Notes from a dinner with friends, wines tasted blind:

Gaston Chiquet Blanc de Blancs d'Ay (nv) – clean crisp wine with
excellent mousse, refreshing. 100% Chardonnay

2007 Dom. de la Mordoree Tavel – deep colour, excellent nose without
any heat, finishing nice and dry.

2002 Bourillon d’Orleans Vouvray La Coulee d’Argent – immediately
identifiable Chenin nose (but then I’ve had 3 Vouvrays in the last
couple of weeks) with floral scents, the wine balanced and smooth with
excellent length. Not old enough to have developed much secondary
characteristic, but lovely fruit now.

1998 Dom. du Caillou CNduP – some terminology necessary here. This is
not les Cailloux, run by Brunel, this is the wine made by Sylvie
Vacheron at Le Clos du Caillou, but marketed in this vintage simply as
Domaine du Caillou, and in later vintages as Le safre, under the
label Le Clos du Caillou. Confused yet? Garnet without any
bricking, the nose initially an excellent fruit based creation without
any animal scents, but it paradoxically reverted with air to add a
funky but interesting element. Full in the mouth, with fairly soft
tannin and a finish of great length showing black pepper. Absolutely
perfect fro drinking right now and should last a few years. Makes me
want to open a bottle of the 2008 Reserve which is also in my cellar.
This was the first bottle of the regular cuve I’d opened and I seem to
have hit it right on for drinking window.

2000 Ca del Baio Barbaresco Asili – it was funny because my host,
David Cooper and I have very similar taste in wines and we both love
Rhones and Italians. When we first smelled these wines side by side,
we were both thinking that we had chosen wines from the same area, but
he was thinking Italy and I was thinking Rhone. A bit of air changed
the CNduP enough to change our mind but the nose on this one, while
more constant was also more perplexing. It showed significant cocoa
with a bit of dill, and it wasn’t showing at all like a typical
Nebbiolo – so much so that we were thinking cab, and possibly new
world. Aside from the lack of typicity, this was a nice wine, very
smooth in the mouth with only slightly high terminal acidity as a clue
about source, with very good length.

We finished up with a couple of half bottles of interesting dessert
wine.

2002 Ch. Briatte Roudes Sauternes – unknown to me and a new listing
hereabouts, this was quite pleasant with medium yellow colour, light
botrytis in the nose, with a fresh, clean lemony finish. For current
drinking.

2005 Schloss Johannisberger Riseling Spatlese Trocken – I figured this
for a German Riesling and made my way to Spatlese based on bouquet
sweetness and intensity pretty quickly, but when I tasted it I almost
felt cheated! As is often the case, I felt that the wine would have
been much better with a higher level of RS which would probably also
have carried a higher level of midpalate fruit. It wasn’t bad, just
not up to initial expectation.