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.

April 30, 2010

'82 Bordeaux horizontal

Dinner at Man Wah (文華).

Louis Roederer Brut Premier - this was a little on the sweet side.

2003 Michel Juillot Mercurey - nose of honey, a little sweet grass, a hint of corn and very light toast. The nose was obviously very ripe and sweet, but without the cooked nose of orange marmalade. Pretty nice.

1982 Léoville Barton - nose was initially muted at first, with a hint of grass showing its Saint Julien character, and the highest acidity level among the three. Towards the end it became a little spicy on the nose.

1982 Gruaud-Larose - classic left bank nose with smoke and coffee grinds. Open and beautiful. Very smooth on the palate with medium acidity. My favorite red of the evening.

1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou - nose was muted, a little smoky, with acidity level that's the medium of the three. Very soft and silky on the palate after shark's fin. Honestly I was disappointed in this wine, especially since it died completely at the end when Gruaud-Larose was still going strong.

1982 Suduiraut - tons of honey, orange, botrytis, acetone, a hint of preserved orange rind (陳皮), a whiff of honeydew melon and banana. Not too sweet on the palate, a little heavy on orange and that tartness. Much nicer than I expected, and definitely a better wine than what I tasted at the Altaya tasting some time ago.

Full post on dinner is here.

Young Red Bordeaux and White Rhône

Another Friday afternoon drinks in the office.

2003 Guigal Hermitage Blanc - very nice... ripe and sweet with honey, marmalade, a little floral and a little bit of hard cheese.

2005 Rollan de By - nose still closed after an hour of decanting, with a little mint, pretty tannic but acidity a little high at the same time, a little chocolate... Got better after a while, with some smoke and sweetness coming out.  In the end the finish was kinda weird... a little chemical.  Disappointing.  I bought this since I loved the 2004 vintage, which I tasted back in 2008.  I guess this just needs more time to develop.

April 25, 2010

MNSC Dinner - French Window

MNSC dinner at the French Window, hosted by Dr. Poon.  Theme was '45s and '61s.

1983 Dom Pérignon - nose of honey, caramelized apple, grass and straw...beautiful but died relatively quickly.

1945 Aldo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino - color was so incredibly light...and the nose was very oxidized... like a brandy or Port, with preserved plum. Completely flat on the palate.

1945 Seguin-Manuel Charmes-Chambertin (ex-domaine) - nose was really sweet, with tropical fruits and very light body. 93 points.

1945 Léoville-Las-Cases - nose was grassy, a little cooked, with forest, mint, a little sweetness. Smooth on the palate with a short finish. 93 points.

1945 Pavie - much more concentrated, with a medicinal nose and notes of sous bois, smoke, cigar and mint...beautiful! But it died completely after a while. 95 points.

1961 Pape Clément - a little bit of brett, chili pepper, ripe, sweet and alcoholic.

1961 Chapoutier Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Bernardine - very Rhone-like, with floral, violet notes and bacon fat, fruity, a little chemical / dishwashing detergent notes... very sweet with tropical fruits like lychee. 95 points.

1961 Talbot - obvious nose of manure with farmy and smoky notes.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 24, 2010

Corton Charlemagne and Nuits-Saint-Georges

Dinner at St. George.

2000 Bouchard Corton-Charlemagne - elegant nose of flint, toast, white flowers, tangerine and sweet corn, with the sweetness dominating after a while. Medium to high acidity on the palate. Very nice.

2005 Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Marechale - I was a little playful and wanted to drink a NSG at night in a place called St. George... unfortunately this wine really disappointed, and was nothing like what I had last year with the winemaker. Nose was very muted, with a little sous bois but basically it never opened up. Very smooth on the palate, almost a little flat.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 23, 2010

1997 and 2007

Dinner at Cafe Gray Deluxe.

2007 Robert Weil Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken - classic nose of minerals and a little plastic, with a hint of white flowers and oak. Being a halbtrocken, it was reasonably dry on the palate.

1997 Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir - this actually drank pretty well. The nose was pretty sweet, with medium body and a slightly acidic finish. The Etude Pinot was always gonna be a little lighter than some of the other Californian offerings, but there's nothing wrong with being elegant!

Full post on dinner is here.

Aussie and Burgundian reds

Friday afternoon drinks in the office.

2001 Clarendon Hills Grenache Blewitt Springs - smoky, musty, not great...

1999 Rusden Zinfandel Lodestone - surprising... lots of sweet fruit, grilled meats, a little smoke, even floral notes like a Cote-Rotie... eucalyptus and bacon fat.  Yum!

2006 Bernard Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes Rouge - nose very fruity, sweet, strawberries, almost bubble gum-like, mint... Palate still very tannic, short finish... not as good as the last bottle I had.

2002 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard

2002 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard - drank at Caprice. Bernard the sommelier was smart enough to suggest chilling the decanter, which brought the wine to its ideal serving temperature. It drank beautifully. The nose was very open, gorgeous, fruity, a little bit sweet at first, with caramel, mint, Asian spices and pine needle. As time went on the sweetness became more and more prominent. I must savor my remaining bottles...

Full post on lunch is here.

April 17, 2010

Aussie and French quaffers

Dinner at a friend's house.

2006 Grosset Chardonnay Piccadilly - this wasn't bad.

2006 Mollydooker Shiraz Blue Eyed Boy - this drank pretty well, maybe because I was doing the Mollydooker shake... 

Henri Bonneau Les Rouliers - this was nothing to write home about, but then again it IS a vin de table...

Full post on dinner is here.

April 16, 2010

Penfolds Yattarna and Drouhin Chambertin

Dinner at Wagyu Kaiseki Den.

2003 Penfolds Yattarna - I've never had this wine before, and it was such a pleasant surprise! My friend thought it was a white Burgundy... nose of minerals, ripe and sweet grass, sweet butter, flint and citrus. Great acidity balance. What a beautiful wine! Interestingly, with the inky flavors of the firefly squid in my mouth, the wine turned very ripe and oxidized...the acidity completely disappeared.

1996 Joseph Drouhin Chambertin - this turned out to be a big disappointment. To be honest we probably didn't decant it long enough, but still... The first whiff smelled of manure, and the high acidity was immediately apparent. The nose continued to be a little funky, gradually normalizing to reveal just the fruit with time, even with a little eucalyptus. Acidity was high throughout. Not a pleasure to drink at all. I bought the bottle from at what I thought were very reasonable prices for a wine of this level and vintage, and the condition of the bottle seemed perfect. Oh well...

Full post on dinner is here.

A pair of New World Syrah

Entertaining a soccer team in the office.

2003 Fisher Syrah Hidden Terrace in magnum - very sweet nose, toffee, prunes, coconut butter, very alcoholic nose at first.  A bit of floral notes later.

2003 Kaesler the Bogan - burnt rubber, sweet fruit, cane sugar, cotton candy and plastic.

April 10, 2010

After dinner Scotch

Drinks at b.a.r. executive.

Ardbeg Blasda - straight up in a white wine glass. The word "blasda" in Gaelic means "sweet and delicious", and this was definitely a sweeter expression of the Ardbeg style. They toned down the peatiness of the whisky to about a third of what it normally is, and the result is obvious. You can definitely still smell the peat but it's much lighter now, with a hint of sweetness on the nose...a little caramel...and a finish that is also a little sweet. Pretty interesting.

Caol Ila 27 Year Old - again taken straight up. I wanted to try some of the other Islay malts which aren't available elsewhere. Very mature. Pretty sweet with caramel, a little plum and a little peaty. Spicy and long finish.

Full post on the evening is here.

April 9, 2010

French, Aussie and American

A great afternoon in the office.

1995 Guigal Château d'Ampuis - what a beautiful wine!  Lots of violet and floral notes from the Viognier, with some mint and smoke on top of a bit of bacon fat.  The winner in the Syrah/Shiraz pairing.

1996 Clarendon Hills Astralis - very sweet and fruity, with vanilla, marshmallow and smoke in the nose.  Still pretty full-bodied although edges are turning amber.

2003 Kongsgaard Chardonnay - beautiful... lots of honey, butter, caramel, straw and grass notes along with the oak, and some lemon citrus.  Pretty ripe on the palate, a long finish that is a little tart.

April 8, 2010

1999 Roger Sabon Le Secret de Sabon

1999 Roger Sabon Le Secret de Sabon - drank at China Club.  Nose was pretty farmy, with mint, a little smoke, sweet fruit, earthy and minerals. The combination with char siu made the smokiness much more prominent. Medium acidity. Not bad to drink now.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 7, 2010

German varietals

Dinner at Shun Tak Fraternal Association (順德聯誼總會).

2006 Hokkaido Wine Yukitsumi Kerner (北海道ワイン雪摘みケルナー) - I remember visiting a winery in Hokkaido 10 years ago but don't remember if this was the one. I've also never had Kerner (nor heard of it) even though it's one of the most-planted varietals in Germany. Anyway, this is basically like eiswein...where the grapes are harvested after snow has fallen and the grapes have been frozen. Nose of muscat and green apple. Sweet on the palate but slightly tart on the finish. Can't say I was very impressed, but very interesting to drink something from Hokkaido.

2006 Selbach Riesling Kabinett "Fish" - minerals in the nose, with medium acidity balancing out the slightly sweet palate. It's a cheap wine that's very quaffable.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 6, 2010

1998 Sine Qua Non Pinot Noir Veiled

Dinner at Forum (富臨飯店).

1998 Sine Qua Non Pinot Noir Veiled - Pinot has always been the weakest link in SQN's portfolio, but I love this wine mostly for its beautiful label created by owner Manfred Krankl. I double-decanted at home. The nose was alcoholic at first, but faded after a while. There was plenty of fruit, with grilled game meats and some sweet candy, mint and perhaps even a hint of medicine in the nose. Towards the end the nose became sharp again. The finish was a little short, and at the very end after 3 hours the wine tasted awful on my palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 4, 2010

A Spanish pair

Dinner at Tapeo.

2008 Gonzalez-Byass Altozano white - made from Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. Nose of peach and tropical fruits, with a little oak and some white flowers. There was almost a hint of fizziness. The wine was a little ripe on the palate with medium acidity.

2006 Gonzalez-Byass Altozano red - a blend of Temperanillo and Shiraz, which produced a very interesting nose. Mint, pine needle, fragrant and floral notes. Lots of plum and very ripe fruits, almost raisin-like.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 3, 2010

Kikuhime trio

Dinner at Matsubishi (松菱).

Kikuhime Gin (菊姫 吟) - this is a sake that is released after a year's of aging.  Honestly, I'm a chick when it comes to sake.  I like them a little sweet (甘口), and this is definitely more on the sweet side.  Very round and smooth on the palate, with tropical fruit notes.

Kikuhime Kurogin (菊姫 黒吟) - this sake is not pressed, but rather allowed to drip from hanging sacks.  It is then aged in bottles for 3 years before release.  Definitely drier than the Gin, and the alcohol was more apparent.  It was also a little more chemical.

Kikuhime Kukurihime (菊姫 菊理姫) - the very limited release which has been aged more 10 years or more.  Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  This was very complex, and in between the Gin and Kurogin in terms of palate.
Full post on dinner is here.

April 1, 2010

Celebrating the fund launch

Opening a bottle in the office to kick off our fund launch.

2000 Le Bon Pasteur - classic claret nose with smoke, mint, lead pencil and sweet fruit.  Still pretty firm tannins, but drinking well now.
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