Some good and some awful wines with dinner

We had a dinner party last night which was not entirely successful. Our guests brought some lovely wines, but most of the stuff I opened was either awful or downright weird.

Riesling Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Kabinett 2005, Schloss Saarstein

Still a bit yeasty on the nose. It had some good fruit and acidity, but not much in the way of minerality. It was also quite short. A passable drink but really quite dull.

Riesling Bernkasteler Lay Spätlese 1997, Wwe. Dr H Thanisch – Erben Thanisch

Lovely fruit on the nose, real minerality here too. This smells quite ripe but it has a pleasing purity of flavour. Great acidity on the palate, with good fruit and great minerality. Despite its good acidity this seemed reasonably buxom for a Thanisch wine. It didn’t show much in the way of maturity, it’ll last years yet. Quite delicious.

Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Grandes Ruchottes 2000, Château de Maltroye

This had a really odd nose of unripe pear fruit and children’s glue. It was really unattractive. It tasted of glue too which didn’t make it terribly enjoyable to drink. So we didn’t drink it.

Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru les Cazetiers 2002, Armand Rousseau

A beautiful nose of pure, refined Pinot fruit. The purity and harmony of the nose was most pleasing. On the palate the fruit was nice and ripe, with perfect acid levels and a good, long finish. It was really quite complex with a good harmony between its flavours. This had a really good Gevrey character, and it was very Rousseau too. A lovely wine, great fun to drink now but clearly has the potential to age very well.

Volnay Premier Cru les Caillerets 2002, Michel Lafarge

The nose of this was extremely refined and sparkled with lovely fruit and a real Volnay purity. It was clearly extremely complex and completely charming. On the palate there were lovely, detailed, refined flavours and it had a wonderful silky texture. The balance was superb and it had a very long, complex finish. Very stylish too. I really like Lafarge wines and this was certainly up to his very high standards.

Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio All’Oro 1997, Castello Banfi

This smelled just like a super-ripe, extremely oaky Syrah, this didn’t inspire confidence that it’d be good. There was no harmony or refinement to the nose, it was simply big. The palate was bloody awful, hugely extracted with dry tannins and frightening levels of acidity. It was certainly lacking fruit and was not balanced. No.

Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Clos St. Jacques 2002, Sylvie Esmonin

Really ripe on the nose; blackberry fruit. The palate was quite a mouthful: loads of fruit, good extract and plenty of acidity. This was a lot bigger than I would have expected, but it seemed in reasonable harmony, though. I thought the finish was really pretty good with reasonably complex flavours persisting. Even though this was not typical, I thought it was quite a good wine.

Vintage Port 1983, Taylor’s

For a Taylor’s Port this had a very refined nose, it wasn’t the usual explosion of intensity. The fruit was good, and quite mature. Again there was refinement on the palate, not fiery at all. Good mature fruit and nice length. This was very enjoyable and fully mature.