Monday, April 30, 2007

Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1997 Conti Constanti

Colour is brilliant crimson, giving off vivid light that dances on the table beneath it. Honest.

The nose is rose water, cherries and hot tar - it's a beguiling nose - there's a hint of bloodiness about it. It's an incredible mixture of rustic and elegant.

The palate is more of the same - ephemeral herbal and floral notes dancing around a pure, almost juicy, cherry and cranberry fruit with plenty of zing. There's tight acidity there as well with a good tannic backbone that's just beginning to soften. Amazing with the pasta (which was amazing itself if I'm totally honest).

It's interesting to mark the development of this wine. The first time I tried it was summer of '03, and it was awesome but rambunctious, needing time. The second time was in '05, and the palate was beautiful but the nose confused and almost unpleasant. This last time was delightful but I couldn't help but feel it was about to go to sleep for a wee while. I'll come back to it in '09.


Tasted at Naughton 28/4/07

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Chateau Les Ormes de Pez 2003

Colour: Saturated, opaque purple, almost impenetrable.

Nose: Ripe fruit with a smoky edge. There's a hint of jam and heat.

Palate: Typical of the vintage. Incredibly ripe fruit knit well with the tannins and then the heat kicks in, burnt charcoal and toast ruins the finish. It's almost as though someone set fire to green tannins. I don't see those burnt edges toning down at all - the fruit may settle and the tannins may soften, but that burnt aspect, like green tannins, just won't go away.

Tasted 15/4/07 at Edinburgh Wine Merchants

Friday, April 20, 2007

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1996

Colour: Shows almost no sign of age. Intense brilliance through the crimson/black core.

Nose: Unlike anything I'm familiar with - INTENSE cassis and mint (blind - Mouton perhaps?) with wild fresh herbs, fresh chopped cedar - everything about it is alive, breathing.

Palate: Everything the nose promises and more - the fruit is remarkably pure and intense - cassis and blackberry in sweet harmony, backed by the mint, herbs and cedar. Such power and elegance. Behind it all is a blind spot - a darkness that needs time to open, as it matures the perfume and saddle leather and glories of age will arrive. One of the finest young wines I have ever drunk. One of the finest wines I've ever drunk.

Yes, that's a potential six stars. If Broadbent can do it, so can I.

Tasted at Naughton 03/07

Pol Roger Chardonnay 1996

Colour: vibrant gold with just a hint of green and rapid, tiny bubbles.

Nose: Apples, lime and clotted cream - there's a slight hint of toast and honey.

Palate: Fresh, youthful and vivacious, crisp fruit - apples with a touch of lemon. The mousse is exceptional, filling the mouth entirely with its fruit. There's a touch of minerality and toast on the edges leading to a long finish, excellent acidity and structure. A long and fantastic life ahead of it.


Tasted 03/07 at Naughton

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tinto da Anfora 2005

The colour is deep, a brooding, bruised purple with a touch of ruby on the rim.

The nose is brambles and forest floor with edges of roasted herbs and a hint of chocolate.

The palate is the best of the nose - this is an exceptionally well-rounded wine for the price. Rustic and mouthfilling without being overbearing. The bramble and cassis fruit are pure and juicy, without confection, held up by good acidity while backed by fantastic dark tones and well-rounded tannins. That dark edge seems to be a hallmark of well-made Portuguese reds, much like chocolate cherries mark well-made Italians.
The finish lingers - all for £7.25? Bargain.

Tasted several times at Bonnytoun Cottages over the last few weeks.


No, I have not stopped drinking wine. I just keep losing my tasting notes. Fortunately (or not) I've found a few kicking about and will have some updates later today.

On a side note, I'd just like to say that almost every 2003 vintage wine from the entire Eurasian continent suffered from the heat, and any smartarse wine writer that tries to tell you different is lying. The reds taste like burnt toast (honest - Italy, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, you name it - burnt toast), and the whites taste like someone dropped a vodka depth charge in a glass of 5 Alive (or whatever fruit juice that particular varietal or blend most resembles). There are a few exceptions (Jadot), but it's such a minefield and the wines are so expensive that I don't think it's worth it. 01s are a bargain, as are 02s (be careful with Italy on the latter) and 04s are proving pleasant. Fuck 03. Overhyped and overpriced - a perennial disappointment.