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 29, 2009

1998 Opus One

1998 Opus One - drank over dinner at Paris 1930 in Taipei.  A very nice wine with nose of sweet fruit, mint, vanilla, coffee and a bit of smoke. Opus has always been a solid wine, and while it may not always "wow" me, so far I've never been disappointed by it.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 28, 2009

Mixed bag in Taipei

Dinner at Abu in Taipei.

2004 Château de Fonsalette Côtes du Rhône Blanc - this wine did not disappoint, with a sweet and slightly oxidized nose and notes of pear and apricot. Surprisingly very ripe on the palate with a bit of butter and a slightly bitter finish.

2006 Lucien Le Moine Volnay 1er Cru Les Caillerets - from arguably the best plot of land in the appellation, this was a beautiful wine from a vintage that's overshadowed by the great 2005s. Reasonably sweet on the nose with farmy, bacon fat and Asian spice notes. Drinking pretty well now even without much aeration.

1989 Jaboulet La Chapelle - I've been waiting to open this bottle for some time now, and it wasn't bad. Initially a bit grassy and a hint of vegetal notes, it opened up to reveal lots of sweetness with ripe prunes, pine needles and a little "hot" and alcoholic. On the palate it was smooth but still full-bodied, although it faded and by the end the finish was somewhat acidic.

1989 Troplong Mondot - another wine I've been dying to open. Classic Bordeaux with peppery and smoky nose, a reasonable amount of fruit core with a full-blown palate and a long finish. Was this bottle deserving of the 96 points from Parker? Not quite.

2003 Sassicaia - a generous contribution from a fellow diner. The wine is still young but you can see the potential. Nose of sweet fruit, black cherries and smoke. Still a bit alcoholic. The captain actually knocked the bottle to the ground as he was opening another bottle... fortunately it didn't break.

2007 Mollydooker Carnival of Love - I was sure that the wine would be too young, but my friend was pretty set on opening this and sharing it with everyone. We opened the screw top, poured a bit of the wine out into a separate glass, then my friend proceeded to shake the bottle vigorously in an attempt to aerate the wine. Apparently this process - called the Mollydooker Shake - is recommended by Sparky and Sarah Marquis who are the proprietors of the winery. I can certainly understand why. These wines are total fruit bombs and people seem to want to drink them very young, so the only way to make these wines palatable was to be unconventional and shake things up a little! Well, as much as I have a preference for big wines, this was still too much for me. Huge, sweet nose with coffee, toffee, vanilla, caramel, cotton candy, tangerine, iron and mineral notes. Very alcoholic at 16%. I think people should wait a few more years for the edges to wear off a bit...

Full post on dinner is here.

September 23, 2009

Pinot and Riesling

Dinner at Nino's Cozinha.

2002 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard - smooth on the palate with good concentration.

2006 Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett - notes of lemon, minerals, a bit of plastic and was a little sweeter than I expected from a Kabinett.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 21, 2009

Burg, Champy and Cab

Dinner at Matsubishi.

2005 Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrieres - pretty decent wine, with good ripeness but not over-powering like some Californians can be. 

1995 Dom Pérignon Œnothèque - this was excellent. 

2001 BOND Matriarch - this was ripe, fruity, sweet without being over the top.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 12, 2009

A bunch of 45-year olds

Dinner at Pierre.

1964 Bouchard Corton-Charlemagne Château de Beaune en magnum - this was the oldest dry white wine I've ever had, and I really didn't know what to expect even though the vintage was rated to be a decent one for white Burgundy.  This wine turned out to be the surprise of the evening. It was simply fantastic. Beautiful amber color. Initially nose of mushrooms, oxidized with a bit of sweet grass. Very, very long finish and the alcohol was very evident. A bit ripe on the palate as the acidity level has fallen. Later on notes of oxidized pear, figs, cotton candy. Hitting its peak around one and a half hours after opening, with rich, creamy vanilla ice cream, apple, straw and mineral notes. Awesome!

1964 DRC Richebourg - this was clearly the wine of the evening as we all expected. An explosive sweet nose with tons of fruit. A little bit minty almost, with some bacon fat, leather, red currant, prune and tangerine notes. Absolutely beautiful to the end.

1964 Haut-Brion - Dr. Poon kindly dug this out of his cellar to go with tonight's theme. This was a beautiful wine in its own right, with smoky, brett / medicinal nose along with notes of animal, game, pine, sous bois and a hint of grass. Unfortunately the wine followed the spectacular Richebourg, so it did pale a little in comparison.

1964 Noval Colheita - now this was also a real treat as one of the birthday boys is a real big fan of port. The colheita was harvested in 1964 and aged in cask until bottling in September 2008, and it spent more than 40 years oxidizing just like a regular tawny. Nose of hazelnut, grape, walnut, caramel, crème brûlée and prunes. Nose was initially a bit sharp but the alcohol dissipated a bit in glass. The finish was just wonderful, as the fragrance stays in your mouth long after you've swallowed the wine.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 5, 2009

2006 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

2006 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc - drank at glass over dinner at Le Platane. Nose of green apple, muscat and minerals. Sweet and ripe on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 4, 2009

MNSC Dinner - Fook Lam Moon Shanghai

MNSC dinner at Fook Lam Moon in Shanghai, hosted by Dayliao.  Theme was 1995 horizontal.

1995 Ausone – sweet, fruity nose but a bit alcoholic. Notes of grilled meats. 93 points.

1995 Cheval Blanc – nose was very farmy, smoky and a bit minty. Light tannins. 94 points.

1995 Palmer – very smoky with lots of minerals and a bit of brett. 94 points.

1995 Margaux – minty and smoky nose. 94 points.

1995 Mouton-Rothschild – minty with a bit of smoke, lead pencil and a bit grassy. Pretty nice and powerful.

1995 Lafite-Rothschild – ripe, fruity nose with mint.

Grace Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Select (vintage unknown but probably 2005) – Our host - being ever the prankster - decided to pour this wine into an empty bottle which used to hold 1945 Cheval Blanc and aerated for 24 hours. We were deliberately shown the old, dusty bottle to mislead us into thinking we were drinking something very old. I thought there was lots of caramel, marshmellow, very sweet with apricot and orange notes, and I gave it 95 points while the others all put their scores in the 90s. While I refused to guess the identity of the wine, my fellow members thought it was a Cheval Blanc from the 1940s or 50s… Yes, we were off by 50-60 years in blind tasting…AGAIN.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 2, 2009

2001 Pavillon Blanc de Château Margaux

2001 Pavillon Blanc de Château Margaux - drank over dinner at Gusto. It was pretty nice, with typical lemon citrus and minerals notes while having a nice acidity balance.

Full post on dinner is here.
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