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.

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.

March 25, 2001

91 Ponsot CDLR and more

Dinner at Brown.

1989 Canon - this was very, very good. Nose of chocolate, sweet red raspberries, and rose. Very nice on the palate, with a good finish. Just kept improving. Yum!

Drinking at home.

1991 Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes - didn't like this when first opened, as it had the same wet chalk smell I found in the '72 Grange. A friend called it "horse sweat". Gradually this faded and the core of sweet cherries, strawberries came out, along with mint. Slight hint of grilled meats, a little peppery on the after palate. A very complex wine. My friends really liked it.

Bought from Vinum for SGD 374.

1999 Guigal Condrieu Luminescence, en demi-bouteille - this is a new wine in its first vintage, and it's a sweet dessert wine. Nose was pretty incredible, with apricot, pears, honey, lychee. But the palate was only semi-sweet, like an auslese. In that respect it was disappointing because we all like sweet wines. Oh well.

Bought from Crystal Wines for SGD 75.

March 24, 2001

93 Trimbach

Dinner on Lamma Island.

1993 Trimbach Gewürztraminer Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre - good stuff. Nose of petrol, floral, acetone, citrus. Slightly sweet, very refreshing.

Bought from BBR for HKD 379.

March 21, 2001

1990 Lynch-Bages

Lunch at Long Tu Ge in Beijing.

1990 Lynch-Bages - drunk out of small glasses without decanting. Tannins smooth and evident. Good amount of raspberries. A bit of minerals and smoke. Lots of sediment now.

Bought from Remy for HKD 1,048.

March 15, 2001

89 Insignia and 78 Fortia

Drinking at Brown.

1989 Joseph Phelps Insignia - this really was not bad. Double decanted at home and started drinking about 1 hour after. Still concentrated and nose of sweet fruits. Nice and smooth. Tannins just right now. Everyone liked this.

Bought from Latour for TWD 3,000.

1978 Fortia Tête de Cru - double decanted at home with considerable sediment. Nose was dominated by the smell of slightly sweet, freshly mowed lawn (cut grass). This was not appreciated. The core of sweet fruit is present and a hint of game meat and earth, but with more time the nose of grass faded and the wine became more enjoyable.

Bought from FRW for GBP 49.

March 6, 2001

95 Jadot Volnay

Drinking at home.

1995 Louis Jadot Volnay - not too bad given it's just a village wine. Body a bit light but nose is nice. Sweet black cherry, plum, a touch of mint, rose, grilled meat. Drank the remainder 4 days later and still very good, although acidity became higher.

Bought from Watson's for HKD 249.

March 4, 2001

86 Gruaud Larose

Dinner at Nicholini's.

1986 Gruaud Larose - decanted before serving. Didn't open up until at least an hour later. Sweet nose of raspberry, pain grillé, cedar, lead pencil. Initially had a bit of smoke but faded away. A friend thought it was floral. Tannins still a bit evident even though there were huge amounts of sediment, but in general wine was smooth and velvety. Didn't particularly notice the finish. Peaked between 1½ to 2 hours.

Bought from Vinum for SGD 190.

March 3, 2001

96 Hugel Gewurz

Dinner at Bamboo Garden.

1996 Hugel Gewurztraminer Jubilee - very nice and floral, with nose of apricot and a bit of citrus. Tastes of butter, toasted nuts, and sweet on the palate.

Bought from Remy for HKD 190.

Drinks at a friend's home.

1998 Neyers Merlot - not bad. Very forward with lots of red fruits. Nose of minerals and chocolate.

March 2, 2001

95 d'Ampuis

Drinks at Brown.

1995 Guigal Château d'Ampuis - served after decanting. Before it opened up it was unimpressive and acidic. After more than an hour it was getting better. Nose was extremely sweet, a bit of lavender, game meat. Pretty peppery on the palate and after palate. Pretty good but can improve. Too young anyway. Good for a first vintage.

Bought from BBR for HKD 575.
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