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.

February 27, 2015

Mixed bag for Cantonese

Dinner at a private dining facility.

2012 Roses de Jeanne Côte de Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs, dégorgée à Avril 2014 - delicious, smooth and round on the palate.

2011 Keller Westhofen Brunnenhäuschen Absterde Riesling trocken - classic nose of minerals, white flowers and plastic.  Definitely dry on the palate.

1952 Borgogno Barolo Riserva - initial nose of sweet fruit, followed by tea, salty plum, minerals, and smoke.  Still alive and kicking.

2010 Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30 - ripe nose with wonderful notes of forest and potpourri.  So fragrant and beautiful.

1995 Jos. Joh. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese - classic notes of minerals and plastic, with good amount of sweetness on the palate.  Very round and smooth.

Valdespino Solera 1842 Medium Sweet Very Old Oloroso Blend VOS - classic, with nose that's like Shaoxing wine after soaking some salty plum in it.  Wonderful.


Full post on dinner is here.

February 26, 2015

Spanish wines for Spanish food

Dinner at Ozone.

2009 Parés Baltà Cava Blanca Cuisiné - rounded on the palate with a slight bitter finish.  Not a fan.

2012 Belondrade y Lurton - fresh, fruity, and tropical nose, with a little minerals.  Completely unoaked, which may account for the very bland palate and zero finish.  Almost like a Pinot Grigio... which makes it a great food wine since it can't interfere with anything...

2012 Vizcarra Ramos Venta las Vacas - nose of ripe fruit, forest, and vanilla.  Still pretty young, but the tannins weren't too harsh.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 25, 2015

Bordeaux evening

Drinks at Watson's Wine Cellar.

2001 Musar - smoky, earthy, with a little bit of fruit.

2001 Pontet-Canet - ripe and fruity, a little oaky, with that exotic, tropical, coconut butter.

2002 Pichon-Lalande - sweet fruit, coffee, a little smoky.

1999 Gazin - smoky, a little more green, very fragrant, almost floral like violet, cedar.  Drinking very well.

2010 Le Saint Estephe de Montrose - minty, a little metallic, kinda sweet, with soft tannins.


Dinner at ON Dining Kitchen and Lounge.

Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte Anne - yeasty nose.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 8, 2015

Sake, sake, and sake

Drinks at Tamanegiya in Tokyo.

Juyondai Junmai Ginjo Funatare Genshu Origarami (十四代 純米吟醸 槽垂れ おりがらみ) - released in January 2015, with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  This comes with some sediment (おり).  Nose was very fresh, with banana notes.  Smooth on the palate, a little sweet at first but balanced and a little lean on the finish.


Hatsukame Daiginjo Yuzuki (初亀 大吟醸 遊月), 25BY - a 24-month koshu (古酒) with a seimaibuai of 35%, and a limited production of 100 bottles.  Very mild, not sweet on the palate, a bit more acidic and lean but not spicy (辛口).  Second sip became more spicy, with a longer finish.  A little one dimensional...  Released December 2013.

Hatsukame Daiginjo Yuzuki (初亀 大吟醸 遊月), 26BY - also limited to 100 bottles.  Fresher on the nose and on the palate compared to BY25.  Leaner and even more one dimensional...  Later the nose became sweeter and more tropical.  Released December 2014.

Isojiman Nakatori Junmai Daiginjo 35 (磯自慢 中取り 純米大吟醸 35), 25BY - fruity and sweet nose.  Sooooo smooth on the palate...  I could drink this all day.

I know Master has tons of treasures in this seemingly little place, so once again I asked him for "something old".  The first thing he came up with was this:

Suigei Junmai Daiginjo Tobintori Nama (酔鯨 純米大吟醸 斗瓶取り 生), 14BY - this is a 12-year old koshu made in June 2003 and aged in-house, with a seimaibuai of 30%.  Nose was very savory, very much like Chinese Huadiao (花雕) wine with salty plum (話梅) soaking in it, but really smooth, light, and soft on the palate.

Not quite satisfied, I asked him for something else that was old.  He then pulled out this little gem from one of the fridges, and my eyes lit up when I saw the writing on the box...  Showa 38?!  Holy cow!  This is from 1963!!!

Manrei Daiginjo Daikoshu (万齢 大吟醸大古酒) - Master poured a a little bit from the 300ml bottle and told us it was his treat to us.  Nose was really savory, like salty plum.  Really soft and mild on the palate, with a pretty short finish.  But the incredible fragrance of the sake stayed in my mouth forever.  Wow!  So grateful Master shared this with us! With a seimaibuai of 50%.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo Nakatori 35 Adagio (磯自慢 純米大吟醸 中取り 35 アダージョ), 2014 - this is a 3-year koshu.  Sweet on the nose, a little floral.  Really smooth and mild, but actually simpler on the palate compared to the regular Nakatori 35.

Next we tried to continue the tradition of doing verticals, and Master brought out a trio of Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo 40% Tojo Akitsu Tsuneda (磯自慢 純米大吟醸40 東条秋津常田).  This comes from a particular plot of land for rice, and therefore expresses the terrior the same way it would for wine.  Even though one of the vintages already has a bottle open (25BY I believe), Master insisted on opening a fresh bottle so that we can taste all three vintages the same way - fresh.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo 40% Tojo Akitsu Tsuneda (磯自慢 純米大吟醸40 東条秋津常田), 26BY - very smooth, a little fruity, a little dry on the finish.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo 40% Tojo Akitsu Tsuneda (磯自慢 純米大吟醸40 東条秋津常田), 25BY - softer and a little drier on the palate

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo 40% Tojo Akitsu Tsuneda (磯自慢 純米大吟醸40 東条秋津常田), 24BY - softest of the three.  Delicious.

Bijofu Yuzu Liqueur (美丈夫ゆずリキュール) - I can't come to Tamanegiya without drinking this at the end.  Five years ago Master introduced me to this wonderful yuzu liqueur, and I immediately bought a whole case and shipped it back to Hong Kong.  Drinking this on ice is sooooo refreshing... and just what I needed at the end of a long night of drinking.

February 7, 2015

Krug and Juyondai

Dinner at Kanda in Tokyo.

Krug Grande Cuvée

Juyondai Nakatori Junmai Muroka Namatsume (十四代 中取り純米 無濾過 生詰) - with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 55%. Very, very sweet and smooth on the front palate, then a little dry and spicy (辛口) at the back.  Unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Full post on dinner is here.

Bubbly and Burgundy

Lunch at Quintessence in Tokyo.

1998 Collin-Guillaume Brut - pretty yeasty nose, a little savory mineral, and later on the nose was pretty caramelized, like Chinese salty plum (話梅).

2002 Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale - forest notes, not too sweet, surprisingly not too fruity from a ripe year like 2002.  More tannin here, more bitter on the palate than I expected.  Also animal notes, and later, finally a little more fruit.

Full post on lunch is here.

February 6, 2015

Kokuryu Ryu

Dinner at Ishikawa in Tokyo.

Kokuryu Daiginjo Ryu (黒龍 大吟醸 龍) – with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 40%. Kokuryu is one of my absolute favorites, and one can never go wrong with this particular offering. Classic nose of banana and tropical fruits. Full-bodied on the palate – or as the Japanese would say, コクが有る – with a long finish.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 5, 2015

Tokyo BYO

Dinner at La Ruée vers l'or in Tokyo.

2006 Roses de Jeanne Le Creux d'Enfer, dégorgée a 12 avril 2010 - deeper flavors here, a little caramelized on the nose, a little mineral, strawberry notes.  Ripe on the palate.  Still such a beautiful wine.

2000 Coche-Dury Meursault - as expected, nose was big and heavy toast, with roasted corn along with a nice degree of ripeness, and some sweet fruit.  There was some ripeness on the front palate, but the acidity quicly caught up.  Very, very beautiful as always.

1983 Penfolds Grange - nose of coconut butter, vanilla, sweet, exotic spices, potpourri, a little mineral, almost a little savory, a little animal, and definitely eucalyptus.  Drinking very well.

1977 Penfolds Grange - more muted nose here at first but opened up quickly.  Sweet on the nose but less coconut butter and vanilla.  A little more meaty here, and still got that eucalyptus.


Full post on dinner is here.
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