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 30, 2010

Ramonet and Dugat-Py

Dinner at Caprice.

2001 Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Boudriotte - have I ever mentioned that I love Ramonet's whites?  I do.  Even though I've had better bottles of this wine before, I was still happy to drink this.  Nose of lemon, minerals, flint, toast, hint of sweet butter.  Initially acidity was medium to high on the palate, then turned a little more ripe and tart in the middle, only to really smooth out after more aeration.
2000 Dugat-Py Mazis-Chambertin - well...I was disappointed by 2000 Dugat-Py, again.  Yes, I know it's not a great vintage, but I honestly expected better from these guys.  Nose of mushrooms, red fruits, a little bit of forest, a little muddy, mint, smoke and grilled meats.
My last bottle of Dugat-Py was a little disappointing, too...and I bought the two bottles together.
Full post on dinner is here.

March 24, 2010

Four regions of France in 6 bottles

Dinner at Sushi Shin (鮨辰)

1998 Pommery Cuvée Louise - yeasty nose with notes of honey, lemon and toasty oak.  Medium acidity.

2006 Leroy Bourgogne Aligoté - lots of heavy toast in the nose, almost like popcorn.  Actually there was a little bit of stinky armpit...also nose of minerals and flint.  On the second pour the toast actually got heavier, very much like the grilled yellowtail we just had with the fish oil.  Some lemon citrus at the end.  Very ripe on the palate, with a long and slightly acidic finish.  The consistency was smooth and round on the tongue.

2003 Chapoutier L'Orée - initially very tight, with obviously signs of oxidation.  Nose of cotton candy, toast, grass, a little bit of burnt rubber along with some popcorn.  Sweet and ripe on the palate with a long finish.  Improved significantly with additional aeration.  A little bit disappointing, but this was the first bottle from a case I bought at auction, so let's see how the other bottles will turn out.

1990 Leroy Bourgogne Rouge - farmy nose with grilled meats and some sweet fruits.  Nose was pretty nice.

1998 Guillot Clauzel - a tiny production from an estate next to the famed Le Pin, the wine is made by Dominique Thienpont.  Nose was pretty open, with smoke, grilled meats and fruit in the nose.  Not bad at all...

2005 Lou Dumont Savigny-lès-Beaune - a surprisingly beautiful wine.  Lots of toasty oak, minerals, ripe fruits and a little bit of sweetness.  Honestly, it delivers only a little less than the Leroy Aligoté but at a fraction of the price.  Gotta get me some of this...

Full post on dinner is here.

March 23, 2010

Aussie shiraz duo

Dinner at Brasserie on the Eighth.

1999 Noon Reserve Shiraz - lots of fruit and a bit alcoholic, with smoke and eucalyptus.  Still pretty concentrated.  A little disappointing, as I had expected something much more open.

2001 Torbreck Les Amis - initially notes of plastic, then sweet fruit that's a little bit stewed, orange and exotic Asian spices.  Caramel nose emerged much later.  This was a very sweet and exotic wine...reminding me of how opulent Grenache can Rayas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I'll have some more of this wine any day!

Full post on dinner is here.

March 20, 2010

A tour of Spain

Dinner at Mandarin Grill + Bar with guest chef Jordi Roca from El Celler de Can Roca.

2004 Augusti Torelló Cava Kripta Gran Reserva - very refreshing, with notes of pear.  Became more acidic and the toasty oak more prominent with the oysters.  A little ripe on the palate.

2007 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño - I really like Albariño from Rias's always so exotic!  The first whiff produced nose of ripe cheese like Manchego, giving way to minerals, ripe and oxidized pear, sugar cane and tropical fruits.  Acidic and alcoholic on the palate.

2008 Torres Fransola - made from old Sauvignon Blanc vines, this was my favorite white of the evening.  Nose was really tropical fruit, with telltale muscat, minerals as well as floral notes.  You can definitely smell the toasty oak barrels.

2003 Alion - wow!  I was so surprised by this second wine from Vega Sicilia... Nose was really open and beautiful, with lots of sweet fruit and a bit of forest.  It's from a very hot and ripe vintage, but it was so well-balanced that I didn't really feel the alcohol.

1969 Mas Amiel Maury - nice to be able to drink a sweet wine from this vintage.  It is clearly an oxidized wine, with nose of caramel, raisins, roasted coffee beans in addition to the sharp alcohol.

Emilio Lustau Moscatel Reserve - very nice... Notes of forest, pine needle, mint, walnuts and a little bit of smoke.  I kept refilling my glass at the end of the meal...

Full post on dinner is here.

March 19, 2010

1999 La Sirena Cab

1999 La Sirena Cabernet Sauvignon - opened in the office.  Nose very alcoholic, with some turpentine, pine needle, moss... Fruit emerged later with some mint and game meats.  Reasonably full-bodied.

2003 Kongsgaard VioRus

Lunch at Fan Tang (飯堂).

2003 Kongsgaard Viognier/Roussanne - as I had feared the wine is now over the hill.  There was none of the floral notes from the Viognier...and the wine actually smelled like a Chardonnay!  Nose of minerals, toasty oak, lemon, orange rind and a little bit of sweet corn at the end.  Very ripe on the palate but with a very tart and short finish. 

Full post on lunch is here.

March 16, 2010

French, German and American

Dinner at Chairman (大班樓).

1994 Figeac - drinking very nicely now.  Classic nose of smoke, red fruits, slight hint of green peppers as well as black pepper, with a little mint.

2007 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett - lots of plastic in the nose, with minerals over the underlying floral notes.  Reasonably sweet for a kabinett.  I preferred this bottle over the one I drank with Katharina Prüm a few weeks ago.

2001 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard - a couple of hours after opening, the nose was still a little sharp, with clear minerals/metallic notes over the sweet candy, pruny nose...along with some eucalyptus.  Pretty full-bodied for a Pinot.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 12, 2010

Whites and Pinot with cheese

Cheese dinner at Caprice. Jeremy and Sebastien arranged the wine pairings.

2007 Albert Mann Auxerrois Vieilles Vignes - pretty sweet, ripe nose with minerals and ripe pear notes. Also ripe on the palate.

2005 Prager Grüner Veltliner Achleiten - nose was very floral, a little mineral, with ripeness like apples in the fall.

2007 Jacques & Nathalie Saumaize Saint-Véran La Vieilles Vignes des Crèches- made from old vines that are more than 50 years old, this was ripe on the nose of honey, marmalade and grass notes. Sweet on the palate but a little tart with some acidity at the same time.

2007 Couly-Dutheil Les Chanteaux - this beautiful golden wine was not paired with cheese after Jeremy decided it wouldn't stand up to them, but we got a taste of it anyway. Ripe nose with honey and orange marmalade notes.

2000 Rolet Arbois Blanc - grassy and nutty nose, with a bit of ammonia on top of the marmalade. Heavily oxidized nose typical of vin jaune.

2005 Albert Mann Pinot Gris Hengst - pretty sweet on the palate as one would expect from this wine and the ripe vintage. Definitely honey notes in the nose.

2005 Geantet-Pansiot Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes - drinking pretty nicely, with plenty of fruit, iron and minerals.

2008 George Hansen Vineyards Pinot Noir - one of my friends really liked this wine, and why not? It WAS drinking very, very well... Very typical Cali Pinot, with tons of sweet fruit, caramel, orange and berries. Very small production of 999 bottles.

Full post on dinner is here.

1998 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz

1998 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz - opened in office.  Typical Aussie Shiraz, but with age it softened a little.  Nose initially pretty alcoholic, lots of sweet fruit, vanilla, smoke and ripe melon. Still reasonably tannic.  Not bad for an Aussie Shiraz.

March 10, 2010

Le Palais de Grands Crus 2010

2003 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses en Jeroboam - nice fruit and minerals.

1966 Bouchard Le Corton - very nice nose, with ripe, sweet fruit and candy notes. A little light on the palate.

2005 Denis Mortet Clos de Vougeot - smoky, farmy nose with bacon. Good concentration. A very nice and elegant wine.

2005 Méo-Camuzet Clos de Vougeot - more upfront and powerful than the Mortet, with lots of sweet fruit and smoke.

2005 Faiveley Clos de Vougeot - by far the poorest of the three. Tart on the palate and still tannic. Not ready to drink at all.

1998 Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin - cooked fruit and smoky nose.

1988 DRC La Tâche en Jeroboam - once again this wine disappointed me. The nose was fairly nice, with lots of bacon fat, sweet fruit, smoky, farmy and forest notes. But the wine was acidic on the palate. I guess it's an improvement over what I tasted 3 years ago.

1989 DRC Romanée-Saint-Vivant - much nicer than the '88 Tâche... very fruity, more concentrated and vibrant on the palate.

2007 Guigal La Doriane - very floral and ripe, with marmalade and paraffin in the nose. I think the recent vintages of this wine have all been very ripe, robbing it of some of that freshness I expect from Viognier. Body was light, with a little spicy and long finish.

2006 Guigal Hermitage Blanc Ex-Voto - fresh, light with nice acidity balance. Perfumed nose with Asian spices. Long finish.

2005 Chapoutier l'Orée Blanc - ripe nose of honey, toasty oak and minerals.

1990 Chapoutier La Mordorée - nose of spices, sweet fruit and mint. Medium bodied...palate was only so-so.

1994 Chapoutier Le Pavillon en Magnum - nose of cotton candy and a hint of floral notes. A little alcoholic, but in general a lot younger and fresher than the '90 La Mordorée.

2003 Chapoutier Le Pavillon - definitely the new style Chapoutier...heavy and sharp metallic nose on top of the fruit. Lots of earth and iron. Very masculine.

2005 Guigal La Mouline - freshly opened bottle. Nice nose of vanilla, fruit, floral and smoke. Actually somewhat drinkable.

2005 Guigal La Landonne - literally the last few drops of the bottle. Muted nose (too much aeration?), slightly gamey, with pretty firm tannins.

2003 Guigal Château d'Ampuis - floral notes showing the Viognier, with some toffee notes. Nose was a little sharp.

1996 Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon - nose of sweet grass, minerals, ripe and sweet corn, sugar cane. Slightly acidic on palate.

2007 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche - I always say that a Montrachet's nose is unmistakable, and that there is never a bad Montrachet...whether you drink a bottle from an off-vintage or an unknown producer. The terroir of the wine always comes through. Huge nose of flint, toasty oak, sweet corn, vanilla and banana. Absolutely lovely.

1997 Yquem - lots of plastic and polyurethane, sharp... very sweet on the palate at first, but the finish was pretty bitter like bitter orange marmalade.

1988 Yquem - plastic, polyurethane, honey and orange. Much smoother on the palate, a little more viscous...almost a joy to roll it around your tongue.

1989 Yquem - honey, walnut nose. Very sweet but with better acidity balance. Thinner and not as viscous as the '88.

1990 Yquem - plastic, botrytis, honey, orange and apricot notes.

2006 Y de Yquem - a very nice dry white. Minerals, a little lemon, muscat grapes, green apple and flint in the nose. Nice acidity.

1972 Bouchard Chambolle-Musigny- a beautiful nose with farmy and bacon notes, lots of smoked meats, fruit and mint. Unfortunately it was totally dead on the palate.

2005 Bouchard Beaune-Grèves Vigne de l'Enfant Jésus - nose was kinda sharp with lots of minerality.

2006 Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet - very nice with lots of minerals.

2005 Les Amis de l'Abbaye de Saint-Vivant Réserve Ficofi - very interesting wine. I think it's made from Aligoté, and this was bottled by DRC. Very light and fresh, with floral and some green apple notes.

March 9, 2010

1995 Haut-Brion

1995 Haut-Brion - drank over dinner at TBLS. A classic claret. The nose was initially a little grassy, with red fruits, smoke and lead pencil notes. Smooth and elegant on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 8, 2010

MNSC Dinner - Golden Leaf

MNSC Dinner at Golden Leaf. Theme was "Burgundy non-grand cru wines that taste like grand crus".

1990 Nicolas Potel Meursault 1er Cru Perrières - beautiful nose with lots of toasty oak, minerals, ripe and sweet with vanilla and sweet corn. After 3 hours, the nose was incredibly beautiful with oxidized cane sugar and toasty pop corn. A totally awesome wine!

1971 Nicolas Potel Pommard 1er Cru Les Pezerolles - nose was initially a little sharp but very fruity, very sweet and open, mushrooms, and a bit of grilled meats on the palate. Beautiful. My second favorite red of the bunch.

1990 Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts - pretty muted nose with a little bit of fruit, and some tannins. Took a long time to open up a little, revealing nose of oxidized/caramelized sugar. My least favorite of the evening.

1990 Dujac Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Aux Combottes - nose was a little oxidized with stewed fruits, plum, sweetness and spices like nutmeg. A beautiful wine - my favorite of the evening and also the consensus favorite.

1990 Michel Gaunoux Pommard 1er Cru Les Grands Épenots - this was my bottle, and I was relieved it was not voted last. Nose was initially closed, with a little star anise and a short finish. The wine developed more and became better, showing its power.

2000 Sylvain Cathiard Vosgne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts - very beautiful, sweet and open, with mint, spices, orange and cinnamon notes.

1996 Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses - very interesting nose with notes of eucalyptus, sweet candy, forest and pine needles. Still very young and fresh.

Full post on dinner is here.

Ducru-Beaucaillou tasting

Tasting of Ducru-Beaucaillou's wines at Classified, organized by Altaya and hosted by Bruno Borie.

2006 Château Lalande-Borie - very young and fresh.

2005 Château Lalande-Borie - naturally a more powerful wine than the 2006.

2006 La Croix de Beaucaillou - clearly more concentrated than the Lalande-Borie.

2000 La Croix de Beaucaillou - a beautiful ready to drink.

2002 Ducru-Beaucaillou - very grassy nose with smoke and notes of spice.

2006 Ducru-Beaucaillou - a very nice wine and easy to drink.

2004 Ducru-Beaucaillou

1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou - ripe and very ready to drink, with soft and round tannins. A beautiful wine that would only get better.

1995 Ducru-Beaucaillou - pretty tightly closed, and a far cry from its slightly younger sibling. As we saw from the Ducru vertical tasting 2 years ago, the crowd preferred the 1996 over this.

March 4, 2010

Kongsgaard Chard and Etude Cab

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon.

2003 Kongsgaard Chardonnay - lots of toasty oak here, with minerals, ripeness, sweet butter in the nose. Pretty sweet and ripe on the palate, with a bit of sweet grass and a little tart on the finish. A nice Cali Chard but not something that everyone would like.

1999 Etude Cabernet Sauvignon - brought 2 bottles which I picked up while visiting the winery years ago. The nose was initially muted, as we started drinking only 20 minutes after decanting. The wine was clearly a little sweet on the palate. The tannins were still firm, with notes of soy sauce, black fruits and mint in the nose. I was slightly disappointed in the wine, although the crowd seemed to like it.

Full post on dinner is here.
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