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Vintage Name Variety Publication Reviewer Score More...
White

2007 Ščurek Stojan Sivi Pinot

Goriška Brda more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
Sivi Pinot is better known as Pinot Gris. An attractive hue in the glass, a sort of pale dusty straw, a true vin gris in terms of appearance. Straw and sun-dried stone-fruits on the nose, peach skin, peach stone. A full bodied palate, firm but also with good texture, some good grip too, the force perhaps belying the wine's 13.5% alcohol. Good tingly acidity, well polished edges but lots of tangible substance and extract within. Has this seen some skin contact? Good grippy finish too. I like this; it would work well with white meats, especially roast chicken, or pork. Punchy finish. 16 points
Red

2006 Ščurek Stojan Stara Brajda Old Vineyard

Goriška Brda Red Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
This wine is a blend of 20% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and then 30% each Merlot and Refoak, this latter variety also known as Refosco (as well as a number of other pseudonyms). The wine has a dense and glossy hue in the glass, and good spicy fruit on the nose. Dense and very tangible, with a rather rich but quite fresh style, and a rather dusty violet perfume which relates to the Cabernet Franc. A good weight on the palate, perfumed here too, with good substance and a nicely creamy weight. Notes of cherry and cranberry fruit, with that dusty note again. A touch rustic but certainly fresh, and perhaps a touch more acid would be preferred, but this is certainly a good wine and would make a fine alternative to a good cru bourgeois claret. There is cellaring potential too. 16.5+ points
White

2003 Batič Chardonnay Riserva

Vipava Valley more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
An appealing, limpid, pale golden hue. The nose is subdued, elegant, nothing over the top, over-ripe or oaky here, so any fears of this being a soupy, over-baked wine typical of 2003 in Europe are ill-founded. It has some nicely polished stone fruits, and a faint trace of a toothsome honey character. Lovely texture on entry, glycerine-rich but also with enough acidity to balance it out and with some good peach and pear flavours too. Also notes of white pepper, with little toffee-caramel and brazil nut nuances coming in at the back, nothing overt, just very gentle suggestions of maturity. This is very nicely balanced, beautifully textured, almost silky, and overall this is very good. It has a nice little grip at the finish too. Nothing deep, minerally or too complex here, but nevertheless a very well made wine which although very drinkable now will repay further cellaring I am sure. 16+ points
Red

2000 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
A couple of years on since I last tried this, and it still has a dense hue, although with perhaps a little more maturity creeping in at the sides now. The nose is explosive and characterful though, showing a deep array of scents, more complex and intricate than I recall. We still have the cherry element, although it is presented in a richer, darker, macerated black cherry style, and behind this there are notes of polished, minerally stone, flowers, alongside more muted sweet and yet animally elements. Pure, rich and yet well defined on entry, with creamy substance but fresh acids and good balance, this wine is still certainly on the way up, as evidenced by a kick of tannins at the finish. Fine, scented, with dried black olive flavour, yet also substantial, this is excellent wine with bags of potential yet, but it is drinking very nicely now if you like wines that lie on the cusp between primary and secondary characteristics. 18.5+ points
Red

2000 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
The second wine of Beaucastel. This wine has a deep, rich, oxblood tones, with a fresh, pink rim. The nose is delightful; it has progressed onto a complexity that this wine didn't possess two years ago, today showing savoury roasted meats, macerated and powerfully flavoured cherry fruit, with notes of tar, leather and flower petals. The palate is similarly impressive, showing a really fine but rich substance at first which fills the palate with savoury, macerated fruit and the flavours of sweetly charred meat. It keeps a broad presence through to the finish, backed up by fine, very slightly minerally tannins which, with the soft acidity, provide a welcome freshness to it. I previously said drink up; based on this bottle this was premature, but I would certainly encourage anyone who has this wine to drink now - because it is delicious. 17.5 points
Red

2000 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
The second wine of Beaucastel. This wine has a deep, rich, oxblood tones, with a fresh, pink rim. The nose is delightful; it has progressed onto a complexity that this wine didn't possess two years ago, today showing savoury roasted meats, macerated and powerfully flavoured cherry fruit, with notes of tar, leather and flower petals. The palate is similarly impressive, showing a really fine but rich substance at first which fills the palate with savoury, macerated fruit and the flavours of sweetly charred meat. It keeps a broad presence through to the finish, backed up by fine, very slightly minerally tannins which, with the soft acidity, provide a welcome freshness to it. I previously said drink up; based on this bottle this was premature, but I would certainly encourage anyone who has this wine to drink now - because it is delicious. 17.5 points
Rosť - Sparkling

NV Bollinger Champagne Brut Rosé

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
This is the same blend as for Special Cuvée but was produced one year earlier, so here the base vintages are 2003 and 2004. There is 5% red wine added. The colour is fairly bright, a smoked-salmon pink. The nose has a little raspberry-toffee sweetness at first, a nuance which quickly passed, leaving little notes of cherry, plum and creamy honeycomb. Elegant on the palate, full, a gentle mousse, and fine acidity. Overall harmonious, stylish, reserved, although with a firm finish. 16.5 points
Rosť - Sparkling

2002 Bollinger Champagne Grande Année Rosé

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
This is the white Grand Année blend, 100% barrel-fermented as always, with the addition of red wine sourced from the Côte aux Enfants. The colour is just lovely, a fresh salmon pink. It is a touch high-toned at first, with a firm fruit nose, showing an exotic character with notes of peach and wild strawberry, then more characterful forest fruits and cherries. It has a deep complexity, a savoury quality that takes this out of the flavour spectrum where most pink Champagnes reside; alongside the fruit character there are notes of frangipane, almonds and a sous bois character more reminiscent of Burgundy than Champagne. The palate is elegant, stylish, full and harmonious, rich and yet gently composed, fine and broad. This is a grand vin with bubbles. 18+ points
White - Sparkling

1990 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
Not quite the last of my bottles of this vintage. A moderate golden hue here, this is a wine showing some maturity in appearance for sure. Unlike my last bottle which seemed a little soft at first, this one seemed quite glorious from the very beginning. We have a firm and nutty nose here, with brazil nut and walnut, alongside notes of baked honey, mushroom and golden, polished wood. No signs of oxidation. Beautifully full and fresh on the palate, firm with a good backbone of acidity, and a finely crisp mousse. Delicious stuff, full-flavoured, with a panoply of flavours that mirror the nose, and a wonderful length. I had read that the 1990 vintage was on its way over the hill, but the vigour and composition shown by this bottle would seem to refute that assertion. Great wine. 18.5 points
White - Sparkling

1992 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
This was a difficult year, marked by the presence of a lot of botrytis. This bottle was disgorged in 1999, and so has seen significant post-disgorgement ageing. On the nose it has a much more mineral style, chalky and lemony, with a herbal-vegetal note coming through also. It has a good crunchy style, is tightly defined, with nuances of crushed nuts and roasted vegetables, followed by more typical aromas of mushroom and coffee, although with a mint highlight. Still broad, full and rich in terms of texture, and certainly evolved (albeit in a very different style to the 1995). Very good. 17 points
White - Sparkling

1995 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
This is a highly regarded vintage by the Bollinger team. It is certainly more mature and evolved on the nose than the 2000, showing good secondary characteristics including mushroom and coffee, latter showing more caramelly style. This is very open and expressive, forceful and brimming with character, and these qualities carry through onto the palate where there are notes of honey, brazil nuts and dried mushrooms, later hints of truffles and dried oranges. This has a great style and lots of impact, and although very evolved it has wonderful acidity suggesting it will continue to develop for a few years yet. Great finish. This is wonderful. 18.5+ points
White - Sparkling

2000 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
As always this is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the former predominant (in a ratio of 2:1) in keeping with the house style. No Pinot Meunier here. The fruit is all sourced from grand cru and premier cru vineyards. We sampled two bottles of this vintage, the first in the main tasting and the second over lunch. This was fortuitous as I found this first bottle to be somewhat awkward, tight and withdrawn, with a whisp of sulphur still evident, although I know others found it acceptable or even very good. The fruit had a honey crunch to it, crisp and creamy at the same time, with a firm but generous quality and a precise mousse. I would have scored this bottle 17.5+/20, but the second was more convincing than that. This example, perhaps an earlier disgorgement, had a much more elegant style, with more finely defined crystalline fruit. Excellent wine. 18+ points
White - Sparkling

1997 Bollinger Champagne R.D. Extra Brut

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
The term RD refers to the practice of recent disgorgement; this wine is essentially La Grande Année, but with the wine left on the lees for an extended period of time, in the case of this bottle more than 10 years as it was disgorged in early 2009. The dosage is lower than for Grande Année, so the finished product is drier. This wine has one of the finest beads I have ever seen, and it has a very fine nose, full and ripe, aromatic and yet full of youthful, fresh, zesty character. It has a very pure and gentle style, fresh and elegant, certainly vivacious and polished. And yet behind this sheen of youthfulness there is a very bold and rather tertiary character. Overall, brilliantly fresh yet also subtly mature. Lovely wine. 17.5 points
White - Sparkling

NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut

Champagne Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
One of several bottles tasted during this trip. This particular cuvée is a blend of 2005 and 2004 vintages (the 2004 stored in steel) in roughly equal proportions, in total accounting for 90% of the wine, with 10% reserve wines (stored in magnums under cork). Overall the blend is 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier. Some of the two base vintages saw fermentation in oak, as is usually the case. Disgorgement in early 2009. The nose seems mature, evolved and elegant, with notes of honeyed, polished wood; the reserve wines are in evidence here I think. An elegant palate, a fine mousse, broad but firm too. Overall this has a finer, more delineated composition than I recall from tastings of previous incarnations of this cuvée. Very good, and it seems ready now. 16.5 points
White - Sparkling

1999 Bollinger Champagne Vieilles Vignes Françaises

Pinot Noir more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
Served blind this wine showed a rich but well-judged, pale golden hue in the glass, and a captivating nose that immediately suggested this was a pure Pinot Noir cuvée, with the meaty-biscuity richness of that variety presented in an intense, evocative, very linear and defined fashion. There is concentration here, but also freshness and great style; we're at Bollinger, so the only wine that would fit this description is of course the Vieilles Vignes cuvée from the old ungrafted vines described above. The palate is divine - although I could easily be accused of being less objective now the identity of the wine is clear. It has a great paradox of concentrated, honeyed fruit set against a fine and rather light mousse and overall an elegance, a finesse, which is unparalleled. Broad, substantial but never unbalanced or ponderous, all culminating in a considerable finish, this wine's reputation is surely well deserved based on this particular example. I don't have any knowledge of other vintages of Vieilles Vignes Françaises in order to place this wine within a tighter context, but placed against a backdrop of other Champagnes this wine is superb, and a must-taste experience for fans of the region, especially those that prefer Pinot-based cuvées. Quite simply, a wonderful wine. 19+ points
Red

2000 Bosquet des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Grenache

more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
A dark and maturing hue here, bricking, but still with plenty of fine, red pigment though. The nose is delightful, fresh, with savoury charred meat and dark liquorice, with more lifted elements, rather like dark garden mint, or twiggy herbs, thyme and maybe even rosemary? The palate doesn't disappoint, starting off with a nicely polished roundness, but maintaining a rather tight and balanced composition in the midpalate which gives so much more pleasure, thanks to its fine delineation and mineral edge. Then it shows a little more fat, but nothing over-the-top, before a crashing wave of tannins rolls in towards the finish, never totally dominating but certainly making their presence felt, It makes for a firm, grippy but thankfully substantial finish. Overall, a delicious wine. 18 points
Red - Sparkling

NV Bouvet-Ladubay Cabernet Franc Demi-Sec Rubis Excellence

Saumur more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
Current release. A blend of Cabernet, Gamay and Grolleau Dark, dusty, black cherry hue, and a vibrant purple froth when poured into the glass. Why do some sparkling reds give a clear/white froth, and others purple? On the nose crunchy dark fruits, plum skin and cherry stone character, with a touch of fatty smoke. Nice weight, a little fleshy but not over the top, well-judged residual sugar giving some body rather than sweetness, balancing out the smoky, crunchy fruits. More summery in style on the palate, with strawberry and loganberry alongside the more grippy fruit elements noted on the nose. Nice, gentle mousse, and just a little tannin in the finish. Good. 16 points
Red

2000 Frédéric & Daniel Brunier Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine La Roquète

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
A wine from the Bruniers, best known for their work at Vieux Télégraphe, this has a maturing hue, with good, gamey, spicy aromas on the nose, with element of stewed meat, a touch of violet and strawberry fruit too. The palate carries a nice weight, with a creamy-polished texture but with a stony freshness. It has a nice substance, a dry extract at the core, but it is ripe, with a little touch of sweetness and attractive midpalate power. Mature, pickled fruit aromatics, a touch rustic, complete the picture. This is appealing, but is a touch foursquare, and certainly not elegant or ethereal. Nice wine though, fresh, alive and with some good potential. 16+ points
Red

2000 Domaine du Cayron Gigondas

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
A few years on since last tasted, this wine still shows a good depth of colour, and it still has a surprisingly youthful, deep red pigment at the core, with red dominating right out to the rim too. The nose is surprisingly reticent considering the wine's age; there are little nuances of smoky, gamey, well-hung meat, of cherry, and of other less easily defined aromas; cola, warmth, charred wood, burnt grass. The palate kicks off with a fairly generous texture, and it reveals a full, sappy structure in the middle with ripe tannins and a slightly gritty feel in the midpalate, with gentle acidity. There is a little disjointedness to it (again as previously noted), as there is whisky-like alcohol peeping out from behind the fruit, and there is a hardness to it despite that nice texture at the beginning. This is a decent wine, but the totality lacks expression and charm. 15.5+ points
Red

2000 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
Not the densest of colours when poured, although it has an appealing dark cherry hue, with a fading rim. The nose is really rather muted at first, before it develops some horsey aromas, and a stewed, slightly grassy-tinny, sticking plaster kind of fruit. There is Brett here for sure, and it dominates in this bottle. The palate has a good texture and weight, there is a little sweetness to it, but also a rather sour character, and a sharp structure, especially at the finish. This is surely not a representative bottle, so a second was opened - and this was better. It took a little while to open up, but it revealed admittedly muted aromas of wild and savage fruit, animalistic, but it has a different, much more appealing style than the first bottle, together with notes of hot stones and hung game. On the plate, veering towards monolithic at first, all texture without any generosity, but then brighter, more defined, showing a little more vivacity with deeply characterful fruit with just a gamey, meaty tinge, backed up by lots of polished extract and substance. This is still a very youthful style, and there is a lots of unresolved spice and tannin in the finish. Yes it is drinkable now, and there are many good points, but it is certainly a wine still on the way up. I have scored on the basis of the second bottle alone, hoping that this was just bad luck rather than a systematic issue with variation or Brett. 18+ points
Red

1997 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Clos de l'Echo

Cabernet Franc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
This wine seems to show quite differently compared to my last bottle which was a little more than a year ago; here we have a rich mahogany colour, although it is run through from the centre to the core with a burnt cherry pigment; the previous bottle looked much fresher. The nose has a mature character, not in great abundance though; this is all quite subtle. The first impressions are of iron and violets, with smoke and stone, and overall it seems less green than I recall. The palate is gently broad, quite nicely balanced but overall a little lean and with prominent texture, coming through as a sappy-sour finish. It has plenty of appeal, especially with its fresh, savoury, food-friendly structure, but overall this shows less well than previously. It is a matter of bottle variation rather than development I think. 16.5 points
Red

2000 Mas de Daumas Gassac Vin de Pays de l'Hérault

Red Bordeaux Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
I was uncertain whether to include this wine, as it is so different in style, this being largely Cabernet Sauvignon in contrast to the Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah of the Rhône and Languedoc. In the end it was something of a disaster, but not for the feared reason. The first bottle was rank, farmyardy and mousey, seemingly heavily tainted by Brett, curiously later showing toffee and burnt sugar character. A second was opened, which turned out to be corked. Thankfully a third was just fine; in the glass it shows a bright ruby red with little maturity, and on the nose classic youthful Mas de Daumas, firm and gravelly with tightly bound fruit, and a burgeoning perfume over the top. I have often said that tasted blind Mas de Daumas resembles a St Estèphe more than any other commune, and on the basis of this tasting I wouldn't change this opinion. A firm palate, with good substance and texture, and lots of ripe structured tannins coming right through the core and coating the whole mouth on the finish. This third bottle is lovely, but still very primary, tannic and full. Lots of development time here before this one is at peak, which if you know Mas de Daumas will come as no surprise I am sure. 17.5+ points
Red

2000 Domaine Font de Michelle Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
A fine and mature colour, oxblood red at the core, and a wide, paler rim. The nose has plenty of open and overtly mature fruit, sweet and slightly high-toned, with violets, cooked cherries and hot, slightly funky, animalistic, caramelised meat. The palate is fleshy, but with firm underpinnings, plenty of meaty extract, and a lovely tangible substance to the wine. There's a good seam of ripe and smoky tannins, rather firm acidity although this sits quite well within the overall substance of the wine. A nice wine, broad and spicy, with plenty of forward character and a little suppleness, and a little length too. Good wine. 17 points
Red

2005 Fornazaric Rubino

Vipava Valley more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
A transparent, ruby red hue here. The nose carries aromas of cooked cherry and slightly dusty, cooked strawberry, all presented in a rather diffuse fashion, hard to pin down. The entry is soft, pillowy, rounded but with a decent kick underneath, with more of the cooked fruit character found on the nose coming through here, touched with a little liquorice, again all rather soft and imprecise. A touch of grip, showing a rather raw structure towards the finish, with a warming length. A touch chewy and yet not fleshy, this certainly warms the bones in a rather rustic fashion. 13 points
White

2004 Fornazaric Sauvignonasse

Vipava Valley more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
September 2009
You might assume seeing the name of this grape variety that it is a synonym for Sauvignon Blanc, but this is in fact Tocai Friulano, a North Italian variety (also sometimes known as Sauvignon Vert). A gentle golden colour in the glass. Fairly neutral on the nose at first, then more salty and mineral, then more grassy. Full on the palate, with smoky, candied fruits, full and sappy. Grippy, rounded, plump and tightly polished, this actually has plenty of character on the palate. Tight, with fresh acidity, and a lot of substance and texture, this makes good drinking. 16 points
  • Reviews: 70 /
  • Wines: 68

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