A wine-lovers' meal at the Chardon d'Or restaurant, Glasgow

At the Brian Maule, Chardon d’Or restaurant in Glasgow. The reds were served blind, the rest open

2002 Pouilly Fuissé, Domaine Béranger, Georges Duboeuf
Smoky buttery nose with lots of lactic butter. Quite light. Good character. Has a gentle fruit character with a warm toastiness. Nice, unchallenging wine. Very Good.

1989 Grand Cru Brut, Champagne André Beaufort, élaborée par Jacques Beaufort, disgorged 11/2004
Very deep colour. Rich, very yeasty nose. Nice and rich on the palate and exceptionally well balanced. Great depth. Nice fruity bite on the finish. Excellent.

2002 Stravino di Stravino, IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti Bianco, Pravis, 14.5%
A blend of Riesling, Incrocio Manzoni, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Kerner.
Partly late-harvested grapes, partly from grapes laid out to dry like amarone. Partly vinified in oak, partly in stainless steel.
Quite a closed nose that seems a touch oxidised at first, with some smoke, but it’s not oxidised, just weird and after a while you start to pick up hints of each of the grapes and methods of production: there is some buttery, creamy chardonnay and then, err … well, a sort of pissed in the petrol tank aroma (c) from the sauvignon and riesling. On the palate it is full and round with a touch of sweetness and butteriness. Very interesting with loads of character. Very Good Indeed.

1992 Mersault 1er cru Les Perrières, Patriache Père et Fils
Quite an old white Burgundy nose – deep, slightly oxidised butter and beurre noisette with just a touch of cabbage. Feeling a bit old in the mouth, but it’s very palatable. Perhaps suffering a touch from following the Pravis? Very Good.

1999 Art Series Chardonnay, Leeuwin Estate, 14.5%
Glorious tropical fruit, buttery nose with some lychee fruit. Rich and powerful, this is a very big mouthful. But it lacks elegance. Huge, with fabulous length. A very nice wine, but it’s a bit brutish for me and I can’t quite see what its use is.

Blind red 1: 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Reserve, Smith & Hook, Santa Lucia Highlands, 14.5%
A youthful appearance and a deep cassis nose. Sweet, ripe fruit on the attack. Deepish extraction and quite concentrated. Soft and fruity, and very smooth, with an interesting tobacco-bitterness on the finish. Concentrated stuff. Really very nice. Very Good Indeed+

Blind red 2: 1980 Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% (Henschke Museum Release: released 1997)
This was my wine, so I knew what it was. This has lost the intense, powerful blackcurrant scents it had on opening, and is now showing some age and lots of very integrated fruit with a touch of leather and a hint of high tones. Lovely on the attack. Clearly very mature, but with really gorgeous fruit. Very together. Very balanced. Really gorgeous stuff that’s singing on top form. Excellent.

1984 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon
Not blind. Decanted about an hour earlier. A touch dumb on the nose, but eventually revealing some very pure fruit. A touch of oversweet fruit on the palate, balanced by dry tannins. This is very fine and quite restrained. Possibly a little jet-lagged (it had flown in from Minneapolis that morning), and a bit overshadowed by the surrounding wines, which, given that they were served blind, took more attention. Very Good Indeed (+)

Blind red 4: 1983 Haut Bailly, AC Pessac-Léognan
An evolved, leathery nose. Feels quite old on the palate, and actually tastes a bit high-toned on the palate. Evolved and very mature. Very Good Indeed.

Blind red 5: 1993 La Jota Vineyard Co., Napa Valley, Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 12th Anniversary Release, 14%
A big cabernet nose. Quite pure. Very round and open on the palate, with nice balancing acidity. Grippy tannins. Enormous length. Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

Blind red 6: 1994 Chasse-Spleen
A very stinky, bretty nose heading towards Beaucastel. Quite a nice fresh note on the attack. Fills out beautifully. Very elegant wine. Really lovely balance. Very Good Indeed.

Blind red 7: 2001 Ernie Els, Stellenbosch, 14%
A blend of 52% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, 7% petit verdot, 5% cabernet franc, 3% malbec.
Rather pongy and very leathery with a slight scented note sending me to South Africa. Fresh and clean. This is a fairly straightforward Bordeaux blend that’s very palatable, but lacking interest. Good.

Blind red 8: 1994 Ch. Léoville Poyferré
An intriguing nose: some hedgerow scents and a touch high-toned. A light, elegant attack is followed up by a big tannic structure, though soft tannins. There’s plenty of acidity too, but it’s a touch spirity on the finish. I must say, I’m not sure what I make of this. It doesn’t do it for me. OK/Good.

Blind red 9: 1995 Ch. Malescot St Exupery, Margaux, 12.5%
A bit closed on the nose: green hedgerows with a bit of cassis. Very straightforward on the palate. Rather over-slight plummy fruit with lots of acidity and rather a lot of spiritiness. Not enough fruit to balance it. Plenty of spicy tannins towards and on the finish.

Blind red 10: 2001 Jean Daneel Signature, Franschhoek, 14.5%
4800 bottles produced (it says on the label)
A big, expansive, inviting nose with green hedgerow fruit accompanied by plenty of fresh new leather with floral scents. Big and wide on the palate. A really ripe fruit core with fresh, fragrant acidity at the edges of the mouth. Significant tannins towards the finish and after. Very Good.

Blind red 11: 1985 Ch. Lynch-Bages, AC Pauillac
A classic mature claret nose: very cigar box. But there’s also some stone fruit kernels on the nose, which makes me understand why some are looking towards Italy. Very pure and clean on the palate, with great balance and huge elegance. Lovely balance. Excellent.

1996 Ch. Guiraud, 1er Cru Sauternes
A light caramel colour. Orangey, rather smelly nose with lots of rot: undoubtedly a textbook example of what a noble rot wine smells like. Very botrytis! Very rich on the palate and a touch caramelly. Quite short with tangerine notes on the finish. Not terribly impressive, I’m afraid. Good.

1998 Chardonnay Trockenbeerenauslese, Sepp Moser, 11% (375ml)
A very brassy caramel colour. Very interesting nose with waves of perfume. Very rich, but immediately really very interesting indeed on the palate. Very interesting flavours. Lots of TBA sweetness, but also layers of really interesting flavours. Very Good Indeed +

1999 Ch. Raymond-Lafon, AC Sauternes (375ml)
Very pale colour, particularly next to the previous two. Very light on the palate. Very simple and rather uninteresting. A poor bottle of this. OK.

2001 Cape Point Vineyards Noble Late Harvest (375 ml)
Very grassy on the nose with lots of asparagus: must be sauvignon blanc. Though apparently it's mainly semillon but also with some sauvignon blanc,muscat and chardonnay in the mix.  An interesting wine. Curiously non-integrated on the palate with a very uniform flavour profile. Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

... to top it all, having returned to my hotel room, I switched on Channel 4 to be greeted by Jilly "Food and Drink" Goolden (for such she was billed on-screen) feasting on a Vesta curry, with kiwi fruit garnish, and a bottle of Black Tower … (no, really, she was)

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Last updated: 15 December 2005