The second ASDW tasting arrives. As usual, I seem to be the only merchant interested in trying others' wines! There is a good Gattinara from one of my colleagues and another has some palatable Australian wines (don't get me started!).
Of my own line-up, the Roussannes from Domaine des Anges and Raymond Usseglio came through superbly as I rather suspected they would and I found Xavier Vignon's "Lili" has really come together: a few months ago the Viognier was knocking everything else out of the picture but today it was working in real harmony with the Roussanne element, the Marsanne providing a good spicy backbone. The real stars for me were Domaine de Cristia's 2003 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, big and beefy and just beginning to drink well now and Luigi Einaudi's stunning 1999 Barolo from the Cannubi vineyard, all oak and fruit to start with but with coffee and chocolate emerging throughout the day (the better-priced 2003 Barbera was rather good too, a mini-version of the Cannubi in many respects). This is a wine to stick away for a decade but it will be astonishingly good when it comes of age.
Other wines that stood out included Marco Maci's elegant 2001 "Duca d'Antene" from Copertino, a very elegant and refined Negroamara wine with a delicate touch of oak and Dominique Rocher's Cairanne 2000 "M. Paul" (out of stock), a superb wine, very pure old-vine Grenache and Syrah with imperceptible oak. It's a real shame Dominique has given up making wine and gone into art (even more of a shame when you see the label!)