Wine Tasting: Assorted Fine Wines (20th Aug 1998)

A mixed bag I showed in Glasgow. The wines were presented blind.

1. 1996 Lassarat Saint Veran 'Le Cras'

20th Aug 1998 GBP17 Burgundy Table White

Pale, bright yellow.
Fresh, upfront citrus nose with some oak and orange peel.
Full bodied and ripe with lots of alcohol, lemony fruit and crisp acidity. Rounded and fleshy but fresh. Long finish with flavours of orange, spice and oak.
Lovely now.

2. 1996 Forman Chardonnay

20th Aug 1998 GBP17 USA Table White

Bright pale yellow/gold.
Muted/dumb nose with hints of floury apples, wet fur and oak.
Rich, rounded, mouthfilling palate with spicy, apple fruit, sweet alcohol and oak. Good spicy finish. Appealing drinking now but a bit one dimensional.

3. 1996 Pillot Chassagne Montrachet

20th Aug 1998 GBP17 Burgundy Table White

Bright yellow/gold.
Rich, honeyed, spicy, straw aromas with plenty of oak and alcohol.
Full bodied with sweet citrus fruit, new oak, evident alcohol, balancing acidity and a long finish.
Excellent now (with roast pork?) but will improve over the next 2 to 3 years.

4. 1996 Puligny Montrachet, Ch de Puligny Montrachet Chalumeaux

20th Aug 1998 GBP24 Burgundy Table White

Bright yellow/gold.
Restrained nose with lemon fruit and traces of oak.
Full bodied with mouthcoating, alcoholic, lemon fruit; fresh, almost tart, acids; and integrated oak on the long finish. Intense and interesting but still very young.
Keep for at least 3 to 4 years.

5. 1995 PJA Cornas

20th Aug 1998 GBP13 Rhone Table Red

Opaque purple paling slightly at rim - very young.
Lurking nose of violets, pepper and alcohol.
Medium to full bodied with mulberry fruit, pepper and old oak. Plenty of alcohol, acidity and drying tannins coming through on the long finish.
Could do with 3 to 5 years - drink it with a good steak.

6. 1995 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape

20th Aug 1998 GBP19 Rhone Table Red

Opaque purple/red gradually fading to red at rim - still very young.
Intense nose with herby, stewed red fruits and lots of alcohol - attractive but undeveloped.
Full bodied and warm with sweet, spicy, mouthfilling mulberry fruit. Long, dry finish with ripe tannins coming through.
Drinkable now with a roast but has years of potential.

7. 1995 Viader Red

20th Aug 1998 GBP26 USA Table Red

Opaque purple to purple/red at rim.
Concentrated, intense cassis and oak nose.
Full bodied with sweet, ripe mulberry fruit, lots of alcohol, good acidity and a lovely, long finish with notes of peppery oak. Soft tannins.
This wine will develop well over 5 to 10 years but is very enjoyable now.

8. 1995 Ducru Beaucailloux Croix de Beaucaillou

20th Aug 1998 GBP28 Bordeaux Table Red

Opaque purple fading gradually to red - more mature in appearance than the Viader.
Muted nose with closed berry fruit - impression of a big wine waiting to break out.
Full bodied with sweet blackberry fruit, warm and alcoholic with good acidity. Firm tannins throughout. Cedary flavours emerge on the long, dry, tannic finish.
Needs at least 5 years but very impressive for a second wine.

9. 1996 Bertagna Nuits St Georges Murgers

20th Aug 1998 GBP27 Burgundy Table Red

Deep red/purple to pink/red.
Quite closed nose with spicy oak and stewed red fruit - big but needs lots of time.
Medium bodied but mouthfilling and luscious with spicy, juicy berry fruit.
Fresh acids and plenty of alcohol. Flavours of oak, vanilla, spices, black cherries, mulberries and a long zesty finish.
Lovely, fresh Pinot - enjoyable but simple now, will be a killer in 5 to 10 years. Superb.

10. 1995 Jim Barry Armagh Shiraz

20th Aug 1998 GBP35 Australia Table Red

Opaque black fading to a deep purple - so viscous that the legs are coloured!
Dense blackcurrant nose with cream and vanilla, lots of alcohol and a slightly confected aspect that says Shiraz/Syrah.
Very full bodied, thick, velvety texture with flavours of jammy, black fruits and toasted oak. Bracing tannins and fresh acidity lurking under all that fruit. Long finish with flavours of dark chocolate and coffee grinds.
A black monolith - keep for at least a decade.
Much firmer than the 1994, but I think it may show as the better wine given time.