Wine Tasting: Mixed Bag (12th Aug 1999)

I presented this selection of fine wines at the University of Glasgow Staff Club.

1. 1990 Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Champagne Rose

12th Aug 1999 GBP38 Champagne Sparkling Rose

Very pale onion-skin with a fine, persistent mousse.
Soft biscuit/yeasty nose with a hint of char.
Medium bodied with juicy citrus zest. Lovely straw and biscuit flavours. Long finish.
Still young with plenty of room for development but very impressive now.

2. 1998 Gagliardo Favorita

12th Aug 1999 GBP9 Piedmont Table White

V. pale gold with a green tinge, bright.
Leafy, fresh nose with some fruit, perfume… could easily be Sauvignon.
Fairly full-bodied and forward, with sweet herb/citrus flavours and juicy fruit acidity. Long, warm finish. Dry.
This is one of the best vintages of this wine I've tasted - a lovely, summery aperitivo.

3. 1997 Heggies Viognier

12th Aug 1999 GBP13 Australia Table White

Greenish gold (deeper than the Favorita), bright, viscous.
Aromatic lychees and oil nose with mineral notes.
Rich, with a bursting mouthful of tangy, dry orange and mineral oil flavours. Good orangy acidity and fat alcohol.
A long, distinctive Viognier, riper and more aggressive than Alsace, but good.

4. 1997 Puligny Montrachet, Ch de Meursault Perrieres

12th Aug 1999 GBP18 Burgundy Table White

Bright yellow/gold with a hint of green.
Classic buttery, toasty Chardonnay - deep but restrained on the nose with a touch of oak.
Dry, medium to full-bodied with tart acidity, lemon and butter flavours and a dash of integrated oak. Reasonable finish.
Good now, but a bit austere… give it another two to four years.

5. 1991 Cosme Palacio Rioja Crianza

12th Aug 1999 GBP10 Rioja Table Red

Deep brown/red paling to pink/red.
Rich earth and blood nose with slightly oxidised, sweet plum and iron flavours.
Full bodied with forward currant flavours, earth, some old oak. Plenty of juicy acidity, good depth, decent tobacco and fruit finish.
Very nicely balanced and fully mature. Outstanding now and over the next two to three years with a roast.

6. 1997 Glen Carlou Grand Classique Reserve

12th Aug 1999 GBP9 South Africa Table Red

Opaque purple/red at the core, gradually fading to a deep pink.
Spicy oak, black chocolate, crisp berries with a touch of green leaf on the nose.
Full-bodied with intense flavours of cassis, tobacco and charred French oak. Some pepper and chalk coming through on the finish. Fine tannins.
Well balanced and enjoyable now - should develop well though.

7. 1995 Lazaridi Amethystos Cava

12th Aug 1999 GBP15 Greece Table Red

Opaque purple/red to purple/pink.
Plums and spicy oak on the nose with some mushrooms and violets - big, ripe and alcoholic.
Full-bodied with sweet mint, violet and cassis flavours, thick underlying tannins and juicy lime acidity. Quite clean and dry on the finish.
Lovely now, but monolithic. Very good now and in the next 6/7 years?

9. 1996 Leoville Poyferre Saint Julien

12th Aug 1999 GBP29 Bordeaux Table Red

Dense, opaque purple with very slight paling at rim.
Deep and dumb with mint, cassis and some leaf - immense.
Full-bodied with rich bramble and cassis, high acidity, ripe but firm tannins and lovely length with some oak showing through.
Still very simple and undeveloped, but astonishingly attractive already.

9. 1997 Thomas-Moillard Vosne-Romanee Malconsorts

12th Aug 1999 GBP30 Burgundy Table Red

Deep tawny red with a pinkish rim.
Quite closed and still far too young with redcurrants, black cherries and a hint of stalky oak.
Medium to full-bodied with crisp, hard plum fruit, mushrooms, oak and lots of acidity.
All the components necessary to be a fine wine but still far too young - needs another 4 to 10 years for starters.

10. 1978 Glorioso Rioja Gran Reserva

12th Aug 1999 GBP18 Rioja Table Red

Lovely, even mahogany red fading to brown - mature.
Open, developed aromas of earth and berries with nicely integrated hints of oak and creamy coffee - a fragrant, alcoholic nose.
Medium-bodied but intense, with very sweet, juicy berries, a soft, filmy texture and a long, perfumed, ethereal finish.
This is glorious, concentrated but delicate stuff. Wow.Wow.Wow!

11. 1995 Quinta do Crasto Vintage Port

12th Aug 1999 GBP40 Port Fortified Red

Opaque black/purple with very slight pinking at rim.
Alcoholic, flaming Christmas pudding and plum nose, with spice and brandy - still very young.
Very full bodied and intense with very sweet, highly alcoholic flavours of plum and violet, with nicely integrated oak (wood smoke), raw cocoa, good acidity and completely submerged tannins.
Approachable and enjoyable now, but should keep developing over 5 to 10 years. Good!