An impromptu dinner party

Some friends dropped around yesterday and it ended up turning into a dinner party. Sadly all I could offer to eat was soup, that is all I am allowed to eat after my stomach operation, but we drank quite well.

Champagne NV ‘White Foil’, Pol Roger

This shows a lot of development on the nose, it had clearly had some age on it. Very toasty and bready with real complexity for a non-vintage Champagne. Very fine mousse and good persistence of flavour. Shows it is well worth giving your NV Champagnes a bit of age.

Brunello di Montalcino 1998, Fuligni

Slightly varnish-y character to the nose, but it has a lot of ripe, red fruit. Herbal and a bit medicinal too. The palate has a bit of fruit on the entry, but it dies away to become really rather dried out. The last bottle of this I had about eighteen months ago seemed a lot more charming and fruity. These Brunellos are supposed to age very well, but I find this just a bit too old.

Vosne-Romanee 1997, Rene Engel

A very fruity nose that shows a perfect degree of maturity; the fruit is ripe but soft. There is a good mineral character to the nose as well. The palate is quite delicious, soft fruit, perfectly balanced acidity and not the least bit dried out. 1997 is a very under-rated year, but this shows they can be quite lovely wines.

Geyserville 1997, Ridge

75% Zinfandel in a vineyard blend. The nose of this is extremely alcoholic and worryingly oaky. The oak character is sweet and sickly; American oak. There is some fruit there but it is over-whelmed by the oak and alcohol. The palate is hellishly oaky too. I have had some very lovely old bottles of Geyserville in the past, but this certainly isn’t one of them. I would have hoped the oak would be more integrated at this age, but it seems like it’ll never go away.