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.

October 31, 2008

Wino Halloween

Dinner at Babylon.

2000 Nyetimber Cuvee Classic - an interesting sparkling wine made from all three Champagne varietals in West Sussex, England. Toasty oak, yeast and minerals on the nose, while slightly acidic on the palate.

Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV - a very vibrant wine, crisp but not too acidic - a tad sweet even. Unfortunately the finish was a bit short.

1975 Pichon Lalande - classic Bordeaux nose, with plum and some red fruits left. Very smooth to drink but a bit flat on the palate.

2007 Novy Family Blanc de Noir - a very interesting wine made by the people at Siduri, from Pinot Noir grapes. Lots of tropical fruits like banana and pina colada, with nutty almonds, floral and sweet nose. Really enjoyable and my white wine of the evening.

2004 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - a classic white from Graves, with very heavy, toasty oak and lots of minerals. It's surprisingly ripe on the palate with good acidity balance.

2000 Siduri Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard - really big and powerful sweet nose, a classic Californian Pinot, with a hint of orange rind.

2004 Pauillac - interesting and surprisingly good for the 3rd wine of Chateau Latour. A bit plummy, smoky and sweet, ripe fruit. Not sweet on the palate, however.

2001 Mustuguillo Quincha Corral - a Spanish wine made from Bobal, this was my red wine of the evening. Explosive sweet nose, very jammy with lots of power and oomph! A bit high on the alcohol and could use a bit more aging.

2001 Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No.1 - very sweet nose with a hint of stewed prunes, grilled meats, smoke and coffee. The nose was a bit sharp but the wine fell a bit flat on the palate.

2004 Camille Giroud Corton Les Chaumes - a typical Burgundy with sweet fruit and black cherries. A bit more alcoholic than I expected.

1988 Hugel Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles - very floral nose with acetone, orange, pink grapefruit notes. Sweet on the palate but finish was a bit bitter. I'm glad I finally had a chance to open this bottle.

October 30, 2008

MNSC Dinner - Tuscany by H

MNSC dinner at Tuscany by H, hosted by Dr. Poon.

2003 Vincent Girardin Corton-Charlemagne - very smoky and lots of toasty oak, tons of minerals and petrol over ripe fruit. Initially the wine tasted flat on the palate, but the sweetness came out later and this grew into a wonderful wine. The toasty oak is still a bit heavy given the young age of the wine, but I am sure this would be a beautiful wine in another 10 years.

1999 Shafer Hillside Select - lots of concentration here with sweet fruit and a classic Californian nose. Tannins very firm. My style of wine but a little too young. 96 pts.

1999 Dalla Valle Maya - nose was initially a little funky and stewed, with orange marmalade and a bit of smoke, somewhat rustic. Tannins were firm, but there was also a lot of sediment floating in the wine. 94 pts.

1998 Ornellaia - smoky nose with good amount of sweet grass and also grilled meats. 95 pts.

1998 Solaia - minty with a bit of smoke. Silky tannins. 94 pts.

1990 Angelus - very smoky with brett, a bit of sweet fruit and coffee in the nose. A delicious wine and a classic Bordeaux. 96 pts.

1990 Palmer - classic brett and smoky nose of a Bordeaux, with a bit of sweetness and orange, coffee grounds and sous bois. 96 pts.

October 29, 2008

Hot and alcoholic wines

Dinner at Nino's Cozinha.

2001 Marcel Deiss Mambourg - this is a very interesting wine as it is a blend of all Pinot varietals: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Pinot Beurot and Pinot Meunier. At 13.5% alcohol it tasted spicy and ripe on the palate, and was a bit fizzy on the tongue with a long finish. The nose was initially very muted, belying the complexity of the wine, but showed minerals and a hint of sweetness coming from ripe pears. A very tasty wine, and I'd love to get my hands on some of this.

2000 Turley Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard - the star of the evening, and at 16.7% alcohol packs quite a big punch. The wine was very sweet on the palate, but a bit spicy on the tip of my tongue. Nose was classic Turley sweet red fruits, but with some marmalade and a hint of acetone.

2002 Pax Syrah Alder Springs 'the Terraces' - I double-decanted the wine at home because of my last experience with Pax wines. These wines need lots of time to breathe. Unfortunately the result was that at dinner, the nose of the wine was initially muted without a lot of fruit. There may have even been a hint of TCA. But the nose did eventually come out about 3 1/2 hours after opening, with iron, cotton candy, marmalade and red fruits. The tannins were firm and chewy, and the wine was spicy on the palate. A bit disappointing, but maybe it's just bottle variation. 15.2% alcohol.

October 27, 2008

1990 Gruaud-Larose

Lunch at Cafe Causette.

1990 Gruaud Larose - this was dropped off at the Mandarin and decanted about 2 hours prior to lunch. While there was a hint of TCA (commonly known as cork-taint) in the nose, the wine drank beautifully. It had the classic St Julien nose, with sweet grass, a bit of green peppers, red fruits and a bit of smoked meats. Surprisingly, the tannins were still pretty firm, while the acidity was a tad high for my palate. It's been some years since I last drank this wine, and I think it remains a beautiful wine.

Full post on lunch is here.

October 25, 2008

Sipping wine at the Zachys auction

Zachys auction in Hong Kong today.

1998 Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill - toasty with a bit of caramel/creme brulee in the nose. Very young but had a nice acidity balance.

1988 Latour en imperial - classic, with mint, cigar smoke, prunes and a bit of brett in the nose. A nice wine to drink with the food.

1997 Jaboulet La Chapelle in jeroboam - a little disappointing, with high levels of acidity and not much of the trademark nose that I have come to love. I guess it needed more time to breathe.

2000 Talbot - not bad, with mint, grilled meats, smoke and a hint of orange in the nose. It was a little acidic but overall a very pleasant wine to drink.

October 23, 2008

Arietta tasting

Tasting of Arietta wines over lunch at Cipriani, with Fritz Hatton in attendance

2007 On the White Keys - a Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the nose packed a big punch of oak at the beginning with lots of minerals, but softened up a bit with a hint of citrus.

2005 H-Block Hudson Vineyard - with 80% Cabernet Franc, this would be the equivalent of Cheval Blanc in Napa. Vry ripe nose and initially the high alcohol was very evident, almost overpowering. Lots of sweet fruit, caramel and plum here with heavy and chewy tannins. Opened up in the glass and softened significantly with time. Surprisingly drinkable for such a young wine.

2002 H-Block Hudson Vineyard - a very big wine, with very sweet fruit on the nose and tannins that are a bit harsh and heavy. Second pour was a lot better. This wine just needs time to soften up.

2000 H-Block Hudson Vineyard - my first impression was a bit of 鐵打酒 (Chinese liquid Ben-Gay), which faded to reveal a wine that was very smooth with silky tannins. Sweet on the after palate.

1997 Proprietary Red - this is a wine that I drank EXACTLY 2 months ago, which blew me away. Interesting to see that this drank like a completely different wine today! With 80% Cabernet Franc, the nose was very typically Bordeaux with lots of brett, leather and sweet fruit. Like 2 months ago, there were still plenty of tannins left. The nose became a bit more medicinal towards the end, which I guess is just more of the brett coming out.

2003 Variaton One - the 2000 vintage of this wine (the first vintage made) was the first bottle of Arietta that I purchased. When I drank this last year, the combination of Syrah and Merlot totally blew me away, and confirmed that my decision to get on Arietta's mailing list was indeed a wise one. The 2003 is really big and fruity, a bit of a fruit bomb like the 2000. The alcohol level was a bit high, and the tannins were very evident. But this was a really good wine, with enough complexity to make it interesting. It packs the punch of the stereotypical Californian Syrah, but at the same time wears the velvet glove that is Merlot.

2006 Quartet - This is a combination of 4 Bordeaux-blend varietals (except Malbec) where the fruit has been sourced from David Abreu. It's a typical Californian Cab with a sweet nose laced with a little coffee, caramel and vanilla. The nose is powerful and still a bit sharp in terms of alcohol, and still pretty tannic on the palate.

2006 Variation One - surprisingly the nose was a bit muted with coffee notes. The wine was acidic on the palate. I wonder what happened to this bottle...

2006 H-Block Hudson Vineyard - A very sweet wine with high alcohol. Really needs more time to age.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon - what an awesome wine this is! A classic Californian Cab that is very sweet both on the nose and palate. This is exactly what I love about Californian wine! The wine has been sold out on the mailing list, but I'm going to hold Fritz to his promise to sell me a couple of bottles...

Full post on lunch is here.

October 16, 2008

White Burg trounces Swiss white

Long lunch at Philippe Rochat in Crissiers, Switzerland.

2007 Chasselas Selection Philippe Rochat, made by Domaine du Daley - drank a glass of this. It’s a local wine so I thought I’d give it a try. Was not impressed. Perhaps the wine had been open since last night, and it has gone flat.

1999 Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Virondot en demi-bouteille - this turned out to be a wonderful wine. Golden, honey-colored after a few years of aging, the nose was also full of honey, butter, pear Anjou and green apples. You can taste the ripe fruit on the palate, and there was a good acidity balance and a reasonably long finish. Excellent!

October 15, 2008

2006 L et Mermoud Sauvignon Blanc

2006 L et Mermoud Sauvignon Blanc - drank a glass at Bistrot du Beouf Rouge in Geneva.
Pleasant nose of green apples, muscat grapes and minerals. Good for a quaffing wine!

October 10, 2008

The wines of Selbach-Oster

Dinner at Chiuchow Garden (潮庭) featuring wines of Selbach-Oster.

2007 Selbach Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling - mildly sweet on the palate, with some minerals in the nose.

2007 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett halbtrocken - slightly sweet nose, with minerals, green apple notes. Pretty dry on the palate.

2006 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett "fish" - this was a real interesting wine, which is a blend of different vineyards rather than the typical single-vineyard offering. Really powerful nose of petrol, lemon citrus, glycerin and urethane plastic. A full-bodied wine which tastes a bit "oily".

2006 Selbach-Oster Weissburgunder Kabinett trocken - made from Pinot Blanc, pretty dry with a touch of sweetness on the after palate. Ripeness was evident on the palate and in the nose, with minerals and a bit of spice.

2007 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese trocken - made from ungrafted vines that are over 60 years' old. Steely minerals and osmanthus floral notes, with sweetness on the nose but not on the palate, and a ripe after palate. A complex and rich wine.

2007 Selbach-Oster Zeltnger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett - powerful nose of minerals and flint, glycerin. Sweet on the palate with a finish of decent length.

2007 Selbach-Oster Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese - a bit of plastic and minerals in the nose. Nice, smooth and sweet on the palate.

1999 Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese - this has to be the wine of the evening. An explosion of minerals and petrol, with a bit of rich butter and plastic. Very rich and smooth on the palate, with orange marmalade on the after palate. This is actually only medium sweet for an auslese.

2007 Selbach-Oster Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese halbtrocken - nose of minerals, green apple and a bit of honey. Slightly sweet on the palate.

2007 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling trocken - muted nose with some minerals, a bit of almond marzipan. Very dry on the palate.

2006 Selbach-Oster Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese* - the wine that Mr. Selbach claims has a lot of aging potential. Nose of honey, minerals and even a touch of white pepper. The wine is already very sweet here, much more so than the 1999 tasted earlier, but right now it is far less complex. Hopefully this will develop after some aging.

This was a really good evening both in terms of food and wine. I got a chance to taste 11 wines from Selbach-Oster, and immediately put in my order for a few cases of my favorites from the evening...

October 9, 2008

2006 Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese

2006 Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese - drunk at Schurrbart, this was delicious, showing a big nose of petrol, minerals and sweet honey. It was slightly sweeter on the palate than I expected.

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