expected, and it seemed to me that the grapes weren't really allowed to shine through. Pleasant drinking though and worked well with a wide selection of mezze and some grilled kebabs and Imam Bayildi in a local Turkish restaurant. If we'd just had the grilled kebabs, I think something with a little bit more weight might have been preferable. (84 points)
An interesting blend of 30% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc, 10% Refosco and 10% Tazzelenghe
Good, even maturing colour. Attractive nose with deep pruney fruit & slightly dusty tannins. Quite rich and full on the palate, showing a decent maturity, rare in a restaurant purchase. Really deep, complex flavours, with red and black fruits, tobacco and a touch of meatiness. Great balance. Enormous length. Still some tannic structure remaining, though the tannins have largely softened now: no immediate rush to drink up, I would say. (93 points)
An even, maturing, deep, opaque garnet colour. Rather charming nose with plummy black fruits and a bit of a hint of vanilla-soaked prunes. Good palate with some fairly fresh fruit at the beginning, but which deepens, finishing with a pruney, chocolatey richness. Some remnants of tannins, which seem to be pretty much fully integrated now. There's a bit of a sensation of alcoholic fire on the finish, though it's only 13% abv. Nothing over-complex, but a pleasant midweek drink. (87 points)
Good mature colour. Very interesting nose with black and red fruit, vanilla, ripe figs and prunes. lovely palate: maturity immediately obvious and - particularly in a restaurant purchase - pleasingly welcome. Good, balanced fruit and acidity. Some spicy and grippy tannins suggest absolutely no rush to drink up. really very good indeed. (93 points)
Very good, fine bubble stream. Mid straw colour. Good nose: brioche and black fruits. Crisp palate. Some freshness, but also some richness and a feel of a nice bit of age. There's a nice depth and some complexity. Finishes very well and very cleanly, with none of the overbearing acidity of many mass market NV champagnes.
Very impressive. (92 points)
Mid to deep, rather brassy golden colour. Gorgeous nose. Deep, rich botrytis-laden nose with honey, hints of marmalade, apricots, all held together by a thread of minerality that makes you think if you could pull that thread, you'd get a classy Kamptal riesling unravelling from within the botrytis cardigan.
Beautiful attack. Silky, tongue-cossetting sweetness, but with an excellent acidity that punches out into the sides of the mouth and onto the tip of the tongue. Very, very poised and elegant, but also with layers and layers of delicious flavours and fruit. So well balanced that you hardly notice that it's sweet in the mouth.
No rush to drink up at all. This cost me 395 Schillings back in 1998 (about £20), which makes it an absolute bargain. I wish I'd bought more, or rather that I'd been able to buy more: unfortunately this was the last half bottle they had at the Schloss. (97 points)
Deep golden colour. Not a bad, if very mature riesling nose: petrol, smoky, almost peaty whisky notes.
Touch of sweetness on the palate; some raisiny notes.
But overall it's just a bit too old and past it. I would suspect it probably never had the wherewithal to last very long: it just feels a bit thin. (81 points)
A pale raspberry red colour. Quite foamy bubbles, particularly in the mouth. I'd have expected a bit more body and red/dark fruit character on the palate from a 100% grenache. I'm not sure that tasted blind, I'd really know for sure that this was a rosé, although I suppose the fruit does take the edge off. A good party fizz. (86 points)
A moderately mature Burgundy colour that's lost all traces of youth. Attractive, if rather uncomplicated nose. Soft red fruits with hints of stewed strawberries, raw button mushrooms and some nice parsley and tarragon notes.
Good, full attack. Very clearly mature, and certainly the palate seems more mature than either the appearance or the nose. Lovely very soft remnants of fruit, furniture polish, a hint of peppery spice and still some quite grippy tannins.
A good, if rather unexceptional mature Nuits St Georges. (90 points)
100% Grenache. Deep, almost fluorescent raspberry pink colour. Very good, if somewhat turbulent bubble stream. Sweet red fruit on the nose. Red fruit - strawberries on the palate, but there's none of the sweetness that particularly the nose would make you think. Very crisp and dry. You almost miss a bit more body and richness from the fruit. It's good and well made, but I'd like to see a bit more character in it. (86 points)
Chardonnay & Pinot Noir it says. A bit lively. Very fine, elegant bubble stream. Very, very pale straw. Attractive pear-y, brioche nose. Really delicious palate. Creamy, buttery, brioche flavours with some black fruits giving extra character. This is an absolutely terrific NV that knocks all the big names well and truly into a cocked hat. Ready to drink now, too (though note this is from a half). Very, very impressed. (93 points)
Good, bright fruit on this own label Prosecco from the NW England grocery chain, Booths. It's refreshing and fairly crisp, without being aggressively dry. Yes, a good example and good value for the base of a cocktail or fizz. Really, it is what you'd expect from both Araldica and Booths at this price point. Good, solid wine. Easily drinkable, but to be critical lacking any real distinction. (86 points)
A deep, slightly bronzed gold colour. The nose is deep, heady and intoxicating: honey, orange zest, and just a bit of nuttiness. A bit oxidised or, more likely just a bit over the hill?
Pretty sweet attack, but feels nicely balanced. Good, rich mouthfeel. Really nice late harvest pinot gris flavours, with some honeydew melon fruit and a very good, almost grapefruity acidity. Finishes well, but it's the massive, lingering length that's most memorable, haunting even. The sweetness, which has been kept well in check by the acidity throughout, all but disappears on the finish. (92 points)
Quite a deep,opaque maturing colour. V powerful floral black fruits on nose with touch of spirit and some vanilla oak. Big mouthfilling, powerful wine. no reticence here. Lots of sweet black fruit, raisins, spice. needs a bit of time to open up. Tannins fairly evident. (91 points)
Good colour - bright and clear mature pinot with no bricking. Sweet strawberry and cherry fruit on the nose, with a few high-toned notes and some freshly chopped button mushrooms. Bright, fresh, almost vibrant palate, showing little sign of its 28 years. Beautifully balanced with good acidity. But just a little lacking in depth and interest. Very pleasant finish, with very good length. (90 points)
AP Nr. 2 583 092 20 06
Bright, yellow straw appearance. Initially, on opening, there was some lovely vibrant fruit, but that seems to have faded after 45 minutes open. Now, there's a lot of minerality, some pretty strong honeyed notes and some peach kernels.
Really delicious palate. Rich, maturing Spätlese. Fresh, bright, sweet apple and peach fruit. Yes, there's sweetness, but it's beautifully balanced by some rounded acidity: there's certainly not hint of sugariness. With food, the sweetness quickly recedes anyway.
A terrific wine, still with plenty of years ahead of it. This was only £7.50 on release: I wish I had bought a case or two of it. (93 points)
A pale golden colour. Rich, nutty nose with some pear/quince notes.
Clearly mature on the palate, but not in any detrimental sense. Rich and oily with a hint of citrus. Very clean, very balanced. Excellent length with good flavours lingering long after.
Very impressive for £13 (in 2008). (93 points)
Good, even, maturing ruby colour, with no bricking. Glorious, perfumed blackberry and raspberry fruit on the nose with cedary cigar box overtones. Good, really quite mature palate without feeling at all old. Good berry fruits, tobacco, prunes. There's still some tannic structure, but the tannins are well-integrated now, just revealing themselves in a little sandiness well beyond the finish. Great length. (94 points)
Good even colour that has lost its flush of youth. Very attractive nose: warm, gently spicy red fruits and a touch of blueberry
; some dried herbs, thyme in particular and maybe a hint of licorice or aniseed. Luscious palate. Full, but with beautiful balance. Slightly sour red fruits - again that slight hint of blueberry. Meaty and fleshy on the palate, but without the metallic hint that can sometimes come with that. Rich and full on the finish, with plummy, chocolate-coated prune flavours and some woody, hot spice. Excellent length. The tannins have been nicely integrated throughout, but after there are some fine-grained, sandy tannins.
A thoroughly excellent value wine. (93 points)
Youngish colour. Decent nose, if not overly expressive. Some red fruits and a bit of woodiness. Good palate. Still pretty youthful of course and some rather chewy tannins on the finish. Improving with being open: undoubtedly going to be one of those where last glass is the best. (90 points)
Note that these bottles of mine are from a 12-bottle case bought at auction for £30. Something had obviously happened to this case at some stage for the seller to have let it go so cheaply.
So, please do not assume just because all of these have been oxidised that there's any general problem with the vintage or the producer. (NR/flawed)
Pale straw colour, with a slight lemon hue. Very bright, fresh nose: , white flowers, white peach, honeysuckle maybe with some sherbert/fizzy citrus notes.
Remarkably spritely, lively palate for a 15 year old wine - there's none of the real vibrancy and vigour of youth, but also no noticeably mature notes. Just a pretty classic example of what a mature Ruwer Kabinett should be. There is some oily minerality, some green apple flavours, a hint of smokiness and a very watery honey taste. (91 points)
Deep golden colour. Very curious nose. Bit of citrus, honey and mushroom, plus a hint of gassy mercaptans.
Rich but not heavy on the palate. Freshly honeyed flavours with herby notes. Good acidity.
Some oxidative notes.
Very pleasant food friendly wine. (91 points)
Mature, plummy black fruit with quite a bit of garrique herbal notes and a touch of bacon fat on the nose.
Good palate. Mature, but much, much better than the last bottle, which must have been an aberration. Round, full, even. Good black fruit. Very savoury feel. Hints of bitter chocolate and prunes on the finish. Classy. Great length after. (91 points)
Pale lemon yellow
Delightful fresh, fragrant nose with citrus, hay and some perfumed white flowers.
Fresh and clean on palate. Has a decent richness and ripeness. Fresh, slightly grassy, flowery stone fruit flavours. (93 points)
Pale lemon gold.
Light, fresh nose. Watery lime and peach on the nose. Very slight minerality.
Lovely, bright, fresh attack. There's a hint of sweetness initially, but that fades to leave a nice appley-peachy palate with some sherbert notes.
Very balanced. Notable length. (92 points)
mid lemony gold colour.
Slightly watery beurre noisette on the nose with some good minerality and a hint of citrussy perfume.
Good palate. A bit on the simple side initially, but has improved with being open 30 mins. Quite rich, though not especially complex. Decent length. (88 points)
Pale lemon straw colour.
Buttery, slightly honeyed nose with fresh citrus and some lanolin and nuttiness. Marzipan-like, maybe, but not almonds - perhaps imagine a marzipan made with cashews?
Really good palate. Fresh, bright attack with lemon-lime hints, but it then quickly fills in the mouth. Big, full, mouthful, but no blowsiness at all. Very precise, clean flavours. Bit of lanolin oiliness on the finish.
Very long. (92 points)
Mid golden colour, with just a slight green tinge. Quite a subtle nose with some sweet peach fruit.
Bit of a sugary feel on the palate. Good riesling fruit, a little sweet and out of balance.
I think this needs time to come round again. 86/100 at the moment, but with the potential to regain 91-92/100 (86 points)
A bright mid lemon gold colour. Gorgeous nose: some peach and sweet apple fruit, lots of slate and wet paving slab minerality, with just a hint of petrol.
Gorgeous palate. Not what you'd call a beginner's riesling maybe. There's more than a little sweetness on the attack, along with some delicious sort of smoky-oily notes. Some mature riesling fruit flavours, loads of minerality and a very finely balanced acidity, which keeps that initial feel of sweetness well in check an even gives a bit of a white pepper note on the finish. Enormous length.
Excellent wine. (94 points)
Fairly mature colour - dark burgundy core, with paler, pinkish rim.
Interesting, spicy, Californian pinot nose: warm red fruits, cherry, slight hint of orange skin (or VA?) and a touch of spiritiness.
A big, mouthfilling wine. Good warm pinot fruit, verging on the hot with a combination of acidity and alcohol really tingling on the tongue. The primary flavours fade quickly in the mouth giving an impression of it being rather short, but there are some nice precise, purer pinot fruit flavours that linger for really quite a long time in the mouth. There's also a little bit of grip from the tannins remaining on the finish.
Nice enough wine, but it feels a bit too much on the simple, un-complex side. Feels more like a £10-£15 wine than the £15-25 wine that wine-searcher says it is. (87 points)
Light , fresh nose with lemon, hay and a hint of air freshener. Bright, fresh clean palate. Citrussy acidity to the fore. But good body too: quite a nice weight really with some butteriness. Still got the essential simplicity of Müller Thurgau, but that NE Italian style of winemaking has certainly brought out the best. (89 points)
Quite a bronzed, deep, almost teak golden colour.
Very rich, deep, sweet nose. Still some muscat fruit in there, but mainly plump golden raisins and a hint of caramel.
Luscious, very rich palate. In the seven years since the last bottle of this I opened, this has deepened and gained in richness and complexity: curiously it's lost the oxidative notes of seven years ago. There's a buttery element to the palate, and while it *is* pretty sweet, it's not at all oversweet, but retains a nice freshness.
For years now, The Wine Society have been showing this as well beyond its drinking window on my reserves statement. Utter nonsense: it's as alive as it ever was. I'd almost suggest that it has improved still further with ageing, and it shows no sign whatsoever of tiring or needing to be drunk up. If anything it seems to me to be just entering a vin de méditation stage. (95 points)
Mid lemon yellow colour. Rich, rather resiny nose. Seems to have lost any fruit it might have had: it's a bit flat. Lots of butteriness on the palate, but like the nose, not really much, if any fruit. Fair length.
All in all, this feels a teeny bit oxidised and a touch over the hill. Hence no score given. It's drinkable though, and not unpleasant.
I wonder if it might open up a bit with time. (86 points)
Lemon, apples & hint of custard on nose. A complex mouthful. Full and rich on palate with stone fruit. Also a good acidity. (90 points)
A bit neutral on the nose, but this was a restaurant purchase and, as is too often the case, served far too cold. Perhaps a little herbiness on the nose. Really nice feel in the mouth, initially killed a bit by being too cold, but it opens out to be a nice, pretty full and rich mouthful, but with enough acidity to keep it refreshing on a hot day. Feels like there's some oak on this, but it's not at all dominating. (90 points)
A very heavy bottle!
An even, dark raspberry red with no residual signs of youth. Lovely nose, very much in the American mould of pinot, with sweetish red berry and cherry fruit, together with some sweet oak. Not a lot in the way sous bois, though there's maybe a certain leafiness amid the oak aromas.
Really pretty gorgeous palate. Sweetish red fruit, hint of cherry, and then some raspberry-like acidity. Any tannins there may have been are now fully integrated, though there's still a nice structure and backbone. Finishes very well: nice and clean, with pretty enormous length.
Probably not one for die-hard Burgundy nuts, but I really rather like this.
The Wine Society's recommendations were that this should be drunk by 2008 at the latest. That is clearly errant nonsense: this bottle has an easy 5-10 years life in it. (92 points)
Minerally citrussy nose with good depth. VG palate: initially light and refreshing but with real depth & good interest. very clean finish with great length. (93 points)
Light, fresh, fairly crisp with some appley-melony fruit. Simple yet elegant. (87 points)
Fairly rich, gently floral nose. Good, characterful palate. Worked nicely as a lunchtime wine as it was light enough in both body and alcohol level, yet also had plenty of interest, especially once it had warmed up a little. (89 points)
Very pale lemon straw colour. Lovely nose: some creamy apple notes, lemon sherbert and good minerality. Initially rather closed and a bit hard. But after about 15 minutes open, it's opened out nicely. Good precise, minerally riesling fruit with a lot of acidity that just stays on the right side of being balanced. Bit of a raw green apple note on the finish. (88 points)
This was a restaurant purchase, and I didn't take a note at the time. Not something I'd normally choose, but the sommelier gave a very strong steer towards this wine, despite us looking at a couple of other wines twice the price.
An excellent recommendation. It had a good clean nose, with a hint of oak, alongside some buttery and citrussy aromas. Very nice in the mouth: well-integrated, with the oak not at all noticeable as something distinct, just lending a weight and a bit of creaminess to the palate. As on the nose, a bit of buttery fatness on the palate, but with some lovely ripe lemony hints. Worked brilliantly with a veal sweetbread with globe artichoke and truffled madeira sauce. Also a remarkably good match with john dory with truffled gnocchi, golden turnip and caramelised salsify. (91 points)
In much better condition than the previous bottle. Still a hint of oxidation, but otherwise it's just a big Aussie chardonnay that's showing the negative features of the type, and none of the positive features. Didn't really spend much time considering this as it was opened for cooking, where I wanted a sturdy white wine or sherry, and didn't want to open a decent bottle of sherry for it. (82 points)
Badly oxidised (NR/flawed)
A pale lemon colour. Subtle, herby and herbaceous nose with some lemony notes and a hint of nuttiness. Full, fresh and really quite scented on the palate. Seems to be fading a bit after the last few bottles, unless it's entering a dumb phase. (89 points)
A mid golden colour with a marked green tinge. Full, not obviously mature, but not young riesling. Lots of nectarine fruit on the nose, some red apples, a hint of honey and a touch of minerality.
Quite big and full on the palate, with much more maturity evident than on the nose. There's a nice, but not in-your-face sweetness with the same stone fruit flavours and a touch of grape juice. Very nicely balanced. Finishes crisply, with a subdued aftertaste and a good length.
Proper Spätlese. (93 points)
Mid gold. Some tartrate crystals in bottle. Lovely nose. Fresh, sweet fruit with honey and barley sugar.
Lovely, bright, clean palate. Lusciously textured, but with good acidity keeping it all very balanced. It's good, but there's a certain soapy note that I find a little bit odd. (87 points)
Very pale, slightly green-tinged straw colour. Nice crisp nose - actually not overly sherrified. Nuts, almonds, seawater and a hint of anchovies. Fairly sturdy, forthright Manzanilla. Clean, fresh and nicely balanced. Very good finish - great length, but also very neat and precise. (88 points)
Slightly green-tinged pale straw. Lovely nose: nice, restrained sauvignon blanc characters. Aromatic and creamy with some lovely green gooseberry fruit. Feels really pretty classy on the nose.
Not quite as impressive on the palate, as on the nose. But it's really very good. Open, fragrant, as dry as a bone. Really good, classy, distinctly French sauvignon. Delicious wine, with good, full flavours on the middle and massive length.
Pretty much at its price as £14.99, but a complete bargain reduced to £7.49 at Booths for the rest of 2012.
Worked okay with my chicken liver parfait, though some trout/salmon mousse/parfait (smoked or fresh) would have been better. (91 points)
A deceptively sturdy 14.5% abv, which you really don't notice in the wine.
Youthful dark ruby colour. Warm, rather simple-feeling red and black fruits with a touch of leather on the nose. Very attractive palate. Clean, bright fruits - more red fruit than black. Well-balanced with a pleasing slightly sour, green capsicum note on the middle. Not insubstantial, grippy tannins which linger, coating the mouth along with the green pepper flavours, for ages.
Nice, but ultimately, it's a fairly simple, generic Côtes du Rhône, anonymous even, as the producers don't even put their name to this other than the cryptic code, EPB 71570.
£12 (full price at Booths) is pushing it, but at the offer price of £5.99, it's a decent buy.
A CdR wouldn't be my automatic choice with chicken liver parfait, but (perhaps because of the wine's essential simplicity), I'm very pleasantly surprised by how well it works. (85 points)
Deep, dark plumskin colour, not yet really showin many signs of maturity. Huge amounts of plummy black fruit on the nose, heavily layered with chocolate, dark rum and rum-soaked raisins. The more I sniff it, the more it smells like rum and raisin ice cream, without the cream.
Gorgeous palate. Rich, yet fairly fresh black and red fruit. A very velvety, cossetting texture. Very elegant. Very classy.
No sign of even reaching a plateau. Must have another 5-10 years in it, surely. (94 points)
I'm immediately put off by the clear glass bottle, which makes it look a bit cheap and tacky. Reading the back label, it's been imported in bulk and bottled in the UK, which perhaps helps explain why it's clear glass: we don't make many green or brown glass bottles here.
As pale and clear as you'd expect of a young Kiwi sauvignon blanc. Typical sauvignon nose, though maybe more in your face and bigger, with green peas, green beans and a bit of cat's pee. Really quite big and full on the palate. But it lacks any depth, and any real interest. Finishes very short. (82 points)
I'm immediately put off by the clear glass bottle, which makes it look a bit cheap and tacky. Reading the back label, it's been imported in bulk and bottled in the UK, which perhaps helps explain why it's clear glass: we don't make many green or brown glass bottles here.
Pale underripe strawberry juice colour. Rather muted nose with sweet red fruit, some peppery spice and the sort of smell you get when you're drilling a hole in softwood and it just starts to char.
Pretty big, ripe, sweet strawberry fruit on the palate. Much sweeter than I expected. Plain, simple, easy drinking. Probably one for people who don't like wine much. Not really for me. (81 points)
Delightful nose - red fruit with a nice perfume. Good, fruit forward palate. Nicely rounded and balanced with plenty of interest. Unobtrusive tannins appear mainly on the finish. (91 points)
A very pale lemon-gold colour. Nicely restrained nose with some tropical fruits and a hint of butteriness ... oh and the very faintest hint of washing up liquid. In the mouth, the immediate impression is that it's nice and fresh, and very clean. Good, fresh, crisp flavours, allowing the gentle, subtle chardonnay flavours to shine through. This is not a chardonnay for lovers of heavily oaked, sweet Ozzie chardonnays. There are no hidden depths or complexity here. But it's nicely balanced and disarmingly easy to drink, especially disarmingly easy given its pretty hefty 13.5% abv.
Had this with some smoked trout - one apple-smoked, one oak-smoked. Not overly pleasant with the sweeter apple-smoked trout, but pretty good with the oak-smoked trout. Revealing, perhaps, chardonnay's on-going affinity with oak (87 points)
A deep, garnet red with much youthful purple at the edges. On the nose, there is some remarkably creamy black fruit - blackberries, mulberries and dark plum skins, and just a hint of peppery spice. Really lovely attack. This is a surprise. Much better and much more approachable than I was expecting. There's some really good, bright, red fruit flavours, and then a layer of spice behind. Good soft tannins provide support. Bright, fresh, clean with a nice character a really a lot more interest than I was expecting. 13.5% abv, but you don't notice it.
Imported by Boutinot, proving their reliability. (89 points)
Bright, remarkably youthful light, very clear red with a bit of a purplish hue. Light, fresh red fruits, predominantly raspberry on the nose. Very attractive youthful palate. You wouldn't know this was six or seven years old. A bit like a young Beaujolais, with a bit of lightly pressed syrah blended in. If you had this blind, you might think it was a beefier rosé. Some remarkably grippy tannins come along after a while, and seem to have developed in the six years since my last taste of this, when the tannins were much softer. Reverse maturation? Very nice wine, though. Easily drunk but with lots of character. I had it with tongue risotto, but I could see it going well with charcuterie, or sausages, or even barbequed poultry. (91 points)
8%. AP 2 576 162 16 08. Screwcap.
Opened mainly for cooking, though had a couple of glasses with the finished dish of pork and chickpeas.
Vibrant lemony coloured straw. Slightly sugary nose with tart, sour apples and a decent minerality. Fresh and clean on the palate. Perhaps just a touch sweeter than entirely necessary for a Kabinett, and maybe the acidity is starting to fade a bit? (88 points)
Good, deep, mature colour - an even deep garnet. Dark, almost brooding black fruit. Plummy, herbal, sour cherries, a hint of eucalyptus, and some chocolate. Lovely, rich, mature palate with a very silky mouthfeel and really impressive, poised plummy, perfumed black fruit. A bit more of a grainy tannic structure than the last bottle. Gorgeous drinking. (92 points)
Mid to dark teak colour. Herby and (unsurprisingly, given the name) spicy on the nose. Hints of mulling spice, and cloves and licorice to the fore. Initially quite grapey on the attack. Warm, rounded and balanced. Not too sweet. Leaves a tingle on the tongue, which I can't quite placed as being from the alcohol or the spices in the blend. Serving it on the rocks, there's a much more noticeable orange note on the palate. Very pleasant, with excellent balance. A fresher flavour than many Italian and French vermouths, I think. (90 points)
Mid to deep straw yellow. Nice freshness on the nose with some citrus notes in front of tropica,buttery chardonnay fruit, some pea pods and good minerality. Very nice palate. Like the nose, there's an initial freshness with appley, peachy fruit, then a certain grapiness, but then the fruit seems to turn more tropical, before a nice streak of acidity returning on the finish. this could well be the best bottle of this six-pack. Some of the weirder "uniqueness" seems to have been toned down a bit - for example, I don't detect that hint of raisining that was there in its youth. (93 points)
Mature mid ruby colour. Quite an attractive nose - mature, light, simple Rioja. Black fruit, blueberry and bilberry, with a touch of vanilla and sweet pastry. Light, clean palate. There's some good, restrained fruit. Maybe just a little high-toned on the palate, with a fresh acidity. Tannins are pretty well integrated, but separate out a bit on the finish to give a certain chewiness. Very decent stuff. Surprisingly so for a fairly basic wine from the Laithwaites gang. (88 points)
Green, weedy, acidic nose - just a hint of black fruit. Thin and weedy on the palate. Light, sandy tannins. Green and a touch bitter on the finish. No faults, just meh. Weedier than my garden. (79 points)
Oxidised - in the wrong way. Mango & bananas on the nose. Not very pleasant palate. (NR/flawed)
Gorgeous, pretty mature-feeling nose. Very deep, yet restrained black fruit, fleshy-bloody note, tobacco, cedar, and a hint of a sort of perfumed, chalky minerality. Really superb palate. Boy, is this bottle in a good place right now. Absolutely delicious. Poised, black fruit, with just a little leafiness, a bit of meatiness and a chocolatey velvetiness. Deep and rounded. Beautifully balanced. The tannins are nicely integrated. Great length too. A really terrific bottle of this. (96 points)
Mid, lemony straw appearance. Stony minerality on the nose. Seems to be a hint of aniseed, but that would be really weird. Fresh and clean on the palate. There's still some sweetness there, but entirely balanced by excellent acidity, but it's also lost some of its youthful sweetness. Very attractive, classic Mosel riesling. Quite moreish. (90 points)
AP Nr 24 079 003 04 8% abv
Quite a fresh-looking, mid gold colour. Fairly muted nose: there's a hint of stone fruit and a nice, fresh granite minerality. A very slight soapiness, maybe? Much, much bigger palate than the nose would lead you to believe. Forward ripe, peach fruit. There's sweetness, of course, with just a touch of sugariness. But there's enough acidity, now very well integrated, to keep it well-balanced and to give it a pleasing freshness. Maybe lacks a bit of depth, but good length.
Still got a case in storage, but no rush to take it out yet, I think. (91 points)
8% AP Nr 2 577 050 3 99
Very loose cork.
Very pale lemon gold. Creamy, minerally nose with some sweet peachy fruit. Excellent palate. OK, it's obviously not young, but there's a real freshness here. Like drinking honey mixed with liquidised slate chips. Some stone fruit, but very much secondary. A pleasing acidity remains. Very round and integrated. Splendid stuff; remarkable for a 14 year old Kab which is barely more than a Gutsriesling. (92 points)
A nice warm, spicy nose, but more restrained than many Rhones. It has a very classy feel. Exceedingly pleasant palate. It's much lighter than I'd expected, which increases the elegance. There's good red and black fruit with a nice pepper spice on the finish.
A second bottle was substantially below par, though without an obvious fault, and had we not had the first bottle, we'd have probably just put it down as not a particularly brilliant wine. 86/100
A third bottle was much closer to the third, but still not quite as good. 91/100 maybe. (93 points)
Creamy, minerally nose with some restrained floral notes. Really nice blend on the palate with the malvasia clearly to the fore but with the friulano and ribolla hardly being latecomers to the party. The bottle says fermented with wild yeasts in 20hl oak, though the oak seems slightly more evident than that would suggest. cracking wine though that seems very much in its drinking window. (93 points)
An utterly glorious nose: plummy and pruney black fruits at the same time, with meat, sweaty, horsey notes, and then some spicy, peppery (black and green [bell] peppers). Also a hint of high tones.
The high tones are more immediately evident on the palate, on the attack. Though the high tones give way to sweet black fruit quite quickly. Creamy and round with a nice velvety texture. Very obvious vanilla flavours towards the finish. Pretty good length.
Screwcap. 15.2% abv (89 points)
Lemon gold colour. Rather muted nose, like a 3-day old petrol spill on chalk. Fairly light and fresh on the attack. Marked sweetness with candied citrus - more orange/mandarin citrus rather than lime/lemon. Still pretty vibrant in the mouth. Quite a big mouthful. The sweetness isn't in any way cloying, but it just doesn't have the precise balance of better years: and I mean years, in that I think the weaknesses of this wine are most likely down to the abnormal summer of 2003. That's not to say that it's not a pleasant wine: it is. Equally, on a warm summer's evening, the 9% abv is very welcome. (88 points)
Fully mature colour, with a hint of bricking. On the nose, there are sweet red fruits, black pepper, some mushroomy notes, and a hint of truffles. Previous bottles have seemed a little high-toned, but not this one. Very good palate. Very obviously completely mature, but nice sweet fruit, good acidity and a hint of peppery spice. Very rounded; finishes beautifully and with enormous length. (91 points)
Gentle, perfumed nose with black fruit and a touch of mushrooms. Lovely mature palate. Quite a treat to get such a mature wine at a restaurant and for a reasonable price (£32). Mouthfilling restrained slightly foxy black fruit. Great length. (91 points)
A mid gold colour. Slightly smoky paraffin-rubbed apples on the nose, with a hint of caramelisation. Delicious, mature Kabinett. Very poised. Some richness and sweetness, but also a searing acidity. Cracking stuff. Only 8% abv too. (91 points)
Light and fresh. As uncomplicated as it gets. Worked well with grilled mackerel & a Moroccan-spiced tomato stew, and other seafood. But with some charcoal grilled rose veal cutlets, it felt just a bit wet and watery. (85 points)
Mid gold. Deep, fairly sweet, slightly yeasty black fruit nose. Full and rich on the palate. Maybe a hint of oxidation, but certainly in a good way, and no more than I would expect in a twenty year old champagne. Good, persistent bubbles. Rich, creamy and pleasing. (89 points)
Fairly light mature ruby colour. Fairly light on the nose: a touch of a savoury, saline, almost fishy note at first, then some fairly deep, concentrated blackberry fruit. Fairly light and restrained on the palate too: the sort of restraint that comes with being fully mature. I suspect this wouldn't have lasted much longer. Nice mature red fruit - raspberries? Very long. Just a hint of residual sandy tannins. It's a nice, mature wine. But £25 nine years ago feels a bit expensive for what's in my glass: there's nothing earth-shattering or particularly impressive here. (88 points)
Deepish straw with a marked pinkish tinge. Slightly coarse bubble stream, initially, but that settled down after a few moments. Biscuity, buttery, briochey nose, with some nuttiness. Deep, round, very fruity palate. Very complex and rewarding. (92 points)
Deep, mature colour - fully mature dark, rather hazy garnet, but no sign of bricking or over-maturity. Gorgeous nose. Plummy, herbal fruit with hint of licorice. Silky smooth palate with good, restrained, dark fruit. Clearly mature, but by no means over-mature. Really good, composed character. Some light tannins still cling on, but scarcely noticeable. Glad my first impressions were correct 11 years ago and this was a keeper. Turned into a very fine wine. (91 points)
Should you keep Moscato, even an Australian one, for this long? Maybe not, but on the evidence of this bottle, why not? Glorious light, bright muscat nose, with hints of pear, honey and honeysuckle. There is still a very light petillance, but it has certainly lost a bit of its sparkle over the years. Glorious, light, fresh palate. Just a hint of sweetness. Perfect warm weather drinking, and went well with some sobrasada on grilled sourdough, sprinkled with sherry vinegar and Halen Mon Anglesey sea salt. (90 points)
Rich, rather brassy gold. Rich, buttery, custard tart nose with some tropical fruit. Sweet, slightly spicy, very, very rich tropical fruit on the palate. Some oxidation maybe? Very, very big. I'd certainly put this as a heavy Vendanges Tardives. A bit short maybe, and a bit single-dimensioned in the mouth. (87 points)
My last bottle of this, bought 12 years ago and clearly cellared just a little too long, as it's clearly rather oxidised. But pinot gris is a grape that can carry oxidation better than many, and so perhaps all is not lost.
A deepish brassy cold colour. Powerful sweet, beurre noisette nose with some apricot fruit, but still with some scented spice. Concentrated, fairly sweet attack. If there wasn't that hint of oxidation on the nose, you could easily think this was Vendanges Tardives, or even a very thin SGN. On the palate, you don't (unless you had it when it was fresh a few years ago) really notice any oxidation, and it still feels like a pretty decent, fairly heavyweight Alsace Pinot Gris. (88 points)
Very tight cork, which ended up breaking in several pieces. A great shock when decanting this off the cork crumbs to see it's a dark teak brown colour, looking more like it's well over 50 years old, rather than just 9 years.
There's no apparent oxidation or maderisation on the nose or the palate, though it's celarly showing some age. Bright, really quite fresh raisins and candied oranges on the nose. Oranges, honeyed apricots and some caramel on the palate. Good acidity still, though you really feel the acidity on the finish: the acidity seems to have separated out a little. (87 points)
A mid gold colour that seemed a little deep for something just a year or two old. But the suspicions of oxidation were completely unfounded. Some delicate, tropical fruit and grapefruit on the nose. Initially some vibrant green fruit and grapefruit on the palate, but as it warmed up the fruit became rounder and more tropical with some hints of honey. Remarkably just 11.5% abv which is good. (90 points)
A fairly deep brassy colour. Quite a gentle, simple, amontillado nose. Plenty of salinity, some olives, nuts and candied orange peel. Light, fairly fresh. Fairly dry, but with depth and weight, and more of an off dry feel towards the finish and after. A fairly simple Amontillado, but it's also very nice, easy drinking. (89 points)
Very tight cork that crumbled under pressure from the cork screw. A good mature colour, but no bricking. Good nose with lots of sweet, slightly volatile red fruit and a bit of leather. Good mature palate. Still very much alive, with nice, gentle, mature fruit; completely integrated tannins. It's only a crianza, so there's nothing particularly complex here, just a very nice mature wine. £8 in Oddbins in 1996. Good investment, though sadly the last bottle. (87 points)
Very rich, creamy nose, yet also a gentle florality. Rich and full on the palate. Very buttery and creamy. Possibly a hint of oxidation? Yet there's an acidity and an almost saline savouriness that keeps it fresh and balanced. The floral notes on the nose seem to turn into a sort of furniture polish flavour. Delicious and intriguing. (94 points)
I've kept this too long. It's lost its petillance and is now really just an undistinguished grape juice, that's somehow not particularly well balanced. (83 points)
Plummy black fruit with a sour-fruit edge and some bloodiness. Curiously, this bottle seems a bit simpler than previous bottles. Quite light, direct, smooth fruit on the palate. Notably youthful, juicy character. Negligible tannins (which is a bit odd). Nice bitter chocolate and blackberry silkiness lingering on the finish (89 points)
Deep, maturing dark purple colour. Attractive nose: rich, sweet blackcurrant fruit and a hint of gamey bloodiness. Really surprisingly lovely on the palate. Deep black fruit. Sweet fruit, but very balanced with a nice acidity. Really quite elegant. Chocolatey feel on the finish with soft tannins and hints of floral elegance.
I'm surprised by this. I didn't expect that, for under £10, I'd get such a classy feeling wine. (91 points)
Lovely fresh, light, fragrant nose with beurre noisette, honey and orange zest. Lots of orangey and sweet apple fruit on the palate, with a honeyed richness pulling it together. The acidity feels much more integrated than the last bottles (opened about 10 years ago). But there's also a savoury edge to it too. Doesn't quite have the same freshness as previous bottles (hardly surprising after a further 10 years and now it's almost 20 years old). On first opening, it felt like it might be a little tired, but it has started to open up nicely after just 10 minutes. (89 points)
Pretty deep golden colour. Big, rich, buttery nose with tropical fruit and a touch of salinity. Really big, deep and rich on the palate. Very rich and creamy, and there's some tropical fruit again. There's not the same sweetness that I detected in the last bottle of this I opened, though there's a more pronounced acidity, keeping it more balanced. But it's a big wine, that tasted blind you might think was late harvest. (88 points)
Herbaceous, green fruit on the nose, with a touch of grassy-hay. Fresh and remarkably pleasing on the palate - remarkably for a sub-£3.50 wine. Fairly full, good fruit. Pretty correct Muscadet, though feeling a bit metallic. Simple, of course, but if you want something to neck with fish and chips without thinking too much about it, it hits the spot. (88 points)
Good, maturing deep, dark garnet. Gorgeous nose: perfumed, plummy, sweet black fruits, new leather and raw venison. Quite delicate on the palate, especially for Crozes. Very open, nicely mature. Possibly a hint of high tones in the mouth, with a hint of grapefruit over quite delicate black fruit. Soft, somewhat sandy tannins. Great length. (93 points)
Opened for cooking.
Utterly unexceptional. Plain, simple, anoydyne, dull, inoffensive.
Drinkable, but no fun and no interest. Good cooking wine though. (78 points)
Quite an electric light pink. Attractive open red fruits on the nose. Very good, clean, elegant palate. A particularly good rosé. (89 points)
A very attractive nose with lovely perfumed red fruits. Very, very elegant on the palate. Very poised and refined. (93 points)
A blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and malbec.
A complex nose with black fruits and a hint of menthol.
Big, complex palate. It's powerful stuff, yet still manages to remain clean and very elegant indeed. (92 points)
A gentle, subtle nose. Nice palate with good red fruit characters. Very easy. (87 points)
A deep pink colour. There are stewed strawberry and raspberry aromas on the nose. Very good balance on the palate. It has a very noticeable weight to it in the mouth, and is more in the style of a light red than a rosé. (89 points)
Bright, fresh pears and peach on the nose. Very nice, light, clean wine with some finesse. (89 points)
A glorious nose. Everything you could want from an amontillado. Beautiful on the palate. Very complex indeed and supremely enjoyable. (94 points)
There's a touch of raw oak on an otherwise good nose. Good enough on the palate. Unexceptional. (84 points)
Quite a classy feel to the nose, with concentrated black fruits. Very silky, soft on the palate. Good balance of ripe and less ripe fruit characters on the palate. (88 points)
Nice melony, honeyed notes on the nose. On the palate, it's all correct and as you'd expect. A good, clean, precise Sauternes. (88 points)
A good, classic Rioja nose. On the palate, it's a nice, easy Rioja. Nothing very special. Nothing wrong. Good house wine. (88 points)
Lovely, big, rich nose with good red fruit aromas. Very pleasing palate - warm and inviting. A big wine, but with very good balance. (89 points)
A nice, floral nose. A bit slight on the palate. Possibly better younger (this is tasting the 2009 in 2012). Also £15 seems rather expensive for what's in the bottle. (86 points)
A very reductive nose with very young, spirity aromas. Big everything on the palate. I think there's some quality in there, but it feels some massively overdone just at the moment. If it is going to come round, then it needs a lot of time. 85 to (charitably) 88/100 (88 points)
An attractive nose with some lovely red fruits and some minerality showing through. Really good on the palate: finely structured and elegant. This has a very classy feel to it.
Much more elegant and satisfying than the Melville Estate Pinot from the same vintage tasted alongside. (92 points)
Petrolly, limey nose. Big, intense palate. Very minerally riesling. A touch hot.
£25 seems very poor value for what's in the bottle. (86 points)
Bright red fruit nose with some dusty oak. Good, refined palate. Well balanced with great length. (89 points)
A good, buttery, melony nose. A nice open palate, but just a bit hard on the finish. (84 points)
A bright lemon sherbert and grapey nose. Good poised palate. A nice wine, though it's rather pricey. (89 points)
There's good fruit on the nose and some dusty oak. A good, easy drinking claret. Nothing special. (86 points)
Fendant is a synonym for the Chasselas grape variety in Switzerland.
A fresh, white flowers nose with a hint of honeydew melon. Fairly full palate. Nice ripeness alongside a bit of minerality and decent acidity. Good wine, but for some reason it doesn't scream "drink me" to me. (88 points)
Apparently 80% teran and 20% refosk, though I thought teran was the southern name for refosco.
8 days skin contact and then aged for 36 months in oak.
A big nose with lots of black fruits and a nice perfume. Impressive (though with a price of £36, it jolly well should be). Very integrated, enjoyable palate. (90 points)
13% abv. 100% nebbiolo rosé.
A very attractive nose with strawberry and orange fruit. Good character on the palate. A touch too much acidity towards the the finish maybe. But very good overall. Great length. (88 points)
100% refosco aged in old barriques.
Interesting nose: a bit stinky, sweaty and cheesy. Clearly intended to be a "serious" wine - much bigger than the Gerzinic Teran. Sadly, I find the palate rather dull. Very even and rounded, but lacking interest. (86 points)
Ripe, sweet raspberry and bramble fruit on the nose. On the palate, there's a nice restraint allowing the Zinfandel character to show through without the blowsiness or jamminess that can sometimes conceal it. Very good indeed. (89 points)
Stony red fruit with some perfumed apples on the nose. Good palate: works well. This is a good, light rosé with some character. (88 points)
A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and refosco.
A touch stinky on the nose, with very floral black fruits. Intense, ripe, but not overripe red and black fruit on teh palate. This is serious stuff with a nice element of funk. (90 points)
Slightly sherbetty stone fruits on the nose. A pleasing palate: nice, with a good balance of flavours. (89 points)
Good, subtly tropical, gentle nose. Lovely fruit character in the mouth. Very pleasant wine. (87 points)
Fascinating, pretty unique nose a bit reminiscent of marsala: smokey, sweet red fruit and distinctly maderised. Tastes much better than it smells. Very interesting and unusual. Who knew that a maderised pinot noir could be so really jolly nice? (90 points)
Lovely, correct nose, though with a touch of greenness. Nice and juicy on the palate. There's a touch of astringency which disappears on the finish. (88 points)
Fresh, floral nose with some nutty notes. Nice palate. This has good character and depth while being nice and crisp. (89 points)
An interesting nose. Lots of lovely character and black fruit, with a hint of tobacco. Great character on the palate. A really nice wine. (92 points)
Fresh, clean nose. Very good fruit character on the palate. Very good balance. More refined than the Laxas Albarino. (88 points)
Lovely wild garrigue notes on the nose, alongside black fruit and leather. This wine's nose and name really go together.
On the palate, it's velvety and cossetting, with great depth and character. Huge length. (91 points)
A floral, classic muscat nose. Pretty sweet, but nicely balanced. Quite complex, really. (88 points)
A rather straightforward nose. Lovely soft, open palate. A nice, young, easy claret marred only by a touch of astringency on the finish. (86 points)
A big, structured nose. Good palate, with good creamy chardonnay fruit and nice oaking. Very good. But not worth double the price of the same producer's Golden Age Chardonnay. (89 points)
A nice open nose. Uncomplicated. Quite simple on the palate, especially in comparison the same producer's Brouilly from the same vintage. (87 points)
60% chardonnay:40% macabeo
A fresh, bright nose with attractive pear fruit. A bit grapey on the palate. It'd be good cold on a hot day on a terrace in the Spanish sunshine. (84 points)
Good clean character. Nice, fresh, crisp. (86 points)
A dry, bright, open nose with citrus and apple. Very good palate with a really nice character. Long and lingering in the mouth. Nice depth. (89 points)
100% Teran (the Croatian name for Refosco)
Clean red fruits on the nose. Light, clean, very minerally palate. Good drinking. Very long. (90 points)
A blend of 40% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot and 20% Istrian Borgonja (i.e. gamay).
Gosh, this is bizarre. The nose reminds me of a 1960s sweet shop with aromas of Trebor fruit salad, bubblegum, play-doh and roses. The palate is just as odd, but curiously moreish. (89 points)
A very light pink. Works well. Nice palate. Clean. Good, light fruit. (88 points)
A very powerful nose: pungent, spirity stone fruit with a layer of acerbic oak. The palate follows the nose, but is a little bit more restrained. This actually has good balance and some interest. Quite showy though. (88 points)
Quite a big, slightly wild nose. Very rich, full palate. Big, round and open. Very attractive. (89 points)
A blend of colombard and vermentino.
Light, fresh, fragrant.
A good house wine for bars. (86 points)
100% cinsault. A very subtle, delicate nose. But by contrast, a really nice, fruity palate. Very drinkable, if not gluggable. (88 points)
A blend of syrah, carignan and tempranillo. There's lovely, bright, youthful red fruit juice on the nose. Quite full on the palate and really jolly nice, packed full of lots and lots of delicious fruit. (88 points)
Very pleasant, gently aromatic nose. Nice restrained palate. A good, classic viognier. (87 points)
A clean, fresh nose. There's a nice fruit character on the palate. Initially there's seems to be a sweetness of fruit, but it's bone dry. (86 points)
A warm climate pinot noir nose. Fairly big and firm on the palate with big grippy tannins throughout and dominant on the finish. It feels a bit out of balance. (83 points)
Rather ordinary nose with fresh stone fruits. But much more impressive on the palate than on the nose. Clean and fresh; and really very good. (89 points)
Made from chardonnay with some viognier. It has a good, poised nose and palate. All pretty correct. But I'll take the same producer's Domaine de Peyrat Chardonnay over this any day. (86 points)
A blend of syrah of merlot. There's nice restraint on the nose. A lovely silky palate. Very elegant black fruit. A classic well made, classy drinking wine that doesn't go out of its way to impress with showiness. (91 points)
Massive nose with lots of funk and horse sweat. Bit palate, but with a curious, almost zingy acidity. (88 points)
A scented, aromatic nose. This is a nice, soft, easy rosé with decent fruit and character. (88 points)
A cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend. A rather slight nose with hints of Ribena. On the palate, it just feels a bit sweet and confected. Very industrial. (82 points)
I can't see the producer mentioned anywhere on the bottle, though a few websites suggest it's Bear Creek Winery in Lodi, California.
A light strawberry-cherry nose. Sweetish palate. A bit confected and tastes cheap (though not nasty). (82 points)
Lovely nose with sweet oak and citrus notes. Really nice palate. Lovely, integrated, good old fashioned, moderately priced white burgundy. (92 points)
An unexpressive nose . Quite big in the mouth. But nothing overly impressive. Feels quite ordinary. (84 points)
Rather pleasant nose, though more of a sauvignon blanc-chardonnay cross in character. Very good palate. Very nice, easy drinking wine with very good character. (89 points)
A bright, melony nose. This has much better balance than the same producer's ordinary chardonnay. Good buttery structure with nice lemony notes. (89 points)
A rather slight nose with gentle apple and peach aromas. Decent palate. Very refreshing. A bit slight. Good acidity. Massive minerality on the finish. (87 points)
A blend of Istrian Malvasia, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
A very honeyed nose with some nuts. Odd nose. Light palate. Very high acidity. A bit too sternly priced at £29. (86 points)
10-11 months in stainless steel, followed by 10-11 months in French oak.
Full, complex palate. I think the oak is disguising the malvasia character a bit, making it feel quite chardonnay like. (87 points)
Very crisp pear and melon fruit on the nose. Pretty good character. Very pure chardonnay character. Very attractive. (89 points)
A fine, elegant muscant nose. Very elegant, precise palate. Nice and clean. Off-dry.
A rather subdued nose, though with a slightly odd touch of catmint. Pretty standard, grapey muscat. More rustic and less finesse than the Degrassi San Pellegrin muscat. (85 points)
Light and fresh on the nose. Very nice in the mouth. Good fruit character. (89 points)
Very open nose with cherries and violets. Lovely palate. Clean and very well balanced with an interesting character. (91 points)
Dark red fruits on the nose. Rather weedy palate. Not doing it for me. Fine, but fails to impress. (83 points)
Very open nose with quite subtle black fruits. Good palate, with a nice balance of fruit and a pleasing structure. (87 points)
Very light blush rosé. A lovely strawbery-raspberry nose. Really rather good. (89 points)
A fairly subdued nose. Pleasant without being striking. Light and clean. (86 points)
Rich, deep, chocolatey black fruit on the palate. Nice minerality too. Great restraint. Lovely wine. (92 points)
Curiously for both a 12 year old wine and a wine whose back label mentions very light filtering and the need to decant, there's virtually no sediment visible in the bottle.
Very light, markedly mature colour - quite orangey with some bricking.
Pretty classic mature pinot noir nose: some high tones, some sweet red fruit, some citrus peel, & decaying sous bois.
The palate is far from classic mature pinot though. Immediately sweet, tending to jamminess with a weight in the mouth way beyond the lightness of its appearance. Some almost marmalade notes. Either this wasn't much cop when I bought it (2003) or I should have drunk it much sooner, but this is distinctly unimpressive, even if I switch to decayed old wines lover mode. Very long indeed after, but throughout it just feels very simple. (82 points)
AP Nr 2 576 162 11 06 8%
Mid gold, with a greenish tinge. Big, minerally nose. Petrol, wet paving stones and crushed dried kaffir lime leaves with slight hints of peach, musk and cabbage (the latter presumably the residue of sulphur).
Very attractive palate. Nicely integrated, maturing riesling. Good fruit and nice length. Very pleasant drinking.
But the acidity is surprisingly low, which gives it a bit of a flabby feel (88 points)
Deep, even burgundy red colour, not mature as such, but not at all youthful. Lovely, inviting nose immediately on opening. Glorious red and black fruit, with a warm mixed spice, black olives and a touch of savoury cheesiness.
Smooth, velvety, mature palate. Good acidity, balancing some firm raspberry and plum fruit sweetness. Fine grained tannins towards the finish and then immense length.
Good drinking, but could easily last another 5+ years. Wish I had more of this. (92 points)
Three years ago I said this needed time.
It's had time and it's it's really singing today. Immense perfume when it was deranged.
In the glass it has a gorgeous deep perfumed black fruit aroma with some warm spices. really good palate. Lovely balance and the tannins noted have now nicely integrated. Deep, lingering perfumed black fruit favours (92 points)
Mute nose. Very mature feel on the palate - on the wrong side of the hill. Very clipped fruit. Maybe a hint of aple. Still a bit of sweetness lingering. Not particularly distinguished. Drinkable, but it's neither got the charm of a young Gutsriesling, not the elegance of a mature riesling, just starting to feel a bit clapped out. (82 points)
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Last updated: 20 September 2016