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Vintage Name Variety Publication Reviewer Score More...
Red

1990 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino

Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
The cork is in amazing condition here, pale yellow in colour, in fact almost white, right down to the bottom there being not a trace of wine stain up the side. As for the wine itself, this has a great colour, as although this shows a mature oxblood tinge at the rim there is an absolute stack of red pigment running through the centre of the wine. The nose has an appealing character, mature but in no way soft or gentle; this is clearly not a wine intent on simply fading away. Instead it has a rather firm character, with dusty fruit, softly toned but with a slightly woody undercurrent. An attractively plump flesh at the start, showing good substance backed up by typically Tuscan acidity and a building sense of savoury, meaty fruit which becomes almost mouth-watering towards the finish. An impressive wine, holding up well, with substance and mouth-pleasing body, and for that it deserves credit. Where it falls down is lack of complexity, or perfume, the more fragrant and elegant components that we seek in a mature wine. All the same, a good mouthful. 16.5 points
Red

1995 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
A few years on since my last bottle of this, and certainly showing in a more open, integrated fashion. Once a highly volatile mess (although to be fair that was six years ago) this has now sharpened up into a well honed and nicely defined glass of wine. Still a dark hue, and on the nose very savoury, meaty and yet crunchy, with notes of black olive, face cream and black pepper, with a faint, high-toned edge to it all. It is simply divine. The palate has a moderate flesh, with well balanced structural components lying over the top; well framed and gritty black olive and savoury meats and fresh acidity, all funnelling smoothly down into a polished, linear finish. Great wine; none of the flabby character I found last time, this has come together really well. 18 points
White - Sweet/Dessert

1990 Château Bellerive Quarts de Chaume

Chenin Blanc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
An old favourite of mine, and its not that long since I last opened a bottle - and I still have a few more in the cellar. A great colour in the glass, a deep burnished orange-gold. The nose carries its usual gentle sweetness with its ever-present Demerara sugar character, along with gently perfumed elements of rose water, orange zest and straw. On the palate a good fresh presence, becoming more rich but still with a very incisive acidity through the middle which takes the sweetness through to the finish very nicely. There is a little tinge of oxidation creeping in at the sides, not troublesome, just giving a little hint of baked earth alongside the pepper, quince and quinine bitterness. Great flesh though, marrowy and persistent; this is still delicious wine. 18 points
Red

2005 Château Bellevue Claribes

Sainte Foy Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
A blend of approximately 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon (approximate because there is also a little Cabernet Franc included). Bottled under a DIAM cork. This has a good depth of colour, and an intriguing nose full of curranty fruit, with very prominent notes of warm clay and wet gravel alongside. There is a little organic, feral twist to it as well, bringing in evolving notes of rolled tobacco leaf and smoke. A nice substance on entry, showing a well judged weight bound up in a very tight and crunchy frame of acid and smoky tannic grip. It becomes more robust towards the finish. It has a lean and steely-stony edge behind the fruit leading into a lot of endpalate grip, along with little tinges of tobacco and perfume. An attractive wine with potential yet for the cellar. 14.5+ points
White

1990 Léon Beyer Riesling Pfersigberg Les Ecaillers

Alsace Grand Cru more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
I am amazed to find it is nine years since I last tasted this wine, and at that time (for the non-mathematicians) it was just eleven years old. It now has a really rich and golden hue, but it still maintains all its freshness throughout. The nose is remarkably characterful, exuberant with golden honey drizzled over lime fruit, cut through with a bright, volcanic minerality. On the palate it still has great substance, firm and broad, although also upright and very well composed. There is plenty of dry but limey fruit, with notes of blackcurrant leaf. Good substance, with a metal-stony tinge to the finish, and a very firm and slowly fading length. This is really good wine, holding up and developing really well. No rush to drink up here. 17.5 points
White - Sparkling

1990 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
My final bottle. A gentle phhut as the cork is pulled, and a gentle but undeniable bead in the glass. A moderate golden colour, maturing but by no means the deepest of hues. Very typical maturing Bollinger on the nose though, all caramel and Brazil nut, spiked with dried honey and golden syrup sponge cake. Fresh and vivacious on entry, but with the rich depth of flavours that mirror the nose exactly. This is kept alive in the mouth by an impressive and vivacious mousse, with a fine but very persistent character, which lies over the admirable weight and reserved substance. It feels pretty dry, but with good presence in the palate, polished, very linear, with finesse and great length at the end. A brilliant wine, no signs of oxidation despite some reports to the contrary, and although I wouldn't aim to cellar this from now on I'm sorry I don't have any more to 'drink up' as they say. 18.5 points
Red

NV Bouvet-Ladubay Vin de Table Français Les NonPareils M99 Expérimental

Cabernet Franc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
This is pure Cabernet Franc, the vintage 1999 as hinted at by the M99 (millésime 1999) nomenclature. Low yields, about 30 hl/ha, temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel, élevage in oak, and clearly refused the agrément for the Anjou appellation, otherwise I don't have a wealth of information on this slightly mysterious cuvée. In the glass the wine has a moderately dense hue, with a dusty opacity to it. The nose certainly has a polished and modern, seductive appeal, the aromas of crushed and creamy summer fruit compote twisted with elements of coffee and honey, residual aromas of a heavy application of oak I think. It even has a little trace of coffee-chocolate to it, but thankfully this is very subtle. A very supple start to the palate, nicely composed, and fresh too, with a nice integration of components here. The fruit shows a nicely defined and gritty style, but through the middle and into the finish it all gives way to a rather bitter and domineering structure, with a woody feel to the tannins. Still rather grippy here, these tannins coating the mouth. This still needs time, but I note that there are some structural elements here that might not come around in a totally harmonious fashion. 15.5 points
Red

1995 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Viña Real Gran Reserva

Tempranillo more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
This wine has a dense colour, with surprising red-black tinges, although there is a more tawny-oxblood rim around the edge if you look within the wine. The nose shows a rather modern style, with a blast of meaty-gamey fruit at first, not really out of keeping for very young gran reserva with many years ahead of it, but the rich seam of coffee was less expected. Thankfully this does all settle down, although there is still a rather disconcerting burnt-cola tinge through the middle of the nose, even when this has been in the decanter for several hours. Fairly typical texture on the palate, rather full but with a well-framed, savoury, salty-meaty, Bovril and beef stock character through the middle of it all, becoming rather aggressive in the finish where it assaults the palate with a seam of well-seasoned wood and slightly incongruous acidity. CVNE has been on the receiving end of some criticism for wandering off-piste from the mid-1990s onwards and tasting this I can understand why. But young gran reservas can sometimes come across as quite brutal, so I'm certainly not prepared to disregard it out of hand. There's certainly a thick coat of tannin in the finish which says this has some time to go yet. But a broad and uncertain score here. (16-17+?) points
Rosť

2009 Château Claribes Bordeaux Rosé

Red Bordeaux Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
From an individually selected parcel rather than a saignée, this vintage is 100% Merlot, although previous vintages have been a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Fermented in stainless steel, bottled under a DIAM cork. The colour is a rather solid salmon-pink, veering quite strongly into a pale, pale red. The nose doesn't provide us with anything out of the ordinary, some appealing, clean and expressive strawberry fruit and Chantilly cream, but it is on the palate where this really impresses. It is the lovely, sappy, balanced structure that you notice first rather than any fruit component, a light detachment from the palate despite some good substance to the wine. And then a fresh, jiggling acidity which gives the whole thing a life of its own right through the middle to the fresh and flavoursome finish. Dry, flavoursome and full. A dry rosé I could actually drink - so a success! 15.5 points
Red

2005 Château de Claribès Marpeau

Sainte Foy Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
This cuvée differs primarily through its composition, being a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Merlot. Also bottled under a DIAM cork. A very similar hue to the domaine wine here, and showing dense and very compact fruit on the nose, with a warm stone character to it. It is broad and very characterful. Through onto the palate it displays a very welcoming presence, with a wealth of well-polished flesh full of grippy structure but overlaid with plenty of sappy fruit. Nevertheless it maintains a fresh and very dry character in terms of composition, with a sappy edge and also a little grip. Showing a good texture, well-judged within the frame of the wine, and also a longer finish than the Maison cuvée, this is an admirable effort from this appellation and my favourite from the reds here. 15.5+ points
White

2009 Château de Claribès Sauvignon Blanc

Sainte Foy Bordeaux more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
This is 100% Sauvignon Blanc picked by hand and transferred into stainless steel tank within minutes. Fermented cool followed by a little time on the lees before bottling. A fairly pale, cool-climate hue on inspection, as would be expected here. The fruit found on the nose certainly has appeal, showing a paradoxical intertwining of creamy white fruit along with elements of grass, largely varietal elements, but also a vibrant, chalky minerality which brings an additional and welcome facet. Plenty of texture at the start on the palate, and then in the middle plenty of fruit but with a very captivating pithy, steely, stony-minerally character. And towards the finish it really tightens up, although with a little touch of oiliness in the texture. This is really appealing; yet another wine that reinforces my belief that at this very affordable level Bordeaux does white so very well - often better than red. It even has a little length to its dry, slightly bitter and very appealing finish. Good stuff. 15.5 points
Red

2008 Château de Claribès Vieilles Vignes

Sainte Foy Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
This is 95% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the fruit sourced from the oldest parcels of vines on the Claribès estate, aged 80 years. Bottled under a DIAM cork. A nice, dusty, red-black hue. The nose takes some time to open up, but when it does is reveals some sweet, smoky and lightly perfumed and musky black fruits. Given time it has quite an intense and slightly confected character, which has an appealing brightness. A nice substance on entry, plenty of perfumed and gritty black fruits on the palate. Crunchy and yet ripely sweet, textured, with ripe, grippy but rather drying tannins around the edge. With time the finish tends to be dominated by the rather substantial tannic core. This wine spends several hours unfurling in the glass, and I suspect it would do very well given a year or two in the cellar. Good. 15+ points
Red

1990 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
An incredibly good condition cork here, pale, solid and with no travel of colour up the sides at all. The colour is mature, but still with plenty of red pigment. Great meaty fruit on the nose, with leather, tobacco and game, and also the faintest hint of mushroom. Nicely textured at the start, still with a good substance despite its age. Full, bold, this is no shrinking violet. Indeed it shows quite a firm character in its build, with a solid backbone, and it is still showing some tannins, all ripe and velvety, with high-toned fruit nuances alongside, tinged with violets and sweetness. Great acidity too giving it a good frame in the mouth. Brighter than the meaty-fruit nose suggested, with elements of peach and aromatic fruit with it. A firm finish. Long although a little raw in terms of grip at the end, the ever-so-slightly disjointed alcohol showing through I think. This is unlikely to get any better from here I feel, although my data points on this estate, with bottles at this age at least, are limited I admit. 17.5 points
White - Sweet/Dessert

1995 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Sémillon

Riverina more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
From a half-bottle. I last tasted this five years ago and I didn't enjoy it; I was pretty harsh in my rating of it. I think that may have reflected my expectations for the wine as much as its intrinsic qualities. True to form, on this tasting the wine has a dark, burnished, orange-bronze hue. And the nose is perhaps as expected, showing an oxidative style - heralded on my last tasting I think - with a baked earth character in tandem with plenty of sweetness. This comes through on he palate as a marmalade richness, although with more of that stewed orange-sugar flavour. Long, bitter, with a fat and baked sweetness. An interesting wine; not a style I would actively seek out these days, but interesting nevertheless. 14.5 points
Red

1990 Delas Frères Hermitage Les Bessards

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
Good grief - it is seven years since I last tasted this! Great development in the interim though, this delightful wine is now ready to go. Fine colour, good depth, elegant, maturing but still with plenty of bright pigment. An aromatic nose, perfumed and floral, also roasted meat, sweetly mature fruit and a rather savage element to it as well. Chalky and rich at the same time. A nice flesh on entry, good substance through the midpalate to; there is still a very firm backbone of tannins but it sits very well within the context of the wine, giving it a fine and robust but not rustic composition. Sweet, savoury, packed with complex flavours, broad and stylish, with a long, lingering finish. This excellent wine; what a shame I didn't buy a few more when I picked up this bottle. 18.5+ points
White - Off-dry

1990 Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Gerümpel Riesling Auslese "R"

Pfalz more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
A rich, deep but vibrant burnished gold in the glass, with scents suggestive of honey and slate, then beeswax and thyme. It stays fresh and bright in the mouth, showing a lifted palate with very fine acidity underpinning the flavours here, an acidity which carries the aromas found on the nose alongside deeper and more mature complexities, including traces of baked botrytis, roasted nuts and orange zest too. It has really good vigour in the palate, with a sappy-chalky style of fruit, helped by the bright acidity. This seems to have a deep, characterful style and yet it still has the freshness from its fine acid backbone. Ready now I think. 17 points
White

2008 Domaine de l'Ecu (Guy Bossard) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Expression de Gneiss

Melon de Bourgogne more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
A good depth of colour in the glass. On the nose the character is a mouth-watering one, full of lovely sour fruit, with lots of dry and minerally elements, overall coming across as quite challenging and assertive, even a little salty. There follows lots of substance and texture on the palate, a curtain of primary flesh in the beginning which then parts to reveal a more minerally, gritty, lemon-orange peel and sherbet character. Great vibrancy and amazing, incisive lift from the laser-like acids and sharp-edged, stony minerality. It's just how a 2008 should be; big, polished, dry and yet very savoury, with a pleasing quality of fruit on the finish. And this would certainly cellar well. Thank heavens for gneiss! 17.5+ points
White - Sweet/Dessert

1990 Château de Fesles Bonnezeaux La Chapelle

Chenin Blanc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
This wine has a rich, deep, burnished-gold hue in the glass. The nose kicks off with quite a papery-parchment style, with aromatic elements suggestive of polished stones. Then come more typical characteristics such as honey and straw. This bottle seems just as integrated and impressive as my last one which was a few years ago now. Great fruit on the palate, elements of mango take me by surprise, still a very serious, deep and characterful wine though. Rich, obviously sweet although not overly so, and overall very well held together. Little elements of crystalline character here and there, lifting the experience away from dependence on sugar, with a fine, herbal tea and slightly quartzy flavour. Good length too, the wine slowly fading away from the palate. Very refined. 18 points
White - Sweet/Dessert

1995 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux

Chenin Blanc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
This wine has a brilliant golden hue in the glass, shimmering and bright - and the wine itself, in terns of aroma and flavour, is no less impressive than its appearance. On the nose it has a paradoxical intertwining of ethereal perfume and richness, the fruit pure and crystalline, sheer essence of Vouvray but with power alongside the minerality. Fine, a little gingery, with a floral trace and notes of honey and lemon zest, and most importantly a beautiful definition to it. The palate has an ecstatic character, essence of dry and grippy peach-skin and sugar crystals swirled with cream. Bold and yet tightly defined, rich and straight and yet also at its core caressing. Long, pure and stylish. This is drinking superbly just now, although I suspect there is absolutely no rush with this one. An incredibly thrilling wine, heart-stopping, so pure and lifted. And to think this is only the straight moelleux, not the reserve bottling. Wow. 18.5 points
White - Sweet/Dessert

1995 Domaine des Forges Coteaux du Layon Chaume Les Onnis

Chenin Blanc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
This is a wine I am fairly familiar with, having picked up a good number of bottles at auction a few years ago. Suffice to say every bottle has been delicious and the wines have given great drinking pleasure over the years. This bottle is no exception. A fine, very pure and yet rich golden hue in the glass. The nose shows some nice complexity, high-toned and bright, with tinges of fresh orange and marmalade fruit, touched by caramel. The palate carries these rich complexities well, with its bitter backbone and fresh acidity. It's the purity and lift that really gets me excited here though - this is really impressive stuff; although the bitter brightness of early bottles has faded, there is freshness and botrytis combined here, and that gives a lot of pleasure. Superb. 18 points
White - Sweet/Dessert

1995 Domaine des Forges Coteaux du Layon Saint-Aubin Cuvée des Forges

Chenin Blanc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
A pretty amazing burnished orange-gold hue in the glass, quite an unexpected (not having tasted this wine before) intensity and brashness. It just screams botrytis, and naturally the nose betrays this origin, being full of the aromas of caramelised oranges, toffee biscuit, smoke, dense honey and milky beeswax. Fabulously rich on entry, full of crunchy, browned-oat biscuits, sweet caramelised marmalade and an intense, very broad sugar-rich build. There is freshness too, but it has a bit-part in this play which relies on its noble power for most impact. This is certainly impressive and all-encompassing, and I suspect this will go for another decade or two in the cellar. Incredible stuff; it is only when looking for more ethereal aspects, for acidity, for purity, that we see what elements are missing. But there is so much worthy of our attention beyond these facets that I still find plenty of pleasure here. 16.5 points
Red

1995 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
I first tasted this wine in 2003, when I wrote "starting to drink well". A couple of years on, I wasn't so sure, and now I still think this wine has a lot in reserve. Quite a stink here on opening the bottle, all seaweed and oyster shell, but this dissipated during the course of an hour, revealing something much more pleasant. Dark in hue, although showing some mature tones right through. It does maintain a firm calcareous character, showing maturity, although still with some very dark organic notes too, redolent of black olive, truffle and perfumed red fruits. A more chalky-granite character on the nose also comes through on the palate, which has a gently supple style, backed up by fine tannins. There is still a lot of meat and depth here, with notes of scorched earth and white pepper set against the sweet black fruit. Still rather soft in terms of texture in places, but I would think with more time - and this does need more time - it will become more defined. Lovely wine. 17+ points
White - Sweet/Dessert

1990 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
A long cork in good condition here. The colour in the glass is the first encouraging sign, rich and golden, although it did nothing to prepare me for the intensity and complexity of aroma on the nose. It starts with a vibrant smokiness, swirled with a great minerality, tense, with the suggestion of struck flint. But there is more, a note of sweet and concentrated orange marmalade, of toasted almonds, candied lemon and biscotti. The palate certainly does not disappoint, being full of flavour but also vigorous, sweet and yet savoury, fleshy, rich and yet also defined, smoky and mineral. The tension is quite remarkable, the wine full and exciting and yet admirably framed, full of rich flavours but cut through by fine acidity, crisp minerality, and an appealing brightness. Composed, and very long. A brilliant and evocative wine, as seductive as Hayworth and yet with the poise of Hepburn. Stunning. 19 points
Red

1995 Chateau Musar

Bekaa Valley Red Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
It is five years since I broached one of these and today it looks just as mature as I described it then - but I think that is typical of Musar; these wines look mature earlier than you might expect, but then fade in terms of intensity of colour very slowly, over many years. The nose gives a big acetic blast at first, but then more complex aromatics come to the fore, very animally in style, especially with notes of warm and sweaty horsehair. And alongside this ball of fur there is sweetly baked fruit, notes of black olive and Germolene ointment, smoke and pepper. Quite intense and sweet in style, and this comes through on the palate too which has a layer of sweetly roasted meats, piles of flavour and a broad, peppered character. Lots of structure here still, raw tannins and a juicy-sour acidity which dominates the finish giving it a little balsamic note. Very long, and still needing a lot of time - another 5-10 years before this really settles down I think. The best showing yet for this wine. 17.5 points
Red

1990 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
December 2010
A fascinating wine to taste in view of the drubbing this received from Parker. From a magnum, opened and decanted, and then tasted during the course of one evening. Still plenty of red pigment to this wine, no real convincing sign of maturity here, although there is a little dustiness to it. The nose has some fruit elements still, so this doesn't seem advanced (as the colour suggested), and of course the format may have had some impact on that. What non-fruit elements there are here include a blend of classic Bordeaux tea leaf and rust, but also some less common gamey, roast-meat characteristics. Good substance on the palate, full and with a little sweetness to it, certainly a very appealing texture, this is a maturing wine that has not lost its substance. Good structure here in fact, slightly gritty tannins, fresh acids, although the flavours within are tinged with little elements of roast ham and bacon which were suggested on the nose, dusted with cherries and cranberries. They're not actually unattractive, just not what I was expecting. In terms of presence I like this - there is texture, sappy acidity and tannins with a lightly chewy edge. But there is also a sense that it is a little stripped out; where is the exuberant and exotic character that we should expect from a wine produced by a second-growth Pauillac estate, in a great vintage, from a well-stored magnum at twenty years? It isn't here. Fortunately I think the structure is so convincing I do think there is more to come from this wine yet, in this format at least. Having said that, with roasted beef it showed more classic style, the tea leaf and rusty iron more prominent. Overall it drank really rather well. It is remarkable to think, however, that I have previously scored the 1991 higher than this. 16.5 points
  • Reviews: 42 /
  • Wines: 42

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