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.

December 31, 1999

Millenium Party

Millenium Party at brown.

1996 Greg Norman Cabernet Merlot - great stuff!  This is a classic example of how the Cab blends well with Merlot, with Merlot adding sweetness and softening up the tannic Cabernet.  Wow!  No wonder critics like it.

Bought from DFS Singapore for SGD 35.

Tattinger "2000" en magnum - opened just before midnight.  It was a pretty good cuvée, and I got very drunk on it!

Bought from Ponti at the Tattinger tasting, with bottle signed by Pierre-Emmanuel Tattinger.

December 29, 1999

December 28, 1999

Müller-Burggraef Auslese, Chevalier and Don Maximiano

Drinks at 向日葵 in Taipei.

1996 Müller-Burggraef Reiler Mullay-Hofberg Riesling Auslese - not my favorite as it's very like the Phelps Late Harvest Riesling.  Basically it's slightly sweet and weak, a funny balance with the inherent acidity in white wine.  Also a little bit bubbly.  It's OK, but I wouldn't buy lots of Auslese any time soon.

Contribution from the restaurant owner.

1985 Domane de Chevalier Rouge - decanted for more than an hour.  It was medium-bodied.  The nose was still excellent with good fruit, but really a bit light.  A friend thought it might be over the hill, and I would agree although Chevalier normally is light.  Parker rated it 86 and noted it lacked concentration.

Bought from Eslite for TWD 2,360.

1996 Errazuriz Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve - this was understandably tannic since it's a young Bordeaux blend with lots of Cab, but it has a pronounced earthy nose which I tend to dislike.  Fairy fruity and concentrated.

Contribution from the restaurant owner.

December 22, 1999

Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot

Dinner at the Landmark Club in Taipei.

Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot (vintage forgotten) - very light, not a lot of body and definitely sediment floating around.  A shame it wasn't decanted.  Good acidity balance and OK fruity, but I wouldn't learn to appreciate Pinot Noir from this wine.

Bought from Tatung Atherton.

December 17, 1999

93 Ridge and 81 Margaux

Dinner at brown.

1993 Ridge Cabernet Santa Cruz Mountains - served in small glasses.  Nose was pretty nice and fruity.  Good balance between acidity and smooth tannins.  Sediment was on the bottom of the cork, and lots of it!  Nice wine, though.

Bought from BBR for HKD 368.

1981 Margaux - this was opened and decanted about an hour before we started drinking, which was OK but probably could have breathed more, as it was better after about 2 hours.  Good length.  Fairly nice, fruity nose.  Very velvety tannins which were mostly shed.  Lots of fine sediment at the bottom.  My arm was sore from carefully decanting it.  Quite a smooth, yummy wine.

Bought from Sinolink for HKD 1,790.

December 16, 1999

86 Clos Ste Hune

Drinks at brown.

1986 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste Hune en demi-bouteille - this has lots of oak, and has a deep golden color.  Very smooth unlike young whites.  Full bodied.  First experience with old white wine.  A friend says it doesn't taste like Riesling.  I tend to agree.

Bought from Bacchus for SGD 48.

December 15, 1999


Drinks at JJ's.

Bollinger Special Cuvée - a bit too much oak and too sharp.  Nose of nuts.  Became smoother and sweeter after dropping strawberries in it.

December 13, 1999

1989 Greysac

Drinks at home.

1989 Greysac en demi-bouteille - this is still such a great wine, especially in the Sommelier glass.  Amazing nose of cherry and vanilla.  Nice long finish.  Smooth on the palate.  What a wine for such amazing value!  Sediment was a bit funny, clumped into whole plates.  Maybe too cold in the fridge...

Bought for HKD 180 from Seibu.

December 5, 1999

1990 Opus One

Brunch at Nicholini's.

1990 Opus One - the nose of this wine was incredible.  Definitely lots of fruit and also spicy.  The Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru glasses did the magic of amplifying the nose.  Even though I was a bit stuffed it was still great to me.  good body with long palate.  I'm sure this would get better with age.  Sediment very evident as this was not decanted.  Very enjoyable.

Bought for USD 130 from Bertelli.

December 4, 1999

L'Eglise Clinet and Cos

Drinks at brown.

1993 L'Eglise-Clinet - this wine needs breathing!  When first opened it was weak and diluted, fitting a friend's complaint about this wine.  Bouquet was fairly good but my nose was clogged up.  As time went on there was more body and tannins began to show.  A friend smelled vanilla and cinnamon.  The high percentage of Merlot (70-80%) is evident.  Not bad!

At the wholesale price of HKD 388 from BBR it's very reasonable.

1985 Cos d'Estournel - this was opened at the same time as L'Eglise-Clinet and decanted.  We started to drink it after quite some time, maybe 45 minutes to an hour later.  The nose was kinda funny to me, a bit sour like something went moldy.  But it improved over time with breathing.  Smooth and mature on the palate.  Very nice to drink, but clearly not as good as the '86 drunk a few months ago.  Pretty fruity nose.  Good body.  Surprisingly there's 40% Merlot in the blend, which no doubt softens the wine and makes it delicious.

Bought for SGD 250 at Bacchus.

December 1, 1999

94 Gazin

Dinner at Maman.

1994 Gazin - trying out this famous Pomerol estate.  Wheweee!  Ugh!  Not ready to drink at all.  We almost fainted from the smoke and grilled nose when it was first opened.  This vintage needs some serious decanting time.  It got better after about an hour, but still too much.  Too concentrated.  Parker says it needs another 4 years.  I believe him.

November 30, 1999

1995 Antinori Chianti Classico

Dinner at brown.

1995 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva - trying out Chianti Classico for the first time.  Very impressed.  Very nice and smooth, not tannic.  Good depth.  Good fruit level accompanied by balanced acidity level.  This is much nicer than a Cab from 1995!  Should drink this again.

November 25, 1999

93 Grand-Puy-Lacoste

Drinks at brown.

1993 Grand-Puy-Lacoste - this was again extremely smoky and overpowering.  The grilled meat and pain grillé was too much.  Should have checked the last tasting notes.

Bought for HKD 360 from Sinolink.

November 24, 1999

St Emilion and Sancerre

Dinner at brown.

Berry's Champagne (made by Deutz)

1997 Dezat Sancerre Les Celliers Saint-Romble - this was not chilled enough but could still get the floral aromas (less floral than Pouilly-Fumé).

1993 Couvent des Jacobins - hmmm... this was very nice indeed.  The soft, mature Merlot body had wonderful texture.  Everyone's favorite.  Everyone wanted refills.  Nice and sweet aftertaste from the Merlot.

1994 Terre Rouge - this has a higher acidity level and therefore it was OK with dessert.  Not a remarkable wine in its own right.

November 23, 1999

Laurus wine dinner

Dinner at the Mandarin Grill for the launch of Laurus Wines.

1998 Laurus Côtes du Rhône Blanc - 60% Roussanne and 40% Viognier.  This is amazingly floral and aromatic, refreshing, completely different from traditional CdR such as Guigal.  Very nice.

1997 Laurus Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - this is very traditional with Grenache Blanc, and threfore less remarkable, but good wine nonetheless.

1996 Laurus Gigondas - wow!  What a wine!  This is sooo nice.  The power that comes from old Grenache is wonderful.  Very easy to drink and smooth.  Yum!  Should get some of this.

1997 Laurus Côte Rôtie - this is a little young.  It's a fuller-bodied, more powerful wine, but neds time to develop and for the Syrah to throw off the tannic coat.  Should be wonderful in a few years.

1998 Laurus Muscat de Beaumes de Venise - this is different from the others, in that it seems to be a lighter style and more "floral".  The lychee is present but not as overpowering.  Very nice end to the meal.

November 22, 1999

1995 Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape

1995 Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape - drank 2 bottles over dinner at China Club.  Very delicious and easy to drink, with the acidity from the Grenache showing through as well as the glycerin.

November 18, 1999

1992 Calon-Sègur

1992 Calon-Sègur - drank at home after dinner.  Still a good drinking wine with good body and classic Bordeaux tastes of berries.  Bought from Topsy for HKD 270.

November 16, 1999

1992 Lynch-Bages

1992 Lynch-Bages - drank over dinner at Blue.  This was a fine drinking wine, still has enough body and maturity.  It was a good complement to the lamb chops.  Bought from Ponti for HKD 450.

November 14, 1999

1994 Guigal Côte-Rôtie

1994 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde - drank over dinner at friend's place.  Classical Rhône tastes with acidity, mint and medium body.  It was very diluted and light when opened but got better with breathing.  Bought from Eslite for TWD 1,295.  Money well spent.

November 12, 1999

1993 Ridge Santa Cruz

1993 Ridge Santa Cruz Cabernet - drank at home.  It wasn't as fruity as I remembered, but perhaps because it was just too warm.  But still nice with the body... not too tannic.  Enoyable.  Bought from Berry Bros for HKD 368.

November 10, 1999

1996 Inniskillin Oak Aged Icewine

1996 Inniskillin Oak Aged Icewine - drank at home after dinner.  First icewine.  Very, very sweet and concentrated.  Not quite the same as botrytis.  Tastes much more like concentrated grapes without the tannin.  Hmmm...  Pretty good.

November 5, 1999

1994 Lindemans Limestone Ridge

1994 Lindemans Limestone Ridge - opened over dinner at brown.  Surprisingly diluted and thin when fist opened.  Very acidic with little body.  As it breathed there was more fullness, along with the typical spiciness and some sweetness.  Pretty disappointing.

October 27, 1999

Dinner at Blue

Dinner at Blue.

1993 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon - it was surprisingly diluted and lacking in fruit.  Smooth but not as much depth to it.  Was better once it was given time to breathe, but still disappointing for a Clos du Val.

1986 Lynch-Bages - there was some question as to whether this was fake.  Decanted and left to breathe for at least half an hour.  It was surprisingly diluted and lacking in fruit.  Did not have the same taste on the palate as the one we tasted in May.  There was some sediment but not quite enough for such a vintage.  While this may not be a fake bottle, it may be improperly stored.  Not worth the HKD 800 I paid.

October 25, 1999

1993 Ducru-Beaucaillou

1993 Ducru-Beaucaillou - drank over dinner at 老正興.  Again this was a very nice bottle to drink, although in small glasses with Chinese food it's a bit different.  Smooth tannins.  A little spicy.  Bought from Watson's for HKD 439.

October 19, 1999

1996 Jadot Santenay Clos de Malte

1996 Jadot Santenay Clos de Malte - Ouch!  Definitely too young to drink as tannins are still strong.  There is fruit and acidity underneath, so this should prove to be good after a couple of years.  Bought from Ponti for HKD 219.

October 16, 1999

Tattinger tasting

Tasting Tattinger Champagnes at Ponti.

Tattinger Brut Reserve - nothing special.

1990 Tattinger Brut - noticeably better and crisper.

1988 Tattinger Comte de Champagne - this was different, but I thought the 1990 was better.

1996 d'Arenberg Riesling the Noble - drank this at home.  Great stuff!

1993 Ducru-Beaucaillou - drank this over dinner at Le Grenouille.  Still very good to drink, showing classic Bordeaux blend flavors of fruit, mint, and spice.  Smooth tannins, nice on palate.  Bought from Watson's for HKD 439.

October 15, 1999

1989 Poujeaux

Opened and decanted at home, celebrating the decision of two friends to get married.

1989 Poujeaux - with age this is now smooth and easy to drink.  Tannins have been shed, with nose heavy on smoke, black cherry, and notes of grilled red meat.  Bought from Sinolink for HKD 425.  This is more expensive than the '90 Cissac but it is better.

October 13, 1999

1993 Royal Tokaji Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos

1993 Royal Tokaji Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos - drank this at brown.  Commonly called "Blue Label".  Lots of honey, caramel, sweet nose.  Beautiful golden color.  Yummy.

September 29, 1999

Vidal-Fleury Côte-Rôtie

Vidal-Fleury Côte-Rôtie, vintage unknown but believed to be 1992 - drank at brown.  Very smooth, with nose of bacon, mint.  Acidic as is typical of Rhône Syrah, and very forward.  Bought from Ponti for HKD 99.

September 28, 1999

1997 Montes Alpha Merlot

1997 Montes Alpha Merlot - drank over dinner at brown.  Fruity with sweet finish.  Very smooth tannins but evident that it's young.  Would improve with age.

September 20, 1999

1996 Hugel Gewurztraminer

1996 Hugel Gewurztraminer Traditional Hugel - drank at home.  Very delicious.  Everything I like about Gewurz.  Very fruity and floral, sweet aftertaste, and a bit spicy on the finish.  Yummy!  Bought from Remy for HKD 146.

September 17, 1999

1996 d'Arenberg Riesling the Noble

1996 d'Arenberg Riesling the Noble - drank at home.  This just keeps on improving with age! Color is darker now, much deper than the Phelps Riesling.  Really smooth and lovely.  Bought from Watson's for HKD 113.

September 16, 1999

1996 Phelps Johannisberg Riesling

1996 Phelps Johannisberg Riesling - drank at home.  Alcohol is very low at 7% and it shows. Much milder than the d'Arenberg, about 6 months younger I suppose.  Color was much yellower.  More acidic and less sweet.  Same botrytised Riesling taste.  Caramel, honey, peach and a bit lemony.  Bought from Oliver's for HKD 254.

September 11, 1999


Second day of WOMAD at Fort Canning Park.

1996 Trimbach Riesling - delicious and reliable as ever.  Crisp but without the oak.  Bought at Tanglin Marketplace for SGD 29.

1995 Casa Lapostolle Merlot Cuvée Alexandre - drinking out of a plastic cup wasn't ideal, but oh well... Very nice and smooth tannins.  Medium sweetness.

September 8, 1999

1995 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot

1995 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot - drank at Maman.  Very delicious.  Easy and fruity.  Sweet but not as sweet as the Phelps.  Reputation for Merlot is well-deserved.  HKD 304.

September 5, 1999

1997 Metala Shiraz Cabernet

1997 Metala Shiraz Cabernet - drank at home.  Good nose with lots of spices and good amount of fruit.  A bit too young to drink...needs time to age.  Bought from Wellcome for HKD 98.

September 3, 1999

Some delicious whites

Drinks at brown after dinner.

1998 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc - pretty crisp and delicious.

NV Billecart-Salmon Brut - pretty delicious, too, and as good as Veuve Clicquot I think.

Trimbach Riesling, vintage unknown - as reliable as ever.

September 2, 1999

1996 d'Arenberg Riesling the Noble

1996 d'Arenberg Riesling the Noble - drank at brown after dinner.  Getting more delicious with age.

August 31, 1999

Long-Depaquit Chablis Les Vaudésirs

Long-Depaquit Chablis Les Vaudésirs, vintage unknown - Very full-bodied and oaky.  A bit too much for me.  Pretty dry.  Bought from Ponti for HKD 210.

August 27, 1999

French and Californian Cabs

Dinner at Ruth's Chris.

1994 Giscours - served in small, crappy glasses.  Could not get the nose.  Tasted diluted but smooth with very light tannins.  Just as Parker said, this wine has no depth and is ready to drink so young.

1996 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon - this was fruity but had a strange taste.  Sweet but funny.

August 26, 1999

1992 Calon-Sègur

1992 Calon-Sègur - drank at home.  Opened up very nicely about 2 hours after opening.  Nose was incredible in the Riedel Sommelier glasses.  Sweet and fruity, but strong alcohol levels.  Smooth but diluted, light tannins.  Powerful and spicy nose.  Bought from Le Grappe d'Or for HKD 270.

August 24, 1999

1997 Quady Elysium

1997 Quady Elysium - obvious black cherry flavors with additional nose of pineapple, not unlike the Quady Essensia and the '85 Nairac.  High level of alcohol/acetone.  Overall not impressive.  Bought from Watson's for HKD 109.

August 20, 1999

1996 Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel Olson Vineyard

1996 Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel Olson Vineyard - drunk at brown.  Aired for a bit before serving.  It was very fruity, especially given time.  Smooth and light tannins.  Delicious.  Sweet, but not as sweet and more tannic than the Merlots from Cali.  Nose was a bit heavy and smoky at first, but this faded soon.  Bought at Oaks for SGD 61.
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