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SuperBOWL 2003

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The walk round tasting

reporters: Ray Abercromby (RA), Andrew Stevenson (AS), Stephen Pickles (SP) and Nick Alabaster (NA)

sparkling/white/sweet


Raymond Boulard Champagne "Petraea" Solera
Pale yellow, with a toasty fresh nose. Balanced, fresh with a long length. Citrus freshness and a very slight nutty edge to it. Very moreish. Very Good Indeed (RA) Superb nose: toasty and fragrant. Lovely mousse. Clean, crisp, elegant. Rich and full flavoured, especially on the finish. I could drink lots of this. Excellent. (AS)

2001 Petaluma Viognier
Pale yellow with glycerin tears. Nose quite closed / shut down. Certainly none of the expansive viognier perfume here. Dry, nutty, medium bodied with good acidity and elegant mouthfeel. Medium length. Somewhat disappointing – it lacks character and flavour. Good. (RA) Very good nose - light and elegant with a hint of marzipan. Good clean fruit. Ripe, full and round. Possibly a bit simple. Good to Very Good. (AS)

1995 Penfolds Bin 95A Chardonnay
Straw yellow with glycerin tears apparent. Butterscotch and honey with tropical fruit on the nose. Sweet buttery malo taste with fruit core and citrus edge. Good acidity, maintaining a degree of freshness. Certainly not clumsy at all. Long length and very balanced. VG / Excellent. (RA)

Clos La Chance (USA) 1998
Oak dominated nose - totally submerges fruit on nose, honey vanilla oak on palate, missing concentration and acid, for me, to back the wood. good (SP) Quite an elegantly styled Cal Chard. Vanillary American oak, buttery fruit, but still nicely put together. (NA)

1999 Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay
Pale yellow, limpid. Low/medium intensity nose, somewhat closed. Some tropical fruit. Then you taste it. Bang! Classy combination of creamy oak supporting peach and melon fruit with buttery smooth texture and acid backbone. Long and deep in flavour with great length. Excellent. (RA) Very pale with an unusual greenish tinge. Good buttery nose, but a bit reticent and needs coaxing out. Superb classic chardonnay. Exceptional balance. Very good length. Very Good Indeed/Excellent. (AS)

2001 Le Soula vin de pays des Côteaux des Fenouillèdes, Gerard Gauby
Toasty oaky nose with some cheesy butter. Very interesting round, quite green, minerally flavours with good acidity. Spiciness on the finish. Excellent balance. Very Good Indeed (AS)

Château La Louvière (Bordeaux, Pessac-Léognan) 1998
Lemon drops and almost waxy nose, enticing palate of lemon and minerality, with some oak, still needs time. very good (SP)

1990 Rolly Gassman Riesling
Pale straw yellow. Intense petrol nose, waxy, oily. Very acidic and fresh with evolved lime and kerosene notes. Long length. This still has legs. Very Good Indeed (RA) Mid straw. Elegant minerals and petrol nose with a hint of smokiness. Ripe fruit on palate. Good structure. Superb classic Alsace Riesling. Very Good Indeed. (AS)

1999 Les Flaconnes Picpoul de Pinet
Straw yellow, with reticent nose. Fresh and acidic, medium bodied, with rounded fruit and reasonable length. Good / Very Good (RA) Very undistinguished nose. Still some freshness on palate, but combined with body in a rather disconnected way. OK. (AS)

2000 Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Sec, Cuvée Frédéric Laplace, Pierre Laplace Sarl
Mid gold. Elegant, light fragrant citrus nose. Big oaky palate. Lots of structure. Very Good Indeed (AS)

2000 Soave Pieropan La Rocca
Straw/ pale gold. Gently pungent nose of low intensity. Strong deep reserves of citrussy nutty flavour, quite surprising, with impressive length. Very Good. (RA) Medium lemon gold. Light fruity crisp nose. Unusual palate. Strong flavours. Odd. Don't like it. (AS)

1981 Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva White Rioja
Touch corky on the nose. Vanilla cream nose. Light. Fairly elegant. Not overly impressive. I suspect this would show much better on its own or amid a rather smaller selection that this walkround. Good (AS)

1997 Albert Mann Cuvee Cinquantenaire (magnum)
Straw yellow / gold. Honey and opulence on a medium / high intensity nose, with a slight gluey edge. The wine, not the glass. Medium bodied, quite light with evident acidity. Honeyed, with medium length. Perhaps too young? Very Good Indeed. (RA) Literally head and shoulders above all the other wines ... Bright lemony gold. Excellent Riesling nose: apples and citrus with just a touch of petroleum wax. Very full attack, creamy and rich. Clearly made with grapes of VT ripeness. Big and stunning with a lot of power. Very ripe fruit. Remarkable elegance and finesse for all its power. Excellent length. Excellent. (AS)

1998 Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives Collection Joseph Mann
Quite a light gewurztraminer nose. Full, quite rich. A touch simple for a VT. Nice gentle sweetness though. Good but not great (AS)

2000 Ernest Burn Grand Cru Goldert Clos St Imer La Chapelle Riesling
With a name like that, no wonder Alsace wines don’t fly off the shelves. Anyway, pale yellow in colour with a steely citrus lime nose. Very acidic and fresh, showing lime dominated flavour with some petillance evident on the edge of the tongue. Light-bodied and falls away quickly. Needs time. Good / Very Good. (RA) Palish straw. Dull nose. Some steely minerality, but a touch damp on the nose. Lots of acid - what fruit there is on the palate only makes a fleeting appearance. Not good. (AS)

2000 Ernest Burn Grand Cru Goldert Clos St Imer La Chapelle Gewurtztraminer
Deep yellow in colour. Medium to high intensity nose, showing classic opulent aromas of lychees, with rose petal flowery notes. Sweet sherbet gives a big hit, showing a fatness in the mouth whose flavours linger for a while. Very Good Indeed (RA) An elegant gewurz nose - tropical fruit and some gentle rose petals. Excellent, if curiously sherbetty gewurz palate. A big wine, but not overdone. Excellent. (AS)

2000 Ernest Burn Grand Cru Goldert Clos St Imer La Chapelle Tokay-Pinot Gris
Closed nose gives no hint of the subsequent intense initial attack and flavour with a sweet edge, honeyed, good acidity and reasonable length. Very Good Indeed (RA) Lovely smoky nose. Weight on the palate. Quite sweet, but also has a good acidity. Good. (AS)

1976 Edelkeur Nederberg (Chenin Blanc)
An old sweety. Crappy brown, like the sauce in Chicken Rogan Josh. Raisined sweet nose of some intensity. Utterly intense luscious sweetness, unctuous with great length yet still retains enough acidity to provide balance. Weird, but fantastic stuff. Excellent. (RA) Brown with a bright yellow rim. Fabulous nose - intense citrus, caramel and leather with a very slight flor touch. Amazing attack. Citrussy sweetness. Amazing life. Huge depths of flavour. Great length. Excellent. (AS)

1993 Tokaji Aszu 5 puttonyos, Disznoko
Quite a light nose with more honey than marmelade. Full on sweet sweet sweet Tokaji. Good(ish) (AS)

2002 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese***, Kees-Kieren
Half bottle. 8% AP 2 583 092 24 03. Gorgeous nose - light slightly honey appley beeswax. Superb attack. Very clean. Notably sweet, but hugely elegant. Very good balance. Excellent length. Excellent. (AS)

1992 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Auslese, Kurt Hain
9.5% AP 2 596 432 10 95. Pale yellow green. Rather subdued nose, losing its apples and gaining minerals, but very much still in a transitional phase. Good. Light - remarkably light for an Auslese. High acid. Complex honey hiding behind. Very Good. (AS)

1990 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese, Mönchhof Robert Eymael
AP 2 602 629 014 91. Rich lemon gold. Excellent nose - minerals dominate with petrol and still some apples there. Good attack with nice acid. Ripe, honeyed sweetness develops on the palate with cox apples. Excellent finish with very good length. Excellent. (AS)

2001 Casal del Ronco Picolit, Colli Orientali del Friuli
Medium straw. Odd almondy boiled sweet nose. Really odd on palate, with boiled sweets again, but also banana and custard ?!?!?!! A little weird. Good (AS)

Château Climens (Sauternes) 1983
Oranges and sweet lime maramlade nose with honeyed notes, light , elegant and long palate, oranges and a touch of spices. very good+/excellent (PS)

red/fortified


Domaine de Perdrix (Burgundy) Nuits St George 1er Cru Aux Perdrix 1997
More primary , red fruity. Good ripeness, not the complexity of the Beaune but young, good fruit and potentially (NA)

1987 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques, Domaine Bartet
Browning, brick colour, clear. Mature old nose, earthy, showing gentle sweet fruit. Light – medium bodied, soft and mellow, with gentle grainy tannin and residual acidity still present. Elegant with good length. Very Good Indeed (RA) (AS)

1983 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Ecusseaux
Really light, almost burnt orange. Old cedary burnt fruit nose. Pale, dilute with soft tannins and a hint of residual acidity. Old, elegant, but fading. Very Good (RA) (AS)

1988 Chateau Talbot, St Julien
Deep red with terracotta edge. Lovely medium intensity nose of evolved fruit, with a cheesy sock edge (mmm). Cigar box flavour, soft velvety tannin and long length. Excellent. (RA) (AS)

1988 Gruard Larose, St Julien
Deeper in colour than the Talbot. Lots of smooth oaky fruit with a slightly stalky edge. Deep fruit attack, woody, but bigger in body than the Talbot with notable yet smooth tannin. Falls off slightly more quickly though. Still possesses a long length. Excellent. (RA)

1990 Chateau Le Crock
Cherry Red, clear. Sweet fruit nose with smoke and tobacco overtones. Smooth attack, with woody cigar box flavours coming to the fore. Gentle smooth tannin, only really evident on the back palate. Balanced, velvety with long length. Very Good / Excellent (RA)

1990 Clerc Milon
Clear red with hints of brick colour. Expansive woody nose. Soft rounded muted fruit but overall, a very elegant wine with a soft rounded length and silky tannins. Very Good / Excellent (RA)

Château Du Tetre (Bordeaux, Margaux) 1997
Tobacco-ey, somewhat typical ’97 green flavours, too prominent really but some nice red fruit coming through. Interest here and drink now to stay on the side of caution, although may well age into a complex, leaner style (NA)

1999 St Joseph Gaillard
Deep red / cerise edge, violet touch. Lovely high intensity expansive nose, with great fresh fruit and spicy grip on the palate. Plum and pepper in balance with strong smooth tannin. Young, needs some time but still great stuff now. Excellent. (and very enjoyable too in the evening. I seriously enjoyed this stuff) (RA) Dark and inky. Excellent nose - almost Burgundian. Lovely clear fruit - bright clean flavours. Real power on the finish. Very Good. (AS)

1986 St Joseph, Jaboulet
Clear cherry red, browning slightly. Low/med intensity nose, slightly smoky, lovely and evolved with some VA present. Smooth, soft tannins with almost cedary flavours and what some might describe as “tertiary” fruit. Fading now, but still elegant. Very Good Indeed (RA) Nice mature colour. Soft, earthy nose with elegant fruit. Elegant fruit on the palate too, with lovely soft tannins for structure. Totally mature and ready. Excellent. (AS)

1995 Cornas, Jaboulet
Clear, cherry red to rim. Firm berry nose of low to medium intensity. Lovely fruit, grainy tannin, strong flavour with long gamey extended length and really good acidity. Excellent. (RA) Reticent nose. Tounch confected at end of nose. Decent fruit. Lots of tannin, but they're a bit too coarse still. Not especially approachable at the moment. (AS)

1995 Chateauneuf de Pape, Font de Michelle
Red with terracotta hint around the edge. Dank gamey fruit led nose of medium intensity. The meaty flavours continue on the palate with smoke, some mid palate spice held by gripping tannin and fresh acidity. Long length. Excellent. (RA) Lovely warm spicy nose. Excellent attack. Impressive. Lots of power and quite gamey on the palate. Nice structure with good tannins and a spot of acidity. Couple of years needed. Very Good Indeed. (AS)

1994 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape
Vegetal farmyardy nose. Nice fruit. Seems to lack depth. Good (AS) Well, that is brett of anyone need to know. Surprising in some respects, I thought the ’94 at least started clean, but it’s a difficult one to keep down if it’s present in the bottle already. Leathery/spicy nose, rounded, nicely red fruity on the palate; an elegant style, with the brett again influencing and drying the finish somewhat (NA)

1998 Artadi Pagos Viejos, Rioja
Plum/red in colour. Fresh raspberry fruit on a low/med intensity nose. Warm vanilla oak flavours surround an intense fruit core with strong youthful but velvety tannins. Very young, will improve. Very Good / Excellent (RA) Good red fruits, little spicy oak, nice structure, potential for ageing – a good modern Rioja style (NA)

Cims de Porrera (Spain) 'Classic Release' Priorat 1997
Sweet, slightly volatile red fruit on nose. But tannic, somewhat stewed and volatile flavours on the palate. Typical, and you guessed it, not my style (NA)

Verhaeghe Cahors, du Cedre 1998
Deep Purple. Very closed on the nose. Smoke on the water (sorry) lots of primary black berry fruit, strong tannins, very extracted with balanced acidity. Very Good. (RA) Dark and young. Fascinating nose. Powerful attack. Ripe, rich fruit. Huge, but perhaps a bit overextracted, which on reflection makes it Good rather than Very Good. (AS)

1996 Sul Bric Monferrato Rosso (Italy)
Clear, cherry red. Smoky cherry aromas with very evolved fruit. A bit like a 20 year old claret in many ways. Good length but ageing quickly and probably starting to fall away. Very Good. (RA)

1982 Fontanafredda Barolo Vigna Gattinera
Light, orange/brown in colour. Burnt toned nose, volatile. Sweet burnt fruit on the palate. Smooth but probably past it. Good. (RA) Medium tawny colour. Interesting old nebbiolo nose. Light attack. Elegant fruit still holding out. Plenty of tannins. A touch muddy on the finish. Good/Very Good, but still a touch disappointing (AS)

Campi Raudii (Italy) Spanna 1955
Not doing too bad at all, albeit on the way down. Sweet liquorice fruit on the nose, with sweet nutty oxidation notes. Some red fruit on the palate, nicely rounded really, bit of a aged/decayed stink, drying out a touch on the finish but not too surprising given the age, and I think hanging on there well, albeit past where I’d choose to drink it. Typical old Italian style – but this note comes from a just opened bottle, I doubt it held up well (NA)

1992 Ridge Montebello
Deep plum core, extending to rim. Medium intensity nose with a hint of Brett. Lots of dark autumn berry fruit. Great fruit attack, with crunchy tannin. Lovely balance and structure, with layers of flavour all the way through to a very long length. Excellent / Outstanding. (RA) Mature colour. Very good nose - lots of interest, with some farmyard and lots of brambly fruit. Superb mouthfeel. Excellent fruit on the palate. Very good structure and quite multi-dimensional. Excellent. (AS)

2000 Sean Thackrey Orion
Purple opaque core with a cerise edge. Deep intense Ribena nose with subtle oak. Soft spice and attack building gently with huge gripping tannins. Sweet fruit becomes apparent as the taste sensations continue to build up. Great stuff. Excellent. (RA) Dark and inky. Lovely nose: quite fragrant with lots of soft red fruit. Very attractive on the palate: a little spice and lots of fruit. Real interest and loads of character. Very Good. (AS)

1995 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Purple / plum colours. Somewhat reticent on the nose, not giving away much. Sweet blackcurrant fruit attack, soft tannin which grips at the back, good length. Very fruity overall with smooth integrated oak and tannin. Very Good indeed (RA) Darkish purple. Unimpressive nose - I can't seem to get anything out of it. Decent fruit with some softening tannins. Good. (AS)

2000 Robert Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel
Clear cherry red. Confected fruit, lots of spice, but the fruit is almost too sweet. Long length but for me the confected aspect of the fruit unbalances the wine. Good / Very Good. (RA) Seems a bit odd, almost overripe. Same on palate. Don't really like it. (AS)

1986 Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep brown in colour with a very evolved woody nose. Old tertiary flavours, getting told but still retaining considerable impact and style. Like a big old Bordeaux. Very Good (RA) Good mature colour. Elegant, mature cabernet sauvignon nose - very clearly old new world CS. Possibly some slight oxidation? Fascinating on the palate. Huge depths of flavour. Mature, clean flavours with excellent fruit, tannins on middle and finish. Huge length. Very Excellent! (AS)

1994 Johns Blend No 21 Langhorne Creek
Very evolved nose, with coffee and smoke on the nose. Smoky evolved fruit, with grainy tannin. Very Good. (RA)

1999 Torbreck Descendant
Purple core, cerise edge. Intense blackcurrant nose. Soft initially then the fruit kicks in, with lovely balance and pepper spice throughout. Very good length and acidity. Excellent. (RA) Inky. Very warm, slightly clovey cab sauv nose. Big ripe parkerised fruit. Massive. Very obvious. Very impressive. But obvious. Very Good. (AS)

1993 Henshcke Mount Edelstone
Deep red, clear in appearance. High tones nose which smells for all the world like tomato sauce. Again, these strange tomato elements to the flavour, before the spice comes through on a medium-full bodied palate. Odd but tasty. Very Good. (RA) Dark, but clearly not young. Fabulous ripe new world shiraz nose. Very ripe. Very impressive. Very Good Indeed. (AS)

1998 Penfolds St Henri
Deep red with dark purple core. Sweet berry fruit with fine tannin. Young, powerful but still in balance. Very Good Indeed (RA)

1993 Penfolds St Henri
Clear deep red. Intense blackcurrant fruit core on the nose, slight leathery overtones. Smooth and fruity blackberry fruit, evolving quickly. Long spicy length with medium tannin and body. Very Good Indeed (RA) (AS)

Penfolds (Australia) St Henri Shiraz 1994
Bigger, riper style, sweeter fruit, somewhat lifted; more black fruity, more substance and structure. Needs more time to soften the tannin, but good bite and balance. (NA)

1999 Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz
Very interesting nose - slightly confected, but lovely. Good fruit. Very young but very impressive. Very Good (AS)

1994 St Hallet Old Block Shiraz
Excellent even colour. Fair nose. Simple. OK (AS)

1999 Katnook Prodigy
Clear, dark plum. Clean well-knit nose of vanilla oak and blackcurrant fruit of medium intensity. Oaky and smooth first impressions, with lots of coconut and vanilla. Core of primary blackcurrant fruit with very smooth tannin. Very impressive balance and structure for a big wine. So smooth and harmonious. Very young but highly enjoyable already. Excellent (RA) (AS)

1995 Esk Valley The Terraces
Deep red with purple core. Smoky oak medium intensity nose. Soft initial attack, and the deep intensity fruit emerges with oaky tones. Classy, balanced, restrained yet intense, this is a lovely wine. Excellent (RA) Merlot-Malbec-Cabernet Franc. Good even colour. Very attractive nose. Decent fruit initially but a bit unbalanced. Seems very young. Good. (AS)

1982 Zandlivet (South Africa) Shiraz
Brown in colour. Soft burnt nose with sweet burnt fruit on palate. Good length but more for necrophiliacs. Good. (RA) 20 Year tawny appearance. Sweaty saddles on the nose. Interesting. Still well alive. Layers of interest. Good. (AS)

1998 Bouwland Pinotage
Steely sweet fruit nose of medium intensity. This sweet fruit core persists on the palate, with pleasant smoky oak hints and good length but it’s a bit confected for me. Good / Very Good. (RA) (AS)

1987 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vriesenhof (South Africa)
Oil of Ulay face cream nose. Light. Dried out (AS)

1996 Chateau Musar
Good colour. Quite light. Leathery Musar nose without the expected VA. Excellent fruit. Very attractive. Very Good (AS) Pretty much a repeat of the ’91, just a bit fresher red fruit, everything in check. A lighter style, and for me, an easier style to get on with. (NA)

1991 Chateau Musar
Acetone VA nose. Rich sweet attack. Very Good, but I prefer the 199 (AS) A lighter style Musar, but consequently less obtrusive VA going on, and background not prominent oxidation – not a blockbuster, quite Burgundian, red furity in its elegant way. Nicely balance but not complex – shock, horror, I could drink this! (NA)

1999 D'Arenberg Vintage Fortified Shiraz
Very dark and very young. Very reticent nose - warm unspicy shiraz. Lots of soft fruit. Very interesting. Spirit comes right at the very end. Good/Very Good (AS)

Dow Port 1980
Very dark. Gorgeous nose - very black - intense black fruit with licorice and leather. Quite splendid fruit. Still rather young. Very Good Indeed (AS)

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