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.

September 28, 2008

2005 Cloudy Bay Te Koko

2005 Cloudy Bay Te Koko - drunk at Braise in Singapore. The price charged by the restaurant was only a slight premium to what the wine sells for retail in Hong Kong, so it was a no-brainer for me. The wine was delicious as I remembered, with notes of muscat grapes, green apples, honey and minerals. I really loved this wine, and it's such a different expression of the Sauvignon Blanc grape.

Full post of lunch is here.

September 26, 2008

Kaganoi Daiginjo

Kaganoi Daiginjo (加賀の井大吟醸) - drunk at Goto (後藤) in Singapore.  Pretty sweet at +1 (日本酒度) and a very fine 40% seimaibuai (精米歩合). Nice and fragrant, with nose of banana and vanilla.

Full post of dinner is here.

2005 Weinbach Riesling Cuvée St. Catherine

2005 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvée St. Catherine en demi-bouteille - drunk over lunch at Forlino in Singapore. Made from the grapes of Clos des Capucins. The nose immediately signaled a higher-than-normal alcohol content, which was fair given that this was the ultra-ripe 2005 vintage. Nose of orange flowers, apricots and some minerals were very pleasant, and only a hint of sweetness on the palate.

Full post of lunch is here.

September 19, 2008

In memory of Didier Dagueneau

Dinner at Yin Yang (鴛鴦).

2006 Keller Riesling Spatlese - this was initially very strong in terms of the petrol and wood/oak nose, to the point I wondered if the wine was corked. But it did open up later and there was a nice amount of minerals in the nose. Pretty sweet on the palate, but surprisingly lacks complexity.

2005 Didier Dagueneau Pur Sang - in memory of the great winemaker who had just died in a plane crash the day before. I am a big fan of Dagueneau's wines and rushed out to buy cases of wine upon hearing news of his untimely departure. The wine tonight was wonderful - green apple, toasty wood, mineral and sharp, flinty nose. The fruit was clearly very ripe - characteristic of the 2005 vintage across the board. Initially the acidity was a bit high and the wine felt slightly disjointed, but melded into a beautiful wine as the evening progressed. I think everyone enjoyed this.

2005 Nicolas Potel Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Hauts Jarrons - a little too early to drink the 2005 reds, I think, but the nose turned out nicely. Very sweet cotton candy, strawberries, and surprisingly butter showed up in a red instead of a white! Unfortunately the palate was a bit lacking, and there was no finish. I think this wine could use another 5 years of bottle age.

September 18, 2008

German Riesling + Cali Cab

Dinner at Kimberley Chinese Restaurant (君怡閣).

2006 Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese - I knew this would have a bit of sweetness but this was more than my expectations. I think the ladies did like it, though... In any case this is a stellar year.

1994 Chateau Montelena in magnum - this was just too big for my cellar at home, so this was a good opportunity to drink it up. It was pretty classic Cali Cab, although the acidity was a bit high at the beginning.

September 15, 2008

01 William Selyem Hirsch

Drinking at home to remember Lehman Brothers.

2001 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard - initially the high alcohol (14.2%) was really evident in the nose. Smoky grilled meats, prunes, black fruits, sweet on the nose but not excessively so. Tannins were velvety and smooth, giving good body to the wine.  After almost 3 hours, minerals and blood emerged among the powerfully sweet fruit nose. A bit of bacon fat came out later.

September 13, 2008

Burgundian evening

Dinner at Brasserie on the Eighth.

Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle - the luxury cuvée which is a blend of 3 vintages. I am not sure which three vintages were in this bottle, but it was certainly a good way to start the evening off.

2002 Leroy Meursault 1er Cru Les Blagny - the fruit was very ripe and sweet on the palate, while there was also a good balance of acidity. Toasty oak in the nose came out towards the end.

1999 Baron Thenard Montrachet - even though none of us knew the domaine, this was a real treat. Smoky, flinty and almost steely on the nose. The wine was pretty ripe on the palate, while again achieving a good balance with the acidity. Just about my favorite wine of the evening.
1996 Leroy Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Combottes - this was classically Leroy. Initially the tannins were still very obvious on my tongue, a bit surprising given that this is only a 1er cru. The nose showed slightly higher acidity initially, but this quickly disappeared and the old familiar Leroy came back, with plenty of sweet fruit and ripe prunes. Not a bad effort. Production of this wine was tiny - 1,461 bottles for this vintage.

1996 Roumier Bonnes Mares - this was highly anticipated. Prices for Roumier has skyrocketed in the last 18 months, thanks in no small part to the publication of the Japanese wine comic 神の雫 (Les Gouttes de Dieu) - where the 2001 Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses was chosen as the "first disciple".

Anyway, back to the wine. After a couple of hours in an open decanter, the nose that developed proved to be quite nice, with lots of very sweet red fruits, and very classic Burgundian. However there was something missing there. You can sense that the wine could be so much more. Perhaps we are just drinking it too early. In any event, it was quite a privilege to be able to drink this wine, and I have my friend to thank for it.

September 5, 2008

Burg, Bord-o and Rhône

Dinner at 90 A La Sante (酒食歐風朝) in Taipei.

2005 Vincent Girardin Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrieres - the nose had some minerals, petrol, toasty oak to start, then gradually showed creamy butter and finally lemon and citrus. Sweet on the palate, and obviously a "hot" vintage. As with all the 2005 Girardins, the wine needed some time to open up. Actually I thought this was not a good choice of wine for drinking now - it was clearly too young, unlike the 2005 Chassagnes I have been drinking over the last few months.

1995 Guigal Chateau d'Ampuis - I had high hopes for this as it has been quite a few years since I popped open one of these. Unfortunately I think this bottle has been moved around quite a bit, and we can see signs of seepage on the label as well as the cork. The nose had classic mint, bacon fat, grilled meats that I would expect from a Rhône. The tannins were smooth, and the finish had some length although there was some obviously acidity there.

However, this was supposed to be a big wine - the first vintage where Guigal took a few vineyards and blended the fruit into a product that sits between the famousLaLaLa's (which I so love) and the regular Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde bottling. I didn't get the sense of power from this bottle, so I was very disappointed.

2004 Le Petit Cheval - the second wine of Cheval Blanc. This wine was still very young, with classic sweet fruit, mint and smoky, grilled meats in the nose. The tannins were still very firm and chewy. While it's pleasing to drink now, I would think that the wine could use further aging.

September 2, 2008

MNSC Dinner - Amber

MNSC Dinner at Amber, hosted by Juliano.  Theme was 1997 horizontal.

1990 Dom Perignon Oenotheque - being recently disgorged, this was clearly very fresh with a heady mousse, and sugar that you can taste on the palate.

1997 DRC Grands Echezeaux - color was clearly lighter than the others, with a slightly farmy nose followed by smoke and bacon. Pretty classic Burgundy. 93 points.

1997 Opus One - the nose was very much classic Bordeaux, with tell-tale brett but the core of sweet fruit came out strong as time went on. The tannins in this wine was still very strong and I enjoyed chewing on them. 94 points.

1997 Kistler Hirsch Vineyard - this was my wine of the evening, and most of us pegged it as a Kistler since we were pretty big fans. This was one wine where, being on the mailing list, I have drunk plenty of. The nose was really powerful and sweet, with some minerals (although not enough to be a Cuvée Catherine or Elizabeth) and lots of sweet orange marmalade. The tannins are still around. 96 points.

1997 DRC Richebourg - nose was a little grassy with a hint of sous bois? Afterwards sweet marmalade emerged, although not as powerful as the Kistler. Interestingly I gave it 93 points - the same as the Grands Echezeaux.

1997 L'Eglise-Clinet - the nose had lots of sweet grass, some brett, and smoky. Interestingly the sweetness came from the grass and not from red fruits. 94 points.
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