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.

November 25, 2000

95 Fonsalette and 82 Ducru

Dinner at Nicholini's in Hong Kong.

1995 Fonsalette Côtes du Rhône Rouge - I wondered if this would be too young, and it was.  The tannins are still here, showing that there probably is a bit more Syrah than originally thought.  But given time it opened up pretty well, showing its potential to be a great wine in a few years.  Good concentration and full body, with lots of rich raspberry fruit.  Good finish.

Bought from Vinum for SGD 100.

1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou - opened and decanted at home about 1½ hours before dinner.  It was about 2½ hours when we first started drinking it.  After the first glass, the fruit started to show through.  Just pure fruit but subtle.  A real finesse wine.  Smooth, well-balanced, not powerful like a Mouton.  It certainly is a good wine, but not as good as the '61.  Maybe we breathed it too long?  This bottle was from dad, so maybe it had a storage problem.

November 24, 2000

1988 Suduiraut

Drinking at home.

1988 Suduiraut - not bad.  Citrus and honey notes.  A touch of caramel, plus typical botrytis, acetone.

November 22, 2000

95 Ramonet Boudriotte and 88 Mouton

Dinner at Brasserie on the Eighth in Hong Kong.

1995 Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Boudriotte Rouge - this was really good!  It was apparent to me that this was a Premier Cru, much like Chambolle-Musigny from Vogüé, as it lacked the concentration and power from a Grand Cru.  But this was clearly a good wine, with lots of red fruits and the familiar "soapy" flavor in the after palate.  Good acidity balance.  This was a good choice for the first wine, as it's easily drinkable immediately, and still opens up some more.  This was definitely a good recommendation from the shop.

Bought from Remy for HKD 363.

1988 Mouton-Rothschild - this was decanted about 1½ hours before we started drinking it.  Wow!  Classic Mouton.  The cigar and tobacco notes just came up and hit you in the face!  The sweet fruit core was initially hidden behind the smoke as well as lead pencil and mineral, coffee notes.  But when the smoke clears the fruit takes over, and what a wine!  Tannins are present but not overpowering.  Good finish.

Bought from Remy for HKD 1,499.

November 17, 2000

1996 Lindemans Limestone Ridge

Dinner at Senso in Singapore.

1996 Lindemans Limestone Ridge - very nice.  Classic Limestone Ridge.  Notes of raspberry and cotton candy.  Sweet and typical of Aussie Shiraz.  I actually can tell this was a Limestone Ridge just by taste!

November 7, 2000

1996 Drayton's Sauterne

Drinking at home.

1996 Drayton's Traditional Sauterne in half bottle - good kumquat, caramel, and apricot flavors.  Not bad.

Got this from a friend.

October 31, 2000

October 24, 2000

1992 du Clos Frantin Corton

Dinner at Chez Rolland.

1992 du Clos Frantin Corton - it was actually pretty good!  A Grand Cru is still good even if the vintage was only so-so.  Good concentration.  Nice fruit.  Acidity was moderate.  Long finish.

Bought from Ponti for HKD 462.

October 20, 2000

98 Mondavi I Block and 90 Gattinera

Drinks at Brown.

1998 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc To-Kalon Vineyard I Block - Wow!  Full-bodied, lots of toasty oak.  Very complex aromas of petrol, lemon, creamy, citrus, and later chocolate!  Very good indeed!

I Block Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in 1945.

Bought from Robert Mondavi for USD 40.

1990 Fontanafredda Barolo Gattinera - decanted for 2 hours before drinking.  Acidity level still kinda high, but smooth tannins.  A little bit of spice on the finish.  Some fruit but probably breathed too long.

October 12, 2000

1989 Greysac

Drinking at home.

1989 Greysac en demi-bouteille - still drinking really well.  Nice long finish.  Smooth, velvety tannins.  Definitely one of the best buys I made.

October 3, 2000

1988 Gaja Sorì Tildìn

Dinner at Brown.

1988 Gaja Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn - needs at least 45 minutes to 1 hour breathing time.  Too acidic before that.  After opening up, the nose was very sweet, full of cassis and raisin.  A bit of smoked meats, very slight peppery finish.  Wow!  Nose was very powerful.  Tannins velvety, not too heavy.  After 2½ hours it became acidic again.  Very good bottle of wine.

Bought from Fine and Rare Wines for GBP 111.

October 1, 2000

92 Lynch-Bages and 93 Trimbach

Drinking at a friend's house.

1992 Lynch-Bages - very smoky when first opened, with earth tones masking the fruit core.  This gradually came out and the smoke faded.  Sweet red fruit came out and there was also bacon.

Bought at Ponti for HKD 450.


1993 Trimbach Gewürztraminer Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre - crisp, light, sweet and floral.  Refreshing.

Bought from BBR for HKD 379.

September 29, 2000

1996 Togni and 1988 Vogüé Bonnes Mares

Drinking at Brown.

1996 Philip Togni - obviously didn't breathe this enough.  Concentrated nose of cassis, a little sweet, a little spice.  Not ready to drink.  Tannins are strong.

1988 Vogüé Bonnes-Mares - obviously less tannic, and the after palate, finish, was much better.  The nose was very nice, classic black olives and leather and red fruits.  Wonderful balance with the acidity and the tannin.  Great Burgundy Grand Cru.

Bought from Vinum for SGD 216.

September 25, 2000

1961 Lynch-Bages

Dinner at Paris 1930 in Taipei.

1961 Lynch-Bages - opened and decanted into a "duck" decanter, and breathed for about 45 minutes before we started drinking.  Clearly this was less spectacular than the Ducru because of breathing time.  But it was still good.  Color was sufficiently deep ruby.  Classic nose of cassis, a bit of smoke, earthy, medium sweet.  Finish not as long as Ducru.  Maybe Parker was right about reaching the end of maturity plateau.  We finished this about 3 hours after we opened it.

TWD 28,000 on the list.

September 24, 2000

1983 Guigal La Mouline

Drinking at home.

1983 Guigal La Mouline - double-decanted and started drinking after 1 hour.  Wow!  What an incredible wine!  Nose is very sweet.  Just hits you.  Lots of cassis, leather.  The smoke comes and goes with  breathing time, but the sweet fruit core stays.  A very long, spicy finish, lasting up to a minute!  Very good stuff.  The perfect score from Parker is well-deserved.  Color is dark, indicating that this wine still has a long life ahead.  Nice violet notes.  Finished drinking 4 hours after opening.

1996 d'Arenberg The Noble

Drinking at home.

1996 d'Arenberg Riesling The Noble - honey, walnut, apricot, toasted nuts.

September 22, 2000

1996 Joseph, 1996 Filhot

Dinner at Roland's Terrace in Hong Kong.

1996 Joseph Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot - this was amarone style so a bit raisiny.  Strawberry nose, very sweet, concentrated, not bad but not spectacular.  Maybe need to be drunk properly.

Bought from Oaks for SGD ?

1996 Filhot en demi-bouteille - nice honey and apricot nose.

Drinks at Grand Hyatt Champagne Bar.

Besserat de Bellefon Cuvée des Moines - not bad.

September 21, 2000

1961 Ducru-Beaucaillou

Dinner at Brasserie on the Eighth in Hong Kong.

1961 Ducru-Beaucaillou - opened and double-decanted at 4pm using Riedel glasses, and left to air in bottle.  Started drinking around 8pm.  Wow!  What a wine!  The first glass wasn't impressive, because of too much contact with the air.  But it just kept on improving.  Nose is still incredibly sweet, with typical cassis, rather, animal scents.  Tannins are velvety smooth, very finely balanced wine.  Complex. Nice, long finish with a hint of spice.  Still powerful and full-bodied.  It's amazing how long this wine has lasted, and is capable of keeping a few more years!  After 6 hours it was still improving.  Amazing stuff!  Color is still ruby, not very dark, but has amber edges.

Bought from Tatung Atherton for TWD 10,800.

September 3, 2000

95 Stony Hill Chardonnay and more

Dinner at Postrio in San Francisco.

1995 Stony Hill Chardonnay - this was really good!  Smooth, not too oaky, full bodied.

Also had a pinot noir from Rochioli, and a Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde.

Drinks at the Skylight Room.

Drank a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée, and a bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut.

September 1, 2000

Napa trip - Beringer

Visit to Beringer, with a private tour at the very beautiful winery and a tasting in a private room.

1997 Beringer Viognier Napa Valley

1997 Beringer Alluvium

1997 Beringer Alluvium Blanc

1997 Beringer Chardonnay Napa Valley

1995 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve - what a yummy wine!  Sweet but not too much.  Smooth with a long finish.

Bought 2 bottles of the Sbragia Limited Release Chardonnay, and a whole vertical of Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve in 2 sets in wooden cases, 1983 - 1988 and 1989 - 1994 - for USD 1,550.



Napa trip - Niebaum Coppola

Visit to Neibaum Coppola.  Didn't taste or buy anything, other than seeing Francis Ford Coppola's shrine to himself.

Napa trip - Opus One

Visit to Opus One.

1997 Opus One - this was smooth, nicely integrated without the in-your-face punch of Californian wines.

Bought 3 bottles of Overture.

Napa trip - Robert Mondavi

Went to Robert Mondavi to buy wine without tasting or tour.  Bought a bottle of the 1996 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 30th Anniversary, and a bottle of 1998 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc To-Kalon Vineyard I-Block.  The Cabernet Sauvignon To-Kalon Vineyard was sold out.

Napa trip - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Visit to Stag's Leap Wine Cellars.

Mentioned to Warren's assistant Victoria that I attend the Cask 23 tasting in Singapore, and a free tasting was set up on the spot.  Tasted their Napa Chardonnay, Chardonnay Beckstoffer Ranch, Napa Cabernet, Petit Sirah (very tannic as fruit was small compared to the amount of skin).

1997 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon SLV - smooth, a bit sweet.

1997 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Fay - spicy and harder.

Bought a bottle of 1998 Stag's Leap Chardonnay Beckstoffer Ranch.

Napa trip - Shafer

Visit to Shafer.  Bought 2 bottles of 1997 Shafer Hillside Select.  No tasting as we didn't have an appointment.

August 31, 2000

1995 Abreu Madrona Ranch

Dinner at Tra Vigne in St. Helena.

1995 Abreu Cabernet Sauvignon Madrona Ranch - this was a powerful wine, and clearly could use another 5 years' of aging.  Very sweet, high concentration nose of cassis.  Extremely peppery on the finish.  A long finish, too!  Probably the spiciest wine I have ever had.

USD 225 on the list at Tra Vigne.

Napa trip - Rutherford Hill

Visit to Rutherford Hill.

1992 Rutherford Hill Cabernet Sauvignon - this was alright.  Nothing too spectacular.

Napa trip - Joseph Phelps

Visit to Joseph Phelps, with free tour.  Tasted lots of wines, especially the Rhône varietals like Mistral.

1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia - very powerful, but needs a lot of time.  Huge tannins, spicy, peppery.


Napa trip - Beaulieu Vineyard

Visit to Beaulieu Vineyards, with a private tour and saw the tanks, barrels…etc.

1991 Beaulieu Vineyard Brut Réserve Methode Champenoise (disgorged 1999) - fresh, crisp, toasty nuts.  Good stuff.

1997 Beaulieu Vineyard Pinot Noir Reserve - from Carneros.  This was really good.

1990 Beaulieu Vineyard George de Latour Private Reserve - really good stuff, and better than the 1995.

1995 Beaulieu Vineyard George de Latour Private Reserve

Bought 2 bottles of 1970 George de Latour, 1 bottle of 1997 Pinot Noir Reserve, and Beauzeaux.  No more Clone 6 left except 6-liter bottles!

August 29, 2000

1990 Peter Lehmann Stonewell

Drinks at Brown.

1990 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell - did not air this.  It was smooth and medium bodied, but not much else was detected besides a little spice and fruit.  Disappointing but maybe we needed to air it more.

August 28, 2000

1995 Philip Togni

Drinking at home.

1995 Philip Togni - this was a real fruit bomb.  Nose was amazingly sweet, full of red fruits.  A spicy finish, but the sweetness was a bit overpowering.  I thought it was OK but it hid the other aspects of the wine.  Deep ruby color.

Bought from Vinum for SGD 137.

August 20, 2000

1970 Lafite

Dinner at Camargue in Hong Kong.

1970 Lafite-Rothschild - double-decanted at home using Riedel glasses.  There was still a bit of tannin left.  Smooth.  Finish a little short.  Some fruit left.  OK to drink but not one of the best.

Bought from BBR for HKD 1,999.

August 12, 2000

1990 Bruno Clair Chambertin Clos de Beze

Dinner at Au Jardin in Singapore.

1990 Bruno Clair Chambertin Clos de Beze - this was very fruity, with a great cassis and mint nose.  Definitely a great '90 Grand Cru.  Just the right acidity levels and soft, velvety tannins.  Finish seemed a little short.

August 10, 2000

1985 Las Cases

Dinner at Angelus in Singapore.

1985 Léoville Las Cases - this was decanted and we waited for about half an hour.  Drinking very nicely now.  After the wine opened up, it was very smooth, tannins are soft.  Good fruit, medium sweetness, a bit of spice.  I'm happy I bought this wine.

Bought from Oaks for SGD 223.

August 3, 2000

1992 Lafleur

Drinking at home.

1992 Lafleur - decanted for about 1 hour before we started drinking.  This was a wonderful wine, at least the nose was.  Berries, grilled meats, saddle/leather, some hint of pain grillé.  The sweetness was incredible, and it got better and better, even after 3 hours.  Wow!  Definitely one of the best '92s I have ever had.  The body was kinda medium light for this wine, highlighting the fact that '92 was a diluted vintage.

Bought for SGD 225 from Oaks.

August 2, 2000

95 Renato Ratti Marcelasco

Drinking at home.

1995 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco - this was highly acidic, with moderate tannins.  In some ways it even resembles a pinot noir.  The nose was fruity, a bit sweet.  Nose opened up well after some time.  Not that great of a wine.

Bought from Ponti for HKD 269.

July 30, 2000

96 d'Arenberg The Noble

Drinking at home.

1996 d'Arenberg Riesling The Noble - consistent notes of caramel, honey, apricot and toasted walnuts. Keeps getting better.

February 10, 2000

1994 Ebenezer Shiraz

Dinner at a friend's house in Tokyo.

1994 Barossa Valley Estate Ebenezer Shiraz - not bad.  Typical New World blend of sweetness and spiciness.  Would improve with time.

February 9, 2000

91 DRC Richebourg and La Turque

Dinner at a friend's house in Tokyo.

Killawarra Sparkling Shiraz Cabernet - pretty good.  Very different from Champagne.  It's richer, fuller-bodied. and not as acidic.

1991 DRC Richebourg - I decanted this about an hour prior to dinner into a carafe without a stopper.  Wow!  What a wine!  This is a great Pinot, and certainly justifies DRC's reputation.  This was the first time that my friend used his Riedel Burgundy Grand Cru glasses to drink a true Burgundy Grand Cru.  The nose was amazing.  Very intense, lots of fruit.  Extremely smooth going down, and long finish.  Spent lots of time chewing this wine.  Soooo delicious.  The bouquet continued to develop over time, and was quite amazing 2½ - 3 hours after opening. Awesome!  Bit of vanilla nose.

Bought from Tatung Atherton for TWD 6,450.

1991 Guigal La Turque - decanted for about 1 hour.  Amazing wine!  I liked this much better than the DRC, even though the Richebourg already blew my palate away.  This is incredibly smooth and soft, yet it had a good, medium body and structure, with good acidity balance.  This was a complex wine with good concentration without being heavy.  Bouquet was very nice and aromatic, with lavender overtones.  I love this wine!  Very rich.  Again I spent time chewing this wine.  What an unforgettable experience!

Bought from Vinum for SGD 541.

1990 Yquem en demi-bouteille - Wow!  Amazingly rich, with lots of walnut and honey.  A bit thick now but sure to improve for years to come.

California tasting

California Wine Trading tasting at Tokyo American Club.

Carneros Creek Estate Grown Pinot Noir - this was a bit young, but it was OK.  The Estate Grown is better than their generic Pinot.

1996 St. Supéry Meritage - this was OK.  Nothing special.

I was amazed that they offered the '95 Caymus SS for tasting, and they were already on their 3rd bottle!  Of course I jumped at the chance to taste the wine that got a 97 from Wine Spectator.

1995 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection - hmmm... Not bad at all!  While it was still a little  young, it certainly had a lot of potential!  It was a full-bodied wine.  Tannins were firm and chewy, but nice on the palate.  Long finish.  Complex.  Good amount of fruit in the structure.  Wow.  This would be awesome in another 5 years.

Niebaum Coppola Merlot Diamond Label - not bad at all.  Good effort.

1997 Cuvaison Pinot Noir - this was really wonderful.  It even resembled Syrah a little bit to me.  I guess it's because of the tannins.  Tokyu sells it for JPY 4,000.  Definitely a big buyer of this wine.

Met Suzie Selby who is the winemaker for both Rabbit Ridge and Selby.

Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel OVZ Reserve (vintage forgotten) - definitely a very nice wine, better than Hedin or Olson.

Selby Syrah (vintage forgotten) - this was OK.

Merryvale Chardonnay Starmont (vintage forgotten) - good wine.

Merryvale Profile (vintage forgotten) - good.

Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon Jack London (vintage forgotten) - pretty good.

January 31, 2000

1993 La Mouline

Dinner at Les Amis in Singapore.

1993 Guigal La Mouline - decanted for some time before drinking.  It was very aromatic, and reminiscent of Guigal's Côtes-du-Rhône!  Very interesting.  The wine was smooth on the palate with nice, medium body, and soft tannins.  The nose had a distinct vanilla note.  Very nice and good for drinking now.

Bought from Oaks for SGD 204.

January 30, 2000

Seppelt wine tasting

Tasting of Seppelt wines at Indochine in Singapore.

Sat next to Ian Mackenzie, Chief Winemaker of Seppelt.

Seppelt Great Western Brut - this was OK.

Seppelt Chardonnay

1998 (?) Seppelt Pinot Noir - not bad, but still waaay too young.

1992 Seppelt Cabernet Sauvignon Dorrien Vineyard - this was sooooo good!  Amazing amount of fruit flavors, and smooth, chewy tannins.  Good amount of sweet fruit on the palate, with a long, nice finish.  A truly outstanding effort.  I had 3 glasses of this and was in heaven.

Seppelt Muscat - very good.

January 29, 2000

Phelps Mistral and Rosemount GSM

Dinner at Oaks in Singapore.

1997 Phelps Vin du Mistral Viognier - a bit disappointing, since it wasn't as floral and fresh as I expected it to be.  This tastes a lot like the Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône.

Bought at Oaks for SGD 68.

1996 Rosemount GSM - mmm... Pretty good indeed.  Definitely Rhône style, but much sweeter palate as is typical of New World wines.  Still a bit young so tannins were still a bit much, but a very good effort.

Bought at Oaks.

January 22, 2000

1994 Beaucastel and 1990 Lynch-Bages

Dinner at Plume.

1994 Beaucastel Rouge - wow!  Talk about explosions in your mouth... This was really forward, really sweet, wonderfully fruity nose.  Wow!  Yummy.

Bought from Manly for HKD 330.

1990 Lynch-Bages - decanted for an hour.  What a wine!  Super concentration of fruit.  Good levels of tannin without being too harsh.  Delicious to drink now.  I can't wait to drink the rest of my case over time.  No one wanted to drink Beaucastel after this one!

Bought from Remy for HKD 1,048.
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