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 28, 2008

A mostly French evening

Dinner at Kiangsu and Chekiang Residents Association (蘇浙同鄉會).

2003 Barratt Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay - ripe and oaky, very New World but not so interesting. No refills on this one...

1996 Billecart-Salmon Grande Cuvée - which had a very yeasty nose and reminded me of - would you believe - Kellogg's cornflakes... The wine was sweet on the palate but had a decidedly sharp finish. I normally go for either the NV or the NV Rose, so having the Grande Cuvée was certainly a treat.

2005 Vincent Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye de Morgeot - this really showed its colors about 1 1/2 hours after popping the cork. While others finished their glasses early, I left my glass untouched until theeastern star garoupa steamed in soy sauce was served. The wine tasted a little "hot" on the palate at first, with nose of toasted oak, minerals, buttery corn. There was good balance of acidity and sweetness, and the wine was so round and smooth on the tongue, with a very long finish. Yummy! I don't think you can go wrong with any 2005 white Burgundies right now.

2003 Haut-Brisson - despite having heard so much about the wine in the Greater China wine world, I had never had this wine before. The proprietor is Elaine Kwok, daughter of Peter Kwok. Peter is a senior figure in the Greater China finance world, having made the rounds at my old shop Bankers Trust and later at CITIC Ka Wah Bank as well as CITIC Resources. The wine has a large following in the region thanks to Peter. The wine was pleasant to drink, with lots of minerals - almost reminding me of blood - and a good amount of sweet fruit.

1990 Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru les Saint Georges - as the domaine is relatively new, this bottling is actually a negociant wine. I was a little worried since my last experience with this wine, the 1999 vintage, was quite disappointing. At first I was unable to detect much from the nose, but as the wine opened up I noted mint and sweet fruit, and eventually a hint of wet chalk. There was good balance between the tannins and acidity. Quite enjoyable and better than my initial expectations.

To finish off the evening, a very old bottle of Hennessey Cognac XO emerged. This bottle is reputed to be more than 30 years old, judging by the import label on the back of the bottle. While I do not normally drink Cognac, I was blown away by the brown liquid sitting in my glass. There was lots of salty preserved plums (話梅), salty preserved orange rind (陳皮), and caramel. There was no more burning of the throat than a single malt whisky would have delivered, and the spirit had aged and oxidized beautifully. Now if only I could find a case of this stuff...

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