Wine Tasting: Christmas Tasting (8th Dec 1997)

A fine wine tasting in Glasgow. I presented the wines blind.

1. 1996 Geoff Weaver Riesling

8th Dec 1997 GBP8 Australia Table White

Very pale & bright.
Appealing nose of lush, oily, tropical fruits and minerals.
Full flavoured, rich fruit on the palate with slightly overwhelming acidity. Clean and dry on the finish but lacking balance at the moment.
Needs a few years to develop

2. 1996 Vavasour Reserve Sauvignon

8th Dec 1997 GBP13 Marlborough Table White

Pale, bright & even.
A rounded, alcoholic nose of asparagus, green leaves and gooseberries.
Full, forward, rounded flavours of gooseberries and oak and a long, creamy finish.
A well balanced, softly textured, outstanding wine

3. 1995 Talley Chardonnay

8th Dec 1997 GBP15 USA Table White

Bright, lively gold.
Hot climate, alcoholic aromas of butter and oak.
Rich, oily texture, full bodied with sweet, spicy tropical fruit, good acidity and plenty of oak wrapped up in alcohol.
Long on the finish and balanced - a big chewy Chardonnay for drinking now

4. 1996 Fuisse Pouilly Fuisse Vieilles Vignes

8th Dec 1997 GBP17 Burgundy Table White

Bright, pale straw.
A much more restrained nose with attractive, lively, butter/pineapple aromas.
A dry, fairly lean wine with good ripe fruit and hints of tobacco, almonds and apple stalks. Citrussy acidity and good levels of alcohol lend balance.
Leaner than the Talley, but I think it would show better with food.

5. 1995 Oberto Barbera Giada

8th Dec 1997 GBP14 Piedmont Table Red

Deep red with a surprisingly tawny rim.
A forward, complex nose of brambles, tar and spicy oak which though attractive suggests a fairly light wine.
Forward, medium bodied red with strong flavours of black fruits, almonds, tar and old oak. Quite high acidity - definitely a food wine.
A well balanced, distinctive Piedmontese wine.

6. 1995 Bertagna Vougeot Clos Perriere

8th Dec 1997 GBP22 Burgundy Table Red

Bright, fairly deep ruby fading to pink.
Quite clean, piercing, juicy strawberries on the nose - simple but very attractive.
Full bodied with juicy, sweet, perfumed fruit tempered with traces of oak and barnyard. Long on the finish. Very drinkable now, this should develop into a real star over the next 3 to 5 years

7. 1993 Volpaia, Castello di Coltassala

8th Dec 1997 GBP15 Tuscany Table Red

A Sangioveto/Mammalo blend from this highly regarded Chianti producer.
Deep, even, tawny red, paling to pink at the rim.
Juicy, jammy, rich fruits, tar and leather on the nose - a trace of volatility places this firmly in the old world.
Medium to full bodied with complex, gamey flavours of wild berries and soapy leather (oops! Jilly Goolden MK2) with good, bracing acidity and plenty of oak on the long finish.
Showing very well now, but should develop for another 2 to 4 years

8. 1989 Leoville Barton Bordeaux

8th Dec 1997 GBP35 Bordeaux Table Red

Dark, opaque ruby/red fading gradually to a teak coloured rim.
Rich and complex on the nose with great depth and aromas of spice, vegetal cassis and old oak.
Fully flavoured, medium to full bodied. An elegant but power-packed wine with flavours of tobacco, cedar, coffee, spicy old oak and undertones of mushrooms, a velvety texture, superb concentration and a long, balanced finish.
Starting to drink well but will quite happily last another 10 or more years

9. 1994 Jim Barry Armagh Shiraz

8th Dec 1997 GBP30 Australia Table Red

Deep, black/purple.
Thick brooding nose of alcoholic, concentrated mulberry jam and vanilla.
A thick, chewy, full bodied red showing richly oaked flavours of mulberries, mint and spices, well balanced alcohol and acidity and a long coffee/chocolate finish.
Still very young but so good it's going to be hard to let any mature!

10. 1992 Passadouro Vintage Port

8th Dec 1997 GBP20 Port Fortified Red

Opaque, black/purple with a slightly tawny rim.
Spicy, alcoholic black fruits with a trace of racy volatility.
Very full bodied, Alcoholic black fruits, cough medicine, plenty of acidity and good tannins. A baby - still very simple, but well rounded and breathtakingly intense.
Drink it now or leave it to grow up for a decade