SuperBOWL 2002 was a unique event - hopefully it won't continue to be unique.
Nothing to do with bowling or some obscure American sport, this was a meeting of British On-line Wine Lovers, and it was super.
On 5th October 2002 around 60 of those wine lovers, readers of and contributors to the wine-pages.com forum, attended a day of tastings, seminars and a grand dinner at the City Inn in Glasgow. The event was organised by Tom Cannavan of wine-pages.com, and all those who attended now worship at the knee of his organisational skills.
The programme for the day was:
|14:00 - 17:30||walk-round tasting - fine, rare and unusual wines|
|14:40 - 15:30||seminar 1: White Burgundy - Without Equal?|
|15:40 - 16:30||seminar 2: South Africa's Top Ten Pinotages|
|16:40 - 17:30||seminar 3: A world of Riesling|
The wines were supplied by those attending and by a number of sponsors: see the report on wine-pages.com for further information. Apparently, sponsors provided around £2500 of wine. The generosity of those attending was quite astonishing (try a search on wine-searcher.com for some of the wines below ...).
Not in the order tasted. Though a bit of textual analysis should allow you to work out the order tasted, roughly at least! Wines in italics were also available, but for whatever reason (time, all gone already) I didn't get to taste them during the walk-round. Some re-surfaced at dinner or later, and I've inserted links to the tasting notes made then.
Henschke Eden Riesling 1990, Australia
V deep gold. V rich full nose. Good new world Riesling.
Simi Reserve Chardonnay 1991, California
|Riesling Grand Cru Brand 1994, Zind Humbrecht, Alsace||Superb Riesling nose. V rich, almost chewy, classic Alsace Riesling. Hint of spiciness on middle. V fine after.|
|Tokay Pinot Gris 1996 Grand Cru Sporen, Dopff and Irion, Alsace||
Fab nose - highly extracted Pinot Gris. Excellent, archetypal Alsace Pinot Gris. Very clean & very impressive.
Interestingly - I tried this again much later (midnight-ish or maybe later) and it had almost completely died.
|De Vetroz 'Reserve De L'Abbaye' Amigne 1999, AoC Valais, Switzerland|
|Petite Arvine de Leytron, Devges (?) et fils||Nose of Chardonnay & Pinot Gris. Rich attack, v. full. I would guess at it being Pinot Gris. Rich, clean & quite impressive.|
|Lost Valley Cortese 2001, Australia||The Cortese is a new grape to me I
think, though I must have had it in wines
from its Piedmont home.
Good fruity nose. Fairly thin wine though.
|Domaine Terrebrune Rouge 1988, Bandol, France||Pale ruby fading to brick. Attractive lightish nose. Not impressed.|
|Selection Deveze 1998 Vignerons de Maury, France||Showing age in the glass. Good rich fruity nose. V powerful sweet fruit on nose. On palate, oddly lacking fruit. Distinctly unimpressive and a bit over the hill (or faulty?).|
|Domaine Borie de Maurel Cuvée Sylla 2000, AC Minervois, France||Big and dark. Lovely v deep nose. V big and forward. Lots of massive fruit. Bit of a blockbuster, but impressive.|
|Chateau de Beaucastel 1990, Rhone||Lovely colour. Big, farmyardy nose. Quite light attack. V. fine and elegant Chateauneuf du Pape. VG|
|Hermitage rouge 1983, Chave, Rhone||Lots of sediment in suspension unfortunately, which made it difficult for me to make much of an assessment of it. But it had an amazing nose.|
|Hermitage Rouge 1990, Chapoutier, Rhone (magnum)||Nice colour, showing some age. Rather dull nose. Nice attack. Light and notably elegant. Excellent length. Good.|
|Hermitage La Chapelle 1991, Jaboulet, Rhone||Good colour with some age. Excellent nose with great depth. VG attack. Clean and attractive throughout. Massive tannins on finish. VG.|
Rôtie (Brune et Blonde) 1994, Rostaing, Rhone
||(a bottle of the 97 appeared at dinner - see below)|
|Chateau du Tertre 1970, Bordeaux||Fairly deep but obviously mature colour. Nice old claret nose - mmmm .... Lovely old claret. V attractive indeed.|
|Chateau Léoville Las Cases 1978, Bordeaux||Very dark brick. Lovely nose with heady b/currants. Nice attack. Lovely on on middle. Fab mature claret.|
|Chateau Le Bon Pasteur 1989, Bordeaux||Looks older than its years. VG nose. Bit thin. Seems to lack elegance. OK, but wouldn't bother again.|
|Chateau Carbonnieux (rouge) 1994 Bordeaux|
|Chateau Sociando-Mallet 1996, Bordeaux||Lovely hedgerow nose. Rather good.|
|La Fleur de
Bouard 2000, Bordeaux
Chateau d`Aiguilhe 2000, Bordeaux
|Volnay 1er Cru Carelle sous Chapelle 1995, Jean-Marc Boillot, Burgundy||Good, v even colour - the classic burgundy colour. Fabulous PN nose with earthy mushrooms dominant. VG attack. Still fairly tannic, but has a nice finesse to it.|
|Santenay 1er Cru Beaurepaire 2000, Jean-Marc Vincent, Burgundy||Young strawberry & purple. Fine. Not great. Disappointed by this, as Santenay is usually a favourite.|
|Corton Grancey 1996, Latour, Burgundy||Pale, v attractive strawberry. Oh dear, writing's illegible again. I can just make out the word Excellent.|
Pinot Noir 1990, Australia
Penfolds Bin 707 1991, Australia
|Penfolds Grange 1992, Australia||Annoyed I missed the Grange, but all reports I heard were that it was disappointing.|
|St Hallet Old
Block Shiraz 1993, Australia
|Yalumba Octavius Barossa Shiraz 1993, Australia||see below|
|Henschke Mt Edelstone 1994, Australia||see below|
|Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 1994, Australia||VG nose. Good, but prefer the 96.|
|Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 1996, Australia||V attractive smoky nose. Nice, depth, different flavours. VG indeed.|
Kathleen Cab/Merlot/Cab-Franc 1995, Australia
Penfolds RWT 1998, Australia
|d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie 2001, Australia||Big, dark blackish purple. OK nose. Attractive. Big and fruity, but not in-your-face power. Good.|
Trilogy 1992, South Africa
La Motte winery Millenium 1993, South Africa
Graham Beck "The Ridge" Shiraz 1998, South Africa
|Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 1975, California||Lovely old Cab nose. Not overly brickish in colour. V light on attack, but still a remarkable amount of fruit. A real treat.|
|Napa Valley Cuvaison 1975, California||Remarkably deep colour would put it in the 1990s if blind. VG nose with lots of fruit. Lovely attack. Still fairly forward with plenty of fruit and nice length. Would never guess it was anything like this age. VG indeed. If the Mondavi was a real treat, this is an exceptional treat.|
|Cartlidge Brown Zinfandel 1997, California||Wish I could read my writing. It's got a nice something something. Big fat fruit with hint of licorice. V attractive indeed.|
|Lamelson Thea's Selection Pinot Noir 1999, Oregon||Young purple. Rather dull PN nose. Light & fresh. V attractive forward fruit. Just seems too young and lacking varietal character - though some definite, if peppery PN comes through on finish.|
|Barolo Vigna la Delizia 1982, Fontafredda, Italy||Orangey brick. Yeuch. Sulphury nose. Not nice. Thin toilet water when it's not been flushed properly. (I imagine)|
|Chateau Musar 1986, Lebanon|
|Masia Barril Clasico 1987, Priorato, Spain||I took a couple of bottles of this and tried them both, but didn't make a note at the time. Both were identical and matched my memory of other bottles, so here's an old note: V attractive mature ruby, starting to turn brickish. V heavy looking, lots of glycerine & enormous legs. Strong, powerful, almost port-like nose - v intense blackberry and also a little earthy/hedgerow-y. Nice attack - deceptively light and even fresh. Then it creeps up and hits you, grabs your tastebuds and beats them around a bit. V full. Good ripe fruit, though starting to fade. Lots of alcohol. touch of licorice. Good soft tannins.|
|Vega Sicilia Unico 1990, Spain||Interesting mature colour. Fabulous nose - layers & layers. Lovely attack. Gosh I like this. Beautiful. Smooth, rich, interesting. Exceptionally good.|
|Bodegas Ismael Arroyo Ribera del Duero Grand Reserva 1994, Spain|
|Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese, Fritz Haag, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 1990||Quite a deep colour. Nice appley nose, starting to show some petrol. Good, clean Riesling attack. Round, not too sweet, just gorgeous richness. Elegant. But somehow, like most Fritz Haag wines, it just doesn't seem to do it for me.|
|Messmer Rülander Trockenbeerenauslese 1994|
|Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Auslese 2001||Very young nose - almost
sauvignony. Some sweetness. Bit
coarse and not really together.
Have to admit didn't pay a great deal of attention to the bottle on this. Just noted the Christoffel name and assumed was what was on the original posted list. Unlike the next wine, which appeared and got its full particulars taken!
|Joh Jos Christoffel
Erben 2001 Urziger Würzgarten
AP 2 662 641 010 02
|Pale gold. V attractive, fragrant young Riesling nose. Not overly malic. Fab attack. V clean and full. Fills nicely. Touch of pleasing sweetness. Elegant and creamy at once. V nice acidity keeping it together.|
|Terrasous Rivesaltes Hors d'Age 1974, France|
|Mueggen Moscato di Pantelleria 1998, Salvatore Murana, Italy||see below|
|Khamma Moscato Passito di Pantelleria 1997, Salvatore Murana, Italy||see below|
|Ch. Doisy-Vedrines 1997, Bordeaux|
|Champagne Vilmart & Cie. Grand Cellier d'Or 1997||I started to write something down about this, but didn't get far enough for it to make any sense. Sorry.|
|Champagne Boulard "Year of the Comet" 1986||V deep almost orangey colour. Attractive, elegant fruity nose. V nice clean flavour. Interesting with nice depth. Great length. Good. Could drink more of this ...|
|Champagne Boulard Rosé de Saignée Brut||Nice strawberry salmon. Attractive nose. Lots of lovely fruit. Nice after. VG. Like it lots.|
|Champagne Boulard Grand Cru Mailly||Deep straw. V yeasty nose. Full flavour. V rich and deep. Powerful, though not entirely to my taste.|
|Champagne Pol Roger 1990||Splendid medium gold. Exceptional nose - lots of fruit and some toasty elements. Beatiful smooth elegance on palate. Perfectly balanced. For me, the epitome of fine champagne.|
|Champagne Esterlin 1992|
Back to top of page
What a fascinating treat this was. I'm no lover of pinotage or of South African wines generally, still prejudiced by the scented character of many in times past (and still today sometimes). These wines were shipped over from South Africa specially for the SuperBOWL by the Pinotage Association of South Africa. Most are not available in the UK.
The ABSA Top Ten Pinotage Competition was launched in 1997. It is an annual competition, entries being judged by a panel of Pinotage experts whose task is to select the best 10 Pinotages of the year. These were the top 10 Pinotages in the 2001 competition: they are not ranked beyond this, and so are presented in alphabetical order. For more details see www.pinotage.co.za or, more generally, www.pinotage.org
Deep young colour. Interesting nose, smoky tobacco and dried fruit, with some scent behind. V big attack. Quite bitter, becoming more bitter. Certain zinginess to it. Bitterness fades in glass with time.
V v dark blackish purple. V interesting nose - wet leaves (pleasant wet leaves ...) and oak. Nice attack. Fresh. Good fruit. Not the overwhelming bitterness of the Delheim.
Bright, v clear dark purple. Restrained nose with hedgerow fruit. Nice fruity attack. Fairly complex and deep. Good, but not dominant, tannic structure. Back to a touch of bitterness on the finish.
Blackish purple. Fair nose. V attractive on attack. Fills v nicely. Tannins come to fore towards the finish. V peppery & a touch acid on finish.
Deep and young. More interesting nose - cherry/plum and hedgerow. Good attack. Forward fruit. Rich and mouth filling. Big and v. alcoholic in mouth. Nice fairly soft tannins. Much more fruit on the finish.
Neetlingshof Lord Neethling 1998
Clearly more age on the colour - attractive rich ruby. Attractive nose, slightly scented with some oakiness. VG attack. V clean & delicious - nice spice. Fills nicely. Not too agressive. Good. Softening tannins. VG finish. Nicely together.
Rijk's Private Cellar 1999 (?)
Slightly subdued nose. Attractive balance. V full in mouth. Lots of big ripe fruit, but surprisingly not dominated by alcohol (abv 15.42%). Sweetness of the alcohol balances it. Good.
Simonsig Redhill 1999
Deep purple. Nice nose with leafy fruit. Ripe, though also probably more elegant. Quite fine. Good.
Dark. Good nose - slightly minty/raspberry. Attractive, but rather harsh tannins quickly develop followed by some heat. Dominated by tannins.
Uiterwyk Top-of-the-Hill 2000
Interesting nose. V rich, full attack with big fruit. But not entirely to my liking.
This was an absolutely fascinating tasting for me. I can't say it's converted me to pinotage - rather in some respects it has confirmed my prejudices. I can't quite imagine myself buying these wines and drinking them for fun: but in the context of a tasting they show very well.
Back to top of page
Cards on table: I am an unreconstructed lover of Riesling from the Mosel (especially), Saar and Ruwer areas of Germany.
Hollick Riesling 2000, Coonawarra (Australia) (£8)
Attractive greenish straw. V pleasant nose - v fragrant Riesling. Nice light, fresh attack. Good, clean, fresh. Nice minerally notes. Good to VG.
Plantaganet Riesling 2001, Mount Barker, Western Australia (£8)
Much more open malic nose. V light attack. V fresh, clean. Bit simple.
Gold Dust Riesling 2001, Orange, New South Wales (Australia) (£10-£15)
Much duller nose, more minerally. Good clean, quite fragrant and oddly orange-y - or is that some kind of weird auto-suggestion planted in my head from the place of origin??? V pleasant. Ok-ish.
Logan Riesling 1999, Clare Valley (Australia) (£9)
Unusual nose - bit closed. Good attack. V full flavoured with an almost slightly buttery mouthfeel. V elegant finish. VG.
Schloss Vollrads Riesling Qualitätswein, 2001, Rheingau (£8-£10)
Bit of a dull nose. Nice attack. VG fruit. Clean and elegant with a certain richness. Splendid finish. Rather good for a basic Qualitätswein.
Marc Kreydenweiss Wiebelberg Grand Cru Riesling 1998, Alsace (£13ish)
Medium gold. Remarkably rich colour. Gorgeous nose. Slightly disappointing on palate. Good fruit, but seems a bit thin and simple. OK-ish.
Kurt Hain Piesporter Domherr Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2001, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer (£6.29)
Lovely fragrant Riesling nose. V crisp and clean on attack. V attractive. Blast of apricots on finish and after - almost an artificial apricot flavour. Give me a proper Spätlese instead of these trocken variants ...
Pichler Durnsteiner Kellerberg Riesling Smaragd 1998, Wachau (Austria) £31
V big nose - creamy richness - v. attractive. Massive attack. V full indeed. V concentrated Riesling fruit - but quite different to the essence that you might find in the finest M-S-Rs. Lovely wine, shame about the price.
Mönchhof Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder 30, 2001, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer (£13.92)
I always think Mönchhof/Eymael is rather underrated and offer good value, but haven't come across a single cask Auslese from them before.
Seems a restrained nose. Fabulous attack. Spicy apricots. Huge finesse and elegance. Beautiful finish Pure Mosel Riesling with Auslese quality. Could easily finish a bottle of this watching the sun go down. Exceptionally good value.
Back to top of page
Dinner, still at the City Inn, was as follows:
The food was really rather good (certainly better than I expected for a party of 60) and a great credit to the City Inn. Here's the link to the City Inn, Glasgow, which I heartily recommend.
The wines, supplied by the event sponsors were as follows
though a number of other bottles were 'smuggled' in, and there were also some leftovers from the walkround tasting.
Apologies for the brevity and/or obscurity of some of these notes. Bad handwriting, late hours etc etc
Canard-Duchêne Grande Cuvée Charles VII Blanc de noirs
Unexceptional nose. Nice and toasty. Big mousse in mouth. Easily good enough for a second glass, thanks!
Louis Jadot St Aubin 1997
Nice gentle Chardonnay nose with oak. Pleasant fresh attack, fills quickly and big. Nice elegance. VG finish with great length.
Lowe 1999 Chardonnay (Hunter Valley, Mudgee and Orange)
V fresh Chardonnay nose. V clean fresh attack.. Fills nicely with really buttery rich characteristics. Grows and grows in the mouth. Finishes v well with a touch of v nice acidity. In my books a better wine than the Jadot St Aubin, though somewhat lacking the latter's elegance.
In the wee small hours I came across another bottle of this, about half full. Here's the second TN:
Palish gold. Big oaky, buttery Chardonnay nose. Good fresh attack. Fills rapidly with lots of rich buttery flavours. V mouth filling. Nicely balanced. Excellent length. (The rest of the bottle went to my bedroom for breakfast.) Yum.
Uiterwyck Top of the Hill Pinotage 1995 (huh? 95? thought it was supposed to be the 97 - a second bottle in the same wee small hours was the 97. I must have written this one down wrong ...)
VG nose. Attractive on attack - good fruit, but quickly develops an extraordinary, for me unpalatable bitterness. Not especially pleasant.
Uiterwyck Top of the Hill Pinotage 1997 (the one found sometime after 1.30 am ...)
Even, v. dark ruby. Full nose - lots of ripe fruit, but also a certain greenness to it. Nice attack. Pleasant with lots of fruit. But v quickly develops an utterly dominating, rather savage bitterness. Not for me.
Gevrey Chambertin Coeur du Roy 1997, Domaine Bernard Dugat-Py
Lovely earthy nose. Rather big. Doesn't quite have the elegance I'd expect.
Rouget Echezeaux 1991
Gorgeous nose - essence of pinot noir. Lovely attack. Soft Pinot Noir fruit. Wonderful Clean and still relatively fresh. VG depth and excellent finish. Quite magnificent. Huge thanks to whoever brought this.
Yalumba Octavius Barossa Shiraz 1993
Good nose, almost excessively attractive. Good attack, clean and v fruity throughout. Good to VG.
Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1994
V deep nose - almost has pinot noir characteristics. Clean. Fresh. V smooth. For me, not a typical shiraz by any means. Very soft and rather nice.
Mueggen Moscato di Panetelleria 1998, Salvatore Murana
Fabulous dessert muscat nose. V nice. V fine. Elegant and clean. (surprisingly so). Good to VG.
Khamma Moscato Passito di Pantelleria 1997, Salvatore Murana
More closed nose than the Mueggen. V rich and just a bit cloying. Much prefer the Mueggen.
Tenuta Sant’ Antonio Campo dei Gigli Amarone 1996
VG deep nose - extracted valpolicella cherry nose. Good attack with nice fruit. Very deep, but wouldn't put it among the greater Amarone's I've had. Good but not exceptional.
Côte Rôtie René Rostaing 1997
Big jammy nose with mushroomy overtones. VG attack. Good fruit, though not aggressive. Very much together and in harmony. Dreamy. (that's wot I wrote!) Very nice indeed.
Rolly Gassmann Riesling Vendanges Tardives 1997
Lovely young Riesling nose - quite malic for Alsace. Light. Thin. Not impressive.
A 2nd bottle proved to have a much more characteristically Alsatian Riesling nose. Rather fine with a nice acid. Wouldn't have guessed it was VT if I'd not known though.
Banyuls Cuvée Gaby Vial, Sapéras proprietaires
Nice, slightly brickish red. Nose is a bit spirity with a touch of cocoa. V attractive Banyuls with fair bit of elegance. VG.
Die Krans 1997 Vintage Reserve "Port"
Quite young looking. Rather spirity nose, with touch of spice. Very impressive (ok, no reason to sound quite so surprised ...). Bit fruity mouthful. Much more approachable than a vintage port with similar age.
Chateau Haut Coudrissas (??) 2000 AC Medoc
Sorry, my writing's failed me on the name of this and even a google and a searching a few merchants' sites can't come up with anything that look even similar to Coudrissas. Condrissas?
V young purple. Nice light fresh nose - VG nose. A touch too tannic and astringent to make much of a verdict at this time of night.
Les Orfevres 1999 Vignerons de Sainte Victoire, AC Cotes de Provence
Young, even blackberry purple. Attractive nose. Lots of ripe fruit and quite herbaceous. Nice soft attack. Quickly fills with bags of fruit. V attractive & interesting. Tannins kick in towards finish - not aggressive, but plenty of them. Good.
And after all that, the train back was in more or less on time the next day.
Back to top of page
Back to Andrew Stevenson's web page
Last updated: 15 December 2005 13:55