Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Perrier Jouet 1961

Colour: slightly brassy, obvious age. Pinprick mousse rises slowly.

Nose - bit austere with farmyardy notes. No fruit to speak of, but hints of past richness. Slightly cheesy as well.

Palate - bit cheesy with hints of smoke; fruit gone but the secondaries give good mouthfeel and there's a lot to be said for it. Certainly past its prime but interesting nonetheless. Not everyone's cup of tea though, be warned.


Tasted at Naughton 17/8/05

Perrier Jouet 1959

Wire cage designed to twist clockwise instead of anti-clockwise. Strange.

No mousse. Nose pungent & dirty. Palate: non.

No stars

Tasted at Naughton 17/8/05

Laurent Perrier Blanc de Blancs 1975 (Commemorative Bottling, Charles & Di's wedding)

I should preface this note; we were told by Laurent Perrier UK that some old stock of this they found was considered undrinkable and chucked.

Colour: quite deep, brass & gold with a hint of caramel.

Nose: Honey & butterscotch with a touch of toasted limes.

The palate is rich and a touch sherried with loads of acacia honey, butterscotch and toasted brioche. The fruit is subdued, slight notes of citrus. Nice spice and quite lovely. Rich & long.

There was a curious initial mustiness that departed with air.


Tasted at Naughton 17/8/05

Monday, August 15, 2005

Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2002

Colour - quite pale straw. How many times can you say a young white is like that? Or that a red has a crimson rim? The nuances and whatnot never come out right in the descriptions, so what's the point? Broadbent can detect '45 Mouton by the colour. Bully for him. But he's unable to describe it properly, because if he did, everyone would be able to detect it by its colour after reading his notes.

Nose - Started off with light honey and lime overtones. There's now an odd earthiness to it that Andy ascribes to unbalanced sulphur. He's probably right as wine faults have become his area of study and obsession of late.

Palate - Exceptional. None of the nose confusion comes through. Pure fruit of peaches and limes well integrated with mineral texture, earth, hints of smoke and a long, mineral spice finish. Fantastic with the balsamic lobster. Make that really long on the finish as well. Wow.

Stars... well, it's awesome. And I think in terms of South African whites its *****. In fact, in terms of pure expressions of Semillon it's *****. But it smells a bit shitty. So it only gets ****. Sorry. I'm also sorry that it's only available through Oddbins. Gits.

I should also say that this is by far the best and most unique South African wine I've tasted throughout the vintages I've tried. But that note isn't directly related to this vintage - just a general note on the cuveƩ. Oh, and the reds from this place seem to suck, possessing that horrendous burnt rubber shite that seems endemic in South African reds and that most wine writers seem to avoid talking about. It should be discussed. South African reds are terrible. Pinotage is an abomination. Bring on the comments.

Dom Perignon Oenoteque 1985

Colour - sort of a dirty hay, golden brilliance comes through with closer inspection though.

Nose - earthy butter and toast with a hint of sage. Quite engaging. The smell of the country on a warm summer day, whatever that means.

Palate - the texture is truly amazing. The mousse is incredible but moreso is that it's bonded with the wine itself. It gives a sensation of drinking fine dimpled leather. But fine dimpled leather that tastes of butter, toast & honey-roasted lemons with edges of sage and mint. Extraordinary, as is the finish, which lingers on the mid palate like the echo of fine music. Or some such nonsense. It's really, really good. Buy some.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Salon 1982

Criminally madeirized. Very upset.

Friday, August 12, 2005

La Reserve de Leoville Barton 2000

Colour is deep but with more crimson on the edges than purple - good core.

Nose slightly woodsmoked with cassis & a hint of blueberry - bit of pencil lead as well. Slight heat comes out at the finish but still lovely.

Palate is big & well-integrated but not terribly complex? Will age deepen this, has it been over-shadowed by the Ducru? The former I think not, the latter yess.. nice long finish though. A wine to come back to in 5 years.

Tasted at Naughton 9/8/2005


Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1966

Colour is light, but with no amber - still ruby on the edges with a slightly deeper core.

The nose is forest floor & cedar - wild berries as well. Hints of classic pencil lead and a slightly floral edge.

The palate is elegant with soft, plush fruit - rich with toasted raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrant - then comes really good secondaries; forest cedar, gentle wood spice, leather all supple and beautifully integrated. The structure is sublime because it's invisible - you don't notice it until later because everything tastes so right. I'm loving this. The finish brings out some of the tannins. Incredible with the venison sirloin. My red of the year so far...

Tasted at Naughton 9/8/2005


Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blancs de Blancs 1995

Pale gold colour (hint of green there as well) with tiny bubbles.

Very fresh lemon-zest nose, with suggestions of the richness to come with age.

The mousse is softer than I remember. The palate is lovely and fresh but with hints of the nuances to come (it helped to try the '61 beforehand) - infant notes of heather & honey hiding behind the zingy lemon-lime fruit. Finishes with a really long zing. There's a long life ahead of this one.

Tasted at Naughton 9/8/2005.


Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blancs de Blancs 1961

We have mousse! Always a nice surprise when the bottle is 44 years old.

The colour is deep gold with copper hints - nose is heather honey with a bit of citrus spice, but light, elegant & refined... rich toastiness comes out with air.

The palate is luscious - gentle mousse with the fruit & secondary flavours achieving unity. Silky, textured & mouth-coating. The length is remarkable, with those heather honey notes lingering without cloying.

This is without a doubt the finest example of Comtes that I have tried. More than that though, I feel it is at its apex. I think it is the best that Comtes can be and as such it was wonderful to taste.

Tasted at Naughton 9/8/2005


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

No notes...

I've burnt my tongue on hot pizza, so I can't taste very well and, to add insult to injury, it was a rubbish pizza.