HER BOOKS ON AMAZON
  • Wine and Climate Change: Winemaking in a New World
    Wine and Climate Change: Winemaking in a New World
    by L. J. Johnson-Bell
  • Pairing Wine and Food: A Handbook for All Cuisines
    Pairing Wine and Food: A Handbook for All Cuisines
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
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    Home Cellar Guide Hb
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
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    Quel vin pour quel plat ?
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
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    Great Wine Tours of the World
    Barnes and Noble Books
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    The Wine Collector's Handbook
    by Linda Johnson
  • De juiste wijn bij het juiste gerecht
    De juiste wijn bij het juiste gerecht
    by Johnson-Bell Linda

  • Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match
    Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match
    by LINDA JOHNSON-BELL

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TASTING NOTES: Diary of a Wine Critic


Friday
Feb222013

RIDGEVIEW ESTATE, SUSSEX

When we arrived at Ridgeview, they had been up all night on “frost watch”, lighting fires, or bougies, in the vineyards. So effective is this ancient method of frost prevention, that as soon as all of the bougies are lit, they have to go around and put them out! By doing this, they can get the temperatures up by 2-4 degrees quite quickly and this is all they need. Ridgeview have their own weather reporter. The later in May there are frost alerts, the worse, because after then, any bad frosts means that it is very unlikely to have more bud bursts.

Mike Roberts, the charismatic and strongly-opinioned owner, along with his wife, Chris, takes a “bare earth” philosophy to wine-making: irrigation is cheating … compacted ground is a good protection from frost … grass is a natural radiator. He takes the European view that winemakers should not overly intervene or manipulate the wines - except when in bad years when they have to intervene and rescue it. He says that he is slightly skeptical of “terroir”, yet insists that aspect is crucial – cannot “fix” that. As with everything; location, location, location.

This is not a maritime climate, he explains. It is not wet and horrible and damp here. It is semi-Continental, and with its cool nights, resembles that of the Champagne region. It is difficult to change this preconceived and inaccurate image people have of Sussex, and England in general. Ridgeview is sheltered by the Sussex Downs and slopes southwards towards them. Yes, there is mildew and disease problems, but the high hills help keep things dry. The soils are limestone ridge and sandstone at four and five meters, and chalk, providing great acidity and backbone to these award-wining wines. Ridgeview only grows the Champagne grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and only produces sparkling wines. The delight is the fact that each one of these wines is distinct, personable and vastly enjoyable. Equally delightful, as well as intriguing, is the fact that they prefer to keep their technical details an industry secret, even to journalists … which makes me want to know which wine-making practices go on behind those doors that are so vastly unique that they need to be guarded!

Mike Roberts, Ridgeview Estate

2009 GROSVENOR Blanc de blancs

100% Chardonnay. Nose is lovely… clean, elegant, honeyed. On the palate we meet a well-structured and lively body with tropical fruit, notes of toasted almonds and a touch of sweetness but not too much.  The finish is short but clean, no bitterness. 

2009 KNIGHTSBRIDGE Blanc de Noirs
Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This is really nice: toasty nose, full palate, light and lively body with fruity flavours as opposed to savoury and a solid, persistent finish.


2009 CAVENDISH 
Predominantly Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier with some Chardonnay. Really refreshing and seductively appealing: You want to go back to it again and again.

2009 FITZROVIA Rosé

Their rose, which is uniquely, Chardonnay dominant, makes for a fresh and elegant wine. Nice nose, nice palate... bubbles are creamy.


2009 RIDGEVIEW VICTORIA rosé 
This was my least favourite wine. For me, it lacked interest and extracts/weight. But I still enjoyed it!


2009 PIMLICO
Sparkling red made from Pinots – it changes every year. I love this. It has so much personality and vivacity. The oak works, the fruit works … it is tightly structured, balanced and restrained, but very perfumed with hints of peppery spices.

 

Ridgeview Estate Winery

Fragbarrow Lane

Ditching Common

Sussex BN68TP

Tel: 0845 345 7292

www.ridgeview.co.uk

 

Friday
Feb222013

BOLNEY WINE ESTATE, SUSSEX

 


I visited this winery in May of 2012 with my colleagues from the British Circle of Wine Writers. We were met and guided by Samantha Linter (owner and winemaker) and Stuart Barford (Sales). They were in the middle of building a new café and visiting/tasting centre which I now know to be completed. This is a modest, family-run operation that has a great mind-set. They are doing everything right: tours, tastings, tea room, café, gift shop, events and more.

Bolney is a 40-acre estate near Cowfold, Sussex. It is 150m above sea level with south-facing, sandstone slopes and surrounded by ancient woodland. The estate is located on a hill that was part of the Butting Hill One Hundred, listed in the Doomsday Book and they have two special parcels called Foxhole Vineyards that are reserved for Pinot Noir, Bacchus and Pinot Grigio – these are the varieties they are focusing on for their high-end wines. And this makes sense: they are not situated on the chalky Kimmeridgian Ridge that stretches from Burgundy, through Champagne and to the Downs. They are situated on another ridge, composed primarily of sandstone, the main soil type in Kitterlé, Alsace, home to steely Rieslings, fragrant Pinot Noirs and crisp Pinot Gris -  so the potential is there, if the climate cooperates …

Bolney began in 1972 as Bookers Vineyards with 3 acres. Today it has 39 acres and grows 11 grape varieties, specialising in red wines – which is forward-thinking … Sam points out that if climate change moves or halts the Gulf Stream, then the English wine trade is finished. But if not, then the future will feature reds. I agree completely – she’s getting ahead of the curve.

They produce 4 still and 4 sparkling wines with both traditional and non-traditional grapes. Below are the wines they showed us that day – and I shall be returning to fill up the boot.

2011 Lychgate White

Reichensteiner, Schönburger and Wurzer grapes. The nose is yeasty and clean with a crisp, refreshing palate that takes you for a stroll in a fragrant English orchard …. all apples and pears with a touch of the tropical lychee. And it is only 11%, which is what it should be – wines of 13,5˚ and more, don’t taste of anything. It’s the New World climates that have forced the trend for baked wines upon us.

2011 Pinot Grigio

Clean, crisp, appealingly tart – a slight lack of body/texture, but a refreshing and original “English” version of this variety.

2010 Bolney rose

50/50 Rondo and Dornfelder. A lovely savoury nose followed by a palate of stewed rhubarb. Rondo was introduced to England in 1983 and is a very early ripening variety with skins that can be a bit odd-tasting, which is why it is preferred to be used in rosés than reds (less skin contact on the jus) and in blends.

2011 Bolney rosé

A year younger …and still too young. A nose of redcurrants, but it was overall lacking structure and extracts. Would like to go back to this and taste it again in a few months.

2009 Lychgate red

80% Rondo and 20% Dornfelder. This has a lovely fresh, stony and herby nose. 12.5% - refreshing and pleasant to drink. Yields are 2.5-3 tons to the acre and the planting density is really low (as opposed to the higher the better). The plants are really spread out because of the humidity – this protects vines from disease. But it will also encourage the roots to remain on the surface and not be forced to dig down into the soil, where the nutrients and varietal character are found.

2011 Pinot Noir

Aged in ¾ French and ¼ American oak. 13% alcohol.  Served a bit too cold so was not showing at its best that day: a bit diluted and unfocused. More of a light Alsatian version of Pinot Noir and I’d expect a more Alto Adige weight.

2007 Blanc de Blancs

100% Chardonnay. Nicely made – original varietal expression. Crisp, clean and biscuity. Very enjoyable.

2008 Cuvée rosé

100% Pinot Noir. 18 months sur lees. Nice nose and refreshing, clean body with tight structure and lively bubbles. Great.

2009 Cuvee Noir

100% Dornfelder. Nicely perfumed … strawberries. Pleasing texture. Well-made.

2009 Bolney Bubbly

Muller-Thurgau and Chardonnay blend. The nose is really nicely crisp and dances you straight into a complex and textured body, finishing off with a clean, solid finish.

 

Café open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 8-4pm

Call or visit web-site to book tastings or a tour.

Foxhole Lane, BOlney, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 5NB, 01444 881 575

 

www.bolneywineesate.co.uk

 

 

Monday
Feb112013

Tasting in Meursault (rouges) March 1994

1991 Premier Cru Genévriers, Patriarche – good, évolue, fruity and fresh

 

1991 Premier Cru Genévrières, Charles Jobard – pleasant but lacking structure

 

1992 Charmes, Pierre Millot – nice

 

1992 Charmes, Philippe Bouzereau – tannins fondus, souple, longue en bouche

 

1991 Perrières, Guy Roulot – lovely,  tannins serrés, fruité

 

1991 Ballot Millot – gras et mœlleux, longue en bouche et finale

 

1991 Perrieres, Chouet Clivet – did not find this well-made

 

1990 Charmes, Michelot **** – great stuff

 

1990 Clos de Mazeray, Jacques Prieur – yes, well-made

 

1990 Coche, Bizouard – no

 

1988 Bouzerau Gruere, Cotes de Beaune – no, all horse manure

 

Friday
Feb082013

Tasting in Pouilly Vinzelles et Pouilly Loche, March 1994

POUILLY VINZELLES

 

1992 Domaine MARTIN

Nail polish, acetone, poorly vinified, really disappointing.

 

1992 Maison BOUCHARD

Nez un peu mieux, bouche est fruité.

 

1992 Domaine PERRATON

Again, very light, not much content, extracts diluted.

 

1992 Domaine VALETTE

Bien fait, honnete, equilibre, un peu diluted.

 

1991 Cave de CHAINTRE

Nez de noissette, vanille, miel, bouche petillant, vif

 

1991 Cave des GRANDS CRUS

Les Quarts – minerale, disagreable

 

1989 Château de VINZELLES, Maison Loren

Vernis d’ongle au nez, bouche est pas mal. Equilibre, fruite, jolie acidity.

 

POUILLY LOCHE

 

1992 Domaine DAILLY

Dominated by grapefruit – whose been adding selected yeasts then ?

 

1991 Cave des GRANDS CRUS Les Mures – non trop intéressant

 

Wednesday
Feb062013

Blind Tasting in Vosne-Romanée - March 1994

MONGEARD MUGNERET

92 Grands Echezeaux

91 Grands Echezeaux

90 Grands Echezeaux * soyeuse, veloute, parfait

90 Richebourg** – a very dark beast indeed.

One of my favourite producers. These wines are majestic, powerful, stunningly well-made and full of personality and charm and depth of character. Seductive and sensual. Perfect expression of this terroir.

 

DOMAINE FRANCOIS GERBET

92 Premier Cru Les Petits Monts*

91 Premier Cru Les Petits Monts

92 Aux Réas villages

92 Echezeaux – perfection ***

Encore, rien à dire. Ces vins sont plus « vifs » et ludiques… moins « sérieux » mais aussi puissant.

 

ROBERT ARNOUX

92 Premier Cru Les Chaumes

91 Premier Cru Les Chaumes – preferred to 91, good oak, mature fruit and a good acid and tannin balance.

91 Les Hautes Maizières villages - ok

92 Echezeaux *** superbe

 

JACQUES et PATRICE CACHEUX

92 Vosne Romanee villages – good for a villages

91 Vosne Romanee

92 Premier Cru Les Suchots* - fleuri, féminin, gras et solide

92 Premier Cru La Croix Rameau - ok

92 Echezeaux*** - fumé, sensuel, mystérieux, séduisant.

 

FRANCOIS CONFURON

91 Premier Cru Les Chaumes – caramel and candied apples. Piquant …

 

RION

92 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

91 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

90 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

89 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

93 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

A really interesting evolution, These are direct, straight-forward wines. Well-made but a bit boring – they do not move me as the others have done.

 

 

MUGNERET-GIBOURG

 

92 Echezeaux** enormous potential

85 Echezeaux **** parfaitement évolué.

 

DOMAINE FOREY

92 Vosne Romanée villages – métallique, médiocre

92 Premier Cru Les Gaudichots

92 Echezeaux** - very powerful, but also very aggressive

91 Vosne Romanée villages – un goût de technique, plastique

 

GERARD MUGNERET

83 Premier Cru Les Suchots

85 Premier Cru Les Suchots

92 Premier Cru Les Suchots

Very well-made with stunning potential. Gorgeous fresh acidity and strong extracts. The 83 is still going strong.

Wednesday
Feb062013

Blind Tasting in Vosne-Romanée - March 1994

MONGEARD MUGNERET

92 Grands Echezeaux

91 Grands Echezeaux

90 Grands Echezeaux * soyeuse, veloute, parfait

90 Richebourg** – a very dark beast indeed.

One of my favourite producers. These wines are majestic, powerful, stunningly well-made and full of personality and charm and depth of character. Seductive and sensual. Perfect expression of this terroir.

 

DOMAINE FRANCOIS GERBET

92 Premier Cru Les Petits Monts*

91 Premier Cru Les Petits Monts

92 Aux Réas villages

92 Echezeaux – perfection ***

Encore, rien à dire. Ces vins sont plus « vifs » et ludiques… moins « sérieux » mais aussi puissant.

 

ROBERT ARNOUX

92 Premier Cru Les Chaumes

91 Premier Cru Les Chaumes – preferred to 91, good oak, mature fruit and a good acid and tannin balance.

91 Les Hautes Maizières villages - ok

92 Echezeaux *** superbe

 

JACQUES et PATRICE CACHEUX

92 Vosne Romanee villages – good for a villages

91 Vosne Romanee

92 Premier Cru Les Suchots* - fleuri, féminin, gras et solide

92 Premier Cru La Croix Rameau - ok

92 Echezeaux*** - fumé, sensuel, mystérieux, séduisant.

 

FRANCOIS CONFURON

91 Premier Cru Les Chaumes – caramel and candied apples. Piquant …

 

RION

92 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

91 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

90 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

89 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

93 Premiers Cru Les Chaumes

A really interesting evolution, These are direct, straight-forward wines. Well-made but a bit boring – they do not move me as the others have done.

 

 

MUGNERET-GIBOURG

 

92 Echezeaux** enormous potential

85 Echezeaux **** parfaitement évolué.

 

DOMAINE FOREY

92 Vosne Romanée villages – métallique, médiocre

92 Premier Cru Les Gaudichots

92 Echezeaux** - very powerful, but also very aggressive

91 Vosne Romanée villages – un goût de technique, plastique

 

GERARD MUGNERET

83 Premier Cru Les Suchots

85 Premier Cru Les Suchots

92 Premier Cru Les Suchots

Very well-made with stunning potential. Gorgeous fresh acidity and strong extracts. The 83 is still going strong.

Wednesday
Feb062013

My Top Wines from VINITALY 1996

Luciano Sandrone's 1992 Barolo

Ruffino's 1990 Riserva Ducale

Enoteca's 1995 Bianco di Custoza, Vigna la Rugola

Villa Matilde's 1993 Falerno del Massico

Masi's 1991 Campofiorin

Carpineto's 1990 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Michele Chiarlo's 1993 Rabaja Barbaresco

Wednesday
Feb062013

Vertical Tasting in Chambolle en Musigny, March 1994

GHISLAINE BARTHOD

93 Chambolle Musigny

Delicate and precious. Style not to my taste, but very well-made. Will age well.

93 Premier Cru « Beaux Bruns »

Fresh, fruity nose ... a bit weedy and herbaceaous on the palate with an aftertaste on the retro-olfactif. A petullent, arrogant wine.

 

AMIOT SERVELLE

92 Premier Cru « Amoureuses »

93 Premier Cru « Amoureuses »

91 Premier Cru « Charmes » - woody, elegant

93 Premier Cru « Charmes » - excellent race

An orgy. All are delicious, artfuly structured and full of elegant power. Tannins are done well and the wines are balanced. Enormous potential here.

 

JOSEPH DROUHIN

91 Amoureuses – very closed today, tight, still so young

93 Amoureuses – very special. Lots of body. Confiture de fruits rouges. Coffee. So charming.

 

DOMAINE COMTE DE VOGUE

91 Musigny

85 Musigny

The 91 is the lesser wine, but is tasting better today than the 85 with its better structure and power. Two very different wines. Both delicious.

 

JACQUES-FREDERIC MUGNIER

93 Chambolle – all over the place and unfocused, sloppy. Too sweet, too confectioned. But nothing too terminal, so it may sort itself out.

93 Les Fuées – nose is fresh and clean but tannins biting. Will be fine.

93 Musigny Grand Cru – weird nose, but eventually get to the black pepper and violets. A fat and very concentrated wine. Will do well.

Wednesday
Feb062013

Blind Tasting in Gevrey-Chambertin - March 1994

Blind Tasting in Gevrey-Chambertin for Vintage Magazine.  Recently bottled … tasting for potential.

 

1992 Ruchottes, Marchand

Fruity nez, tannins clean, notes of vanilla. Round, balanced. All there.

 

1992 Mazoyeres, Camus

Nose very closed, as is to be expected. Aromas firm and thin … violet notes perceptible. Very tannic on the palate, flat finish. But on the whole, balanced with potential.

 

1992 Mazi, Harman Geoffroy

Brilliant robe. Open, expansive nose already - fruity, framboise, cassis, tannins well integrating. Good balance showing already. Harmony. Une touche de la sauvage.

 

1992 Latricières, Jean-Louis Trapet

Robe un violet fonce, nez plat, bouche est ferme et métallique. Not showing well today at all. Perhaps too lacking in matière.

 

1992 Griotte, Joseph Drouhin

Huge nose but palate falls short and disappoints. A bit thin. Delicious though. Will peak early.

 

1992 Charmes, Lucot Javelier

Nose too expressive : all cassis and bananas(selected yeasts ?). Tannins nicely integrated et fondus, le bois ne se domine pas trop. Alcool est équilibré. Un exemple typique de l’appellation mais sans enorme distinction.

 

1992 Charmes, Geantet Pansiot

Nez animal, un peu ferme. Structure moins complexe que Javelier. Mais bien fait.

 

1992 Chapelle , Jean & Louis Trapet

Nez de cerises et fruits de bois. Un peu trop sucre et légèrement déséquilibré. Facile a bois déjà …

 

1992 Chambertin Closes de Béze, Faiveley

Belle robe. Belle structure ... charpente avec beaucoup de caractère. A suivre !

 

1992 Chambertin, Les Caves des Hautes – Côtes

Les Chambertins ont soufferts un peu avec cette millésime… au moins aujourd’hui ils sont faibles. Celui-ci est pas mal … les notes animals, un corps avec de la complexité.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Feb052013

Château de Gilly les Cîteaux, vintages 1937 – 1990

Dinner at Château de Gilly les Cîteaux

March 1994 (A sélection of Burgundy vintages 1937 – 1990)


1990 Marsannay Domaine Collotte

Un robe des violets, cerises … un nez de cassis, fruits murs, vanille … intense. Les tannins viennent vite sur la bouche mais tout de suite s’arrondissent. Très bien fait.

 

1985 Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru « Clos des Argilières », Domaine Régis Dubois

Robe aux nuances d’oranges. Un nez d’animal, gibier. Une structure franche avec superbe longueur. Légèrement déséquilibre en alcool.

 

1983 Echezeaux Grand Cru Maison Moillard-Grivot

Robe de noir violet, nez ferme avec une touche de musc et sous-bois, fruits secs, orange. Une bouche de compote de fruits murs. Les tannins explosent. A good 1983.

1978 Vosne Romanée 1er Cru « Les Suchots », Maison Louis Latour

Une robe joli, nez épice de truffle, cuir. Non un typique 1978. Bouche bien vive …jolie acidité. Plein de vie et de joie.

 

1976 Echezeaux Grand Cru, Maison Joseph Drouhin

Just opening and revealing itself – or sputtering its last breath ?  There is a lack of matière. It is all tanins, no aromas, no suppleness.

 

1971 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru Maison Louis Jadot ***

Robe tres intsnse. Nez de cuir, petits fruits rouges, miel, cannelle, chocolat et praline avec une cote confiserie. Bouche fraîche et final longue et harmonieux. Perfect. Heaven.

 

1963 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Maison Moillard-Grivot

Robe bien évolue, nez moins complexe mais bien, bouche décevante, fruits sont disparus, l’alcool domine. It’s dying.

 

1949 Chambolle Musigny Maison Moillard Grivot ****

Fantastique. Parfaiotment evolue. Fruits murs …musc…animal…élégant … du tabac frais, sous-bois. Une longue bouche de griottes. Un vin qui est très sensuel et élégant.

 

1937 Musigny Grand Cru, Domaine Jacques Frederic Mugnier ****

YUM. Incroyable. Chocolat, figues, cocao, du terre humide, foine, summer meadows after a rainstorm, fruits d’été, parfumes de lavande. Tannins encore présents. Parfaitement équilibré. Une joie.

 

Tuesday
Feb052013

La Chablisienne, Tirel-Guerin in St Malo

As I am researching my new book on Climate Change and Wine, I find myself drawn to my old tasting notes from when I fell under the spell of the voluptuous seductiveness, the savoury textures and the animal perfumes of the Burgundies of the ’80 and ‘90s. I cannot help but compare the alcohol levels and trace my notes throughout the decades.

La Chablisienne Lunch at Tirel-Guerin in St Malo

21 February 1994

 

1991 La Chablisienne, Vieilles Vignes

Served with an oyster broth which gave it a slight metallic after-taste. But its attack was fruity and focused. Palate round and balanced. Really nice.

 

 

The wines below were served with Coquilles Saint-Jacques des Cotes d’Armor aux Senteurs Perigourdines (avec truffles et foie gras dans une brique – I still dream of this dish.) :

 

1989 Premier Cru « Beauroy »

Mediocre …metalic, lacking body.

 

1990 Premier Cru « Cote de Lechet »

A joy. Luscious and complex and full of personality. Very well-made.

 

1990 Premier Cru « Fourchaume »

Served too chilled and the robe was a milky cloudy white. It settled and cleared, revealing a luxuriously rich and appealing wine. Fourchaume is my favourite vineyard in Chablis, and this one does not disappoint.

 

The wines below were served with a Pintadeau Fermier Poêle au Shiitake :

 

1990 Premier Cru « Bougros »

Excellent…a white birch tree after a spring raisntorm. Musk. Ondulating and voluptuous.

1990 Premier cru « Blanchot »

A very upfront nose – so much so that there is little to follow on the palate. Slightly metallic and acidic.

1989 Premier Cru « Château Grenouille »

Again, served too chilled and with a cloudy robe, but cleared to a fruity delight. Notes of oranges.

 

1984 Premier Cru « Les Preuses »

Delicious. Best of the day. Served with fromage du Darley en salade aux sésames dorés.

 

Crémant de Bourgogne served with chocolate mi-amer Valrhona.

 

Tuesday
Feb052013

London Wine Trade Fair - 1994

As I am researching my new book on Climate Change and Wine, I am digging out my old tasting notes to track alcohol levels and style changes. But here is a random selection ...

London Wine Trade Fair, Olympia May 1994 - a few found notes

 

1990 Château de Rully, Antonin Rodet, rouge

Dreadful. And normally I love their wines. This is unfocused, a mess.

 

1989 Château de Chamires, Jouennes d’Herville

Not to my taste: a frothy cocktail of pepper and horse manure.

 

1993 Les Vignerons d’Igé à Macon

Le blanc … average acidity and structure. A clean, simple wine, nice.

 

1992 Les Vignerons d’Ige

The same wine as above but vinified en fût. Not bad, but there is not enough fruit to carry the oak. Better without.

 

1993 Les Vignerons d’Ige

Le rouge – but Gamay, not Pinot Noir. Nice robe, fresh and vif. Light but well-made structure.

 

Some New World wines …

 

1991 Stoneleigh Cabernet Sauvignon, New Zealand

Wow. Hate New Zealand wines normally. Hate Cabernet Sauvignon on its own. But love this.

 

1992 Montana Marlborough Cabernet, New Zealand

Restrained, elegant, better than expected. OK.

 

1989 Château St Jean Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma, California

Lovely red fruit, oak programme just right- perfectly balanced, structured and well-made.

 

1990 Palmer Merlot, Long Island, New York

OK. Dry and unyielding. No texture or complexity.

Tuesday
Feb052013

A day at Vinexpo in 1995

As I am researching my new book on Climate Change and Wine, I find myself drawn to my old tasting notes from when I fell under the spell of the voluptuous seductiveness, the savoury textures and the animal perfumes of the Burgundies of the ’80 and ‘90s. I cannot help but compare the alcohol levels and trace my notes throughout the decades.

 

VINEXPO, Bordeaux – June 1995 - a few notes

 

1994 Chevalier de France, Brut Chardonnay, Boisset

Nice nose … fine, tight bubbles and a crisp, clean finish.

 

1994 Merlot, Boisset

Nothing. Sweet, soapy, lacking in structure, fruit and any acidic backbone.

 

1994 Syrah, Boisset

Tastes just like the Merlot ! Indistinguishable. Any varietal character is erased by the alcohol.

 

1994 Cabernet Sauvignon, Boisset

Again, one-dimensional, lacking in any complexity or interest. Un vin facile.

 

1993 Pinot Noir, Charles de France

Straight forward and clean – but nothing else. 

Tuesday
Feb052013

Lunch at Hospices de Beaune

As I am researching my new book on Climate Change and Wine, I find myself drawn to my old tasting notes from when I fell under the spell of the voluptuous seductiveness, the savoury textures and the animal perfumes of the Burgundies of the ’80 and ‘90s. I cannot help but compare the alcohol levels and trace my notes throughout the decades.

Hospices de Beaune  lunch, Palais de Congres

November 17, 1995

 

1992 Meursault-Charmes cuvee de Bahèzre de Lanlay

A little soapy and insipid. Too sweet. Lacking in matte rand structure.

 

1991 Beaune Cuvee Guigone de Salins

Not bad. A little light in structure, but nice notes of spices and pepper.

 

1988 Pommard, cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron

This has a more smooth and rich style than the 1985 – more fluid and élégant. Both are stunning

 

Tuesday
Feb052013

Dinner at Hospices de Beaune, November 1995

As I am researching my new book on Climate Change and Wine, I find myself drawn to my old tasting notes from when I fell under the spell of the voluptuous seductiveness, the savoury textures and the animal perfumes of the Burgundies of the ’80 and ‘90s. I cannot help but compare the alcohol levels and trace my notes throughout the decades.

 

Tasted at Dinner at Hospices de Beaune

November 18, 1995

 

1992 Clos Reyssie, Pouilly-Fuisse

 

1991 1er Cru Les Folatières, Puligny-Montrachet

Like Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Served with Sandre en écailles de pommes de terre.

 

1990 Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot

Selection du BIVB. Bien fait, sec et solide, bien structure. Served with La Salade de Sot-l’y-laisse de volaille au fond d’artichaut.

 

1992 Auxey-Duresses cuvee Boillot, Maison Duvergey-Taboureau à Meursault. Wonderful, spicy and lightly oaked. Well-balanced, fresh and personable.

 

1988 Beaune cuvée Rousseau-Deslandes

Maison Paul Chanson a Beaune. Rapeaux, sec et dur … moins intéressant, déséquilibre. Franchement, je pense que c’est simplement en décline, c’est tout. C’est perdu trop de sa jeunesse.

1989 Pommard cuvée Billardet, Maison Charles Vienot à Nuits-Saint-Georges.

Sublime. Parfait équilibre. Animal, notes de musc et cuir. Si séduisant. Pinot Noir as it should be. Served with les Grenadins de veau aux morilles – perfect marriage.

 

1989 Corton cuvee Docteur Peste, Maison Albert Bichot à Beaune.

Bien fait. Un peux serre. Il a encore du temps pour s’exprimer – il est ferme ce soir. Notes d’epices.

 

1990 Mazis-Chambertin cuvee madelaine Collignon, Maison Antonin Rodet à Mercurey, Parfait. J’adore cette appellation. Une texture soyeux et luxurieux. Thick velvet violet silk ribbons …

 

1985 Pommard cuvée Cyrot Chaudron, Maison Bouchard Père et Fils à Beaune.

Bien structuré, massive matière … un bête. Encore plein de vie et potentiel. 

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