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.

January 30, 2010

Saint Vincent Tournante 2010

Lunch at Petrus to celebrate Saint Vincent Tournante 2010.

2007 Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet - this was served waaay too cold for my liking, so I cupped my hands around the glass to try to warm up the wine a little. Nose of toasty oak, smoke, minerals, lemon and flint. The wine was pretty ripe but the finish was slightly acidic. Turned out to be a very poor pairing with the scallops, as all the "fishy" tastes became more pronounced thanks to the wine.

2006 Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Gain - a much better wine, a reflection of both the vintage as well as the vineyard. Pretty sweet, with nose of grass, minerals, lightly toasted oak and popcorn. A little ripe on the palate with slightly acidic finish, but much more round, voluptuous and gorgeous than the village wine.

2006 Bernard Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes - this was such a nice red Burgundy. Very young so it was still rough around the edges, but you know this has potential - all the parts are there and it just needs time for everything to meld together. Very, very sweet nose, with some vanilla initially then the alcohol hits you. A little bit medicinal at one point, and definitely farmy. Curious to see how this wine would turn out in 5 years.

Full post on lunch is here.

2000 SQN In Flagrante

2000 Sine Qua Non In Flagrante - drank at day 2 of Acker auction VII.  This was just awesome... Nose was very, very sweet, plummy, jammy with minerals, smoked meats underneath the fruit, and later coming up with tropical fruits like lychee. Needless to say it was very alcoholic, but the wine was already showing a good degree of complexity - surprising for an SQN Syrah less than 10 years old. Yummy.

Full post on the auction is here.

January 29, 2010

Drinking at Acker VII

Session 1 of Acker auction VII.

2001 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard - obvious nose of grass, a little musty and we think this was corked. On the palate this was very ripe and very short.

2001 Marcassin Pinot Noir Marcassin Vineyard - very sweet on the nose, with pine needle, eucalyptus and minerals on the nose. Finish was slightly short, but a pretty nice Cali Pinot.

2004 L'Extravagant de Doisy-Daëne - a limited production (5 barriques made in good vintages) wine, this is still young but already has plenty of botrytis, plastic, honey and orange in the nose. Pretty sweet as one would expect, but with good acidity balance.

1997 A.-F. Gros Richebourg - I brought this bottle to share with the table. Nose of grilled meats, smoke, sweet fruit and mushrooms.

2004 Sine Qua Non Poker Face - SQN is one of my favorite wineries, producing really, really big wines which require years of aging before being palatable to most people. This huge Syrah was very sweet with typical notes of iron (I always think they smell like blood), caramel, plastic and lavender. Very alcoholic, but I like it. Not exactly a food wine. Wait another 10 years to drink this.

Full post on the auction is here.

January 27, 2010

Drinking some whisky

Drinks at Bar Seed.

Strathisla Highland Malt by Chivas Brothers - classically sweet like a Highland malt, and I took it straight in a Riedel Single Malt glass.

Ardbeg 10 Years - took this on the rocks, and watched as the owner poured it over a large cube of ice that he had spent time cutting down to size so that it would fit the glass perfectly. This is normally done in Japanese bars, as the size of the ice cube meant a slower melting process. My friend didn't quite like the peaty, hospital disinfectant nose that is typical of Islay whiskies.

Murray McDavid Macallan 1997 - this was an interesting beast... Distilled at Macallan in Speyside (originally part of the Highlands), it was bottled at Bruichladdich on Islay - my favorite whisky distillery. Aged for 9 years in Bourbon and oak barrels used in the production of Ridge Zinfandels, the owner called this "spicy Macallan." And it was. Taken in the Riedel glass, it was sweet and fragrant like caramel. But at the same time it was big and spicy on the finish. Pretty much everything I could ask for in a whisky.

January 25, 2010

MNSC Annual Dinner - Cuisine Cuisine

MNSC annual dinner at Cuisine Cuisine. Theme was 1990 Châteauneuf-du-Pape horizontal.

1990 Château de Fonsalette - while not exactly a CdP (this is actually Côtes-du-Rhône), this comes from the stable of Jacques Reynaud of Château Rayas. Nose was pretty alcoholic and sharp, smoky, a little bit of wet chalk, good amount of sweet fruit, game meat, leather and a hint of caramel. The color was a little amber at the rim, and the wine was soft and smooth on the palate.

1990 Château de Fonsalette Cuvée Syrah - an interesting cuvée made from 100% Syrah whose cuttings originally came from Gérard Chave. What an awesome wine! Rich and powerful, with notes of leather, bacon and game meats. The alcohol emerged sometime later. Sweet and soft on the palate. Delicious.

1990 Château Pignan - another wine from the cellars of Château Rayas, this second wine was a little disappointing tonight. Nose was very green, even a little moldy, with sweet grass and plenty of alcohol.

1990 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Marie Beurrier - the first of the trio from Bonneau, the nose had a hint of green, with sweeter fruit and somehow that familiar plastic, polyurethane nose I generally find in Rieslings...along with a little marmalade. Very long finish.

1990 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Spéciale - one whiff of this wine and there was never any doubt about the identity of this wine. The hugely alcoholic nose (16.5%)... so much so that it practically singed the hair inside my nose! Nose of coffee and loads of sweet fruit, with some caramel, oxidation and almost port-like. A full-bodied wine with a very long finish. Honestly it's a little too heavy for all of us, but interesting for academic reasons. My comment on this wine is similar to what I called the 2003 Clos Mimi Etiquette Rose (with its 19% alcohol) - it's a monster (怪獸).

1990 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Célestins - probably my favorite wine of the evening, and rightly so! Very sweet and smoky, with game meat, bacon, mint, eucalyptus and a little alcohol in the nose. A very open and opulent wine. Bravo! One of my friends made the analogy to a beautiful, sophisticated woman he would spend time and effort to seduce.

1990 Château Rayas - in contrast to the Célestins, this was a woman whose raw sexuality makes you just want to grab her and go at it immediately...or so says my friend. Sweet nose that was a little funky - but that's Rayas, isn't it? A little smoky with that familiar tropical fruit and lychee nose. Beautiful in its own right but somehow overshadowed by the Célestins tonight. Were she a real woman, she'd be hissing with jealousy.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 24, 2010

Kistler Chard + Guado Al Tasso

Dinner at Brasserie on the Eighth.

2001 Kistler Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard - I love an aged Kistler Chard, and this one had a pretty sweet and ripe nose of butter, marmalade, straw, toasty oak, honey, marshmallow and lemon citrus. Yummy!

1997 Guado al Tasso - nose of smoke, a hint of brett, sweet fruit, pine needle and eucalyptus. Drinking very nicely now.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 23, 2010

Sancerre and Rioja

Dinner at Nino's Cozinha.

2005 Château de Sancerre Cuvée du Connetable - initially nose was a little muted, with lemon, minerals, toasty oak and a little bit of buttery notes.

2001 Marqués de Riscal Baron de Chirel - one of the bottles I carried back from the winery a few years ago. A very nice wine, with sweet fruit, vanilla and smoky nose. Full-bodied and still a bit tannic, with a long finish.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 22, 2010

A pair of 2000s

Dinner at W52 to celebrate the 10th wedding anniversary of a couple of friends.

2000 Bollinger La Grande Année - initially the nose was a little muted, but later showed some caramel notes with medium acidity. Maybe it's still too young, but it's not very complex right now.

2000 La Fleur-Pétrus - this was a really beautiful wine...beautiful nose with lots of tobacco smoke, grilled meats, sweet fruit, a little mint and coffee notes. Medium-full body, with firm tannins which have started to soften, and a long finish. I'd love to drink this wine again at my friends' 20th anniversary and see how it would have evolved.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 20, 2010

Kikuhime and Bond

Dinner at Matsubishi.

Kikuhime Kukurihime (菊理姫 菊姫)

2001 Bond Matriarch - this drank very well, showing some classic Cab notes while simultaneously displaying its distinctive Californian character - I detected toffee and caramel in the sweet nose.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 16, 2010

2006 João Pires Branco Terras do Sado

2006 João Pires Branco Terras do Sado - drank over dinner at Restaurante Litoral.  Kinda fruity and easy to drink.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 12, 2010

Bouzeron and St-Estephe

Dinner at the Chairman.

2007 De Villaine Bouzeron - this tasted exactly as expected, with lemon citrus, toasty oak and minerals in the nose. A little acidic on the palate.

1996 Les Pagodes de Cos - this was classically claret, with nose of smoke, sweet fruit, mint, wet earth and soy sauce. Finish was fairly long and a little tart.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 8, 2010

1995 Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Varonniers

1995 Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Varonniers - drank over dinner at Lei Garden in IFC.  This turned out not to match the food we ordered, but it drank reasonably well, considering how little I paid for the wine years ago. Classic Rhone nose and palate, with bacon fat, floral and Christmas potpourri notes. Medium body. Pretty enjoyable as a casual wine.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 6, 2010

Dom and Lynch-Bages

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon to celebrate a 40th birthday.

1996 Dom Pérignon - the nose was yeasty, and the wine was pretty ripe on the attack, with some minerals mid-palate and a slightly dry finish.

1970 Lynch-Bages en magnum - I bought this around 10 years ago. I decanted it at home and, as I broke the cork and it dropped into the bottle, brought both the empty bottle and the decanter to the restaurant. It was a classic claret, with the usual nose of smoke, grilled meats, mint, a hint of caramel and sweet fruit. It was obviously an old vintage, but the body was still there. Finish was a little dry at times.

Full post on dinner is here.
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