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.

November 30, 2009

MNSC Dinner - Wagyu Kaiseki Den

MNSC dinner at Wagyu Kaiseki Den, hosted by Juliano.  The wines were all from St. Emilion.

1996 Salon - this was drinking much better than the bottle we had a few weeks ago. Yeasty nose, not too acidic on the palate with a very nice finish.

1982 Figeac - nose was very alcoholic, with smoke, black truffle, mint and sweet grass notes. A little bit of wet chalk after a while. A very beautiful wine. 96 points.

1982 Canon - nose was more medicinal yet at the same time very sweet, with some smoke and a bit of sharp alcohol. 92 points.

1983 Cheval Blanc - very sweet nose with some smoky notes. A pretty full-bodied wine, smooth on the palate but there were still lots of tannins. 95 points.

1983 Ausone - nose was very strange initially... Body was lighter compared to the Cheval, and it was definitely more acidic on the nose, with a bit of orange and sharp alcohol. Pretty flat on the palate. 95 points.

1990 Figeac - smoky, sweet and grassy nose, with sharp alcohol, a hint of chalk and a bit of brett. A little acidic on the palate. 95 points.

1990 Angelus - forest, pine needle, smoke and brett notes, with a bit of coffee grinds on top of a very ripe and sweet nose. A beautiful wine! 98 points.

1986 Canon - a little bit of ripe fruit on the nose but acidic on the palate. 90 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 28, 2009

2000 Cos and then some

Dinner at a friend's place.

1997 Clarendon Hills Old Vines Grenache Kangarilla Vineyard - this took a little time to aerate. In the end it was pretty fruity but a little light and acidic on the palate. 

2004 Goldeneye Pinot Noir - this was a very typical Californian Pinot, and drank pretty nicely. 

2000 Cos d'Estournel - it was beautiful and very classic St.-Estephe.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 27, 2009

Wines for cheese

Cheese dinner at Caprice.

Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru - I loooove NV Champagnes from Egly-Ouriet, and I carried back a few bottles of this from my trip to Reims earlier this year. Initially a bit acidic and sharp on the nose, but faded to a very vibrant nose with honey, straw, jujube and apricot notes. A beautiful wine with great acidity balance.

2008 Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Chatellenie - This monopole was very nice and refreshing, with notes of sweet pear, minerals that did not overpower, and a bit of green apple characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc. Ripe on the palate with a tiny bit of acidity on the finish, giving the wine an overall nice acidity balance.

2006 Arlaud Gevrey-Chambertin - this had good amount of sweet fruit with the classic smoky and game meat nose. Tannins were pretty smooth.

2003 Yves Cuilleron Saint-Joseph Les Serines - coming from a blockbuster vintage for northern Rhone wines, this was very fruity, concentrated, with lots of iron and minerals in the nose, as well as eucalyptus and caramel. Pretty smooth on the palate.

2007 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Furstentum Vieilles Vignes - this was absolutely fabulous. Tell-tale notes of lychee, flowers, orange blossom and some minerals. A sweet and ripe wine that is such a pleasure to drink.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 23, 2009

2001 Kongsgaard Syrah

2001 Kongsgaard Syrah - drank over dinner at Tuscany by H.  This drank pretty well, with nose of prunes, forest, pine needle, Christmas potpurri, orange...and the nose was sweet and jammy after it opened up. The tannins were round and smooth, and the wine was still pretty concentrated. Sweet on the palate with a hot and spicy finish. Not bad at all.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 16, 2009

Primum Familiae Vini Gala Dinner

Primum Familiae Vini Gala Dinner at the Island Shangri-La.

1998 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill - this was served during the cocktail preceeding dinner, and naturally it was gone by the time we sat down at the table. Hubert de Billy introduced the wine and mentioned how difficult it was to talk about a wine when the audience no longer has it in front of them... I didn't take notes but remembered it was a bit acidic on mid-palate, which is consistent with my memories of this wine.

2005 Hugel Riesling Jubilee - Hugel is one of my favorite producers and the Jubilee wines are among my favorites from this house. The 12th generation of the family is now running the business, and the wine was introduced by Etienne Hugel. Class nose of petrol, minerals, plastic, white flowers...beautifully sweet. Ripe on the palate but not too much, with good acidity balance. The only drawback is that it didn't pair well with the caviar.

2005 Joseph Drouhin Corton-Charlemagne - Wow! This was one of my wines of the evening, if not THE wine this evening. Nose of toasted oak, lemon, a hint of minerals at first as it was served too cold... nose was a little ripe but not overpowering as I expected... beautiful and subtle. When I warmed up the wine, a little cedar emerged, with honey, floral, flint and a bit of sweet corn notes. The wine was ripe on the palate, a bit acidic on mid-palate but interesting with a sweet finish - great acidic balance. With the second pour, the high alcohol level became very evident, especially when drunk with food. Introduction by Laurent Drouhin who joked about his height...

2004 Tignanello - I am usually not a big fan of this wine given the dominance by Sangiovese, but tonight the wine drank surprisingly like a Bordeaux. Smoky, sweet fruit with grilled meats, eucalyptus and coffee on the nose. The wine gained concentration with time, with tannins sooo smooth and round it took me by surprise. With more time in glass it finally started to turn acidic on the finish, and later died horribly and turned medicinal. But for a time it drank beautifully. Introduced byAlessia Antinori, who used to live in Hong Kong and is part of the 26th generation of the family in the business.

2003 Sassicaia - nose of mint, concentrated sweet fruit, toffee, smoke...the Cabernet was very evident. Sweet and tannic on the palate, but curiously the wine was tannic on mid-palate with a short and acidic finish. The alcohol was very obvious, and remained so with a fresh pour. The sweet nose got better with the second pour. Decanted for 3 hours prior to serving. Introduced by Sebastiano Rosa.

2001 Torres Grans Muralles - introduced by Juan-Maria Torres and probably my least favorite wine of the evening. This was soooo alcoholic, especially at the start. Nose was a bit chalky, smoky and plasticky, which surrounded the core of tangerine and mint. I felt the tannins on mid-palate but the finish was smooth. Later on the wine improved as the chalky nose faded.

1994 Vega Sicilia Unico - this very beautiful wine was introduced by Pablo Alvarez. Nose was sweet and grassy, with mint and a bit of smoke. The wine initially tasted a little thin and acidic on the palate, but improved later.

1995 Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin en magnum - just about my red wine of the evening... The nose was nice but a little closed at first. Eucalyptus, pine needle, a bit of smoke with game notes and a hint of white pepper. Initially a little alcoholic and sharp, but very smooth on palate. Introduced by Marc Perrin who is the current President of the PFV.

1989 Mouton-Rothschild - it's always a great honor to have Baroness Philippine de Rothschild in attendance, and she was very lively tonight - almost giddy like a little girl. I had little expectations for the wine, and therefore was pleasantly surprised. This was a classic Pauillac, with cigar smoke, fruit, a hint of medicine, mint, lead pencil and lots of coffee. Finish was acidic with round tannins.

2006 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Auslese Goldkapsel - what a privilege it was to be able to taste this wine, rare as it is on the market. Egon Müller himself was on hand to do the introductions, and joked about his family's preference for the name Egon. The wine itself was like sweet nectar of the gods, with a bit of orange, plastic, honey, orange blossom, marmalade, minerals and beautiful botrytis. Very sweet and viscous, with good acidity balance at the same time. Wow! On par with the Drouhin Corton-Charlemagne as my wines of the evening.

1994 Graham's - I'm still not a fan of vintage port, and much prefer my tawnys andcolheitas. This was just too alcholic and sharp for me. Very sweet nose of medjool dates and caramel. Introduced by Paul Symington.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 14, 2009

White wines for kimchi

Dinner at a friend's place.

2006 Grosset Chardonnay Piccadilly - this was a pretty typical Aussie Chardonnay - heavy oak, with lemon, minerals, flint and a ripe and honeyed nose.

2007 De Villaine Bouzeron - another lovely wine. I opened a bottle of the 2006 vintage earlier this year and was very pleasantly surprised. This humble Aligoté is made by the same winemaker who crafts the sought-after wines of DRC, and showed a nice nose of lemon, pear and honey, with a slightly acidic finish.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 13, 2009

Altaya Annual Tasting

Altaya's annual tasting at the Grand Hyatt Residence.

2006 Domaine des Lambrays Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières - a little ripe on the nose but with a certain metallic sharpness at the beginning, turning fragrant and sweet with notes of honey.

2006 Domaine des Lambrays Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos du Cailleret - nose was a bit closed at the beginning, with a bit citrus and white flowers, opening up to reveal honeyed notes. Ripe on the palate and the finish was not too acidic.

2006 Domaine des Lambrays Morey-St-Denis - this was one of the surprises of the evening. Wow! Lots and lots of sweet fruit here, very rich with tangerine, blood orange marmalade and muscat grape notes. Very open and nice! A surprisingly beautiful village wine. I gotta get me some of this...

2006 Domaine des Lambrays Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Les Loups - softer than the village, with nice sweet fruit, a bit of orange marmalade although not as strong as the village, and some smoky, grilled meats.

2006 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays - sweet and fruity, very ripe, with notes of game meat.

2007 Nicolas Potel Corton-Charlemagne - nose was very sweet and buttery, with plenty of oak and minerals. Very nice.

2005 Araujo Altagracia - made from declassified lots, this was a classic Cali Cab. Nose was very sweet, with caramel, chocolate and smoky notes. Not too tannic, actually.

2005 Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - the flagship wine was in very good form, with nose of sweet fruit, marmalade, mint and eucalyptus. Powerful with a long finish.

2009 Rolf Binder Selection Chardonnay - very heavy on the vanilla from the oak, with green apple and flinty notes.

2007 Rolf Binder Helios Semillon - Whew! Definitely some cat pee ("pipi de chat" to the French), green apple and flint.

2008 Rolf Binder Selection Shiraz - a typical Aussie Shiraz. Very fruity and sweet with orange and a bit of mint.

2006 Rolf Binder Halcyon Cabernet Merlot - nose was pretty open and sweet, although less sweet as the Selection Shiraz. Alcoholic.

2006 Rolf Binder Hales Shiraz - nose was almost a bit floral (or did the glass just gather some air freshener from the room?). OK but not great.

2006 Rolf Binder Heinrich GSM - fruit nose with marmalade, caramel, eucalyptus notes. The wine was a bit acidic mid-palate, which was a bit surprising. But I guess it's the Grenache...

2004 Rolf Binder Heysen Shiraz - nose of coffee, sweet caramel and eucalyptus.

2005 Rolf Binder Hubris - sweet, jammy nose with caramel. A little smoother on the palate.

2004 Rolf Binder Hanisch Shiraz - what a welcome change from the rest of the range! Nose was pretty smoky and much more like a Rhone. Sweet fruit emerged a bit later. Very smooth on the palate. A very nice wine.

2007 Burge Family Semillon - very strong pipi de chat, flint and lemon.

2008 Burge Family Shiraz Rosé - normally I pooh-pooh rosés because I have always found them to be neither here nor there, but this has got to be the first roséthat I really liked. Nose was very floral...dare I say rose? Red fruits, with a hint of pipi de chat but overall it's a very nice wine. Maybe it's time I stocked some rosé in my cellar...

2006 Burge Family Clochmerle - 60% Shiraz / 40% Grenache with no new oak. Nose was a bit alcoholic (15%), strangely violet with Asian spices. Not too heavy on the tannins.

2006 Burge Family Olive Hill GSM - 68% Shiraz with 1/3 new oak for the Grenache and Mourvèdre. This wine clearly had more concentration, a little more complexity with caramel notes.

2006 Burge Family Draycott Shiraz - almost 100% Shiraz now, with even more concentration and the alcohol was more noticeable (15%). Toffee nose.

2009 Sunshine Bay Sauvignon Blanc - nose of muscat grape and green apple, vanilla oak and minerals. A bit ripe on the palate. A very straightforward NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

2008 Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc - less like a classic NZ Sauvignon Blanc, with more flint and minerals in the nose.

2008 Wairau River Riesling - a classic Riesling with nose of petrol and minerals.

2006 Malartic-Lagravière Blanc - a little pipi de chat, lots of minerals, green apple, muscat and a bit smoky. Very open nose and a really nice wine.

2006 Marquis d'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Les Fremiets - very fruity nose with smoky game meat.

2004 Marquis d'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds - this is probably my favorite 1er Cru from the Côte de Beaune, and I wasn't disappointed. Nose had lots of nice sweet fruit with rapsberries, but not overpowering. Yummy yummy.

Full post on the evening is here.

November 10, 2009

Krug Champagne dinner

Krug dinner at Grand Hyatt's Plateau. Margareth Henriquez, Président Directeur Général of the House of Krug, was in attendance.

Krug Grande Cuvée - this has always been one of my favorites. The nose was beautiful and open, full of toasty oak - a little heavy at first - along with limestone, minerals, and whole grain bread... The wine was ripe on the palate at first, and the finish was very long and slightly acidic.

1998 Krug - as I expected this was just way too young to drink. It was a year where there was more Chardonnay than Pinot in the blend, and it definitely showed. The nose was lighter than the Grande Cuvée - not as toasty. It was more round, ripe with a bit of oxidation and Anjou pears. The wine was pretty sharp on the palate with a yeasty attack.

1998 Clos du Mesnil - the clos was created in 1698 so this would be the 300th anniversary of the wall going up. Surprisingly sweet on the nose, which was ripe but a little more closed compared to the 1998 Vintage. Nose showed a bit more subtlety, again slightly oxidized with pear notes. The wine was ripe and full on the palate, but turned acidic fairly quickly on the finish - showing its characteristic as a blanc de blancs.

Krug Collection 1982 - this is Krug's version of late disgorgement, so naturally I would expect it to taste younger and fresher than an '82 released some years ago. Very nice and elegant - softer on the nose. Nicely oxidized as I would expect in an older vintage, with notes of straw dominating. Very sweet on the palate, well-rounded and not too sharp on the finish.

Krug Rosé - this was actually served alongside the Collection. The nose was very metallic and a little sharp. Pretty rich and full-bodied on the palate. I did not find it as appealing as I did at the Krug dinner two years ago.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 9, 2009

MNSC Dinner - Whisk

MNSC dinner at Whisk, hosted by Lord Rayas.

1996 Salon - served pre-dinner and accompanied the first course. Toasty, yeasty nose and fairly acidic on the palate. Needs time.

1973 Petrus - classic claret nose, a bit musty at first with grilled meats and a sweet fruit core. A hint of marmalade and a little smoky and spicy on the nose. Closed down for a little, then showed green peppers and vegetal notes. Pretty sweet on the palate. 91 points.

1973 DRC Echezeaux - Wow! Amazingly sweet, fruity nose. Obviously a Burg, with some bacon and floral notes. Finish was a bit short which led me to lower the score a little. 94 points.

1973 Beaucastel - nose was very fruity but initially overwhelmed by a burnt charcoal / rubber smell... Very farmy with bacon fat. Nose was very sweet and absolutely beautiful when the burnt rubber smell disappeared. Wine was very cloudy as it was not decanted. Died a horrible death in glass after the second pour...what happened? Only nose of black olive tapenade remained. 93 points.

1982 Jaboulet La Chapelle - Wow! The nose was very sweet with obvious floral / rose characters. Also showed grilled meats and orange notes. An amazing wine! 97 points. With the floral notes I thought it was a Côte-Rôtie with Viognier...likeGuigal's La Mouline. Who would have thought it was an Hermitage? Most definitely my wine of the evening.

1982 Penfolds Grange - nose was amazingly sweet and jammy, and a bit metallic at the same time. Also notes of caramel, cotton candy, vanilla and coffee. A classic Grange. 95 points.

1982 Vogüé Musigny VV - the weakest wine of the flight. Nose was pretty sweet, fruit and floral but the body was light. 89 points.

1990 La Conseillante - initially smelled of stinky cheese, toasted black sesame and smoke. I didn't like it quite as much as the others. 93 points.

1990 Henri Bonneau Marie Beurrier - nose of smoke, farmy, arm pit, a bit stinky...hint of wet chalk, cumin. Then sweetness emerged with orange and raspberry. A very good wine. 95 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 3, 2009

1994 Las Cases

1994 Léoville-Las Cases - mushroom, smoke, tobacco, black cherries, sweet fruit, cedar, coffee, caramel, cappuccino ice cream.  Beautiful!

November 1, 2009

1999 Gruaud Larose

1999 Gruaud Larose - drank over dinner at Fook Lam Moon. This was drinking pretty well. This was a classic claret, with a medicinal nose followed by notes of lead pencil, mint and smoke around a fruit core. Pretty damn good for casual drinking.

Full post on dinner is here.
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