Vintage Club News February 1995


Katie and I have survived the Invasion of Wimbledon, we somehow managed to shoehorn 26 odd people into our house in what must be the biggest VC tasting outside of Bath. So here is a quick synopsis of the wines tasted.

1) Karen Roberts+ Sarah- a wine of "mighty morphin' gooseberries" apparently, a rich flinty Sauvignon, slightly oaked with lots of floral scents with lemons, most people guessed at high quality Loire in a ripe year, a few plumped for NZ.

France Pouilly-Fume 1992, Buisson Menard. Threshers 1(I don't think this is right somehow)

(this was voted the best white wine)

2) Ken Figueredo- a mysterious wine smelling of cherry, bananas and sesame with a taste of Chinese caramelled bananas, most guesses were for Portugal or Spain, Mike Brown thought that he "could be seduced by an Alsatian" nobody was quite sure if he was talking about the wine or his taste in dogs.

Swiss Fondant de Sion, Chasselas, 1993 Les Murettes

3) Alan Blackwell- rich buttery vanilla with lots of lemony fruit with an appley finish. Lots of guesses all wrong a few got Riesling but not a NZ example.

Nelson Riesling, 1992, Siefried Est. ~8 from N

4) Alison Drasdo- odours of lychee, violets but sweetness, an oily rich taste which was mostly spicy oak. Guesses from all around the world, the most bizarre of which was Chilean Pinot Blanc.

Alsace Auxerrois, 1990, Dom. Martin Schaetzel

5) Graham Heath + Sue- appley, petrol and diesel nose had everyone identifying Riesling, the taste was rich apples with a spicy sherbety finish. Most guesses were for Germany or Alsace.

Australia Mount Barker (Western Aust) Riesling 1991 Goundry. 6 Indep.

6) Mike Duggan- Powerful floral nose, a soft fruity but quite sweet palate with a slight liquorice finish. The best guess was Alsace Muscat.

Alsace, Klevner, 1992 Cuvee particulaire Klipfel.

7) Mike and Clare Brown- a floral but closed nose, no real identifiable fruit suggested Pinot Gris, had a pleasant oak/smoke finish.

Alsace Pinot Gris 1992 Cave Vinicole de Turkheim 5.90 Wine Rack

8) Mike and Clare Brown- a buttery peppery nose, but the taste was watery sherbet with a slight peppery finish. Someone mentioned English wine but failed to elaborate.

English Chardonnay 1992 Denbies

9) Karen Roberts and Sarah- gooseberries and asparagus was immediately seized on as NZ with a grassy, gooseberry sweet fruit with balancing acidity.

N.Z. Marlborough Sauvignon blanc, 1993, Wairu River. 8.99 Thresher

10) Tim Pope- real intense white pepper nose, dry clean fruity taste with a white pepper taste at the finish. White Rhone was the consensus and so it was.

Vin de pays Voignier 1992, des Collines Rhodanierres. Wine Rack

11) Katie Ruffle- gamey, black cherry and raspberry nose, a peppery black cherry and raspberry. Too young burgundy was generally aggreed upon.

Burgundy Santaney premier cru, Cote d'Or Pinot Noir, 1993, Les Gravieres. 8 French Airport.

12) Steve Gibbon- rich oaky, minty, black cherry nose tasting of black cherry yoghurt, spicey American oak, everyone liked it! and said it was the best wine Steve had ever brought! Voted the best red.

Washington State, Columbia Valley, Merlot 1992 L'ecole no 41. 10.99 Oddbins

13) Niel Markwick and Sarah- a pleasant caramel and vanilla nose followed by a blackcurrent and green pepper taste. Most guesses were for claret and they were not far from the mark.

France, Corbieres N.V. Co-Op Mont Tauch 5 Indep

14) Helen Arnold- black cherry and oaky nose which promised to be a bit tough on the tannin but was in fact well balanced and fruity.

France Collioure Grenache 1990 Les Clos de Daulilles 6.99 Oddbin

15) Katie Gould and Tim Pope- dry leathery vegetal smells preceded an oaky vegetal sweetish fruit palate. People thought it was Rioja although attention spans were getting a little short by this time.

Spain Navarra Reserva, Tempranillo 1990 Chivite

16) Niel Markwick- the bouquet was described as plums smeared with bovril! the taste was a complex mix of soft fruits with peppery finish. This was very popular although guesses varied from 89 Clarets to Super Tuscan (in fact Mike Brown guessed that every wine from now until the end was a super T).

Australia Mudgee Shiraz 1987 Montrose Special Res.

17) Catherine Shafto- this too had a plummy, smokey nose although less opulent than the last with a more refined and less sweet taste, the finish was like fresh green peppers and crushed peppercorns.

France, St. Joseph Syrah 1990 Cave St Desirat 7.99 Waitrose

18) Graham Heath- This old looking wine smelled off raisins and other sun dried fruits and tasted of raisins pepper and liquorice. Some who were still conscious said Barolo! and they were right.

Italy Piedmont Barolo Nebiolo 1987 Monfalletto 15 Indep

19) Andy Howard- this was really thick in colour "a red hole in a glass", the flavours detected were bags of cherries and spices but a good balance of acidity and tannin. No-one thought it new world. Those who guessed Rhone were again correct.

France St. Joseph Syrah 1990 La Grand Pompee- Jaboulet 7.50 Sainsburys

20) Ed Kay- this was really orangey with a marmalade nose, but a dry peppery taste and a cherry/plums fruity finish. Everyone had now got the hang of guessing Rhone!

France Chateauneuf du Pape Syrah/Grenache et al 1992 Dom de Font Michelle

21) Davie Macallan- again back to raisins and pepper with a dry, quite acidic green tannin and liquorice taste . Most peoples memory had gone by now so very few said another Barolo.

Italy Piedmont Barolo Nebiolo 1987 Bricco Fiasco Azelia 6.50 Tesco

22) George Wickham- this was rich, complex with a sort of rotten silage whiff full of rich, plummy/blackcurrent fruit. Again popular which was unfortunate because a patch of carpet behind our sofa enjoyed half of it! (It all came out by the way!) "Claret" we said and claret it was.

France Haut-Medoc 5eme Cru 1986 Ch. Cantemerle 20 from France

23) Chris Edmead- nectar! concentrated sweet honey and grapefruit nose, zesty grapefruit acidity to balance the honey-like sweetness. Everyone thought it was delicious, even with no competition it was the best sweet white! and nobody could believe what it was!

England, Late picked Muller-Turgau 1992 Pilton Manor 9 per 1/2 bottle

That was it! After a rushed emptying of the bottles we trooped off to the Ahmed tandoori for some delicious hand prepared Indian food. During dinner most people could hardly keep their eyes open so most folks disappeared home after the food leaving me, Katie, Ed and Chris to walk home and face the mountain of washing up.

The next tasting organised is the Bath AGM in June, the date has yet to be finalized however it has been decided that people will have to get themselves somewhat organised into small groups (2 to 4) and bring along 2 bottles of their chosen wine! The reason for this is logistical, particularly at Bath it is getting very difficult getting one bottle to go around! so we thought it would be more enjoyable/responsible/easier to have half as many wines but twice as much of each and this of course will allow a longer social finishing up session at the end. Another spin-off of this will be your chance of getting some of your favourite at the end instead of unholy scramble for the "stars", not that any of us behave like that anyway!

At Bath we will be electing a secretary (I'm retiring after 2 years) and a treasurer so if you want to know what the job entails or you fancy it phone myself or Anne Wellings (the current treasurer) and we will tell you what goes on.

If anyone wishes to organize a tasting between now and June let me know ASAP there is still time, if you fancy having your wino friends around and each bringing an example of your favourite kind of wine (because you choose the theme, of course you may not get many visitors if you pick '61 first growths!) now is your chance.

I hope you have all enjoyed my ramblings for the last two years, I expect this will be the last full VC newsletter I shall send out. So wherever you are raise your glass to the fact you won't have to read another one again in a hurry!

Cheers and happy slurrping!