Fonseca 1970, Delamain 1914, Vin de Constance 1988 and other treats

alsace champagne chile france rioja

Fonseca 1970, Delamain 1914, Vin de Constance 1988 and other treats

Had a very enjoyable dinner last night at the offices of Mentzendorff, a major high-end UK agency house. It was more fun than work, but I took some notes on the wines in my usual geeky way. Here they are.

Champagne Ayala Perle d’Ayala Nature 2002
This is the non-dosage version of Ayala’s prestige cuvee, and it’s one of the very best non-dosage Champagnes I’ve had. Taut and fresh, it has lovely fruit. Intense and refined with citrus freshness and some structure. Very nicely balanced. 93/100

Champagne Ayala Perle d’Ayala 2002
This is beautiful. Refined and sophisticated with appealing toastines and pure citrussy fruit. A complete Champagne that’s fresh and enthralling. 94/100

Champagne Bollinger Grande Annee 2002
Tight, fresh and citrussy, this is quite superb. It blends power and refinement, and has subtle toastiness and lovely acidity. Youthful. 94/100

Champagne Bollinger Grande Annee Rose 2002
Pale salmon pink, this is pretty serious, with taut fruit, a hint of strawberry and cherry, and some tight structure. Very fine. 93/100

Casa Marin Estero Vineyard Sauvignon Gris 2009 San Antonio, Chile
A distinctive wine. Strong green pepper character with ripe pear and melon fruit. Rich, textured and bold with lovely intensity. 90/100

Michel Chapoutier Schieferkopf Lieu Dit Fels Riesling  2009 Alsace
This is a beautifully textured Riesling with some citrus brightness and appealing floral notes. Precise and intense with lovely weight and fruit purity. Dry. 92/100

Domaine Chanson Beaune 1er Cru Champimonts 2005 Burgundy
Chanson is a negociant house that owns 45 hectares of premier cru and grand cru vineyards in Burgundy, and was bought by Bollinger in 1999. This is a rich expression of red Burgundy with dense, spicy fruit and some oak. Dense cherry and plum fruit are meshing well with the spicy oak. It will take a while for the fruit and oak to merge seamlessly, but there’ s good potential in this concentrated wine. 92/100

Roda Cirsion 2006 Rioja
Sweet, ripe, lush, creamy and intense. This flirts with over-ripeness and just about gets away with it. Nice blackberry fruit, with some sweet vanilla oak. Rich, seductive and actually quite convincing: a rather expensive crowd-pleaser, but a wine that might develop nicely with time. 91/100

Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 1988 Constantia, South Africa
Oooh yes. This is good, a bit like a top Madeira, with bracing acidity supporting the sweetness. It’s powerfully flavoured with some citrus and raising character. Wonderfully complex and intense. 95/100

Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2005 Constantia, South Africa
Sweet, grapey and rich with some spiciness and a hint of raisiny richness. Textured, smooth and sweet with some crystalline fruit notes. 93/100

Taylor’s 40 Year Old Tawny Port
Complex, nutty and elegant with some spiciness. Nicely dense with real complexity. Very fine. 95/100

Fonseca Vintage Port 1970
Mellow, sweet and elegant with some cherry notes and fine spiciness. Supple, textured and smooth with lovely purity. 95/100

Delamian Cognac Grande Champagne 1914
This is old! Doesn’t taste too old, though. Mellow, complex and spicy with lovely intensity, and with sweet vanilla aromatics. Mellow and lively at the same time. A treat.

5 Comments on Fonseca 1970, Delamain 1914, Vin de Constance 1988 and other treatsTagged , , , , , , , , , ,
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

5 thoughts on “Fonseca 1970, Delamain 1914, Vin de Constance 1988 and other treats

  1. Jamie –

    It doesn’t sound like you really enjoyed the Cirsion and I’ve always found it very disappointing, especially considering the price and the winery. Maybe you need to give it 10 years..? The middle Roda though, “Roda I” I think it is, I’ve often found to be brilliant, top notch modern Rioja without trying too hard.

    As for Sauvignon Gris. I also had a yummy coastal Chilean, Leyda “Kadun”. Seems like a decent grape, why does hardly anyone bother to make it?

  2. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the vin de constance. I have a bottle of 2004 to still open some time soon. But I did open a Domaine de Chevalier Grand Cru Classe de Graves 2004 on the week end which was surprisingly still good.

  3. I was lucky enough to be born in 1970 and so received some 1970 port (and the Taylors 40yr old Tawny) from my wife – God bless her. Still have a Fonseca and a Taylors left. Also had a much cheaper one by Da Silva, not in the same league as the others but still pretty tasty and something of a bargain.

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