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 23, 2007

Rhône white + Cali reds

Dinner at San San Trois.

2003 Guigal Saint-Joseph Blanc "Lieu-Dit Saint Joseph" - a wonderful Rhone white. Although I did not find it so, my friends commented on the wine being "super dry." In any case, this is a wine that I love from my favorite winemaker in the region.

1999 Kistler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - although this is the entry-level Pinot from Kistler, I have always loved this wine and thought it was the perfect accompaniment to the chicken.

1995 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection - classically full-bodied.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 21, 2007

Some interesting wines

Dinner at the Kimberley Chinese Restaurant (君怡閣),where I brought most of the wines and was introduced to the Kimberley Pig for the first time.

We started with 2 bottles of Californian white, because there was a request for "interesting white wine." They were already slightly chilled when I arrived at the restaurant, but were stuck into ice buckets (against my better judgement). The first wine was the 1998 Sine Qua Non Backward and Forward, which is an interesting blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Roussanne, and 30% Viognier. During our last gathering (a more intimate dinner for 4 instead of 9 tonight) a fellow diner had thoroughly enjoyed the 1996 Sine Qua Non Omadhaun & Poltron. She loved the funky label as well as the interesting blend of Roussanne and Chardonnay. So I figured the Backward and Forward would also be a hit. I wasn't wrong. Everyone thought the wine was very interesting, although it needed some time to warm up before the nose really developed in the glass. The nose was pretty buttery and nice, and typically Viognier.

2003 Kongsgaard Viognier/Roussanne - a blend of 55% Viognier and 45% Roussanne. This was amazing and actually more popular than the first wine, due to its explosive nose of tropical fruits and floral notes. Lots of pineapple, lychee, coconut notes. Wonderful.

1998 Sine Qua Non Veiled - this is a Pinot Noir from Oregon and was pretty well received. A few people were surprised that an American Pinot could have such a pleasant nose. But most people were more interested in the labels, where the front label depicted a pair of eyes peeking through a chador, and the back label had Arabic translations to the English text.

1999 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee Les Malconsorts - expectations were high for this wine as it comes from both a stellar vintage and a vineyard situated next to DRC's famed La Tâche. Unfortunately as we suspected, the wine was very closed - a condition quite a number of Burgundies from '99 suffer from.

1998 Dominio Pingus - this was meant to be the highlight of the evening. Most people at the table had never tasted this wine, with the exception of two of us (since I held a '98 Spanish tasting in 2003). The wine was opened at 7pm, stoppered until 8pm, and we started serving it around 10pm. However, it was never decanted and arguably was served in the wrong glass. So it was not surprising that the nose was fairly muted and hence a disappointment to me (as well as others). It eventually opened up in the glass around 11pm, just before we called it a night.

1995 Egon Muller Riesling Auslese Scharzhofberger - a request for a German sweet wine. This was my only bottle which fit the request, so I brought it despite the slightly protruding cork indicating a bit of heat damage. The nose was very nice, showing floral and lychee notes. But the acidity was higher than I expected, and it was clear that the wines was going downhill.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 18, 2007

Last dinner at Toscana

My last dinner at Toscana before it closed.

1999 Gaja Barbaresco - I had opened it half an hour before dinner and the restaurant decanted it when we arrived. As it is still a very young wine, it remained relatively closed through the dinner and not quite as good as I had hoped.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 17, 2007

Krug Champagne dinner

Dinner at Dynasty featuring Champagne from the house of Krug.

Krug Grand Cuvée - the non-vintage blend of the house. This has not only long been my favorite NV Champagne, but often my favorite offering from Krug. It is simply smooth and delicious. I'd be content if I could drink this daily.

1996 Krug - 1996 is probably the best Champagne vintage in the last 20 years or so, and the '96 has just been rated by Wine Spectator at 99 points and #10 of their Top 100 Wines of 2007 (literally just the day before the dinner). Anticipation was high as the golden liquid was poured into a glass that was smaller than our previous flute. This was met with protests from people at our table, and we proceeded to get ourselves a quick top-up.

Honestly, I thought that the nose of the '96 was very complex, and it would no doubt be a star. However, the acidity was quite sharp, especially on the finish. Clearly this is a wine that needs more time to age and is not really suited for drinking today. Better get my hands on some as people have been snapping it up.

Krug Rosérosés are always nice and easy to drink, and this one is no exception. We had lots of refills of the wine, and they started bringing out half bottles of it which supposedly are only available in 5 cities across the globe (excluding Paris). Very yummy. Very enjoyable. Very drunk.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 15, 2007

Dinner with potential investors

Dinner at Forchetta in Taipei, hosted by me.

2001 Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Caillerets - a smooth and delicious wine. I really loved the buttery nose and the minerals.

2001 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet - this village wine had a more complex and heavy nose, with minerals, smoke peat. But as a drinking wine, especially with food, I preferred the Pillot.

1999 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin - the wine was pretty good but a tad expensive for a village wine, a function of both the vintage and the producer. Lots of minerals on the nose.

1990 Certan de May - this drank pretty well and was silky smooth on the palate.  My friend Victor loved it so much (he's a Bordeaux lover so this is not a surprise) that he immediately called up the owner of the wine shop where I had bought the wine, and wanted to order 2 cases!

1994 Dominus - this was supposed to be a classic - probably the best Dominus ever. However it is also famous for bottle variation and this one was not quite as good as I had hoped. But the nose was pretty sweet with caramel a bit of tropical fruit.

1985 Stag's Leap Cask 23 - this is a legendary wine, and probably the favorite vintage of Warren Winiarski, Stag's Leap's owner. I had the pleasure of tasting through a vertical of Cask 23 with Warren in 2000 in Singapore, and I loved the '85 back then. This time I had bought 2 bottles from the wine shop, and the shop had sent the whole batch of wines to the restaurant. I meant to open ony 1 bottle for dinner and take the other bottle home. Before dinner, I called ahead to the restaurant and asked them to open all the reds. Unfortunately this meant that the spare bottle of the '85 Cask 23 was also among the opened bottles....anyway. The nose was pretty amazing, and I really had no regrets of buying the wine. Of course it had more than 2 decades to age, so it has now developed nicely.

1996 Chateau Guiraud - not a bad effort with typical tangerine and caramel on the nose.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 5, 2007

MNSC Dinner - Tuscany by H

MNSC dinner held at Tuscany by H, hosted by Lord Rayas.

Theme was a vertical of Paul Jaboulet's famed Hermitage La Chapelle, one of the greatest Hermitage around (if not THE Hermitage).

Flight 1:
1982 Jaboulet La Chapelle - clear winner of the evening as it was just absolutely beautiful.  98 points.

1983 Jaboulet La Chapelle - 92 points.

Flight 2:
1979 Jaboulet La Chapelle - 90 points.

1985 Jaboulet La Chapelle - 91 points.

Flight 3:
1989 Jaboulet La Chapelle - 92 points.

1990 Jaboulet La Chapelle - 92 points.

The 1989 and 1990 were very closed, and very disappointing.

Full post on dinner is here.
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