Wine Tasting: Muscat and Nebbiolo (4th Apr 2000)

A tasting with my Wine Appreciation Group, Bearsden Academy. I presented the wines blind using Broadbent/Johnson tasting sheets.

1. 1998 Joao Pires Dry Moscato

4th Apr 2000 GBP5 Portugal Table White

This was a very disappointing example of an old favourite. Neutral on the nose with a vague hint of peaches and blossom. Medium dry and medium bodied with an unpleasant, damp teatowel flavour, flat acidity and poor balance. Not nice.

2. 1998 Brown Brothers Dry Muscat

4th Apr 2000 GBP6 Australia Table White

Very pale yellow, fairly heavy. Attractive nose of freshly squeezed lemons and limes - fresh and summery. Dry, medium bodied and well balanced with lemon juice acidity, some grapey flavours and an extended, crisp finish with a touch of alcohol. Very good now with fish or salad.

3. 1995 Nino Negri Fracia Valtellina Superiore DOC

4th Apr 2000 GBP10 Italy Table Red

Quite pale, red with brownish tinge, quite heavy. Attractive, with subtle almondy notes and some leather and black cherry flavours - a complex nose that develops in the glass. Quite austere, dry flavours with smoky, charcoal and oak notes, some leafiness and tart, lemon acidity. Firm tannins on an extended, well balanced finish. This really improved when tasted with Pecorino but it is quite an austere style. Drink now and over the next 2 to 3 years with food.

4. 1996 Brown Brothers Nebbiolo

4th Apr 2000 GBP12 Australia Table Red

A deep, heavy red/brown wine that fades gradually to brown - looks mature. Attractive, powerful, alcoholic nose with some mulberry fruit, aniseed, a touch of vanilla, and hints of leather, spice and oak. Medium to full bodied, with soft tannins, refreshing acidity and a lingering, well balanced finish. Mouthfilling flavours of cherries and redcurrants mix in with notes of cedar and pepper with a bit of sweetness showing on the finish. Very good now - certainly drinkable on its own.

5. 1996 Martin Brothers Nebbiolo

4th Apr 2000 GBP10 USA Table Red

Deep, heavy red/brown. Attractive, powerful nose - developed and alcoholic with charred, leathery, inky, medicinal notes (slightly baked and tiring). Dry and full bodied, with firm tannins and flavours of plum, leather, leaf and oak, and a long savoury, bittersweet tobacco finish. A bit too inky and cooked, but very good, and very enjoyable with the Pecorino.

6. 1998 Miranda The Pioneer's Raisined Muscat

4th Apr 2000 GBP4 Australia Dessert White

Clear, deep yellow/gold, heavy. Lovely fresh nose of lemons and peach blossom with a touch of honey. Very sweet, full bodied, with refreshing acidity and flavours of sweet melons, apples and lemons. Rich, mouthcoating texture but not at all cloying on a long finish. Superb value, with tasters guessing at a price between seven and twelve pounds for the half.