This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

September 13, 2014

Five regions from four countries

Dinner at Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein.

2009 Pazo Señorans Albariño - full-bodied and oaky.

1975 Pontet-Canet - brett, a little fruit left, cedar on the nose.  Naturally the tannins are still here since it's a '75.

1970 Gaja Barbaresco - over the hill and gone, no more fruit left, just acidity, smoky and savory, soy sauce.

1999 Araujo Syrah Eisele Vineyard - exotic, tropical coconut and vanilla, along with some coffee.  Pretty nice.

2001 Frescobaldi CastelGiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Ripe al Convento - kinda ripe, still big tannins but they are softening, full-bodied and alcoholic.  A little coffee and smoky nose, with almost a hint of mung beans.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 3, 2014

MNSC Dinner - Megan's Kitchen

MNSC dinner at Megan's Kitchen, hosted by Curry.

First pair: opened 3½ hours and decanted an hour prior to serving
1991 Dominus from magnum - nice and smooth on the palate, with a little cedar, a little grassy, bigger and more smoky than the Harlan, a little spicy.  Later on pretty savory.

1991 Harlan Estate from magnum - nice, sweet fruit, with a hint of grass, mint and a tad savory mineral.

Second pair: opened and immediately recorked 2 hours prior, and decanted 15 minutes prior to serving
1975 La Mission Haut-Brion from magnum - nose seemed very oxidized at first, kinda dusty but cleared up later.  Nose of grilled meats, coffee, and mocha.  Later on turned pretty savory.

1975 Petrus from magnum - some fruit here and a little minty.

Third pair: opened and decanted 15 minutes prior to serving
1966 Petrus from magnum, ex-château - more concentrated than the '78.  Minty, metallic, a little sweet, a little smoky, and almost coffee notes.  Definitely a better wine than the '78.  97 points.

1978 Petrus from magnum - cool fruit, lovely and elegant.  Slightly ripe and sweet.  96 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 1, 2014

Mid-range hodgepodge

Dinner at a private kitchen.

Isojiman Daiginjo Junmai (磯自慢 大吟醸純米), BY25 - very fragrant nose of banana, honeydew melon, starchy rice.  Medium palate between sweet and dry, with a dry and spicy finish.

Henri Giraud Fût de Chêne MV Rosé - pretty fruity and yeasty on the nose.  Kinda ripe on the palate with some bitterness on the finish.

Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru, dégorgée Septembre 2008 - ripe and caramelized on the nose, with savory minerals and salty plum (話梅).  Also ripe on the palate.  It's been 6 years since disgorgement so this is showing a little age.

2011 Egon Müller Riesling Scharzhofberger Kabinett - lovely, floral nose with flinty notes.  Palate was surprisingly sweet for a kabinett.

1988 Clinet - a little green and probably un petit bouchonée...  with brett.  A little bit of stewed fruit here.  Still reasonably drinkable.

1980 de Fargues - obvious botrytis and acetone on the nose with apricot notes.  Good acidity here.

This 15-year old single malt distilled at Laphroiag was exactly what you'd expect it to be... pretty strong at 50%, with the alcohol starting to singe the hair in your nostrils.  Plenty of hospital disinfectant here...

Full post on dinner is here.

August 29, 2014

Bordeaux happy hour

Drinks at Watson's Wine Cellar.

2000 Trotanoy - very smoky with cedar notes.  Nice and smooth but there is still concentration here.  Long finish.

1996 d'Armailhac - a little stinky, animal, pencil lead, smoke on the nose.  Medium to full-bodied, with a little more acidity on the finish.

1999 La Mission Haut-Brion - smoky, ripe, a little sweet, and pretty fragrant.  Amazingly there was a little bit of exotic coconut butter here.

2000 Branaire-Ducru - smoky and classic Left Bank nose.

Drinks at a friend's home.

Krug Grande Cuvée en demi-bouteille

1999 Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées - lots of dried herbs, a little exotic spices like cumin, almost minty, kinda alcoholic.  A little dusty and not enjoyable.

August 24, 2014

Dagueneau, Marcassin and Cask 23

Lunch at a friend's place.

2004 Didier Dagueneau Silex - mineral, toasty, a little green apple and lemon on the nose.  Acidity was pretty high, which was expected.

2006 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard - very buttery and sweet, toasty, a little yeasty like brioche, coffee.  Really sweet nose.

1985 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 - decanted for an hour before serving.  Very ripe, with a hint of stewed fruits, but a whiff of mold in the very first pour.  Cleared up later with more aeration and chilling.  A little stinky, farmy, but drank very nicely.  Still reasonable amount of fruit but longer fresh and vibrant... Starting to show a little age here, but pretty full-bodied without excessive tannins.

1979 Lagavulin Double Matured - very, very classic.  What a privilege to be able to drink this.

August 22, 2014

French and sake

Dinner at Shinshu.

1999 Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet - a little toast, a little oxidized but drank perfectly fine.  Medium acidity here.  Clashed badly with the scallop sashimi and soy sauce.

Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru, degorgée Janvier 2013 - pretty ripe on the palate, with notes of marmalade.  Always delicious to drink this wine.

2013 Hakurakusei Zankyo "Super 8" (伯楽星 残響 "Super 8"), bottle 127/365 - one of my favorite sakes in the world.  The blend of Yamada Nishiki (山田錦) and Omachi (雄町) rice is milled down to a mere 8% of its original size, taking seimaibuai (精米歩合) to the very extreme.  Initially there was tons of banana, ripe and sweet musk melon and other tropical fruits.  Very sweet on the palate and extremely smooth and rounded.  As it warmed up a little, the palate got slightly drier.  What a beautiful sake!

1970 Angelus - ripe on the nose, a little smoky, a little green pepper and woody.

1996 Dom Pérignon - from some of the very first batches to arrive in Hong Kong.  A very, very well-made Champagne, with incredible balance between the acidity and ripeness.

Full post on dinner is here.

August 21, 2014

Bollinger, Montelena and Pibran

Drinks at the Upper House.

Bollinger Special Cuvée - pretty well balanced on the palate.

2010 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay - nice toasty oak, a little buttery.  Definitely flinty and mineral here.

2009 Pibran - a little young but certainly drinkable.

August 18, 2014

Kistler and Bouchard Mazis

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon.

2005 Kistler Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard - took out 2 bottles of this baby.  Very ripe on the nose with some lemon citrus, and good amount of oak.  Ripe and sweet on the palate.

1985 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine-Collignon par Bouchard - opened up two of these and decanted them just before serving.  Very ripe on the nose, with plenty of stewed prunes, a little forest, and a little salty plum.  Clearly getting a little tired.  After extended aeration the palate died pretty badly.

Full post on dinner is here.
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