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.

February 22, 2009

Amazing cheese and wine pairing

Cheese dinner at Caprice.  Jeremy and Sebastien put together a wonderful pairing of specific wines with individual cheeses.

NV De Sousa Cuvée des Caudalies - this blanc de blancs was made from grand cru grapes from vines which are more than 50 years old, and disgorged in February 2005. Wonderful nose of caramel, toffee, vanilla and minerals. Very smooth and a bit sweet on the palate, with pretty low acidity. It's pretty amazing to find a non vintage Champagne which drinks like it's been aged for years, as the caramel and toffee nose would seem to indicate. I am reminded of the Champagnes from Jacques Selosse.

2005 Pierre-Bise Savennières Roche aux Moines - the very first vintage of this cru made by proprietor Claude Papin. Nose of plastic and minerals, with toasty notes emerging later. The wine was very ripe and sweet on the palate, which worked well with the cheese.

NV De Sousa Brut Réserve - this blanc de blancs from grand cru grapes had nose of toasty oak, marmalade and lemon citrus.

2006 Michel Bouzereau Meursault Les Tessons - ripe and sweet nose with floral, mineral and toasty oak notes. After palate was sweet when tasted with the cheese.

2005 François Feuillet Nuits-Saint-Georges La Charmotte Cuvée Marcel Gerbeaut - a very forward wine, with a fruity nose of sweet raspberries.

2004 Jamet Côte-Rôtie - lovely nose of pine forest, mint and a little smoky and floral. After additional aeration we got oriental spices, cloves and patchouli. Beautiful wine.

Hoegaarden - the pairing with Mimolette was an amazing combination, as the strong, salty taste of the cheese was completely neutralized by the cold, sweet taste of the beer. Everyone at the table was impressed with this pairing.

2006 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer - floral and mineral notes, with a slight hint of lychee that is typical of this varietal. A classic pairing with the cheese.

1996 Michel Pichet Château-Chalon - there is no better combination for this cheese than this oxidized wine from the same region of Jura.

2005 Mas Amiel - this is a fortified wine made from Grenache Noir. I was first introduced to it at Vinexpo last year, and I really liked it. Quite appropriate to have a sweet, fortified wine paired with a strong and salty cheese like Roquefort.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 20, 2009

Michel Gaunoux's wines

1993 Michel Gaunoux Bourgogne - still fruity with nose of grilled meats, prunes and a bit of gravel. Very acidic and grippy on the palate.

2005 Michel Gaunoux Beaune - much sweeter on the nose, almost bubblegum-like, but a bit smoky at the end. Medium acidity on the palate.

1996 Michel Gaunoux Beaune - my first reaction to this wine was "WTF?!" Very farmy nose, almost like wet dirt, stewed prunes, moss and rotten wood. The wine was clearly off. Medium-high acidity.

1998 Michel Gaunoux Pommard 1er Cru - pretty nice and fragrant, with sweet fruit and leather on the nose. Medium acidity with quite a strong alcoholic kick at the end. Probably my favorite wine of the lot.

1999 Michel Gaunoux Pommard 1er Cru Grands Epenots - some sweet fruit in the nose, with smoked meats and a hint of acetone.

2002 Michel Gaunoux Pommard 1er Cru Grands Epenots - sweet nose that fades to an acidic one, which was a bit strange. Grilled meats and leather notes. Slightly high in acidity.

2006 Clos Salomon Givry 1er Cru - this monopole had more concentration, still smoky on the nose with an acidic finish and some grippy tannins are the same time.

2005 René Cacheux Chambolle-Musigny - color was very dark, concentrated nose which was fragrant and pleasant, with sweet fruit and a bit of gravel on the nose. This became much more chalky and gravelly later with further aeration, and basically fell apart. Hard tannins with a slightly acidic finish.

2006 Kerlann Chablis - I would never had guessed that this was a Chablis...would have said it was either a Cali or Aussie Chardonnay. Very heavily oaked, with a ripe nose of pear, vanilla and gravel. Slightly acidic on the palate. Not enjoyable at all.

February 18, 2009

1988 Hugel Riesling VT

1988 Hugel Riesling Vendage Tardive - drank at Yung Kee VIP Floor (蘭亭閣). Being a late-harvest wine, naturally it is a little on the sweet side. Classic nose of petrol, flint, acetone, marmalade and muscat grapes. Due to the age of the wine, there were lots of tartaric acid crystals that have formed as sediment at the bottom of the bottle. I had actually never seen so much crystal in one bottle, and visually it's a bit weird to see them in your glass.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 13, 2009

The wines of Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Dinner at China Club.  Tasting of Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, with Frédéric Mugnier in attendance.

1999 Pol Roger Brut - a bit sharper and more acidic than I'd like.

2006 Chambolle-Musigny - nose was acidic at first and the wine smelled like vinegar. Some fruit emerged with a bit of smoke, and he nose was delicate and fragrant. It almost smelled like soy-marinated meats...

2006 Nuits-St.-Georges Clos de Fourches - made from grapes grown in Clos d la Marechale, this is the "declassified" wine made in vintages where not all the grapes were top-notch - hence it was not made in 2005. The name Clos de Fourches was the old name for the plot before it was changed into the current name. The bottle was definitely off, as the chalky nose dominated. The wine was still pretty tannic.

2006 Nuits-St.-Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Marechale - the name Marechale means "marshall's wife", although Frédéric claims that he could find no historical connection of the vineyard with any marshall. Nose was muted at first, with sweet fruit and then crème brûlée. The wine was fairly concentrated, a little alcoholic with a spicy finish.

2005 Nuits-St.-Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Marechale - wow! What a wine! Lots of power and intensity here. Nose of strawberries, animals, sweet fruits and caramel. Finishes with a heavy kick. Clearly a wine that still needs years of aging to reach its peak. I guess I'm not going to open the bottles in my cellar for a long time to come.

2004 Nuits-St.-Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Marechale - the nose was much more elegant here. Sweet, open and fruity. I actually thought that this wine was drinking better than the 2005. A bit acidic on the palate at the end.

2006 Bonnes Mares - I thought this bottle was a little "off", but others did not share my opinion. The nose was dominated by chalky, wet moss and earthy notes. There was a fruit core here but it was well-masked. You needed to do some serious swirling to get rid of the chalk and get to the fruit. It was simply too tight.

2006 Musigny - this is so different from the Bonnes Mares. A beautiful, open wine with nose of sweet caramel, floral, red fruits and coffee. Still somewhat tannic. The production is so small - and so was Altaya's allocation - that this wine was sold out before this dinner started.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 11, 2009

A couple of Burgs

Dinner at Cuisine Cuisine (國金軒).

2005 Jean-Philippe Fichet Bourgogne Blanc - a flinty nose with mineral, grass and lemon citrus notes. Being from the fantastic 2005 vintage, the wine was ripe on the palate but a bit tart on the finish.

1998 Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Combe-du-Dessus - I bought a case of this wine years ago and have had quite a few great bottles since, but this particular bottle needed a bit more coaxing - the bouquet didn't develop fully until almost 3 hours after opening. Nose of sweet strawberries and plum, with oriental spice, game meats and forest. Good body and structure here, and still a nice wine to drink. It's really unfortunate that Denis decided to commit suicide in 2006 after a long bout with depression.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 9, 2009

2002 Malleret

2002 Château de Malleret - drank at Farm House (農圃). This wine actually drank quite well given that it's a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 6, 2009

A mixed bag of three

Dinner at Kimberley Chinese Restaurant (君怡閣).

2006 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett "Fish" - a pretty straight-forward Riesling, with nose of petrol and minerals. Only slightly ripe and sweet because it's a Kabinett.

1996 Artadi Viña El Pisón Reserva - powerful medicinal nose with brett and smoke. Colors are still very deep ruby. Concentrated yet smooth on the palate.

2001 Fisher Coach Insignia - nose of sweet red fruits, caramel, mint, smoked meats and coffee. Still pretty tannic and should probably be cellared for a few more years.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 5, 2009

2005 Bachelet Bourgogne

2005 Domaine Bachelet Bourgogne - drank at Gusto.  This is a (relatively) cheap drinking wine from a great vintage. Nose of sweet grass, straw, apple, minerals, sous-bois and mint. Good amount of body and tannins since it is a young wine. Actually this needs at least 2 hours of aeration if not more.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 3, 2009

Marchese Lodovico Antinori's new wines

Dinner at Nicholini's featuring the new ventures from Marchese Lodovico Antinori, founder of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia.

2007 Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc - rather oaky nose, with muscat grape, some minerals and a bit chalky towards the end. Good acidity balance with the ripeness on the palate. A Sauvignon Blanc that screams New Zealand...

2007 Insoglio - first impression was stewed prunes, minerals on the nose, with lots of concentration and a bit hot on the palate. Later on smoked meats and coffee notes emerged. The wine is very young and there were still some heavy tannins. This wine is a twist on the traditional Bordeaux blend, as Cabernet Sauvignon has been replaced entirely by 35% of Syrah.

2006 Insoglio - very strong nose of minerals, iron with lots of sweet fruits. Good concentration here, a bit hot but in general pretty smooth on the palate. My favorite of the three vintages.

2005 Insoglio - a different blend than the 2006/7 with the presence of 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet fruit and a bit minty on the nose which is less sharp than the newer vintages. Smooth and nice on the palate. An easy wine to drink, but I found it less interesting than the 2006/7.

2006 Il Pino di Biserno - huge concentration here, with heavy mineral notes and very sweet. A Bordeaux blend with no Syrah, but it sure smells like a lot of Cali Syrahs that I love so much, especially with the minerals.

2005 Il Pino di Biserno - sweet on the nose but also a bit chalky. Smooth on the palate with a tad more acidity. Beautiful wine. Later on a bit of brett emerged, along with caramel, vanilla and a hint of smoke. My wine of the evening.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 2, 2009

2007 Ostertag Riesling Epfig

2007 Ostertag Riesling Epfig - drank at Fook Lam Moon (福臨門).  The wine was OK but I don't think my body was in the right condition to drink much...

Full post on dinner is here.
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