SuperBOWL 2009 

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Building on the success of SuperBOWL 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, and after a short break, SuperBOWL 2009 again took place in Glasgow, but moved to early March from its previously traditional October date. 

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 7th March 2009 a number of those wine lovers, readers of and contributors to the forum, together with some winemakers as distinguished guests, attended an afternoon of tastings, seminars and a grand dinner at the Trades Hall 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 Braidwoods by following this link.

The programme for the day was:

14:00 - 17:30 walk-round tasting - fine, rare and unusual wines
15:40 - 16:30 seminar 2: Oregon Pinot Noir
16:40 - 17:30 seminar 4: The Wines of Domaine Michel & Stéphane Ogier
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 largely in the order tasted, but bear in mind there were a couple of interruptions for the  seminars. It's worth pointing out at the beginning that, combined with the seminars, this was a huge collection of wine (and there were dozens that I did not taste - I ended up ignoring most of the Burgundies and 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 ...

2008 Mullineux White, Mullineux Family Wines, WO Swartland
Quite a creamy, lemony nose with a touch of lanolin.  Powerful, rich palate.  It does feel a bit like a sample that needs time to settle and integrate.  87/100

1995 Gravonia, Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia, Rioja
A gorgeous rich nose – nutty, with hints of apricots and of pears.  Unfortunately, the palate doesn’t live up to the promise of the nose.  It feels much older than the nose, and much older than 1995.  There’s a strong oxidised nutty feel that is too dominant.  83/100

1993 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Fass 6, S A Prüm, AP Nr. 2 576 510 06 94
Lots of secondary petrolly minerality and a slight hint of botrytis on the nose.  Mature palate: minerally and stone.  Nice and precise.  Maybe a bit more advanced than it should be?  89/100

1998 Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Riesling Smaragd trocken, Freie Weingärtner Wachau, 13%
A rather curious nose: clean minerality, then some polish, then some grape jelly.  Odd palate, with a very extracted feel.  It has a really coarse edge and a slightly unpleasant roundness.  Quite persistent and long.  78/100

2000 Loibner Berg Riesling Smaragd, FX Pichler, Wachau, 13.5%
A very lemony, zesty nose with a wet chalk minerality.  Precise, focussed palate.  Very pure, with a steely minerality.  Gorgeous acidity, which sears on the finish.  91/100

2002 Champagne Les Rachais, Raymond Boulard
100% chardonnay.  Disgorged June 2008.  A very enticing lemony-minerally nose with a crisp greenness and a sort of yeasty celery note. Very precise initially, then lots of apple and pear fruit come along and fill the mouth.  90/100

2002 Chablis Grand  Cru Bougros, Domaine Servin, 13%
The nose has perfumed clarified butter with hints of lavender.  Big, open palate.  This is in a big mature style.  Very mouthfilling.  Excellent length.  Lovely Chablis.  91/100

2004 Craighall Riesling, Dry River, Martinborough
A pale lemon yellow.  The nose is delightful, with crisp grapefruit and pineapple notes.  Very clean palate.  A good, fresh, crisp riesling, though not overly complex at all.  88/100

1997 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, AC Savennières-Coulée de Serrant, Nicolas Joly, 14%
There’s a bit of an oxidised feel on the nose.  Very full, spirity stone fruit characters on the palate.  Very blowsy.  Sour peas and bitter honey on the finish.  Don’t know whether this is meant to be like this, but it’s not for me.  76/100

2006 Châteauneuf du Pape blanc, Domaine de la Côte de l’Ange, 14%
An attractive, resh nose with creamy white peach and a certain candied note.  Very nice palate.  Very balanced.  Rich, clean, dry.  There’s a hint of honeydew melon on the finish.  Superb.  94/100

1994 Clos du Bourg Demi Sec, Huët, 12%
A lovely integrated nose.  Creamy lanolin and lemon.  Precise palate with lovely concentration.  Lots of fresh citrus flavours back up with a fairly rich spine.  91/100

1995 Le Mont Moelleux, Huët
More reticent than the Clos de Bourg on the nose.  It feels much younger than the Clos de Bourg too.  The sweetness is there but it is much more underlying, waiting to come out.  93/100

2006 Humagne Rouge, Clos Chateau Ravire, Valais, Switzerland
The nose has bright red fruit and reminds me of a red vinho verde.  A fruit cocktail palate with a nice astringent note.  Very much reminiscent of a red vinho verde, with that same sort of clunky, rustic attractiveness.  85/100

2003 Shafer Hillside Select, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District, 14.9%
A ludicrously heavy bottle.  Highly attractive nose with perfumed blackberry fruit and some pencil shavings.  Powerful and young, but already fairly integrated.  Very fine.  93/100

2000 Turley Zinfandel, Moore Earthquake Vineyard, Napa Valley
Perfumed blackberries and chocolate on the nose.  Big, meaty palate with a nice feral gaminess.  Massive spice on the finish.  90/100

2006 Cline Syrah, Sonoma County, 14%
Fleshy plums and blackberries on the nose.  Very attractive palate – it starts off with bitter chocolate notes and ends with milk chocolate.  An interesting wine, but too much of a chocolate character dominating for me.  86/100

2006 Lachini Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Lachini Family Estate, 14.2%
An attractive nose with very, very deep raspberry fruit.  Good palate.  This has a nice, direct approachability.  There’s a nice balanced feel.  Feels like a warm climate pinot noir for sure, but it has a reasonable balance and elegance. 89/100

2008 Mullineux Syrah, Mullineux Family Wines, W.O. Swartland
Very primary black fruits on the nose.  Nice smooth, young syrah palate.  Very good balance.  87-91/100

2001 Viña Hermosa Reserva Selección de Familia, Rioja, Santiago Ijalba
A dusty, oaky nose.  Pleasant palate with a mixture of freshness and age.  Tends a bit on the gran reserva side.  89/100

2001 Vergelegen, W.O. Stellenbosch
A rather attractive herbal nose, just tending to the medicinal, and with some scents of green cardamom.  Attractive palate: it has an attractive leanness and ashen green fruit.  I rather like this.  91/100

1995 Pinotage, W.O. Stellenbosch, Kanonkop, 13%
There are red fruit and pencil erasers on the nose.  Very expressive, open palate with a slightly plasticky edge.  86/100

1999 Batuta, Douro, Niepoort
A lovely attractive nose: plums, black fruits, violets.  Yum.  Very approachable and very interesting on the palate.  Lots of very interesting character with a delicious juicy edge.  Firms tannins on the finish contribute to a feeling that this is likely to improve over the next five years.  91/100

1967 Brunello di Montalcino, Fattoria dei Barbi Proprieta Colombini, 12.8%
There are high toned, bright, red fruits on the nose.  Interesting palate: very light and secondary.  Very old feeling, but still with us and offering pleasure.  90/100

1985 Brunello di Montalcino, Biondi-Santi Az. Agr. Greppo
Not terribly forthcoming on the nose with fairly old, soft red fruits.  A lovely subtle old lady.  91/100

2005 Calderara Sottana, DOC Etna, Tenuta delle Terre Nere
Initially a warm, inviting nose, but then it develops a really herbal character – medicinal even.  Decent palate with some unusual flavours, but overall it feels a bit simple.  86/100

1998 La Court, Barbera d’Asti, Michele Chiarlo, 13.5%
A fairly straightforward nose that’s nice and attractive and inviting.  Very good palate.  This is a very pleasant wine.  There’s nice structure and very good balance.  I love the acidity too.  89/100

2004 Flaccianello della Pieve, IGT Colli Toscana Centrale, Az. Agr. Fontodi
An attractive nose with gently fragrant black fruits.  Open, fresh palate.  Good fruit character is combined with nice structure and balance.  89/100

2008 Straw Wine, W.O. Swartland, Mullineux Family Wines
250 cases made.  Unfiltered & unfined.  Air-dried chenin.
A very attractive, orangey crème brûlée nose.  Lovely fresh palate.  Sweet and fresh at the same time, this is in a hugely enjoyable style.  Delicious.  92/100

2003 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese Fass 7, SA Prüm, AP Nr. 2 576 510 11 04, 8.5%
A slightly murky, sulphury nose.  Lovely zingy attack.  Good poise and elegance, but ultimately a little simple and short.  86/100

1971 Canzemer Altenberg Auslese, Bischöfliches Priesterseminar, AP Nr. 3 561 012 13 72
A bright lemon gold appearance.  Attractive old riesling nose with some secondary pear-spirit and raisins.  Lovely palate – much younger in the mouth than on the nose.  Very balanced.  Nice and ready to drink.  90/100

2003 Deidesheimer Mäushöhle Riesling Auslese, Josef Biffar, AP Nr. 5 106 026 072 04, 7.5%

Very gently sherbetty peach and apricot on the nose.  Very, very rich and sweet on the palate.  Clean, fresh and very sweet.  It’s not quite got enough acidity.  88/100

1994 Clos Uroulat, Jurançon, Charles Hours, 13.5%
A bright, orangey gold.  Lovely fresh nose, if a bit simple.  Complex palate with lots of citrusy fruit.  But it lacks depth, especially on the finish.  Good length though.  88/100

1983 Dürkheimer Schenkenböhl Huxelrebe Trockenbeerenauslese, Winzergenossenschaft Vier-Jahreszeiten Kloster Limburg, AP Nr. 5 160 331 095 84
This looks like a light PX – a dark mahogany core fading to a yellow-green rim.  It looks completely cooked!  The nose has no obvious sign of maderisation: it’s sweet and slightly custardy with dried apricots and banana flesh.  Very sweet attack (hardly surprising), and it doesn’t feel in the slightest cooked/maderised.  There’s a huge, almost monstrous acidity which gives it balance and a quite unexpected freshness.  Nice flavours.  Surprisingly good.  90/100

2000 Gewurztraminer Jubilee, Hugel, Selected by Berry Brothers & Rudd, 13.5%
A delicious, ripe, rich nose, not overladen with gewürztraminer character.  On the palate it’s decent enough, but a bit on the hard side.  I was expecting more from the Jubilee level.  86/100

1998 Gewurztraminer Hommage à Jean Hugel, Hugel, 13.5%
A ripe nose with some lychee and rose character, but quite subtle.  On the palate it’s a rich, complex, layered gewürztraminer with huge depth.  Really nice balance.  Very good finish with excellent length.  93/100

1969 Gevrey Chambertin Les Combottes Tête de Cuvée Premier Cru, Remoissenet Père & Fils
A lovely attractive nose – old with some interesting bilberry fruit and a fungal note.  Really nice on the palate: good balance and depth and still with some life ahead of it.  Lovely wine.  92/100

1977 Graham’s Vintage Port
Open nose with charming black fruits and some odd lemon grass lift.  Nice, clean palate with good balance and a rich, velvety, cosseting feel.  92/100

1977 Delaforce Vintage Port
This feels much more evolved than the Graham’s.  It almost has a tawny feel to it, with some nutty oxidation. 88/100

Williams Humbert Don Guido Rare Old Sweet Pedro Ximenez Solera Especial, Aged 20 yrs
Cocoa husks and treacle on the nose.  On the palate … well, it’s PX.  But it’s a very good one.  Rich, thick, heavy and luscious, but by far not the most cloying PX that I’ve tasted.  90/100


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Dinner Wines

Dinner, still at the Trades Hall, was as follows:

Numerous wines were provided by those attending - on occasion they came thick and fast!  Of necessity some of these notes are rather brief! More or less in the order drunk.

1998 Champagne Clos Cazals, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Claude Cazals
Lovely, precise nose: vibrant lemon acidity with hints of yeast.  Very good palate: very precise and focussed, but also with a lovely depth.  91/100

1992 Meursault Blagny, François Jobard
A gorgeous yellow gold colour.  Fresh, precise roast butter nose.  Very elegant palate.  Very, very pure and intense.  92/100

1984 Saint-Joseph blanc, J-L Grippat
Quite a slight nose – very subtle white Rhône character, which really opens up as it warms up.  Lovely palate with good elegance initially.  A slightly hard edge comes along, but quickly dissipates leaving a smooth, very, very long nutty, creamy finish.  Very elegant.  91/100

1989 Côtes du Rhône Blanc, Château de Fonsalette
A rich nutty, almondy sweet nose with just a hint of spirity peach at the end.  Rich, pointed palate with some spice.  For me it lacks a little of the elegance of the Grippat, but is still very enjoyable.  88/100

1995 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, J. J. Prüm, AP Nr. 2 576 511 2 03
Wet gravels and a bit of petrol on the nose.  Lovely integrated palate.  Spot on.  92/100

2006 Guru, Wine & Soul Lda, Douro
A big fresh, nutty nose.  This is a firm bodied, full flavoured wine with lots of interesting character.  92/100

1953 Vosne Romanée Les Suchots, shipped and bottled by Averys
There’s just a bit of lift on the nose.  Sweet VA is all that remains on the palate.  Dead.  Not rated.

1996 Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots, Robert Arnoux
Very attractive nose – really lovely with very subtle fruit and earthiness.  It feels very young.  There’s lots of lovely acidity and a nice, satisfying, savoury edge.  A very fine wine.  91/100

1999 Pavillon Blanc de Château Margaux, AC Bordeaux
Rather an extracted nose with green peas and cabbagey notes.  Good palate: it alternates in the mouth between freshness and richness, lemon and cream, vegetal and almost tropical fruit.  Interesting and enjoyable.  90/100

2005 Pinot Noir, Château des Charmes, Niagara Peninsula VQA
A stinky, sweaty nose with red fruit behind.  This has a nice light fresh pinot noir palate.  Spicy oak dominates the finish.  86/100

1976 Rioja Gran Reserva I, Faustino
There’s a fairly Burgundian feel to the nose.  Nice mature palate.  Fairly sweet.  Very long.  90/100

1982 Château Gruaud Larose, AC St Julien
This has a deep and remarkably youthful colour.  Lovely restrained, leafy nose with plenty of black fruit.  The palate is refined with a very integrated feel.  Damn good claret.  94/100

1976 Prado Enea, Bodegas Muga, 12.5%
A rather over-old nose with just a slight lift.  On the palate this feels like very, very old Rioja.  Dried out and past it.  Not rated.

1996 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, J. J. Prüm, AP Nr. 2 576 511 14 97
A lovely, maturing riesling nose.  There’s some vibrancy immediately on the palate.  Then a lovely rounded finish.  Very dry finish.  93/100

1994 Tignanello, Antinori
Very vegetal nose with some tarry notes.  Rather tired palate.  83/100

1997 Tignanello, Antinori
The nose has sweaty black fruits and some leather.  Very complex palate with some concentrated black fruit, some fresh fruit flavours and a significant quality tannic structure.  92/100

1997 Roagna Barbaresco Riserva, Pajé (en magnum)
There is slightly astringent red and cherry fruit on the nose.  Vibrant palate.  There’s an astringency that, as usual, I don’t like in Barbaresco.  88/100

2001 The Clan, Capercaillie, SE Australia
A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot.  Not an over-the-top in-your-face nose, but what’s there is some jammy, very raspberry fruit.  Round, juicy fruit is very much to the fore on the palate, again with largely raspberry flavours.  Spicy on the finish with a firm tannic structure.  88/100

1999 Terra Vinya, Chapoutier, AC Banyuls, 16%
Very open nose with blackberry fruit and a nice perfume.  Chocolatey blackberry pastille palate.  A nice drink.  Fairly simply, but it works well.  89/100

1995 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, Marqués de Murrieta
An evolved, woody, but not oaky nose with clove and cinnamon spice.  Beautiful palate.  Very integrated and gorgeous.  95/100

2006 Vannières, Vin de Table, Château Vannières
Mental and menthol nose with fragrant blackcurrant fruit.  Fresh, vibrant, fragrant sweet fruit on the palate.  There’s a bit of alcohol on the finish.  Mad but lovely.  91/100

1993 Zind Humbrecht Rotenberg Wintzenheim Pinot Gris Sélection de Grains Nobles
Quite a subtle nose really – sweet and honeyed.  But it really doesn’t live up to the promise on the palate.  It just feels rather clumsy.  86/100

2001 Eschendorfer Lump Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, Horst Sauer, AP Nr. 4 397 02 9 02
A very deep, almost bronzey colour.  Fragrant honey and apricots on the nose.  Very nice, but it seems to lack the really bracing acidity of the 2002.  I’m very disappointed in this bottle, and wonder if there’s something wrong with it.  It’s just not right.  I wonder if there’s a touch of oxidation?  88/100

1997 Niepoort Vintage Port
Initially the nose is rather simple, though with time it opens up and develops some very attractive fragrance.  On the palate, it’s really over-spirity: the spirit completely dominates, making it a very hard drink.  Maybe an extended decanting time would have helped?  This might have been uncorked and poured straight away.  84/100

1995 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett, Fritz Becker Erben, 8%, AP Nr. 2 577 015 2 96
Quite a mature Mosel riesling nose with a slatey minerality that outweights what’s left of the fruit.  Very minerally on the palate, feeling a little over-mature.  A bit simple and a bit short.  86/100

1992 Hermitage La Chapelle, Paul Jaboulet Aîné
On the nose there’s ripe, yet restrained black fruit with some leather.  Quite forward and mature on the palate; and also there’s a bit of greenness there.  A touch astringent on the finish.  It doesn’t appear to have much structure left.  87/100

2005 La fage Cahors, Domaine Cosse Maisonneuve
A very deep, young colour.  On the nose there are big, ripe perfumed black fruits.  Big, full palate: some sweet black fruit initially, which is quickly overtaken by a massive tannic structure.  There’s some style to this … in a Cahors way.  87/100


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Last updated: 16 March 2009