SuperBOWL 2002 walk-round tasting

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reporters: Ray Abercromby (RA), Andrew Stevenson (AS), Paul Armstrong (PA) and Nick Alabaster (NA)


Henschke Eden Riesling 1990, Australia
V deep gold. V rich full nose. Good new world Riesling. (AS) Fat & petrolly, but crisp and poised too. (PA)

Zind Humbrecht Riesling Grand Cru Brand 1994, Alsace
Deep yellow colour. Lovely deep intende honey nose, great weight, length and depth with honey again on the palate. Excellent (RA). Superb Riesling nose. V rich, almost chewy classic Alsace Riesling. Hint of spiciness on middle. V fine after. (AS). Classic Riesling, I recall liking this a lot and thinking it’s not as fat/sweet as ZH can be sometimes – this was classic Riesling, more so than classic ZH (NA).

Dopff and Irion Tokay Pinot Gris 1996 Grand Cru Sporen, Alsace
Golden yellow. Intense honeyed nose, with honeyed sweetness and controlling acidity in equal measure. Long length. Excellent (RA). Fab nose – highly extracted PG. Excellent, archetypal Alsace PG. Very clean & very impressive. Interestingly – I tried this again much later (midnight-ish or maybe later) and it had almost completely died. (AS)

Petite Arvine de Leytron 2000, Devages et fils, Switzerland
Nose of Chardonnay & Pinot Gris. Rich attack, v. full. Would guess at PG. Rich, clean & quite impressive. (AS). Interesting, gently aromatic dry white (PA).

Lost Valley Cortese 2001, Australia
New grape to me I think. Good fruity nose. Fairly thin wine though. (AS)

1991 Simi Reserve Chardonnay, California
Deep golden yellow. Powerful oaky nose with smoke and honey. Smooth oaky butter and nuts flavour, full fat taste, and powerful flavours. Very decadent wine. Excellent (RA).

Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese 1990 – Germany
Quite deep colour. Nice appley nose, starting to show some petrol. Good, clean Riesling attack. Round, not too sweet, just gorgeous richness. Elegant. But somehow, like most Fritz Haag wines, it just doesn’t seem to do it for me. (AS). Gorgeous, ethereal, pristine. E/S (PA).

Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Auslese 2001 – Germany
Very young nose – almost sauvignony. Some sweetness. Bit coarse and not really together. Have to admit didn’t pay a great deal of attention to the bottle on this. Just noted the Christoffel name and assumed was what was on the original posted list. Unlike the next wine, which appeared and got its full particulars taken! (AS)

Joh Jos Christoffel Erben 2001 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese
Pale gold. V attractive, fragrant young Riesling nose. Not overly malic. Fab attack. V clean and full. Fills nicely. Touch of pleasing sweetness. Elegant and creamy at once. V nice acidity keeping it together. (AS)

Messmer Rulander TBA 1994 – Germany
Lovely, full-on rich dessert wine. E (PA).

Khamma Moscato Passito di Pantelleria 1997, Salvatore Murana
A style I’m not generally a fan of, but this wine seemed to have more freshness and cut with a lovely marmalade sweetness (NA).

Mueggen Moscato di Panetelleria 1998, Salvatore Murana
Fabulous dessert muscat nose. V nice. V fine. Elegant and clean. (surprisingly so). Good to VG (AS).



Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 1994, Australia
Inky black colour, deep evolved nose, with oak and hint of mint. Velvety spice on the palate, tannin integrated, good length. Very good/excellent (RA). VG nose. Good, but prefer the 96. (AS). Oak and mint on the nose. Is the fruit fading on the palate – all I got was angular fruit and acid (NA).

Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 1996, Australia
V attractive smoky nose. Nice, depth, different flavours. VG indeed. (AS)

Yarra Yering No 1 1990
Dry, leafy, piquant, touch volatile. Good lingering delicate finish though. VG (PA)

St Hallett Old Block Shiraz 1994
Purple. Warm oaky nose. Sweet fruit and oak on the palate but signs of drying out slightly. Finish is slightly short. Very Good (RA).

1991 Penfolds Bin 707
Still deep red/purple. Closed on the nose. Smooth fruit, tannin moderating but still noticeable. Black berry fruit and oak. Not as long as I remember other vintages (esp. 92). Very Good/Excellent (RA). Big, big wine. Plenty of smokey oak but dense blackcurrant fruit to balance. Huge palate that you can savour for minutes. Lovely, classic Oz cabernet (NA).

1992 Penfolds Bin 95 Grange
Dark purple. Closed nose, with little of the concentrated power that Grange can show. Strong tannin is the first impression, with dark fruit, bramble and spice. Good length, but overall, seems dumb/shut down, and unyielding. Very Good (RA). A herby top note but mostly caramel oak over dense fruit. Mid-weight Grange but good balance; tannins still a bit evident but air would have softened I’m sure as this is an early drinking wine. Fairly classic Grange but a lighter style. I nearly always find too much oak for my liking, but finally with the ’93 recently I’ve found a Grange which isn’t oak dominant! (NA).

Penfolds RWT 1997
Inky purple, dark. Tight smell, with hints of black fruit, oak and vanilla. Big, massive black fruit and spice flavours, vanilla/oak, and mouthpuckering tannin. Far too young, but behind the sensory assault lies a very well structured and classy wine. Excellent (RA). Less oak than before, but still a very oaky wine than reminds me more of (over-oaked) Garage St-Emillion than shiraz. Time will tell if all that creamy, cream brulee oak was warranted, but a note of VA on the palate suggests it might not work in the end (NA).

Yalumba Octavius Barossa Shiraz 1993
This is still an oaky monster. Can’t argue there’s big fruit in there, but the oak gives it a vanilla/syrupy edge which get’s distracting. Can’t see this wine improving (that is the oak diminishing), but it’s big enough to last a good while longer I suspect (NA).

Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1994
Sweet, high-toned nose; in fact basically on my limit for volatile acid. Lovely lift though giving a red fruit side to the flavour spectrum – classic Henschke syrah. Lovely balance on the palate and drinking well (NA).

Yarra Yering Pinot Noir 1990, Australia
Ruby red with rusty hint/edge. Very aromatic, with combination of earth, jam and undergrowth. Old fully evolved fruit and game flavours, with hint of jam and confected fruit. Good length. For drinking now. Excellent (RA). Faded oak and fruit, could have been any grape but it’s tired – could have been open for a good while before I got to it though (NA).

d’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie 2001, Australia
Cerise, Fruity, Sweet, No (RA). Big, dark blackish purple. OK nose. Attractive. Big and fruity, but not in-your-face power. Good. (AS)

Alana Pinot Noir 2000 (NZ)
Sweet, slightly jammy red fruit – a good, typical NZ pinot (NA).

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 1975, California
Tried in between seminars, and probably quite soon after opening. As expected, very developed but still holding on. Not my style/ideal age though (NA). Browning colour, with sweet fruit nose. Cedary taste, with clear residual fruit giving a black berry hint. Harmonious, old mature wine with good length. Excellent (RA). Lovely old Cab nose. Not overly brickish in colour. V light on attack, but still a remarkable amount of fruit. A real treat. (AS)

Napa Valley Cuvaison 1975, California
Remarkably deep colour would put it in the 1990s if blind. VG nose with lots of fruit. Lovely attack. Still fairly forward with plenty of fruit and nice length. Would never guess it was anything like this age. VG indeed. If the Mondavi was a real treat, this is an exceptional treat. (AS). Gently leafy, redcurranty fruit still in evidence, nice acid balance. Classy and still holding. (PA)

Cartlidge Brown Zinfandel 1997, California
Wish I could read my writing. It’s got a nice something something. Big fat fruit with hint of licorice. V attractive indeed. (AS)

Domaine Terrebrune Rouge 1988, Bandol, France
Pale ruby fading to brick. Attractive lightish nose. Not impressed. (AS)

Selection Deveze 1998 Vignerons de Maury, France
Showing age in the glass. Good rich fruity nose. V powerful sweet fruit on nose. On palate oddly lacking fruit. Distinctly unimpressive and a bit over the hill (or faulty?). (AS)

Domaine Borie de Maurel Cuvee Sylla 2000, France
Big and dark. Lovely v deep nose. V big and forward. Lots of massive fruit. Bit of a blockbuster, but impressive. (AS)

Chave Hermitage rouge 1983, Rhone
Pale red/rust. Mature, perfumed nose – lovely scents wafting out of the glass. Warm, smooth and elegant, spicy with an earthy edge and light, soft tannin. Like an older burgundy. Fully mature. Excellent (RA). Lots of sediment in suspension unfortunately, which made it difficult for me to make much of an assessment of it. But it had an amazing nose. (AS). Wonderful nose, lovely sweetness to the predominantly red fruit with an early tint. Palate has a wonderful elegant balance. Chave is just such a good wine, almost Cote-Rotie like in style (NA).

Chateau Beaucastel 1990, Rhone
Clear red, with rust edge. Smoky, gamey perfumed nose. Expansive taste, giving a huge assault of spice, game and fruit, with real warmth and velvety overlay. Very evolved for a 1990. Wonderful length. Excellent/Outstanding (RA). Lovely colour. Big, farmyardy nose. Quite light attack. V. fine and elegant Chateauneuf. VG (AS). Lovely, complex, gamey (PA). Earthy, touch of leather on the nose; I know from lab. analysis it’s loaded with brett, but it’s dropped out of the wine to a degree and the fruit has still something to say on the palate. Classic old style Beaucastel, lovely maturing Rhone (NA).

Chapoutier Hermitage Rouge 1990, Rhone (magnum)
Ruby red. Farmyard & smoke on the nose, with a warm spicy palate, well structured, not flashy but well balanced with a tannic streak. Very Good (RA). Nice colour, showing some age. Rather dull nose. Nice attack. Light and notably elegant. Excellent length. Good (AS). Slightly green and mean after the Beaucastel (PA). Earthy, a bit angular; I’ve had this before and it seemed to show better; not sure now where this wine is going (NA).

Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1991, Rhone
Ruby red with gently browning at the edge. Gamey nose, warm, smooth, gentle spice with tannin falling away. Very Good (RA). Good colour with some age. Excellent nose with great depth. VG attack. Clean and attractive throughout. Massive tannins on finish. VG (AS). Greenish/irony/masculine. Impressive but not spectacular (PA). Lovely, meaty mid-weight Chapelle. Lovely complexity and maturity, drinking well and perhaps time to drink (NA).

1994 Cote Rotie, cotes Brune et Blonde, Rostaing
Hint of reduction on nose, but fades with time. Elegant perfumed and spicy. Much improved over previous tastings of this where the wine was slightly dumb, unyielding with a hard edge. Excellent (AS).

Chateau du Tertre 1970, Bordeaux
Fairly deep but obviously mature colour. Nice old claret nose – mmmm… Lovely old claret. V attractive indeed. (AS). High acid, bit thin, but nice piquancy (PA).

Chateau Leoville-Les Cases 1978, Bordeaux
Brick red-brown/rust, slightly burnt earthy nose. Mature, gamey and earthy on the palate, with elegance and perfume but fruit fading. Length good but not outstanding. On the downward slope. A slight disappointment. Good (RA). Very dark brick. Lovely nose with heady b/currants. Nice attack. Lovely on on middle. Fab mature claret (AS). Quite brown. Leafy and mature, but bordering on maderised/past it. Disappointing (PA). Tired this later in the day. By then there was nothing left for me to enjoy, just oxidized and leathery (NA).

Bon Pasteur 1989, Bordeaux
Looks older than its years. VG nose. Bit thin. Seems to lack elegance. OK, but wouldn’t bother again. (AS). Very good mature bordeaux, but not scintillating – a bit “flat” (PA). A prematurely aged example perhaps, slightly caramel edge to the developed fruit (NA).

Chateau Carbonnieux Graves 1994
Classy but just slightly green like many 94s. VG (PA). A bit firm and four-square perhaps, but quite a good effort from the ’94 vintage (NA).

Chateau Sociando-Mallet 1996, Bordeaux
Lovely hedgerow nose. Rather good. (AS). Classic claret in the style I like, tight, smokey, curranty nose, excellent ripeness, dense body, supple ripe tannin and good length. Obviously 10 years + of being ready but a wine with plenty of promise (NA).

La Fleur de Bouard Bordeaux 2000
Delicious and gluggable. VG/E (PA).

Chateau d’Aiguilhe Bordeaux 2000
Nice but a touch too leafy? G/VG (PA).

Chambolle Musigny, Geantet-Pansiot 1997
Ruby red, deep core. Warm gamey nose, with a smoky edge. On the palate, an amazing complex silky taste, again showing wild game and secondary aromas with strong raspberry fruit adding to an expansive development in the mouth. Fantastic length. Excellent/Outstanding (RA). Authentic pinot fruit, but I found this a touch lean and overall weak (NA).

Volnay 1er Cru Carelle sous Chapelle 1995, Jean-Marc Boillot, Burgundy
Good, v even colour – the classic burgundy colour. Fabulous PN nose with earthy mushrooms dominant. VG attack. Still fairly tannic, but has a nice finesse to it. (AS). Leafy, nice but a bit “leaden”. Gameyness comes through with swirling (PA). Volatile acid on the nose, and again some on the palate which I found distracting. Seemed to have a good tight palate of fruit, but the air had got to it first perhaps? (NA)

Santenay 1er Cru Beaurepaire 2000, Jean-Marc Vincent, Burgundy
Young strawberry & purple. Fine. Not great. Disappointed by this. (AS). Intense white pepper nose dominates everything for now. Who knows? (PA). In comparison, lovely bright red fruits, light but typically Pinot. Easy to drink (NA).

Corton Grancey 1996, Latour, Burgundy
Pale red, clear with the slightest hint of rust at the edges. Farmyardy earthy smell, with elegant perfume. Smooth velvet mouthfeel, with strawberry fruit and a gamey edge. Not big, but very elegant and with a good length. Good/Excellent (RA). Pale, v attractive strawberry. Oh dear, writing’s illegible again. I can just make out the word Excellent. (AS). Very elegant palate, not much nose yet though. More to come? (PA). Old wood and tired fruit. On the palate signs of some sort of taint, probably barrel or bottle (NA).

Lamelson Thea’s Selection Pinot Noir 1999, Oregon
Jammy, confected, sugar, tannin. No (RA). Young purple. Rather dull PN nose. Light & fresh. V attractive forward fruit. Just seems too young and lacking varietal character – though some definite, if peppery PN comes through on finish. (AS)

Barolo Vigna la Delizia 1982, Fontafredda, Italy
Orangey brick. Yeuch. Sulphury nose. Not nice. Thin toilet water when it’s not been flushed properly. (I imagine) (AS). Grows on you if you try hard…but very thin and weedy really (PA).

1994 Val Sotillo Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Ismael Arroyo
Red/rust. Horse manure on nose, leading to an old-style wine with a hint of prunes, but with powerful fruit and warm oak overlay. Complex flavours. Very good length, and Excellent (RA). Big, typical black fruity Ribera, terrific dense fruit and balance, still very young (NA).

Vega Sicilia Unico 1990, Spain
Deep red. Smoky earthy nose, with a hint of manure. On tasting, a great attack, wonderful weight, and an explosive mid-palate with complex layers of taste. The taste follows the nose with deep fruit overlaid by integrated oak. The length goes on and on. Outstanding (RA). Interesting mature colour. Fabulous nose – layers & layers. Lovely attack. Gosh I like this. Beautiful. Smooth, rich, interesting. Exceptionally good (AS). Bready/doughy/bloody nose. Lovely richness and length (PA). Offered blind, I guess a ten year old ozzy! I found the oak distracting and taking on that woody character with age; I’m not a fan of Vega though, I’ve nearly always found them too oaky (NA).

Masia Barril Priorato Clasico 1987 – Spain
Pale, almost dry oloroso sherry like. Wierd. QG/G (PA).

Chateau Musar 1986, Lebanon
Rust & brick colours. Old, slightly burnt nose suggesting “over the hill”. However, amazing spice and depth, with smooth mouthfeel. Very balanced and structured. Long length. Excellent (RA).



Champagne Boulard “Year of the Comet” 1986
Golden, toasty/brioche nose, hint of mushroomy maturity. Nice, soft on palate, but fading gently (RA). V deep almost orangey colour. Attractive, elegant fruity nose. V nice clean flavour. Interesting with nice depth. Great length. Good. Could drink more of this … (AS)

Champagne Boulard Rosé de Saignée Brut
Nice strawberry salmon. Attractive nose. Lots of lovely fruit. Nice after. VG. Like it lots. (AS)

Champagne Boulard Grand Cru Mailly
Pale straw. Nice fruit & complexity. Beats its vintage sibling (RA). Deep straw. V yeasty nose. Full flavour. V rich and deep. Powerful, though not entirely to my taste. (AS)

Champagne Pol Roger 1990
Light straw-yellow. Fine bubbles. Lovely – classic elegance, fruit and secondary toasty hints. Long length (RA). Splendid medium gold. Exceptional nose – lots of fruit and some toasty elements. Beatiful smooth elegance on palate. Perfectly balanced. For me, the epitome of fine champagne. (AS)

Champagne Esterlin 1992
Straw yellow. Oxidative in style, yet quality shows through. Taste slightly off putting because of style (RA).

Champagne Vilmart Grand Cellier D’Or 1997
Fresh, biscuity, brioche scents, excellent balance and intensity of fruit (RA).

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