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22nd February 2002

Peter's Cellars

After an atmospheric walk through the snow up past the castle and down to Peter's Cellars just off the west end of Princes Street, contributors to the forum on wine-pages.com gathered in the back room of Peter's Cellars and were handed our tasting sheets.

All wines were served blind and notes are as written at the time.

1. 2000 Sauvignon blanc , Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand
Well, this is surely New Zealand Sauvignon.  A rather nice nose - attractive, fragrant and with some gooseberry notes. Light and fresh, but full flavoured.  Crisp and very clean, with nice acid.  Hardly the world's most complex wine, but pleasant easy drinking.  Very Good Indeed.

2. 1994 Weissenkirchner Achleiten Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Prager, Wachau, Austria.
A really rather odd nose with slightly acrid rubber and a bit of sulphur behind.  Rich and very full flavoured, with a touch of sweetness.  Quite spicy.  Nice finish.  Possibly a pinot gris or gewurztraminer in that area of age/vinification where the two start to overlap.  Splendid wine, whatever.  Excellent.

3. 1999 Selezione Feudi Campanaro Fiano di Avellino , Feudi di San Gregorio, DOC Campania, Italy
A bit of an odd nose, though the oddness blows off.  Smoky, toasty and a touch greasy on the nose.  Quite unusual on the palate and not something I recognise, even vaguely.  Not at all unpleasant, but just a little odd.  Very dry.  Very ripe, concentrated fruit with lots of oak.  Very full-bodied.  A touch scented maybe?  I'd guess at it being a lower level chardonnay from the new world with some age.  (Wrong!)   A very unusual, yet attractive wine.  Very Good Indeed.

4. 1997 Art Series Chardonnay, Leeuwin Estate, Western Australia
A touch of age on the nose?  Attractive, oaky, toasty fruit, very probably a chardonnay, and with a whiff of cigar box that's unusual in whites.  Superb attack.  Clean, impressive and very together.  Very elegant for a big new world, (Ozzie?) chardonnay.  Good finish.  Immensely attractive.  I really like it.  Excellent.

5. 1992 Chablis Grand Cru "La Moutonne", Long-Depaquit
A fairly reticent nose: a bit simple and straightforward.  Pleasant, clean, round chardonnay.  But very dull and a bit watery.  Good.

6. 1983 Gewurztraminer Les Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre, Trimbach, Alsace
A very fragrant, forward fruity nose - clearly a gentle extraction gewurztraminer, but actually also a little muscatty.  Smooth, rich and full.  Seems fairly fresh and also a blowsy alcohol note towards the finish.  Clearly Alsace gewurz - mid 90s?  Very Good Indeed.

7. 1998 Cuvée Columelle, Domaine Richeaume, AC Côtes de Provence (a syrah/cabernet/merlot blend from Aix)
Youngish, very dark colour.  Big nose - slightly vegetal with some menthol.  Fairly spicy.  Fairly full on the attack and on the palate.  A bitter note, but very pleasant and not overly tannic.  Big and interesting.  A shiraz blend - South Africa?  Very Good Indeed.

8. 1997 Cuvée Marie, Domaine de Paradis, AC Côteaux d'Aix en Provence
A fairly dark colour, but maturing.  Much rounder on the nose than No. 7, with an odd toffee-ness.  Very drying, but not savage tannins.  Appears to have a little age behind it.  There's some finesse to it too.But perhaps a bit simple.  Attractive though.  If pushed, I'd guess at a young Bordeaux.  Very Good.

9. 1996 Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Serpentières, Maurice Ecard
Attractive, slightly greeny undergrowthy pinot noir nose.  Pleasant, but a bit unexciting.  Quite earthy.  Good attack.  Lots of soft red fruit and cherries.  Good structure and very well balanced.  Excellent length.  Really rather good.  Clearly pinot noir, but perhaps not burgundy - there seems to be a bit too much varietal character evident for Burgundy.  Very Good Indeed.

10. 1991 Chateau Musar
Fabulous nose.  Very forward, almost pinot noir in style, although the fruit is hidden by a volatile sweetness on the nose.  Seems very sweet and full on the palate and almost oily.  Possibly Burgundy?  Rather odd though.  Very Good Indeed.  (Reading the note afterwards, it's clear this was Musar - how on earth did I miss it?)

11. 1989 Côte Rôtie, Burgaud
Quite inky in appearance.  Very farmyardy on the nose - like someone's just been past muck-spreading.  Rhone?  Châteauneuf?  Fair attack.  Fills reasonably; quite meaty and savoury on the palate.  Very tannic.  A bit simple.  Very Good.

12. 1985 Château Drai Merlet, AC Fronsac

13. Leoville Barton 1975
Cedary, cigar box old claret nose.  The colour shows a fair bit of age too.  Soft and full.  Lots of sweet fruit and soft tannins.  A lovely, very interesting wine.  Perhaps not something to drink too often though.  Very Good Indeed.

14. 1971 Barolo Riserva, Gicacomo Borgogno
Quite closed on the nose, and appearing rather reticent.  The colour belies some considerable age.  Light and fresh on the attack with a remarkable level of acidity.  Develops lots of very twiggy tannins.  Good, rather acidic fruit.  Not a particularly great example.  Italian - barbaresco?  Good.

15. 1997 Annette's Reserve Zinfandel, Rhodes Vineyard, Rosenblum Cellars, Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California
A fairly young colour.  Fantastic nose: leather and sour red fruit, though there's a certain oddness to the nose too, with tobacco and nail varnish VA.  Good attack.  Fills well: a massive wine, with lots of sweet black berry fruits.  Very mushroomy with hints of plastic on the palate.  Very Good Indeed.

16. 1983 Wehlener Abtei Riesling Eiswein, Kloster Machern (Schneider'sche Weingutverwaltung) AP 1 640 767 25 84
Smoky, almost oaky-peaty nose with waxy overtones.  Immediate impact.  Notably sweet, deep and concentrated.  Good acidity to balance.  Possibly a little simple, but undoubtedly jolly nice.  Fades quite quickly on the palate.  Very Good Indeed.

17. 1983 Chateau Suduiraut, AC Sauternes
A very elegant nose with marzipan clearly coming through.  I can't say it's particularly laden with botrytis.  Bit of a roller coaster on the palate.  Initially light, with some freshness, then fills and enrichens, then fades a little, then comes back on the finish.  Glorious wine. Excellent balance.  Next to the previous, it doesn't even seem especially sweet.  Excellent.

19. 1992 Les Cyprès de Climens, AC Barsac
Didn't take a proper note on this, as I knew what it was and just enjoyed it: orange and citrus.  Excellent balance of honeyed botrytis and fruit.  Very Good Indeed.

20. Tokaji Aszu Eszencia Nyulaszo 1975 (Gabor Orosz)
An intense raisiny nose.  Fabulous attack.  Full and remarkably fresh.  Beautiful.  Absolutely bloody fantastic.  A sublime wine.  A very rare experience to be enjoyed and treasured.  With a chocolate and amaretto mousse, it reached new height of orgasmic sublimity.  Wow!  Outstanding.

18. Banyuls, Mas Blanc Cuvee St Martin 1981 (Dr. Parce)
A raisiny, elegant nose, somwhere between port and the Rhône.  Lovely light, fresh attack.  Plenty of fairly fresh fruit.  Massive length.  Delicious, easy drinking.  On the palate too it is reminiscent of a Rhône topped up with port.  Excellent.


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