Vintage Club Newsletter. Spring/Summer 1999

Dear Vcers

I do apologise for the tardiness of these newsletters which we have combined into one double issue. 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 can.

So without further waffle, the tastings.which Ed has very kindly translated and typed....

BATH TASTING - June 1999 - Tasting Notes - compiled by Ed

The theme was........Body Parts
Ed & Chris - "Bone"
Phooey, toasty, straw, honeyed -"poo on toast" Aged Riesling, asparagus......Burgundy? Mark " Not a traditional white Burgundy from a red producing area is it" Yep sure is, with a very obvious name to fit the theme

Beaune Clos des Monseneres Dom Pierre Labet 1995 14-95 from Sainsbury's

Mark- no theme
Ed "it smells like a ladies Boudoir" Estery says someone. Steve -"Esters Boudoir " Who is Ester? Conversation digresses to what a ladies boudoir actually smells like - unfortunately there were no ladies present to pass comment! Ouch that hurt! After discussing bathrooms and laundry we are back on the wine -Gewurz? Riesling? Muscat? Well probably all three - it was on of those funny Alsation blends

Alsace Reserve "La Pagone" Turkheim 1997 4-58 from Tesco

Mark-no theme
Another confusing wine from Dr Masento - creamy on palate with undertones of tropical fruit and new oak. Cinnamon, peachy -is it an unoaked Aussie chardy? ( i.e. unaoked Aussie chardy = oaked anything else!) No, no, no one could not be further from the truth - it was a Viognier from Long Island!

Macari Voignier Long Island 1998 USA Trade Fair 1999 13.15

Yummy, gummy and sappy. Leafy, strawberries. very light acidic. Suggest north Italian from Alto Adige i.e. Shiava? Well we were not that far away distance wise but who could be believe it was the old classic VC wine favourite Bulls Blood -more like Bulls Plasma! It is sad to see what was a great chunky wine slowly being diluted into a rather watery red

Bulls Blood (Egri Bikovar) 1996 Hungary 3.99 from Tesco

Black current, smoky nose - a very obvious new world style but from where. South Africa, California or Chile. Smooth ripe palate suggest Merlot. We were on the right track it was one of La Palma's excellent range of reds - the Cab/Merlot reserve.

La Palma Cab./Merlot reserve1997 Chile 5-49 fom Oddbins

The pre-amble for this wine was a long discussion on the bee shortage - don't ask me why! Boiled sweets, black currents Ed would prefer it to be slightly chilled!! Italian like Sangiovese but not Italian----------------------------------

Pomino Rosso Castello di Pomino DOC Marchesi de Frescobaldi Italy 10-00 from Oddbins

Chris and Ed-"Mammary"
Muscular wine with blackberries and black currents "Its a 96 from the Maclaren Vale"-Steve Guy thinks Steve can do better than that and asks for the box number of the vineyard Well this is obviously an Aussie monster which takes on to discussions of making the next VC venue Steves garage ( where he has a huge stash of Aussie wine monsters!)

Well this wine was most appropriately themed for Chris who was checking her mammary's were topped up for young James's next feed!

Mamre Brook Cab.Shiraz 96 SE Australia 6.99 from Oddbins

Steve - "Cxxt" (Censored)
Steve decants and pours this wine to produce a good head-must be Australian. Is it a Shiraz? - but not from the Nullabar plain! "I can't believe how up front this wine is"-Philippa "Its in your face" All this leads us to believe this is medium Aussie monster - complex and rather delicious. Steve announces...."it is not Australian".....there is silence and total disbelief Its Italian !@*% even more disbelief "So how does it fit in with the theme then Steve?" - Steve sheepishly shows us the producers name on the label - well what can we say.........."

Bastein Cuntrari Barbera 97 Italy 15.00 from Steves mate in Oldham. (Willabys)

Guy and Philippa - "toe"
A very refined smoky Italianesque nose - a wine of fine pedigree. The palate is tannic and structured but not overpowering the underlying fruit. Possibilities of Barolo - too dry for Amarone Ah what about Brunello! - yes we were close enough

Sangiovetto Vdt Colpibuono Tuscany 94 Italy 24-00 from Averys

Mark -"Spleen"
Minty claret characteristics showing through to leave little doubt of this wine origins- some sweetness suggesting a ripe year. Age and maturity giving the wine good complexity. Well it had to be the most coveted name of the body parts theme -Chasse-Spleen of course Thanks very much Mark!

Chateau Chasse-Spleen 1986 Bordeaux - est value 40-00

Steve - not themed
Big young vibrant - excellent fruit balance and approachability for what was obviously a young claret "buy me for a reason let the reason be........." A bargain at twice the price!

Chateau Lynch-Moussas 1996 Bordeaux 14-99 from Oddbins

Chris and Ed - "Bot"
This one had em thinking - "maderised oranges, orange peel, smells of Riesling" A delicately sweet wine with a pinkish hue showing botrytis characteristics. After a few clues Mark finally sussed what it was -Pinot noir in a very untypical guise!

Rongapai Botrytis Pinot Noir 1996 New Zealand 10-00 from vineyard

Roger - "Ya Lumbar"
Well the memories and wine notes were starting to fade at this point - my tasting notes just had the name Roger against this final wine Well we can still remember this wine to have rich sweet botrytis and a nice long finish. Some thought it to be Bordeaux others just blankly stared at the ceiling..... the wines had taken their toll

Yalumba Family Reserve Botrytis Semillon 1996 Australia 7-99 from Oddbins

Well that's all folks, I promise I'll write again soon.

Chris and Ed