Wine Tasting: New Arrivals (8th Feb 1999)

An assortment of recently arrived wines, presented at Glasgow University College Club.

1. 1998 Grosset Watervale Riesling

8th Feb 1999 GBP10 Australia Table White

Bright, pale gold.
Slightly dumb nose with floral and grapey notes and plenty of alcohol.
Juicy and crisp, with citrus, grape and mineral flavours, and racy acidity.
Long, dry and ripe, it is lovely now but should last well.

2. 1998 Grosset Clare Semillon Sauvignon

8th Feb 1999 GBP9 Australia Table White

Bright, green-gold.
Fresh, leafy nose with ripe gooseberry fruit and plenty of alcohol.
Medium to full bodied and round, with sweet melon and spiced apple fruit and some oak.
Lovely and long. Drink now.

3. 1995 Ferret Pouilly Fuisse 'Le Clos'

8th Feb 1999 GBP17 Burgundy Table White

Bright, pale gold.
Slightly volatile nose of oak, citrus and nutmeg.
Medium to full, with sweet spiced apple fruit, toasted oak, good acidity and a dry, slightly lean finish.
Should be good with food now, but I don't think it's a keeper.

4. 1996 Caymus Mer et Soleil

8th Feb 1999 GBP17 USA Table White

Bright, pale yellow/gold.
Elusive, perfumed nose with some creamy, apple fruit - much less pungent than the 1995.
Full and round with flavours of oak, butter and sweet, ripe citrus and apple fruit, nuts and allspice.
Lots of alcohol and well integrated acids and a fairly long medium-dry finish.
Very good but needs to be drunk young.
[I enjoyed this, but I was thrown by the change in style from the '95. I would probably have been kinder if I was tasting blind.]

5. 1996 Elderton Merlot

8th Feb 1999 GBP15 Australia Table Red

Opaque red/purple.
Rich, alcoholic nose of plum pudding and mint - upfront, gorgeous, stewed hot-climate fruit.
Full and dense, with flavours of tar, liquorice, bitter berries and blood.
Ripe tannins and fresh acidity lead into a toasty, tobacco finish.
Stunning, but needs two to three years.

6. 1995 Pointe Pomerol

8th Feb 1999 GBP20 Bordeaux Table Red

Opaque purple core to red, faint browning at rim.
Concentrated green leaf, black fruit and leather nose.
Medium bodied with mouthcoating, furry tannins and flavours of plums, leather and tobacco.
Good acidity but dry - needs a roast or steak.
Drink now or in two to three years.

7. 1996 Wirra Wirra The Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon

8th Feb 1999 GBP14 Australia Table Red

Opaque purple/red to red - young.
Spicy, forward nose of redcurrants, soft berry fruits, and spice.
Full bodied with juicy, sweet berry fruit, oak and lively acidity.
Fresh and delicious now with low, well submerged, tannins.
Drink now and over the next 2 to 3 years.

8. 1996 Matthews red

8th Feb 1999 GBP23 USA Table Red

Core of deep purple/red, but much paler than the Angelus.
Minty, spicy, mulberry fruit on a forward nose.
Full bodied with tarry, spicy oak and plum fruit.
Ripe tannins, fresh acidity and a gorgeous, long finish.
Young, but drinking well. Don't risk more than a couple of years in the rack.

9. 1997 Heidrich Bacharacher Posten Riesling Auslese

8th Feb 1999 GBP12 Germany Dessert White

Very pale lemon colour.
Delicate fresh nose, marred by an excess of sulphur.
Tart and juicy, with flavours of grapefruit and lemon sorbet.
Medium sweet, drying out slightly in the finish - drink it on its own, the delicate flavours probably wouldn't stand up against a dessert.
A delicious wine, apart from the sulphur. Possibly an hour or so in a decanter or extended cellaring will get rid of it?