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.

March 31, 2009

Crianzas and Sherries

Dinner at Tapeo.

González Byass Alfonso Oloroso Seco - refreshing and nice, striking a good balance between dry and sweet (hence the oloroso seco I guess).

2005 Bodegas Navajas Crianza - can't remember exactly which of the three but probably Navajas. Pretty decent.

González Byass Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce - this is definitely a sticky and good for desserts. Very nutty and grapey.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 29, 2009

Drinking at Acker Auction III

Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs

1998 Kongsgaard Chardonnay - generously shared by a friend.  Strong nose of straw, cheese, sweet honey, flint and lemon citrus. A bit acidic on the palate.

2004 Comte de Vogüé Bonnes-Mares - a bit disappointing at first, with smoky, minty nose and brett and forest notes. It was acidic on the palate. The second pour was much better as sweet fruit notes emerged.

2005 Magrez Fombrauge - this was much more interesting. This is Bernard Magrez' garagiste wine, made from a tiny parcel out of the Fombrauge vineyard. I remember that the debut vintage of 2000 received rave reviews from Parker (98 points), and it's made in tiny quantities. None of us have ever had this wine before. The 2005 tasted like a New World wine - very concentrated fruit, with notes of coffee, vanilla, mint and toasty new oak. Still a young wine so there was plenty of tannin on the tongue.

Full post on the auction is here.

March 27, 2009

2004 Michel Magnien Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Chaffots

2004 Michel Magnien Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Chaffots - drunk at the Ox's boxing match. It was beautiful and classic. All the 2004 Burgundies I have drunk recently have all been beautiful, so I guess I should drink these up quickly.

Full post on the white collar boxing match is here.

March 25, 2009

1970 Chasse-Spleen and more

Dinner at Brasserie on the Eighth.

2006 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett "Fish" - sweeter than I remembered, with hints of white pepper and plastic.

1970 Chasse-Spleen - unfortunately this was over the hill. There was some fruit left with mint, brett and smoke on the nose. Pretty acidic on the finish now.

1996 Lafon-Rochet - drinking reasonably well, with good concentration and a bit of brett in the nose. Slightly spicy finish.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 16, 2009

MNSC Dinner - Golden Leaf

MNSC dinner at Golden Leaf (金葉庭).  Theme was Rhône and everyone contributed a bottle.

1989 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvée du Papet - nose was a bit alcoholic, with some fruit and grilled meats. A bit muted and slightly pruny, minty and spicy. A full-bodied wine. 90 points.

1995 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins - nose seemed a bit more interesting, with pronounced forest and bacon notes. I still felt that the nose wasn't as open as I would like. Concentrated and full-bodied. Still a young wine. 94 points.

1989 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins - the nose didn't smell like a Rhone at all...and we all would have guessed this was a Bordeaux in a true blind tasting. Nose was grassy, a bit earthy, really sweet and minty. Very full-bodied and even a bit tannic. I liked it even though I didn't know I was tasting the bottle that I brought. Unfortunately the group thought the wine was off, which I can't really argue with. 93 points.

1986 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins - wow! Nose was totally lychee like there's no tomorrow... A bit of iron and minerals in the nose, with some coffee notes. Seemed very young and vibrant with an awesome long finish. My wine of the evening at 96 points.

1990 Jaboulet Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert - huge nose of ham/spam, animal and smoked meats. A bit spicy with forest notes. 94 points.

1989 Jamet Côte-Rôtie - nose was a bit medicinal and smoky. Very concentrated and clearly a Northern Rhone. 92 point.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 12, 2009

2004 Dujac Clos St Denis

2004 Dujac Clos Saint Denis - drank at Legends Concept. From the very first pour after popping the cork, this wine just had a big, beautiful nose. Lots of game and smoked meats, with heavy minerals. With some aeration we started getting sweet fruit like plum, plus bacon fat. Then some incense smoke. Medium bodied with a short finish, it was all over about 2 hours after opening when I sensed that the finish had turned a bit acidic. A very enjoyable wine, and once again showed that 2004 Burgundies are drinking beautifully right now.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 11, 2009

Mixed bag organic

Dinner at Tam Keung's Congee (健味粥).

1988 Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Brut - toasty and yeasty nose with caramel notes. Smooth with a sweet mid-palate and a slightly acidic finish.

2005 Touchstone Chardonnay - nose of rubber, plastic and toasty oak. A bit ripe with nice acidity balance.

2006 De Villaine Bouzeron - this white wine from the estate in the Côte Chalonnaise is made from Aligoté, the "other white grape" of Burgundy. Serious wine buffs will no doubt recognize the name of the domaine as being that of the director of DRC. A clean, crisp nose with pear and banana notes. Again the acidity balance was nice. The best Aligoté I've tasted.

2004 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon - lots of sweet fruit with vanilla and slight metallic nose. Very full-bodied, concentrated with a long finish.

Dewazakura Daiginjo (出羽桜大吟醸) - 2007 vintage with some banana notes. Very nice and smooth.

2006 Temple Breur Riesling - surprisingly big nose of smoke, petrol, minerals, urethane plastic - all typical of older Rieslings. Ripe on the palate but not overly sweet.

2006 Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon - fruity and concentrated, the wine is ripe and a bit "hot" with toffee notes. Fairly typical for the Cali Cab.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 9, 2009

Soft Merlot meets punchy Merlot

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon (福臨門).

2006 Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese - from the great 2006 vintage and still pretty young, a sweet, honey and caramel nose with hint of orange blossom. Sweet on the palate, this was somewhat surprising to people who don't drink German Rieslings.

1997 Beringer Merlot Bancroft Ranch Private Reserve - hint of coffee, vanilla, toasty oak, red fruits with a bit of smoke. Still drinking pretty well.

2006 Mollydooker Merlot the Scooter - this was my first bottle of Mollydooker, even though I've bought a bunch of them. This was a stereotypical Aussie wine... Very sweet nose, with toasty oak, vanilla, coffee notes. Really sweet on the palate and a spicy finish, and very "hot" from the high alcohol. It is not difficult to see why Parker gives high scores to these wines but for my taste... let's just say that even I prefer something with a little more finesse...

Full post on dinner is here.

March 6, 2009

Kakunko Junmai Daiginjyo

Dinner at Irori (いろり).

Kakunko Junmai Daiginjyo (花薫香純米大吟醸) from Sudohonke (須藤本家) - this unfiltered brew has always been one of my favorite sakes, having ground the rice grains down to 27% seimaibuai (精米步合). I was excited to drink this again, and I decided not to ice the bottle since it came from the wine fridge.

This turned out to be a mistake. The warmer temperature of the sake meant that the nose was much more pronounced, and as it turned out I didn't like it so much. While there were lots of tropical fruits such as banana, pineapple and orange in the nose, it also distinctively smelled like the Chinese white wines (白酒) that I dislike so much. Just smelled so "artificial". I started to wonder whether I had aged the sake for a bit too long. It's been 3 1/2 years since this was bottled... Definitely cloudy, and smelling like Chinese fermented rice (酒釀). I decide to ice the bottle, and the experience improved dramatically, as the lower temperature restrained the nose. I guess I'll stick to icing my sakes from now on...

Full post on dinner is here.

March 5, 2009

Chassagne and Chambertin

Lunch at Caprice.

2005 Vincent Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Vieilles Vignes - nose of flint, toasty oak, hint of chalk. Ripe and sweet on the nose, and buttery. Nice acidity balance and not too sweet on the palate, although it was a bit hot and spicy on the finish. Nice to drink now.

1995 Armand Rousseau Chambertin - initially the nose was grassy and gamey with lots of sweet fruit, and it was nice and elegant. The wine was smooth on the palate but felt a little short. With time I detected some forest in the nose. With the second pour, you could now feel the concentration of the wine, which was still a little tannic on the finish. This was much, much better than the last bottle I had 3 1/2 years ago, and a perfect match with the gamey dishes that followed.

Full post on lunch is here.

March 3, 2009

A pair of whites for Chinese food

Dinner at Shanghai Fraternity Association (上海總會).

2002 Kongsgaard VioRus - at first this wasn't exactly what I expected. A hint of petrol, with minerals, oxidation, toasty oak and floral notes. Ripe and sweet on the nose as well as on the palate, the alcohol level was perceptibly high.

1999 Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese - huge nose of plastic, acetone and petrol masking any fruity notes. Reasonably sweet on the palate but with good balance of acidity and a hint of carbonation dancing on the tongue.

Full post on dinner is here.
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