SuperBOWL 2004 


Building on the success of SuperBOWL 2002 and SuperBOWL 2003, SuperBOWL 2004 was bigger and for the most part better.  

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 23rd October 2004 a number of those wine lovers, readers of and contributors to the forum, attended a day of tastings, seminars and a grand dinner at the Corinthian in Glasgow.  The event was organised by Tom Cannavan of, to whom huge thanks is due.  

There were several off-line meetings and tastings over dinner the previous night: you can read my notes from the off-line at Restaurant Rococo, featuring a remarkable collection of old wines, by following this link.

The programme for the day was:

14:00 - 17:30 walk-round tasting - fine, rare and unusual wines
14:40 - 15:30 seminar 1: The Wines of Vina Bajoz  (I didn't attend this - for notes on the wines, see the report on Tom's website (I know it names me as reporter: it's wrong!)
15:40 - 16:30 seminar 2: The World’s Finest Dry Sherries
16:40 - 17:30 seminar 3: The Wines of FX Pichler
19:30 - Dinner

The wines were supplied by those attending and by a number of sponsors: see the report on for further information. 

Walk round tasting

These are not in the order tasted, though I did start with the first one. It's worth pointing out at the beginning that, combined with the seminars, this was a huge collection of wine (and, as you can see, there were dozens that I did not taste - I ended up ignoring all the Burgundies and almost all the clarets, for example). Inevitably some wines suffer either by comparison or just by the sheer bulk of competition. Others suffer from the speed of tasting, my being distracted by something else, or the lack of repeat pourings to reassess at leisure. Others suffer from not being drunk with food. Caveats over, here we go ...

Bodegas Masia Serra (Spain) Ctonia Garnacha Blanca 2001
not tasted

Clos Rougeard (France) "Breze" Saumur Blanc 2000
not tasted

Attila Gere (Hungary) Kopar 2002
Soft sweet, delicately scented cherry fruit on the nose.  Soft and fruity palate.  Lacking depth and structure.  Inoffensive.

Carl Reh (Germany) Bernkasteler Kurfurstlay Riesling Spätlese 1971
Deepish gold.  Not a lot of nose: some oxidation, some petrol.  Lovely ripe flavours on the palate.  A rich old riesling.  Very Good Indeed.

Messmer (Germany) Muskateller Kabinett (trocken) 2003
Very very pale straw.  Really nice fragrant muscat nose.  Very racy acidity on the attack.  Bone dry.  Remarkably elegant and clean.  Very impressive. 

 Fritz Haag (Germany) Braunenberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2002
Watery clear.  On first tasting, just after opening, it had a stinky, slightly sulphurous nose and not exactly a pleasant drink.  Later (around 17:50) it showed a very fresh nose, but some vegetal notes.  Fresh and spritzig.  Lively.  Quite closed – needs plenty of time. 

 Müller Catoir (Germany) Grauburgunder trocken 1989
A whopping 15% alcohol!  Not a lot on the nose other than death, decay and rotting.  A hint of pinot gris fruit on the palate, but otherwise dead.

Zind-Humbrecht (France) Gewurztraminer 2002
not tasted

Sylvie Spielmann (France Alsace) Riesling Grand Cru Kanzlerberg 1999
Mid straw.  Quite a closed minerally nose.  Good weight on palate with a nice ripeness.  Not earth shattering, but Very Good Indeed.

 Josmeyer (France Alsace) Riesling l'Exception 1995 (50cl bottle)
Mid gold.  Very closed nose with some riesling minerality coming through.  Light and fresh.  But very very closed and not giving much away at all.

Schlumberger (France, Alsace) Pinot Gris Cuvée Clarisse 1989
Beatiful rich pinot gris nose with quite a lot of sweetness.  Rich, ripe tropical fruit on the palate, with nice complexity.  Very Good Indeed.

Cullen (Australia) Margaret River Chardonnay 2001
not tasted

Chateau La Nerthe (France, Rhone) Clos de Beauvenir 1990 (white)
Deepish gold.  Slightly oxidised, slightly honeyed nose of great depth and complexity.  Seems a touch over the hill: slightly too oxidised for me and lacking fruit.

François Villard (France, Rhone) Condrieu Le Grand Vallon 2001
Very delicate nose, a bit closed but with some fragrance.  A bit too cold.  Nice body and weight.  Very good balance.  Restrained ripe fruit.  I like it.

 Rene Rostaing (France, Rhone) Condrieu la Bonnette 2000
not tasted


Chateau La Lagune (France, Bordeaux) Haut Médoc 1967
Remarkably youthful appearance.  Good, old claret nose with some sweet VA.  Lovely fresh, clean attack.  Nice fruit.  Soft tannic structure.  Lovely.

Chateau Pichon-Baron (France, Bordeaux) Pauillac 1985
not tasted

Chateau Rauzan Segla (France, Bordeaux) Margaux 1985
not tasted

Chateau Leoville-Barton (France, Bordeaux) St Julien 1988
not tasted

Chateau d'Issan (France, Bordeaux) Margaux 1988
not tasted

Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (France, Bordeaux) Pauillac 1994
not tasted

Chateau Cissac (France, Bordeaux) 1995
not tasted

 Chateau Camensac (France, Bordeaux) Haut Medoc 1995
not tasted

Chateau Malartic-Lagravière (France, Bordeaux) Grand Cru Classé 1995
not tasted

Chateau Du Glana (France, Bordeaux) 1997
not tasted


Penfolds (Australia) Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
Lovely intense cabernet sauvignon – fabulous nose with hints of cedar.  Excellent fresh ripe fruit.  Lovely body.  Stunning length.  Excellent.

 Penfolds (Australia) Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 1993
Rich dark colour.  Smoky cedary cabernet sauvignon nose.  Very good, but slightly less together than the 1991.

 Penfolds (Australia) Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Inky black.  Very very deep cabernet nose.  Very ripe fruit.  Lots of tannins.  Rather raw flavours.  Needs time.

 Wolf Blass (Australia) Platinum Label Shiraz 1998
Blimey, this is a real oak bomb, but there is some ripe fruit behind.  Very ripe, high quality fruit on the palate.  Very well made.  Big hefty fruit.  Lovely if you like the style, which I don’t really.

 Howard Park (Australia) Cabernet/Merlot 1998
75% cabernet sauvignon:12% merlot: 13% cabernet franc
Slightly flat nose  with sweet fruit behind.  Sweet ripe fruit on the palate.  Good structure.  Very nice finish.  Seemed simple initially, but with some further contemplation while nattering it ended up being really rather interesting.

 Grant Burge (Australia) Meshach Shiraz 1993
not tasted

Wynns (Australia) Michael Shiraz 1994
Looks younger than 1994.  Slightly closed nose with good fruit.  Decent fruit.  Massive tannins.  Good.

St Hallett (Australia) Old Block Shiraz 1994
not tasted

St Hallett (Australia) Old Block Shiraz 1995
not tasted

David Wynn (Australia, Eden Valley) Patriarch Shiraz 1996
not tasted

Rosemount (Australia) Balmoral Shiraz 1996
not tasted

d'Arenberg (Australia) Dead Arm 1998
not tasted

d'Arenberg (Australia) Dead Arm 2001
Not the most giving of noses, and actually seeming quite cabernetty, which is a bit odd.  Ripe fruit.  Very big.  Big tannins.  OK – and probably very good indeed – if you like this sort of thing.

Frux Frugis (Australia) McLaren Vale Shiraz 2002
not tasted

Brokenwood (Australia) Hunter Valley Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz 2001
Lovely elegant nose.  A very interesting contrast to the Wolf Blass.  Soft clean red fruit on the attack.  Lovely balance.  Good length.  Beautiful, well made wine.  Excellent.


Domiane de Vallouit (France, Rhone) Cote-Rotie "Les Roziers" 1998
not tasted

 Cave de Tain Hermitage (France, Rhone) Hermitage Gambert de la Loche 1999
Very nice syrah nose.  Quite simple and very young.

M. Chapoutier (France, Rhone) Hermitage “Sizeranne” 1978
not tasted


Doudet-Naudin (France, Burgundy) Le Corton Grand Cru 1971
not tasted

Domaine de la Pousse d'Or (France) Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Bousse d'Or 1990
not tasted

Olivier Leflaive (France, Burgundy) Volnay Clos de la Barre 1990
not tasted

Jean-Marc Pavelot (France, Burgundy) Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Dominode 1996
not tasted

Lupe-Cholet (France, Burgundy) Chateau Gris Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru 2000
not tasted


Clos de Gamot, Jean Jaffreau (France, South) Cahors Cuvee des Vignes Centenaires 2000
Lovely intense nose of ripe mulberries.  Initial impression is of smooth, silky easy drinking, but then it also has a rather nice structure and hefty tannins on the finish.

Les Vignes de l’Arque, VdP d’Oc Cuvée des Boissières 2002
Ripe young grenachey nose.  Soft easy drinking.  Nothing special, but very pleasant.


Bourdy (France, Jura) Chateau Chalon 1979
not tasted

Domaine de la Perriere (France, Loire) Chinon vieilles vignes 1996
not tasted


Selvapiana (Italy) Chianti Rufina Vigneto Bucerchiale Riserva 1990
A very even mature ruby nose.  Stinky nose.  A bit dried out on the palate.

 Ca' del Monte (Italy) Amarone della Valpolicella 1990
Closed dried-fruits nose.  Light and clean.  Remarkably elegant and light for an Amarone.  Not one to hold onto.

Frescobaldi (Italy) Nipozzano Chianti 1964
Brown dead brick colour.  VA nose of very sweet apricot kernels.  Soft and feeling very old on the palate.  I think I hear the undertakers polishing the hearse in readiness.

Masi (Italy) Recioto di Valpolicella Mezzanella 1993
Glorious fragrant nose.  Light and elegant.  Possibly a little simple.

Castelliere delle Gaite (Italy) Valpolicella Primoripasso Montresor 1999
Ripe forward fruit nose.  Ripe fruit on the palate.  Nice structure.  Softish tannins on the finish.  Not a world shaker, but very competent attractive, ready wine.


Viña Albali (Spain) Gran Reserva 1997
Served blind, as the mystery wine.  An even youngish ruby.  Rich fruity nose.  Decent fruit on the palate.  Good structure.  Spicy on the finish.  God knows what it is.

Muga (Spain) Prado Enea Rioja Reserva 1981
Very mature colour.  Decent old Rioja nose.  Very very fine mature Rioja.  Excellent balance.  Just gone over its peak.

 Marques de Murrieta (Spain) Rioja Castillo Ygay Especial 1994
A deepish maturing ruby.  Splendid nose with sweetish black fruit and lots of rounded vanilla.  I would guess that this was older than 1994.  Good round fruit with good tannic structure.  Massive tannins on the finish, but spicy sweet fruit returns after.

Lopez Heredia (Spain), Vina Bosconia 5º Ano, NV
Very mature colour, with evident bricking.  Slightly tired nose of dried sour cherry fruit.  On the palate, this has lost its fruit.  Past it.

Trefethen Vineyards (California) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
Pale mature ruby, just starting to brick.  Gorgeous old claretty nose.  This is class.  Very elegant, light, yet with complex depths.  Lovely aged cabernet sauvignon.  Fab.

 Joseph Swan (California) Steiner Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
Amazing purest extract of cabernet sauvignon on the nose.  Really OTT on the palate and not to my taste.  I’ve had other Joseph Swans that I’ve been very content to drink, but this is verging on DNPIM for me.  Though the others have been Zins … perhaps their winemaking style doesn’t work as well for cab as it does for Zin?

Sterling (California) Diamond Mountain Ranch Napa Cabernet 1991
not tasted

Mayo Family Winery (California) Reserve old vines Zinfandel, Russian River 2001
not tasted

Turley (California) Lodi Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2001
not tasted


Rupert & Rothschild (South Africa) Baron Edmond 2000
not tasted

Vergelegen Estate (Stellenbosch, South Africa) 'Vergelegen' 2000
not tasted

Tom Lubbe (South Africa) The Observatory Syrah 2001
not tasted



 Tement (Austria) "Zieregg" Morillon Trockenbeerenauslese 2000
Smoky, not entirely pleasant nose – a bit cabbagey.  Elegant concentrated fruit on the palate: quite melony.  A touch simple.

Hunt County (USA) Finger Lakes Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2002
Very attractive nose with elegant rich citrus.  But on the palate, it’s merely sweet and simple.

Southbrook (Canada) Vidal Icewine 375mls 1999
A very in-yer-face orange marmelade nose.  Intensely sweet, floral citrus palate.

Domaine des Aubuisieres (France, Loire) Vouvray Moelleux Cuvee Alexandre Selection des Grains Nobles 1990
An iridescent deep yellow.  Floral, honey nose.  Lovely sweet richness on palate with a fascinating complexity.  Very fine and elegant.  Excellent.  There really is absolutely  no comparison between this and the two North American ice-wines: this is elegant and pure class; the ice-wines are tarty, flashy, showy and lacking depth and breeding.

Kurt Hain (Germany) Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Auslese Goldkapsel 2001
not tasted

Muller Catoir (Germany) Gimmelbinger Meerspinne blauburgunder auslese 1989
not tasted


Wm. & J. Graham & Co (Portugal) Graham's Vintage Port 1977
Remarkably mature lightish colour.  Good nose with lots of restrained fruit and no spirit.  Quite light on the palate with good elegance.  Good clean attack with nice fruit.  But starts to disintegrate a bit on the finish.

Lustau (Spain) Single Cask Amontillado Sherry 2000
A light teak colour.  Good, attractive nose.  Very nicely balanced.  Lovely.

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Seminar tastings

The World's Finest Dry Sherries

Led by Toby Bailey

Unfortunately, the Pedro Romero Manzanilla Aurora and Oloroso Prestige didn't arrive in time, but it was still a remarkable selection that Toby had assembled for us, including some bodegas that I'm not at all familar with.

I seem to recall quite a bit of bottle variation, which led to some lively debates!

Not tasted entirely in this order (the last two slotted in somewhere earlier)

Puerto Fino (Lustau)
Very flor-y on the nose: powerful, intense almondy nose. Light and fresh. Very dry. Round and spicy on the finish. Really nice and complex on the finish. Very Good Indeed.

Fino Inocente (Valdespino)
Much lighter than the Lustau Puerto Fino, with a fresher nose with some iodine notes. Very very light and fresh. But a bit simple. Very Good.

Amontillado Tio Diego (Valdespino)
A very nutty nose. Very very light on the palate and - for me - doesn't really seem to have any point to it. OK

Manzanilla Amontillado, Almacenista Jurado (Lustau)
A lovely light teak colour. Very interesting nose - nutty and complex with dry vanilla notes. Interesting on the palate too. Quite fresh, with a clear manzanilla style. Deep flavours with greath length. Very Good Indeed.

Antique Palo Cortado (Fernando de Castilla)
A slightly deeper teak colour. Less interesting nose than the previous wine, with more smoky overtones. Very interesting flavours. Nice depth of flavours. Excellent complexity. Very clean on the finish and very very long. Very Good Indeed.

Antique Oloroso (Fernando de Castilla)
Slightly deeper colour again. Dullish nose. Unimpressive on the palate - a bit hollow. Better on the finish and after, when citrus peel and a hint of coriander appear in the mouth. OK.

Amontillado Viejo Pastrana, VOS (Hidalgo)
An orangey light teak colour. Fantastic nose - fresh and vibrant. Quite lovely in the mouth. Clean and fresh with interesting depths.

Amontillado Coliseo (Valdespino)
Gorgeous colour: orangey light mahogany, fading to a bright yellow at the rim. Nutty and full on the nose with some mixed peel. Very fresh on the palate. Unbelievably intense and long. Really long. I mean amazingly, surreally long. Absolutely excellent. Did I mention it had fantastic length.

Oloroso Viejo (Hidalgo)
A mid brown. Rich raisiny nose, but a very dry nose. Not impressing me. OK.

Amontillado 51-1a (Pedro Domecq)
Mid teak. Fair amount of sediment in suspension, which ain't doing it any favours. A lovely nose - deep and complex. Interesting palate, with a sort of strange combination of richness and really dusty dryness (think of a piece of cheese fallen in some old wood dust). Very deep and very long. Not really sure what I make of this.

Palo Cortado Sibarita (Pedro Domecq]
An old decaying nose, though the decay lifts a little to reveal some dried orange peel. Feels a bit over the hill. Nutty and deep. Again, this puzzles me and defies any sort of rating. (Yeah, cop out, I know!) Not one I'd rush to have again, though.

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The Wines of FX Pichler

Pichler have a 13 hectare estate in the Wachau, producing around 100,000 bottles a year.

All wines are now stainless steel fermented (the last wine below was fermented in large oak casks, before the move to stainless steel fermentation).

Riesling is generally planted at the top of the vineyards; Grüner Veltliner on the lower slopes.

Pichler use a clone, developed by Elisabeth's grandfather, of GV with a smaller berry than normal. This means more skins (of course) and a higher must weight.

It was good to have Elisabeth Pichler there as it was really interesting to hear what she had to say and to hear her responses to questions.

To be frank, listening to Elisabeth was more interesting than the wines, which while all very good indeed, didn't really thrill or excite and were really all a bit samey. For me, however, the main stumbling block regarding these wines was the price (included below: Raeburn's prices) of these wines - really lovely stuff to drink, but not exactly very good value.

1. Sauvignon Blanc Smaragd 2003 £20.99
Due to the minor cock up on the ordering of the wines on the tasting sheet, I'd actually finished this note, thinking it was wine 4, before the correction.
Glorious fragrant nose - aromatic, slightly muscatty, green, gooseberry notes. Rather odd <i.e. for the GV I assumed it was). Fresh fruit on the attack. Nice complexity. Lovely finish. Huge length. A very impressive start. Very Good Indeed.

2. Riesling Steinertal Smaragd 2003 £27.50
Waxy floral nose. Lovely fresh light Riesling palate. Very nicely balanced. Very Good Indeed.

3. Riesling Kellerberg Smaragd 2003 £35.00
The south-east facing Kellerberg vineyard is always picked late, usually in December.
Minerally, light riesling nose. Really lovely, fresh, bone-dry riesling with excellent balance. Much richer (a bit fat even) and with more depth thanthe Steinertal, though a touch less elegant. Very Good Indeed.

4. Grüner Veltliner Kellerberg Smaragd 2003 £33.00
Rich, melony nose. Very rich on palate with a white peppery spice. Enormous length with lots of lively acidity. Very Good Indeed.

5. Riesling Kellerberg Smaragd 2001 (no price - not available)
Elegant floral nose with a bit of smokiness. Quite rich on the attack, but also very restrained. Good balance; good depth, good acidity. But rather curiously generically white-wine-like, and scarcely overladen with riesling characteristics. Did they forget to put the riesling in? Very Good.

6. Riesling Steinertal Smaragd 1999 £27.50
Waxy, very minerally riesling nose, clearly starting to show some mature notes. Lovely elegant refined palate with lots of rich riesling fruit. A swirling vortex of immense length that fades then returns, then fades again, then returns. A superb wine. Excellent.

7. Grüner Veltliner Kellerberg Smaragd 2002 £34.50
Apparently a difficult vintage.
Very rich nose: melony with raisiny resiny notes. Very nice on the palate. Rich and complex Very big on the finish with enormous length. Very Good Indeed.

8. Grüner Veltliner Loibnerberg Smaragd 2000 £22.99
A south facing vineyard and Pichler's warmest site.
Quite a vegetal nose, though turning a touch blossomy. Lively and fresh. Rich fruit. Huge length. Very together. Maybe a touch flabby. Very Good.

9. Grüner Veltliner Loibnerberg Spätlese 1983 not commercially available
In 2 litre, unlabelled bottles as once used in the Pichler Heurige for the young heurige wines, though they closed their Heurige a good few years ago.
Amazing colour for a 21 year old - hardly any different to the earlier, much younger wines. A vegetal nose, dominated by asparagus. Very smooth and silky on the palate. Very integrated with great complexity. A wine that has aged beautifully - and remarkably little. Very Good Indeed.

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Dinner Wines

Dinner, still at the Corinthian, was as follows:

I didn't think the food was as good as in previous years when the SuperBOWL had taken place at the City Inn in Glasgow.

Of necessity some of these notes are rather brief! More or less in the order drunk.

2003 Grüner Veltliner Loibner Klostersatz Federspiel, FX Pichler
Reticent nose – light and fragrant (though a bit cold).  Very full and spicy on the palate.  Powerful but lacks elegance.  Good.

1991 Chavignol La Grande Cote Sancerre
Light fragrant nose.  Very rich.  Refreshing.  Good acidity.  Very Good Indeed.

2003 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Auslese Trocken “S”
Young ripe waxy riesling nose.  Aggressively dry.  Despite being rather too warm to appreciate it properly, this was rather good for a trocken.  Very Good.

1999 Lorenzhöfer Riesling Auslese, Weingut Karlsmühle
Very light nose: crisp, ripe fresh riesling.  Really nice rich full character, but with lots of balance and finesse.  Very Good Indeed.

2002 Riesling Brut Sekt, Kurt Hain
Nice crisp appley nose.  Very crisp.  Very clean.  Very nice.  Very good riesling fizz.

1960 Riesling Réserve, Léon Beyer, Alsace (half bottle)
Very old, slightly oxidised riesling nose.  Initially it seems merely a bit old and dried out, although far from dead.  But tasted again, about two and a half hours later, it reveals a bright clean mature riesling nose hinting at sort of BA type levels of ripeness.  On the palate it is more clearly a fine Alsace riesling.  Very full, with nice balance.  Excellent.

1988 Corton Charlemagne, Domaine du Martray
Very elegant, soft old white burgundy nose.  Lovely and round.  Very well balanced.  But very even and a bit uni-dimensional.  Rather good though.  Very Good.

2002 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett, Kurt Hain
Lovely sherbetty appley nose.  Spot on Hain PGT.  Very Good Indeed.

1989 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Slightly animalistic refined nose.  Quite meat and rich on the palate.  But not really sufficiently together on finish.  Soft tannins with lovely structure.  Very Good Indeed.

1987 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Much more intense, less gamey nose than the ’89. Very elegant, quite light.  Very well structured.  Lovely soft tannins on the finish.  Very Good Indeed.

1958 Marques de Riscal Elciego (Alava)
Mature ruby colour, but it doesn’t look anything like as old as 1958.  Lovely old Rioja nose: nutty and slightly sweet.  Going over the hill, but not gone.  Touch of sweet fruit with the silkiest of tannins on the finish.  Very Good Indeed.

1996 Petaluma Coonawarra Unfiltered 66% Cabernet Sauvignon: 34% Merlot
Next to the ’58 Rioja, this looks like Beaujolais Nouveau! – a youngish even ruby.  Very clean blackcurrant and plums nose – quite sweet smelling.  Lots of forward ripe fruit, but not at all OTT.  This is a very good wine: not only complex, but also very enjoyable.  Very Good Indeed.

1991 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon
Good even ruby colour starting to mature.  Intense minty blackcurrant nose.  Lovely clean rich flavours.  Very clean and pure.  Lovely.  Very Good Indeed.

1962 CVNE Imperial
Mature looking with a touch of bricking.  Animalistic VA nose but still some soft fruit.  Light on the palate, with lots and lots of fruit still.  This is really lovely.  Excellent.

1994 E+E Barossa Valley Black Pepper Shiraz
Quite young looking (especially next to the ’62 Cune!)  Very nice attractive ripe nose.  Very ripe fruit on the palate.  Possibly a bit simple, but enjoyable.  Good.

1995 Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse du Lalande
To judge by the colour, this is just starting to mature.  Very nice, attractive nose.  Quite rich and elegant, but seems far too young.  Good.

2000 Vieux Télégraphe
Very very young looking.  Smells like a grenachey young Cotes du Rhone plonk.  Soft, still quite grenachey, fruit on the attack, but for the rest it is totally dominated by tannins.  Complete infanticide. 

2000 Chateau du Trignon Gigondas
A youthful purple.  Nice attractive nose.  This is very nice.  Lovely fruit.  Lots of structure.  Massive tannins on the finish.  Very Good.

1995 Chateau La Tourette, Pauillac
Lovely nose – slightly goaty with a real sweet undercurrent.  Very soft attack.  Lovely fruit.  Good structure.  This is really very nice indeed.  Very Good Indeed.

1999 Don Melchior, Concha y Toro, Chile
Deep and inky.  Smoky, leathery nose.  Lovely rich sweet ripe fruit attack.  Builds into a really structured lovely wine.  Very Good Indeed.

Something blind from Ali Downes, but I think plied on me by Ray Abercromby.
Youthful purple.  Highly perfumed cranberry syrup nose.  Highly fragrant sweet palate, still dominated by cranberries.  Totally bizarre.  Is this homemade or something?  Turns out to have been 2003 Visner di Pergola, Marche, Italy.

2002 Bandol Cabassou, Domaine Tempier
Very young looking – a bright youthful purple.  Rather closed violetty nose.  Wow!  What depths.  Very elegant.  Superb.  Very Good Indeed.

1978 Ch. De Fonsalette Réserve
Nice mature colour.  Animalistic and VA on the nose.  The VA even comes through on the palate ruining it.  Sweet and just a bit nasty.

 1964 ‘believed Gevrey Chambertin’
No label other than the date slip.  White capsule, no information on the cork.  Very soft pinot noir nose, so perhaps not too much Hermitage in this!  Golly, this is so alive.  Lots of fruit, no VA and remarkably little ageing apparent.  Still plenty of fruit on the palate and some good structure.  Really lovely.  Could easily put it twenty years younger.  Very Good Indeed.

1999 Gravner Venezia Giulia IGT Ribolla Gravnera, magnum
Deepish gold.  Very unusual nose, also a touch of oxidation.  A certain dry sherryfied ripeness of fruit, but not entirely pleasant for me.

1995 Goldackerl Trockenbeerenauslese, Willi Opitz, half bottle
Rich coppery gold.  Rich, elegant orangey honeyed nose.  Rich and sweet, but just enough acidity to keep it good.  Really lovely to drink.  Luscious richness, but just saved from OTTness.  Very Good Indeed.

1982 Hermitage, Chave
Lightish colour.  Gorgeous nose, though with a touch of VA and oxidation.  Rather old on the palate and a touch sweet from concentration.  Very Good.

 1996 Niepoort LBV
A rather simple nose.  A straightforward decent LBV.  Good.

1989 Bandol Cuvée Migoua, Domaine Tempier
Fabulous soft complex fruity nose.  Feels nicely mature on the palate.  Soft and very attractive.  Loads of life left in it.  Very Good Indeed.

1990 Ch. Guiraud 1er Cru Sauternes
Really nice elegant nose.  Fantastic balance.  Gorgeous, clean, fresh and totally lovely.  Very Good Indeed.

1966 Pommerner Sonnenuhr Auslese Naturrein Riesling, Gebietswinzergenossenschaft des Kreises Cochem
Very even deep gold.  Smokey, slightly honeyed old riesling nose.  Even, clean old German riesling.  No particular outstanding characteristics; old but very palatable.

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Last updated: 19 October 2006 12:28