Wine Tasting: Ivo's Birthday (1st Aug 1999)

…Let's all bring a bottle of something interesting and have a tasting…

1. 1994 Martinborough Chardonnay

1st Aug 1999 GBP11 New Zealand Table White

Deep, bright and viscous. Faintly oxidised with oak, orange peel and oil on the nose. Full bodied and rich, with sweet, buttery citrus fruit, warm with lemon acidity, lots of well integrated oak and a good finish. Very enjoyable now but tiring a bit.

2. 1995 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Sonoma Chardonnay

1st Aug 1999 GBP20 USA Table White

Deep gold, viscous. Intensely oaky nose with oily, buttery aromas - still a bit raw. Full bodied with nutty, oily, sweet melon and quince fruit, spicy oak, fresh acidity and a decent finish. Much less wood than the nose suggests. Very good

3. 1997 La Palma Gran Reserva Chardonnay

1st Aug 1999 GBP8 Chile Table White

Bright gold, viscous. Much more restrained than the Flowers, but attractive with some (slightly sweaty!) butter and nut aromas. Medium to full bodied with lots of sweet alcohol and oak. Outgunned by the first two wines, but still impressive with some complexity on the finish.

4. 1995 Torres Gran Sangredetoro Reserva

1st Aug 1999 Spain Table Red

Even brick red, some paling at rim. Spicy and alcoholic nose with raisined, hot climate fruit and meaty, vegetal, old oak notes - attractive and developed. Full bodied with soft, baked berry fruit, pepper and almond oak, soft acids and firm, slightly dusty tannins. Good finish. Mature and enjoyable but should last another 5 or so years. Very good

5. 1995 Musar Hochar

1st Aug 1999 GBP7 Lebanon Table Red

Much paler with marked fading at rim. Strange, volatile nose of roses and dung with old oak - reminiscent of grenache. Medium to full bodied with developed, stewed, spicy flavours of strawberries and oak with a perfumed, flowery lift. Well integrated acids and ripe tannins. Decent finish. Complex, unusual, slightly dirty - lovely and drinking now.

6. 1996 Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato VDT

1st Aug 1999 GBP6 Italy Table Red

Even red, some paling. Tight, sharp, sweaty nose - not giving much away. Medium bodied with almonds, dank oak, some raisined berry fruit, crisp acids, firm tannins and a long, dry finish. Well balanced but too young - needs 3 to 4 years. Good

7. 1996 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon

1st Aug 1999 GBP11 Chile Table Red

Deep, even red. Leafy, cassis nose with some hot alcohol and underlying old oak. Full bodied with intense, inky cassis and oak flavours, soft old oak, a touch of green leaf, ripe tannins and a good finish. Excellent now.

8. Marietta Old Vine Lot 21 Red

1st Aug 1999 GBP8 USA Table Red

Deep purple/red, paling to rim, viscous. Spicy nose of baked brambles and raisins, some stalky, tobacco notes. Light to medium bodied with juicy, sweet berry fruit, tobacco and new oak. Spicy and fresh with a lovely, long, rounded finish. Soft and approachable with plenty of depth, this is drinking superbly now. Very good.

9. 1996 Skouras Megas Oenos

1st Aug 1999 GBP9 Greece Table Red

Deep red, fading to rim, very viscous. Dense plum and berry fruit on the nose with some mint, wood smoke and earth - very attractive with lots of alcohol. Full bodied with inky, spicy plum fruit, firm tannins, some acidity and lots of alcohol. Slightly dull and hollow thanks to a large dose of sulphur - good now but breathe it well!

10. 1993 D'Arenburg Old Vine Shiraz

1st Aug 1999 GBP5 Australia Table Red

Deep, even red. Smoky, peppery nose with aromas of violets, plums and a touch of shit - very Northern Rhone! Full bodied with sweet plum/cassis fruit spiced up with some smoky oak, sharp acids and lots of alcohol on a decent finish. Doesn't really hold together - could this be over the top?

11. Sean Thackrey Pleiades V (Bottled May)

1st Aug 1999 GBP12 USA Table Red

Deep and even in colour. High toned nose with sweet brambles, pepper and a touch of oak - subtle and mature. Full bodied and intense, with cassis and forest fruits, well integrated oak, lively acidity and a long dry finish. Fantastic drinking now, and the best wine so far.

12. 1993 Cape Mentelle Zinfandel

1st Aug 1999 GBP12 Australia Table Red

Opaque purple/red. Dense, intense, lurking nose of brambles, blackcurrants and coffee with lots of alcohol. Full bodied with flavours of chocolate, spice, raspberries, toasted new oak, very firm tannins and rich acidity. Lovely now.

13. 1992 Yarra Yering No 2 Shiraz

1st Aug 1999 GBP15 Australia Table Red

Deep red with some paling. Mushrooms and earth with a touch of dank oak on an open, developed, gorgeous nose. Medium bodied with tangy redcurrants, mushrooms and earth, ripe tannins and rich acids, and a long finish. Needs drinking up, but very good.

14. 1992 Yarra Yering No 1 Cabernet

1st Aug 1999 GBP20 Australia Table Red

Opaque purple/red to red at the rim. Intense, developed nose of cassis, bramble jelly, mint and peppery oak - lots of alcohol. Full bodied with sweet cassis and mint flavours and a tang of ripe gooseberries. Nicely integrated oak, dry firm tannins and a good peppery finish. Fantastic!