Wine Tasting: Fine wines - April (9th Apr 1998)

A tasting at Downing College Cambridge. Assorted new arrivals presented by Katie MacAuley

1. 1996 Verget Bourgogne Blanc

9th Apr 1998 GBP8 Burgundy Table White

[Tasted Blind]
Pale, bright, clear.
Fresh, floral nose with traces of oak and honeysuckle.
Rounded and fresh in the mouth with citrus and mineral flavours, good acidity, good balance and a long, dry finish.
Very good.

2. 1996 Jim Barry Watervale Riesling

9th Apr 1998 GBP6 Australia Table White

[Tasted Blind]
Bright, deeper yellow/gold.
Fresh forward nose with a fair amount of alcohol, aromas of apricots and hazelnuts - attractive.
Medium bodied with good acidity and alcohol, honeyed citrus fruit, dry finish.

3. 1997 Redwood Valley Sauvignon Blanc

9th Apr 1998 GBP9 New Zealand Table White

[Tasted Blind]
Very pale, even colour with a light spritz.
Fresh floral nose of elderflowers and nettles, soft and alcoholic.
Lively and fresh on the palate - herbaceous with citrus fruit appearing and lasting through the long dry finish.
Very elegant - lovely as an aperitif.

4. 1996 Puligny Montrachet, Ch de Puligny Montrachet Folatieres

9th Apr 1998 GBP22 Burgundy Table White

[Tasted Blind]
Bright, pale gold.
Up front Chardonnay nose with lots of old oak - big and spicy.
Big, citrussy Chardonnay palate with plenty of oak and alcohol. Good acidity and a long dry finish.
Still young but will develop over the next few years. Very good.

5. 1996 Puligny Montrachet, Ch de Puligny Montrachet Chalumeaux

9th Apr 1998 GBP24 Burgundy Table White

[Tasted Blind]
Even, pale, straw/gold.
Slightly dumb nose - hints of apricots and oak, fresh with plenty of alcohol.
On the palate, fat, rich, mouth-filling citrus and mineral flavours, well integrated oak, long, spicy, dry finish. [Decent Chassagne ?]
Very good.

6. 1996 Oberto Dolcetto San Francesco

9th Apr 1998 GBP7 Piedmont Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Young, ruby/red to pink at rim.
Open, attractive nose - minty and herbaceous with hints of plums.
Very young with juicy, spicy fruit, slightly green with traces of smoky, old oak.
Still quite tight - could do with some time. [Cool climate Cabernet Franc?]
This would be lovely lightly-chilled with ham.

7. 1996 Pelissero Barbera d'Alba

9th Apr 1998 GBP7 Piedmont Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Deep, purple/red, pinking at rim.
Tangy forest fruits with animal fur/vegetal notes on the nose.
Medium to full-bodied with lots of alcohol, ripe brambles and black cherries, spicy old oak, good acidity and dry, furry tannins.
Excellent finish. [Barbera - about UKP 13?]

8. 1995 Viader Red

9th Apr 1998 GBP19 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Opaque purple/red - deep red at rim.
Brooding nose of dense black fruits, tar and mushrooms.
Very full bodied, with ripe tannins and high acidity masked by stewed black fruit and a trace of cedar. Very young and thick with a long, long dry finish. Needs lots of time but will be superb in 5+ years.
[Big Oz Shiraz ? Oh the shame of it!]
The wine opened out dramatically with a bit of breathing - much bigger and softer than the notes suggest - could be drunk with pleasure now.

9. 1994 Rame Saint Croix de Mont

9th Apr 1998 GBP20 Bordeaux Dessert White

[Tasted Blind]
Pale, bright orange/gold.
Forward, fresh nose with aromas of vanilla, cream and marmalade.
Creamy and soft on the palate, piercingly sweet but clean with a good acidity and a lovely, velvety texture. Long finish.
[I guessed right on this one - quite a distinctive wine]