Vintage Club Newsletter. Spring/Summer 1999Dear Vcers
I do apologise for the tardiness of these newsletters which we have combined
into one double issue (now split-R). Our son has become a black hole that seems to devour any
moment of time or energy that might otherwise be put to good use (such as typing
up VC notes). However, we are trying my best so do bear with us.
Well since I last wrote we have had two excellent Vintage Club tastings. The
first was a weekend away in a cottage in Brayford on the edge of Exmoor and the
second our annual tasting in Bath. Many thanks to everyone who came to these
tastings and I hope you enjoyed them. To those who didn't (didn't come not
didn't enjoy it!) I hope reading these notes will make you regret what you
missed and will encourage you to come along to the next ; speaking of which
although the venue has not been finalised the next tasting will be on October
9th so mark it in your diaries now!
We are still planning a Millenium trip to Champagne on the first Bank Holiday
in May. This will be based on renting a cottage/ Gite for 3-4 nights in the
Champagne region, a special Millenium tasting and a trip to a Champagne House.
Actual details will be sent out very soon and I will need commitments and
deposits from those interested. It would be lovely to get some of the older
members together again for this special occasion so do try and make it if you
So without further waffle, the tastings.which Ed has very kindly translated
DEVON TASTING. April 1999. Tasting Notes Complied by Ed from Chris's
The theme was.......FIRST NAMES (no producers names allowed!)
The tasting began around the kitchen table of the massive farmhouse kitchen
we later moved outside to enjoy the lovely spring sunshine
Well that's all folks, I promise I'll write again soon.
- Chris and Ed
- this wine was brought to toast new vc member -James Kay
Rich buttery Toasty with grapefruit on finish. Bill "Blanc de Blanc" Ed
contradicts with "Pinot based". There was some confusion if this wine was new
or old world .A vote produced a 50/50 split on whether it was an Aussie
sparkler (what an insult!) or Champagne. There were a few surprised faces when
it was unwrapped. Time to get the noses and taste buds into gear!
Pierre Gimmonet 1992 Vintage Champagne from Oddbins £ 17.00; theme
- Mark - not themed, tut tut
- Dolly mixtures, pear drops, ethyl acetate, banana chews, orange blossom,
peachy ( a suggestion it might be Voignier) - slightly flabby palate.
Described as rather similar to Randal Grahm's "Bloody good white" (Oddbins)
but the bottle was the wrong shape. Bill sticks his neck out (didn't know he
had one!) and says its South African Sauvignon/Semillon-Wrong! We should have
stuck with our initial impressions-Voignier
Picajuan Peak NV Argentina Voignier from Tesco £ 4-99.
- Mark-not themed, tut tut again
- Everyone is yawning - Ed throws water everywhere (he's worse than the
baby). Hang on we haven't got started yet there is another 13 wines to go!
After plunging our noses into our glasses there is a chorus of "mind the
oak". A very toasty little number -is it French or American Oak? There are
suggestions the barrels could be made from alternating staves of American and
French Oak. Rambutan Rampercash (English cricketer) Whats his name doing in
the middle of these tasting notes! Well back to the wine - Aussie Chardonnay
from Coonawara - was that Steve's suggestion? "Can you be more specific?" The
third row down the vineyard on the left hand side. No sorry a little too
specific it was American
Jekel Gravelstone Chardonnay Monterey Countey California 1996 £ 6-99 from
- Steve "Louis"
- Looks oily and oaky with a very rich nose. No hold on it looks like a
Riesling as it is poured. Stokes - the old unit of Centiporses-P factor
converts between the two (Slugs and Porpoises.!) Strong lemon and lime curd
flavours with good acidity. Ed puts his head on the line suggesting Hunter
valley Semillon - "but where are the damp sheep!" says Mark. Is Verdelho a red
herring? Well it was an Aussie semillon after all
Hencheke "Louis" Eden Valley Semillon 1996 Australia £ 9.00 from Waitrose
- Mark - not themed, tut tut tut tut
- What has Steve got in his pockets?. Guy is prodding his dish (not
Philippa! [oi, just read that, G]) To the wine...Orange/brown at the rim-shows
some age. Quite leggy with vegetal nose Feels as if could do with warming up a
bit - this is causing confusion. Ed thinks its pinot then changes his mind as
grassy green unripe tannins start to show through. fruit seems to have
disappeared- leaving a sappy stalkiness. Summing up looks old tastes green.
Merlot based claret or Cab Franc from Loire? Hmm - expected a lot more
ripeness in the fruit from a 1990 claret!
Dom. Baron Phillipe Rothchild Reserve Speciale 1990 - a Present
- Gareth - "Monty"
- Pongy, plummy rich and earthy with a nice nose." Smells like earl grey
tea"-Quentin" "Pommerol"- exclaims Mark vivaciously. Sorry but it was one of
those uncharacteristic Riojas- we had no chance of getting it...
Montechilla Gran Reserve "Vina Monty" Rioja 1989 - from Oddbins £ 9.99
- Jaqui " Jaques" - the first person attempting to match their own
- Nice smelling wine says Guy. "Something characteristic" -Mark Crimson
colour a nose of cherries suggests maybe Italian. "freshly washed duvets-spicy
duvets even" says someone. Ed is perplexed by the new wine making- is it a
Californian Sangiovese? No sorry - good old Beaujolais
Moulin a Vent Chateau des Jaques Beaujolais Jadot 1997 - from Waitrose £
- George and Caroline "George" the second person attempting to match
their own name!
- Silly Billy says "Who thinks this is Spanish "- we all think its Burgundy.
The vegetal strawberry jam nose could be what is leading us in this direction.
Comments like butchers shop-a vegetarian butchers shop?? and chocolate orange
(Mark) don't throw us off the sent - this wine was easily identified
Nuit St. Georges Premier Cru ?Producer 1994 from Majestic £ 20-00
- Silly Billy " Joseph"
- "Horsey"-Mark exclaims. Don't give the glass to James he'll drink it
all"-Chris. and then goes onto say its smell like another pinot. We all take
note (Chris can sniff out a Pinot at 50 yards). But hold on this wine is
purple with deep peppery undertones.
Several minutes later.... we have now adjourned to sit outside and bask in
Back to the wine. "Maybe some Grenache in here"-Ed (but he's not
convinced). "Sausages" says Bill Is he planning a Barbecue or something? Steve
thinks it Cru Beaujolais. Were getting close now - northern Rhone or southern
French- silly us its a Billy wine!
St Joseph Rhone 1996 Dom. Coursodon
- Chris and Ed " Barbara"
- "Pwow " says Bill which is another way of saying pepper, liquorice,
braised fennel on a bed of barbecue bananas-is it Beaujolais. Mark thinks
Zinfandel or maybe a new age Super Tuscan-no its a new age super Piemonte
Countacc! Barbera Michele Chiarlo Piemonte 1996 Italy- £ 17-00 from Oddbins
- Steve - not themed, tut
- Old armchairs sweaty saddles or was that armpit? Intense and old but very
fruity for its apparent age. Some people think Steve =Australia so there is
disagreement whether this wine is from Oz or France. "Its too silky for
claret" but I'm afraid it was claret and very nice too!
Chateau Pope Clemant 1988 £ 28-00 from Willabys Oldham
- Quentin - not themed, tut
- Prickly sherberty Italian wine - with a dab of toffee apples. Ed proclaims
"I am convinced that the Goodyear G800 Supersteel will make a great
contribution to road safety". Oops sorry "Im convinced this is an Reciotto
Amarone" -but alas he was wrong it was a more humble wine, but one of the
favourites of the tasting
Squinzano NV Italy a mere £ 2-99 from Sainsbury's
- Quentin and Jacqui - not themed, tut tut
- The furrowed brows of the tasters made it was clear that this was a
....serious wine. "Claret" -suggests Quentin. But on the palate it proved to
show off a lot of sweet ripe fruit. This led to the France/Spain vote as to
this wine's origins. Those who voted France were right-yet another tasty
Chateau Desmiral 1994 Margaux
- Guy and Philippa - not themed, multiple tut
- Well onto wine number 14 - the alcohol has taken some effect. Jaqui is
wearing James's hat and looks as though she is straight off a Parisian
This wine is sort of marmalade and a bit Sauterney-. It hits the mark!
Fantastic, spot on -we are running out of superlatives. The general feeling it
might be a Sauterne from not such a nobly rotten year, but its not - it from
that other, often forgotten region of France the Coteaux de Layon. Yum,yum
Dom Sauveray "Cuvee Nectar" Coteaux de Layon St Lambert du Luttay 1995 £
18-99 from Oddbins
- Mark - not themed
- Prune juice - thick and viscous with long legs-Is this Pedro Ximenez/ No
its from Malaga
Malaga Cruz Vin Veijo Malaga NV £ 2-00 from a French hyper market.
Chris and Ed email@example.com