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.

July 26, 2001

1994 Mondavi Botrytis

Drinking at home.

1994 Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis, from half-bottle - WOW! What a great wine! Didn't expect much but this is one of the richest I've had. Very big nose with strong acetone permeating, along with banana, honeydew, honey, apricot, and pear nose. Amazing! And very, very sweet. Lovely stuff. Want to buy more of this!

Bought from Remy for HKD 318.

July 24, 2001

1996 Ségla

Drinking at home.

1996 Ségla - pretty damn good! Good amount of fruit, sweetness, along with typical tobacco, smoke, grilled meats. Very good price/performance. Good drinking wine.

Bought from Remy.

July 22, 2001

1989 Greysac

Drinking at home.

1989 Greysac, en demi-bouteille - still as good as it ever was. Nose of plum, red fruits, smoke, minerals, earth, and smoked meats. Good stuff, and one of my best buys.

Bought from Seibu for HKD 180.

July 15, 2001

Blanc de Lynch-Bages and Baumard

Dinner at home.

1996 Blanc de Lynch-Bages - very refreshing, citrus, lemon, apricot, pear noses. Crisp acidity. Very nice.

Bought from Ponti for HKD 430.

1990 Baumard Quarts de Chaume - could have sworn this was an Alsatian Vendages Tardives! Honey, apricot, dates, with slight bitterness on the after palate.

Bought from Tatung Atherton.

July 14, 2001

1994 Beaucastel

Dinner at Victoria Seafood.

1994 Beaucastel Rouge - a little disappointing. Acidic when first opened, body became fuller gradually with opening. Eventually smelled and tasted like a grenache and CdP, but not as sweet and explosive as the one 1½ years ago.

Bought from a friend for HKD 330.

July 11, 2001

1995 Phelps Merlot

Drinking at dinner.

1995 Joseph Phelps Merlot - this is now very drinkable. Typically Californian merlot with sweet nose and palate. Nice and smooth tannins. Well-liked by everyone.

Bought from Watson's for HKD 305.

July 10, 2001

1995 Ojai and 1991 Armand Rousseau

Dinner at brown.

1995 Ojai Pinot Noir Benjamin Lorenzo Bien Nacido Vineyard - opened but not decanted. At the beginning the nose was full of minerals on top of the red fruits, to the point of being a little "sulfury". Over time this improved a lot, and an apricot nose emerged, with more sweetness. At the very end, when it went downhill, I smelled Chinese herbal medicine! Very interesting but not as good as hoped. Maybe will try another bottle.

110 cases made, and artwork by Manfred Krankl of Sine Qua Non.

Bought from Oaks Cellars for around SGD 120.

1991 Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Bèze - this was decanted. I didn't like this at first since I didn't get enough from the nose, but eventually it really opened up, after 2½ hours, very nice but not very full bodied. More elegant, with sweet cherries mixed in with a hint of sweet grass. Pretty good stuff.

Bought from Eslite for TWD 6,750.

July 9, 2001

1995 Pinots

Dinner at Chez Jimmy's after grandma's funeral.

1995 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Pinot Noir - acidic, somewhat fruity, a bit of mint, but fairly diluted and not that great.

Bought from Oriental House for TWD 1,200.

1995 David Bruce Pinot Noir Reserve - what an improvement! Very concentrated flavors, black cherries, mint, mushroom... all the typical pinot notes. Smooth tannins, sweet on the palate. Everyone liked this better, including mom.

Bought from Wine Society for TWD 900.

June 30, 2001

1995 Etude

Drinking at home.

1995 Etude Cabernet Sauvignon - totally not ready! Parker had said this may be ready in 2001... Well I think it needs a few more years. Loads of sweet raspberries and strawberries - typical Californian. Also nose of coffee, hint of minerals, acetone/glycerin. Close to a fruit bomb but slightly more complex. Double decanted and the color was really like black ink - amazing! This would be awesome in another 5 years.

Bought from Latour for TWD 3,000.

June 27, 2001

1988 Peter Michael Les Pavots

Drinking at home.

1988 Peter Michael Les Pavots - double decanted but this didn't open up more at least 1½ hours. This was still very concentrated and dark despite having 12 years on it. There was fruit of course, plus a bit of coffee, green peppers. A bit disappointing to me, but again this was the first vintage.

June 23, 2001

93 Ramonet and 70 Chasse-Spleen

Dinner at Con Fusion.

1993 Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Boudriotte Rouge - this gradually opened up after 45 minutes or so. Not bad. Good concentration, although my memories of the '95 seem better. Typically full of black cherries, mushrooms, and "cotton candy".

Bought from Eslite for TWD 1,720.

1970 Chasse-Spleen - opened and double-decanted at home. At first the wine seemed really sweet. A friend remarked that it's almost like a Californian instead of French. This was pretty good stuff. Still lots of fruit left. Very smooth now after 30 years.

Bought from Fine and Rare Wines for GBP 35.

June 22, 2001

1970 BV Georges de Latour

Dinner at Brasserie on the Eighth.

1970 Beaulieu Vineyard George de Latour Private Reserve - decanted before dinner started. Hmmm... very good stuff. Very French and unCalifornian. Very smooth. Acidity a little on the high side. Still has lots of fruit, a bit spicy on the after palate. Really like an old Bordeaux. Gave a sample to the restaurant manager and ended up not getting charged corkage. Hit the peak around 2½ hours after opening.

Bought from the winery for USD 250.

June 19, 2001

1982 syrah vs shiraz

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon.

1982 Guigal La Mouline - opened and decanted more than 1 hour before serving. Wow! What a wine! Color was fairly light with amber edges, but the nose was incredible. Lots of red fruits, game meat, earth, spice, green pepper, and maybe some salted plum. The wine kept getting better until 2½ - 3 hours after opening. We finally got a Rhone wine one of my friend likes, and my other friends love it. Everyone detected the classic floral notes from the viognier, of roses and lavender. My "soap" comment was not appreciated...

Bought from Vinum for SGD 400.

1982 Penfolds Grange - opened a little later than the La Mouline but drank side by side. Also a great wine, but in an entirely different style. Classic Australian shiraz, packed with all the raspberry fruit, toffee, some spice. My "marshmallow". This wine is still youthful and shows no sign of aging. Very in-your-face. Color still very dark ink-like. This wine can easily go another 10 years or more.

June 14, 2001

1996 Laurus Gigondas

Dinner at Sorabol.

1996 Laurus Gigondas - light-bodied and kind of disappointing, not like what I remembered about this wine.

June 12, 2001

1983 Montrose

Drinking at home but fell asleep before drinking much of it.

1983 Montrose - not very interesting. Smoky, a bit of berries, a touch of green peppers. Classic Bordeaux.

A gift from a friend.

June 11, 2001

1996 d'Arenberg The Noble

Drinking at home.

1996 d'Arenberg Riesling The Noble, from half-bottle - really good stuff! Lots of honey, caramel, orange rind, black dates, pecan. Very complex and great, and lots of toffee, coffee, chocolate.

Bought from Watson's for HKD 112.

June 7, 2001

1994 Yalumba Signature

Dinner at a friend's home.

1994 Yalumba The Signature - very good stuff, nose of prunes, black cherries, toffee, chocolate, capsicums, black pepper, a touch of spicy after palate. Nose very sweet after opening up for an hour and a half. Great value.

Bought from Manly for HKD 266.

June 5, 2001

1996 Geyser Peak

Dinner at Teca.

1996 Geyser Peak Alexander Valley Merlot Reserve - amazing... this didn't smell or taste like a Californian, but rather like a Bordeaux, with veggy and mineral overtones. After airing out it got pretty good, and sweeter.

Bought from Remy for HKD 340.

June 2, 2001

94 Vogüé and 91 DRC

Burgundy tasting at Manly Wine City.

1993 Angelus - pretty powerful nose of cassis but dominated by minerals and cigar smoke.

1994 Vogüé Musigny Cuvée Vielles Vignes - this was the first to be opened but the wine did not have enough time to air out, so appeared much lighter-bodied than they actually were. This was not well-liked, even though we knew it came from a diluted vintage. After 1½ to 2 hours the nose improved and berries, a bit of earth, animal, game meats came out, and I liked it much better.

Bought from Vinum for SGD 160.

1996 Michel Gros Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru - very powerful nose of game meats and "horse sweat". Flavors were more concentrated.

1994 Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis - this was the best from the three bottles, clearly above the rest with the nose.

1991 DRC Richebourg - I initially didn't want to open this bottle, but it seemed my friend really wanted to tasted it. Unfortunately the bottle was wasted as it was drunk by the crowd 30 minutes after opening. By one hour it was already gone, and I really couldn't enjoy it too much. It was definitely the best of the lot, with sweet, concentrated flavors and nice bouquet.

Bought from Tatung Atherton for TWD 6,450.

May 28, 2001

1997 I Sistri

Drinking at home.

1997 Fèlsina Berardenga I Sistri - not as good as I remembered from the Ponti tasting. Some oak and citrus in the nose. A bit spicy on the palate.

Bought from Ponti for HKD 110.

May 26, 2001

1993 Peter Lehman Stonewell

Dinner at W's Entrecote.

1993 Peter Lehman Shiraz Stonewell - after airing for more than an hour, the nose was very pleasant. Classic cassis, black cherries, and sweet "bubble gum" notes in the nose. Tannins are still noticeable, but not distracting. Full bodied, good concentration, some minerals. Fairly nice to go along with steak.

Bought from a friend for HKD 430.

May 25, 2001

Haut-Brion tasting and more

Haut-Brion tasting at Manly Wine City.

Tasted the 1975, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995 Haut-Brion together. Liked the 1988 and 1985 the best, same with 1994. All very fruity and concentrated. A bit New World. Didn't like the 1990 as it was too earthy, and same with the 1975.

Drinking at dinner.

1997 Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet - too acidic for me.

Larrivet Haut Brion, vintage unknown - this was OK.

1997 Gros Frére et Soeur Richebourg - not bad at all. Very nice even though it's not a DRC.

1998 Dugat-Py Gevrey-Chambertin Coeur du Roy - very good effort and I really liked it.

1997 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Spätlese - nice and medium sweet, but the nose was smoke, petrol, and rubber.

May 23, 2001

89 Troplong and 93 Ducru

Drinking at Vinum in Singapore.

1989 Troplong Mondot - initially nose was intensely powerful for a few minutes, then it closed down and only smoke and wet rags showed with a hint of fruit. Eventually, after about 1½ hours, the wine began to show beautifully. Gobs of sweet cassis, chocolate, caramel, black pepper, and smoke in the nose. Good acidity balance, and the power started to show through. Clear reason to see why Parker gave it such high praise!

Bought from Vinum for SGD 140.

1995 Pegau Cuvée Laurence - with no breathing time, this was a classic CdP with smoked bacon, a bit of spice, a bit weedy. Acidity a little high. Overall it was alright, but probably needed time.

Dinner at Pierside.

1993 Ducru-Beaucaillou - classic Bordeaux with smoke, smoked meats, cassis, slight minerals. Drinking very nicely now, especially after 1½ hours or so.

Bought from Watson's for HKD 439.

May 17, 2001

1970 Lynch-Bages

Dinner at Paris 1930 in Taipei.

1970 Lynch-Bages - I was a bit disappointed by this wine. While the black fruits were there, it seemed very one-dimensional. Very smooth with most of the tannins shed (heavy sediment), the texture was nice. But I thought it was a bit boring.

Bought from Tatung Atherton for TWD 6,200.

May 15, 2001

1994 Heitz Bella Oaks

Dinner at Wolf.

1994 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Oaks Vineyard - surprising light-to-medium bodied and therefore a bit disappointing. Some cassis. A bit of minerals. In general uninspiring although tannins are smooth.

Bought from the winery for USD 45.

May 14, 2001

1992 Primo Joseph

Drinking at home.

1992 Primo Estate Joseph Moda Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot - surprising good and deserving of Parker's attention. The Amarone style made sure for a concentrated wine packed with flavors. Nose of sweet berries, cassis, minerals, smoke. The high alcohol level is evident. Not a bad deal at this price. Tannins still evident but not harsh.

Bought from Macau Duty Free for HKD 400.

May 11, 2001

1990 Filhot

Drinking at home.

1990 Filhot, en demi-bouteille - pretty good stuff, with good botrytis, sweet nose of orange marmalade, honey, caramel, walnut. Yummy stuff!

Bought from Ponti for HKD 322.

May 9, 2001

1994 Gaja Barbaresco

Drinking at home.

1994 Gaja Barbaresco - wow! This is another great showing for Gaja. Opens up very nicely after 2 hours. Nose was explosively sweet at first, with gobs of sweet cassis, game meat, leather, toasted oak, even a bit of glycerin. Kept improving and eventually softened. Acidity is very high, a bit distracting. Tannins also are still very strong. Really needs time to age.

Gift from a friend.

May 5, 2001

1999 Sterling Chardonnay

Drinking at a wedding.

1999 Sterling Chardonnay North Coast - huge nose of toasted oak, typical for a Cali chard. Lots of minerals, some fruit in the nose, a bit sweet. OK but not my cup of tea.

May 3, 2001

1998 Kistler Elizabeth

Dinner at Postrio in San Francisco. Originally wanted to open a 1997 Colgin Herb Lamb but thought it might not be ready. The manager recommended this wine that wasn't on the wine list.

1998 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvée Elizabeth - it opens up very nicely after decanting. Nose is explosive and very, very sweet, with lots of cassis, mint, black olives, rosemary, and a touch of glycerin at the very end. Full bodied, this is a huge wine! Finish is very long and powerful, showing the 14% alcohol. Tannins got to be a bit heavy in the middle of the bottle, but faded towards the end. Needs about 2 hours in the decanter and at least 3 years of aging.

USD 390 at the restaurant.

May 1, 2001

1996 Araujo

Dinner at Pinot Blanc in St. Helena.

1996 Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - this wine was incredibly understated but good. Very silky smooth tannins surprising for a wine this young. The nose was very fruity, with some toasted oak and grilled meat. A bit peppery on the finish.

USD 275 at the restaurant.

April 30, 2001

D'Auvenay and Champet

After dinner drinks at the Fifth Floor in San Francisco.

1998 D'Auvenay Auxey-Duresses le Clous - this has a huge nose of toasted oak, minerals, petrol, and glycerin. Wow! A huge wine and my first from D'Auvenay. A bit spicy on the palate.

USD 132 at the restaurant.

1979 (Emile?) Champet Côte-Rôtie - this was a classic wine with lots of bacon fat, a bit of smoke, lots of red fruits and minerals in the nose. Very smooth tannins after all these years, and pretty good stuff.

Around USD 140 at the restaurant.

April 29, 2001

1986 Bonneau Célestins

Dinner at Aureole in Las Vegas.

1986 Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins - it has an awesome nose, with an incredibly sweet cherries, leather, bacon fat, game meats, and a hint of glycerin. Full bodied with very smooth tannins. Amazing finish that lasts for more than 45 seconds. This wine was really showing well after 2 hours in the decanter.

USD 350 at the restaurant, which I thought was a steal.

April 28, 2001

93 Rousseau Clos de la Roche

Dinner at Lutece in Las Vegas.

1993 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche - opened 2 bottles. The first bottle was very good, with great nose of berries, mint, game meat, black olives. Medium- to full-bodied. Second bottle was not as good, with heavier roast meat nose that turns out to be slightly unpleasant.

USD 220 at the restaurant.

April 27, 2001

1996 Pingus

Dinner at Postrio in Las Vegas.

1996 Pingus - this wine is very young, definitely fairly tannic but also pretty forward for its age. The nose is amazingly aromatic and complex. Definitely coffee, strawberries, hint of mint, game meats and pain grillé. Spicy finish. Full bodied and turns tart on the finish after airing for an hour. Needs lots of time on this one. Also alcohol level high at 14%.

USD 290 at the restaurant.

April 7, 2001

1995 Mondavi Pinot

Drinking at home.

1995 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve - pretty good stuff. Nose of black cherries, coffee, chocolate, mint, and leather. Game meats. Very sweet nose. Tannins still surprisingly heavy. Probably could use some more cellaring time. Starting to see sediment at the bottom.

Bought from Remy for HKD 430.

April 1, 2001

1997 Koonunga Hill

Drinking at home.

1997 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet - it's OK, a bit young but typical of New World/Aussie cabs.

Bought from Watson's.

March 27, 2001

Far Niente and SHL

Dinner at Toscana.

1995 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc - very nice. Very oaky and full-bodied with petrol and minerals. Smooth and easy to go down.

1997 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon - decanted it for an hour at least. Pretty good. Tannins still heavy but acceptable. Nose was very, very sweet. Lots of strawberries, bubble gum, a hint of minerals. But a bit like Togni - a bit fruit bomb which doesn't seem to have complexity - at least not now...

March 26, 2001

Drinking at Brown.

1996 Tardieu-Laurent Gigondas - what a pleasant surprise! After the disappointment of the CdP. Nose was very open, lots of rose petals, sweet strawberries, grilled meats, slight hint of pepper on the after palate. It reached plateau early and stayed there for a long time. Wow!

Bought from Yamaya for JPY 4,980.

1986 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Sélection des Grains Noble - WOW! What a wine! Pretty good honeyed sweetness, with caramel, citrus, walnuts, peaches. Thick and unctuous, very smooth. Tartrates very visible, just like my '89.
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