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.

May 31, 2009

Rhone, Aussie and Bordeaux

Dinner at Gong Guan.

2005 Bannockburn Chardonnay - this was not bad at all. Nose of lemon citrus, honey and butter. A little ripe on the palate with a "hot" and long, spicy finish. Quite a big wine on the palate.

2005 Guigal La Doriane - I wanted to give this wine one last try, but it still wasn't what I wanted out of a Condrieu. Color was golden and indicated advanced age, but the wine is less than 4 years old. Nose of straw, paraffin, a bit burnt and clearly oxidized. A little spicy and ripe on the palate, but surprisingly not sweet and a little metallic. Waaaay too ripe for a Viognier. What happened to the crispy freshness, and beautiful floral notes I was supposed to get out of this wine?

2003 Kirwan - this was a surprise. Nose of lovely tangerine on top of classic smoky and brett notes. The wine is still young but the tannins are already very silky on the tongue.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 29, 2009

1998 Denis Mortet and 2007 Viura

Dinner at Olé.

2007 Marqués de Cáceres Blanco - made from Viura, the wine was a bit minerally, oaky, and smelled even a little of cheese mold.

1998 Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Combe-du-Dessus -this was beautiful as always. Minty nose with grilled meats, smoke, bacon and other smoked meats, chocolate, a bit of forest and sweet fruit.

Pedro Ximenez - wonderfully sweet and grapey.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 28, 2009

2001 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Rochioli Riverblock

2001 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Rochioli Riverblock - drank over dinner at the Green Mouse.  This was a little disappointing. Nose was metallic with iron rust, mint, a bit of caramel and some red fruits. Finish was pretty short.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 22, 2009

Wines with cheese

Cheese dinner at Caprice.

NV De Sousa Brut Réserve - the blanc de blancs has lots of smooth little bubbles, a slightly yeasty nose and surprisingly low acidity despite being 100% Chardonnay.

2003 L'Esprit de Chevalier Blanc - ripe nose of minerals, a bit nutty, citrus, chalky and gravel. The ripeness of the vintage shows through, especially in the alcohol...

2005 Albert Mann Pinot Gris Hengst - very fragrant nose of sweet grass, apricot, minerals and gravel. Ripe and sweet on the palate. Very classic pairing with the cheese.

Harvey's Bristol Cream - nutty and creamy as one would expect.

2007 Pierre-Bise Savennières Roche aux Moines - now in its third vintage, the wine showed nose of sweet grass, a little citrus, orange rind and minerals.

2006 André Perret Condrieu Chéry - nose of lychee, orange, apricot, osmanthus...incredibly floral. Ripe with a slightly bitter finish.

2004 Auguste Clape Cornas Renaissance - made from younger vines, this wine was a perfect partner for the cheese, with a bit of sweet grass on the nose.

2006 Lunzer Golser Strohwein Vin de Paille Cabernet Sauvignon - this is the second time that Jeremy has served me this wine with cheese. This is really liquid strawberry jam with some orange marmalade, figs and straw. The combination turned out to be really amazing! Sipping the wine with a bit of the blue in the mouth, I swirled the wine around the cheese on my tongue, waiting as the two gradually blended together. The strong, salty taste of the blue really highlighted the strawberry flavors of the wine. It was really, really awesome and definitely eclipsed the Mimolette/Hoegaarden combination from last time.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 21, 2009

'82 and '94

Dinner at Tuscany by H.

1994 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - it's not often that I get to drink an old, dry Bordeaux white, so I was kinda looking forward to it. Oxidized nose of pear, honey, a hint of chalk, butter, toasty oak and even pollen. Once it opened up the nose was very ripe and sweet, but the wine had a long, acidic finish.

1982 Gazin - this was not the Gazin from Pomerol, but the one with the same name from Graves. The nose was very smoky, with classic brett, black pepper, a bit of sweet grass and - I'm very serious - smelly armpits... A medium-bodied wine with a short finish. Definitely a bit over the hill so it's good that the bottle was opened and drunk.

1982 Pichon Lalande - this was totally unexpected, and was the second bottle of this wine that I would drink in the space of 6 weeks, and a much better bottle than the last. Classic nose of red fruits, smoke and sweet grass. A beautiful wine.
Full post on dinner is here.

May 17, 2009

1969 DRC Grands Echezeaux

1969 DRC Grands Echezeaux, Reserve Nicolas  - drank at Paris 1930 in Taipei for parents' ruby anniversary.  Expectations were high, and I had the bottle chilled for a bit before serving to ensure optimum temperature.

The wine was superb. Loads of fruit like raspberries and black cherries, with lots of sweetness in the nose. Farmy with lots of smoked meats and bacon fat. A little bit plummy with some floral and rose notes. Despite using the Schott Diva Burgundy glasses instead of the Riedel Sommelier Burgundy Grand Cru, the full-blown experience of the beautiful nose was still amazing. The wine was just so elegant, with enough concentration and power yet not overwhelming. One of the best bottles of red Burgundy I've had recently.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 14, 2009

MNSC Dinner - Amber

MNSC dinner at Amber, hosted by Dr. Poon.

1969 Veuve Cliquot Brut Rosé - what a beautiful wine...the nose was at once both sweet and salty, which calls to mind immediately Chinese preserved plums (話梅). The oxidized nose was just wonderful, and the wine was nicely balanced on the palate in terms of acidity and sweetness.

The first pair of wines could not have been anything but Left Bank Bordeaux, but the MNSC members kept trying to bluff each other at the outset, mentioning regions such as Rhône due to tonight's menu. I chose to stick to my guns, though, and went with my guesses of Bordeaux.

1953 Pichon Lalande (Nicolas bottling) - sweet and grassy nose with smoke, lead pencil and green peppers. A very nice and elegant wine. 92 points.

1953 Grand-Puy-Lacoste - very sweet and grassy with a bit of smoke. 92 points.

The second pair was where we were totally led astray by our leader, although to be fair there was a bottle of Rhone here...inserted by our host as a ringer.

1959 Angelus - very sweet and concentrated, with a bit of forest and a hint of medicine. Orange notes emerged later.

1959 Chapoutier Hermitage - fruity, a bit of orange and smoked meats. The elements were there, but just a bit closed and weren't coming out. 94 points.

We continued to lose ourselves in the wrong region for the third pair, even though I thought the Las Cases should have been a Left Bank wine with grassy character... Guess I was too chicken to stick my neck out...

1961 Beychevelle - what a beautiful wine! Very farmy with big nose of bacon fat, smoke, a bit minty, a bit orange, peppery and very sweet. 97 points.

1961 Léoville-Las Cases - very vegetal and full of green peppers, with some cooked fruit and smoke. Sweetness emerged in the nose later. Dry and acidic on the palate. 88 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 8, 2009

A mixed pile

Dinner at Luk Yu Teahouse.

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle - a bit of green apple, toast with a hint of sweet grass.

1996 Jacquesson Signature - clearly a step up from the last wine, with huge nose of straw, toast, sweet grass, very wheaty and yeasty. A very lovely wine with a slightly more acidic attack.

2002 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne - sweet grass, anise, lemon with a touch of sweetness. Ripe on the palate with good acidity balance.

2004 Kongsgaard Chardonnay The Judge - I've been buying this wine since I joined the mailing list, and this was the first time I'd crack open a bottle to try it out. It's young but pretty damn good... A classic Cali Chard and typical of Kongsgaard style, with loads of toasty oak and vanilla. With the second pour came lots of sweet butter, tropical fruit and smoke. Very ripe on the palate with a slightly spicy finish.

2000 Anne Gros Richebourg - very powerful nose with mint and iron notes upfront. Very elegant on the palate with a long finish. Unfortunately the wine died in the glass pretty quickly.

2005 Comte de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru - lots of sweet fruit and iron in the nose. Acidic on the palate. Disappointing.

1995 Angelus - a classic Bordeaux with smoky, medicinal and farmy nose.

1998 Harlan Maiden - this is the oldest vintage of the Maiden that I own, and it's certainly nice to drink it after 10 years of cellaring. Lots of orange tangerine, a huge, sweet nose with lots of ripeness and slightly high in alcohol. I thought it was a beautiful wine.

1996 Clos Mimi Syrah Shell Creek - I've always loved Clos Mimi for being really quirky. My first experience 7 years ago with this wine - same vintage - yields notes like "tangerine orange, alcoholic Ribena"... and it did not disappoint today. Nose of mushrooms, smoky, grilled bacon, soy sauce, grilled meats, wax, orange and sweet fruits. A lot more mature and toned down since my last bottle, but very interesting nonetheless.

1990 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel - huge petrol nose with orange rind plastic. Kinda sweet but has an acidic finish. A perfect way to finish.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 4, 2009

2007 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er cru La Forest

2007 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er cru La Forest - drank over dinner at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris. The wine was a little disappointing. Lots of oak and very ripe, with some lemon citrus. A little acidic on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 3, 2009

1973 Trimbach Riesling Clos Saint-Hune

1973 Trimbach Riesling Clos Saint-Hune - drank over dinner at Le Cinq in Paris.  This is France's single best Riesling. I wanted to see what this wine tastes like after aging. It was so elegant and subtle, not overpowering as I expected. Nose of minerals, lemon, petrol, plastic and honey - all typical Riesling elements - came at you with a velvet glove and gradually opened up. What a wonderful wine.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 1, 2009

Wedding in Reims

Wedding banquet at Les Crayères in Reims, both lunch and dinner.

1999 Amour de Deutz - this was the wedding couple's favorite Champagne. Nose of toast, toffee and slight oxidation. Pretty nice to drink.

2006 Domaines Ott Clos Mireille Blanc de Blancs - very floral with white flowers, anjou pear, ripeness and a bit of honey on the nose. Very good mid-palate with an acidic finish.

2007 Mas Amiel Muscat de Rivesaltes - a bit of orange, rose and floral nose.

2000 Blain-Gagnard Batard-Montrachet – buttery, toasty, sweet grass, tangerine, lemon and white pepper. Ripe on the palate.

2000 Pichon Baron – what a beautiful wine. Mint, eucalyptus, ripe stewed fruit, smoke, forest…all coming together for a wonderfully sweet nose.

1988 Yquem – wonderful nose of orange marmalade and honey. It’s a pity that we didn’t stick around to finish the wine.

Jacques Selosse Brut Initiale NV - lots of bubbles and a nose of oxidized iron, pear and lemon citrus. It's a bit more on the dry side. Good stuff but I ended up with only one glass... boohoo...

Full post on the day is here.
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