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SuperBOWL 2003

sBOWL   pre 1   pre 2   walk-round   seminar 1   seminar 2   seminar 3   seminar 4   dinner   gallery

The pre-event fine wine dinner

reporters: Andrew Stevenson (AS) and Stephen Pickles (SP)

We had a large table in the Chip's verdant conservatory, the tinkling water of the fish pond ensuring regular trips to the loo. It's worth saying that the Chip was excellent in all respects. Service was brilliant, there was a seemingly limitless supply of fresh glasses, food was very very good indeed, although the amount of drinking, eh, tasting and talking that was going on meant we probably didn't do the greatest justice to it!

There was a very capable, if a touch under-seasoned cullen skink appetiser in a demi-tasse. I followed that with Lythe and Scotch Salmon Brandade in Caledonian 80/- batter with cauliflower cream. Well I couldn't come to Glasgie and not have something deep fried could I? Very good it was too. Very light and fluffy brandade, nice crisp batter and an ungrainy cauli sauce. A trilogy of Perthshire pig with madeira sauce turned out to be more of a quadrumporcinate: there was a slab of tongue (yum!), belly pork on black pudding (yum yum!) and what seemed to be a confit of cheek, but could have been knuckle (yum!). Grape and blue cheese brioche with grape syrup washed down the dessert wines. (AS)

Cristal 1996
Medium straw colour. Clear and bright appearance. Very lively with lots of very fine bubbles. An attractive nose with plenty of fruit. Very attractive, quite acid attack. Sour cherries on the palate. Rich, a little creamy but cut by the acid. Elegant and light. I rather like this - it's impressive if a bit lively and over exuberant in its youth. (AS) Very pale, good and persistant mousse, nose a little closed. A touch of strawberries on the nose and lemon. Still very primary and young, seems almost simple but with good acid back-bone and a finish that goes on and on - very fine, but will be excellent in time. (SP)

Pol Roger 1990
Quite a deep colour - medium gold. Slow bubbles. Rather reticent nose. Excellent flavours. Soft, rich, full. Complex with lots of layers. Very interesting indeed on the finish. Completely blind, I don't think I'd have guessed from the nose alone that this was champagne, and even on the palate it is a little atypical. Not exactly thrilled to bits by this, and I seem to remember thoroughly enjoying Pol Roger 1990 at last year's SuperBOWL. I even wondered at one point whether there might have been some very slight corkiness to this bottle. At best, it seems to me to have aged a little too quickly. (AS) Darker and more evolved, mousse fades quite quickly. Toasty and ( as Ali suggested to me) with an almost mushroom like nose, still with a good acid and biscuity palate. One that should be drunk soonish. (SP)

Louis Sipp Kirchberg Riesling 1990
Palish gold. Smoky, minerally nose with plenty of beeswax and honey. Full and round. Very good. Easily the best Louis Sipp wine I've had. (AS) Honey and wax nose with a limey undernote, the palate follows the nose , very fine concentrated and long. Perfect balance , beeswax, lime and honey - stunning wine. (SP)

Anheuser & Fehres Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese 1966
Pale gold. Minerally dusty smoke nose. Light. Still remarkably appley and creamy on the palate. A bit thin, but amazingly fresh: quite remarkable. Clearly a minor producer, but a remarkable wine. (AS) This was my 'oddment' addition to the evening . It was my birthday, and 66 my birthyear.Very light for wine this old, sweet apple on the nose is followed on the palate, with still crisp acids, its a little dilute and short but it wasn't a great year - its more interesting that it has lasted this long. (SP)

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 1994
Good medium colour. Very strong asparagus nose, with some garden peas mixed in. Unusual. Vegetal, green on palate - with beans and that asparagus still coming through in the mouth. Fascinating. Good. (AS) 94 CB I hear you say? This was a question in my mind - The crazy tinned peas and solid fruity gooseberry nose shouted that this wine was not over the hill, a goosebery and vegetal palate followed, interesting and very good - very enjoyable after I realized it hadn't fallen apart ( it was very fresh) (SP)

Bouchard Père et Fils Meursault-Genevrières. Meursault 1er cru 1994
Deep coppery gold. Oxidised toffee nose. Full on, oxidised. Not wholly unpleasant, but certainly not entirely pleasant. Poor. (AS)

Jean Thevenet Macon Villages "Quintaine" Domaine Emilian Gillet 1999
13.5% abv. c.£8 ex cave. Medium straw. Really superb, intense nose - a really very impressive nose. Superb on the palate. Rich, creamy and full. Concentrated ripe fruit. Slight touch of acid on finish really helps it. Excellent length. Excellent. (AS) Very rich nose - I think David said there were some botytized grapes in this - quince nose, the palate has a touch of oak, minerals and fruit with a crisp acid that stops it from being flabby. Lovely and very interesting wine. (SP)

Columella 2000
This is the first vintage of this wine named after the Roman agricultural writer Columella: the label is entirely in Latin and I should have paid a bit more attention to what it said. Looking on the web, it seems the wine is predominantly Shiraz (10% Mourvedre), made (in South Africa) by Eben Sadie, and just 5000 bottles were made in 2000, the inaugural vintage. It's young looking - very young looking. A soft, fruity nose. Young, rather green attack, gives the impression that we're committing infanticide. After quite a while (probably 30 mins +) in the glass and much swirling, it is much improved. Good, but not really thrilling me. (AS) Cedar and blackcurrant nose ,very fine tannins - still lots, but lovely fruit and balance with a touch of leather on the finish long and seductive. Verging on the excellent and will still develop. (SP)

Chateau Musar 1993
This was served blind by Jim Hosie, and the note is as taken. It's red. Some age - a very even colour. Hey! Musar on the nose - PN with some nail varnish. Soft easy drinking. Bags of character. Very clearly archetypal Musar. Guess mid/early 1980s Musar. (AS) Served blind , sweet VA nose of strawberries, it has that burgundian feel about it , but knowing Jim I guess Musar 93, its very tasty with my pigeon and is drinking well now. (SP)

Château La Lagune 1986
Lovely colour: neither young nor old. Very good, soft leathery nose. A light attack develops well on the palate. Still good fruit, but clearly maturing. Good length. Very impressive. Excellent. (AS) Cedar and blackcurrant nose ,very fine tannins - still lots, but lovely fruit and balance with a touch of leather on the finish long and seductive. Verging on the excellent and will still develop. (SP)

Carmenet Estate bottled Sonoma Valley 1986
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. 13% abv. Slightly mature burgundy colour. Very elegant nose. Soft, elegant. Lots of character and depth. Excellent. (AS) Leafy cassis notes on the nose, sweet and pure fruit on the palate, a little soft but drinking very well now and very enjoyable. (SP)

Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Rioja Gran Reserva Especial 1989
Medium garnet. Cherry-ish nose with some vanilla. Good clean attack. Decent fruit. Touch spirity. Big tannins on finish. Very unimpressive. Ok to good. (AS) Rich berry fruit and creamy coconutty oak, very fine tannins, dense concentrated berry -cherry fruit, with a sumptuous mouth feel and finish. Very Good + (SP)

Frescobaldi Mormoreto Cabernet Sauvignon IGT Toscana 1996
12.5% abv. Quite a deep colour. Very tough nose - unapproachable and raw cab sauv and wood. Meaty and gamey on the palate. Very much dominated by tannins. At the moment still very unapproachable. (AS) Floral leafy blackcurrant notes, very fine drying tannins, its quite tight at the moment and the fruit seems submerged by the tannins - more time?? (SP)

Huet Moëlleux 1er trie Le Haut Lieu 1989
12% abv. Deepish gold. Elegant honeyed nose with hint of lemon. Very fresh - honeyed and intense. Very concentrated flavours. Very clean. Extremely well balanced. Excellent. (AS) Pretty thick in the glass, expansive orange nose, citrus and honey, the palate follows and is concentrated, crisp and long . Rich orange , and minerals and hints of spice. Its Very Good + now - would love to try in 10 years. (SP)

Tokaj Kereskedohaz Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 1990
12%abv. Deepish coppery gold. Very straightforward Tokaj nose with orange and barley sugar. Straightforward good Tokaji. Good. (AS) More orange than the Huet, maramalade notes and rich vibrant acid palate, almost cleansing . Very Good. (SP)
The following wines were opened after the meal chez Downes. Nice cornice and nice, very welcome espresso - thanks Ali!

Château Coufran 1970
IECWS bottling. Bought recently at auction, as part of a mixed lot for the average per bottle princely sum of £3.00. Sweet, warm christmassy nose with cloves and a slightly medicinal note, with iodine, plastic eraser and plasticine. After all that claptrap, there is still some fruit there, and it's clearly merlot or merlot dominated. Very light on the palate. Not at all dead, but mainly secondary flavours. Very interesting, and I have to say very good. (SA) A sweet spicy nutmeg nose is quite striking, there is still some faint fruit but its all fading and is starting to feel a little stretched. Very interesting to drink though. (SP)

Marques de Murrieta, Castillo Ygay Rioja Gran Reserva Especial 1970
c. £90 from the treasure trove of Raeburn. Oaky, slightly oxidised nose. Quite musarish with some VA. Strong vanilla. Lots of fruit still. Spirity finish with lots of tannin. Improves with time, and I get the impression the more time the better. Very good. Much, much better than its baby cousin, the 1989, tasted & drunk over dinner (see above). (AS) History in a glass, will rioja ever be made this way again? 25 years in a cask and bottled in the late 90's. On pouring, the coconut oak and strong berry fruits hit on the nose-logan berry and cherry, on the palate it is really dense and concentrated but not in a new world way - there is just layers of flavour here, sweet fruit and leather notes and a fine finish with totaly resolved tannins. Excellent and it got better the longer you kept swirling it. (SP)

José Mara da Fonseca Setubal Superior Moscatel 1965
18% abv. Pale tan leather. Rather madeirised, with a touch of muscat fruit on the nose. Soft, lusicous. Dried raisins soaked in armagnac. Amazingly fresh and clean. Remarkable for its age. But, on reflection, actually a touch ordinary if one didn't know its age. (AS) High toned raisins and nuts, like some cross between a madiera and olorosso, nuts, figs and orange peel on the palate. Rich and crisp at the same time . Really complex and satisfying stuff. Excellent. (SP)

Quinta do Noval Port 1985
Very bright, light red. Chocolate, dried figs and some spirit on the nose. Quite intense fruit, but still lots of spirit which becomes dominant on the middle, fading towards the finish when fruit reappears, finishing with soft tannins. The last tablespoon's worth in the decanter was much more open and rounded, showing that with time this is very good indeed. (AS) Creamy berry and damson fruit on the nose , chocolatey tannins in the mouth with good fruit and finishes with a floral note. Very Good now but its still young, like to try in another 5 years (SP)

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