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.

July 30, 2010

Red, white and rosé

Dinner at Kimberley Restaurant (君怡閣).

2007 Rex Hill Pinot Gris - this was always gonna be an easy-drinking wine. Nose of green apple, minerals, floral and fragrant. Pretty smooth and went down well. Definitely a food wine.

2008 Burge Family Shiraz Rosé - this was something special I tasted last year in front of winemaker Rick Burge, and I thought tonight would be a good opportunity to taste it again. I was surprised by the pungent nose that reminded me of pipi de chat, but looking at my tasting notes from last year I realized it had been there, too. There were lots of polyphenols present, and bore a strong resemblance to the mangosteen juice that I buy from the supermarket made from the purple rind. Other than that there were notes of minerals and flint, as well as blackcurrants. Still one of the best rosés I've had.

2001 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Precious Mountain Vineyard - this was very fruity, minty and a little alcoholic on the nose. Concentrated on the palate, with notes of sweet candy and potpourri. Not bad at all.

Full post on dinner is here.

July 28, 2010

1996 Jean Grivot Clos de Vougeot

1996 Jean Grivot Clos de Vougeot en magnum - drank at Cipriani.  Initially the wine was closed and a little acidic. It gradually opened up and put on weight, revealing a farmy nose with mushrooms, herbs, some floral notes and eventually the fruit emerged. Light and smooth on the palate, and acidity kinda faded with time. I didn't have a lot of expectations for this wine, but it turned out reasonably OK.

Full post on dinner is here.

July 25, 2010

Wines for gamey dinner

Dinner at a friend's house.

Zoémie De Sousa Brut Merveille NV - I've always liked De Sousa's Champagnes, and this was just lovely to drink.

2004 Ponsot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes - 2004 wasn't a stellar vintage, but I suspected it would be drinking well now. Very classic Burgundian nose, with lots of sweet fruit and herbs, as well as some floral notes. Not too shabby.

2006 Greenock Creek Shiraz Apricot Block - I had expected a big wine, which is why I drank the Ponsot first, but I was shocked to see the numbers "18.5%" printed on the back label, under the words "Special Late Harvest". It had all the markings of a good Aussie Shiraz: lots of sweet fruit, vanilla, oak, coconut oil... then your nosehairs get singed by the alcohol. I was getting a headache and there was no doubt as to the reason...

Full post on dinner is here.

July 22, 2010

Alcoholic Californians

Dinner at the Press Room.

2008 Sans Liege Côtes-du-Coast - an interesting blend of the three principal Rhone white varietals - Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. The young wine was incredibly fresh and floral, with minerality, sweetness, tropical fruits that smelled like a piña colada. It was very ripe and a little hot on the finish, as the back of my throat gets a little singed by the 15.4%. A very nice wine to drink, and very affordable.

2008 George Vintage VI Pinot Noir Ceremonial Vineyard - this was my third time tasting wines from George, and I really love their wines. Tons of strawberries, along with some candy, herbs, bacon fat and farmy notes... This was the lightweight of the evening, coming in at 14.1%.

2000 Clos Mimi Syrah Bunny Slope - I love the wines from Clos Mimi, coz they are so out there. I double-decanted the wine in the office, and it was just opening up after 4 hours, so it wasn't as good as I had hoped. It was typical of the Californian Syrahs that I tend to buy - really huge nose of iron, rust and minerals on top of the fruit, plus some herbs and pine needles. This wine comes out swinging at 15%, and as with past experience may actually taste better the next day...

Full post on dinner is here.

July 19, 2010

MNSC Dinner - Summer Palace

MNSC Dinner at Summer Palace (夏宮).

2000 Penfolds Yattarna - this is a wine I realized I liked a few months ago. Lots of toasty popcorn, nutty, honey, a little oxidized and some minerals. The color was kinda deep, and while it wasn't as fresh as some would like it to be, I thought it wasn't bad.

First pair:
2003 Harlan - Wow! This was so powerful on the nose. Lots of minerals, iron/rust, coffee, walnut... Sweet but not overpowering, and a little alcoholic on the nose. The edges are starting to round out, but it was still tannic on the finish. Also some exotic spices and tea leaves. 94 points.

1982 Le Gay - smoky, definitely more mature than the other wine. Still kinda alcoholic on the nose with herbs. Round and delicious on the palate. 93 points.

Second pair:
1976 Petrus - notes of plum, spices, sweet with a little soy sauce. Soft and silky on the palate, and a little floral at the end. 93 points.

1991 Guigal La Landonne - a little "stinky", a little ginseng and medicinal... nose was kinda muted and not really showing much fruit. Later on there was a little sweetness and toffee. 91 points. Once again Pineapple and I had completely opposite reactions to a wine. His wine of the evening was my least favorite...

Last pair:
1983 Guigal La Mouline - lots of violet, initially a little dusty and dirty. Nose was a little oxidized and mature, with some ripe fruits. Really smooth on the palate. To be honest, this wine performed below my expectations... I thought I'd be blown away by one of my all-time favorite vintages of my favorite wine, but it was not to be... 94 points.

1998 Sine Qua Non E-raised - typical of an SQN Syrah, this had tons of iron, minerals and smelled "bloody" on the nose. Still really alcoholic, with some coffee notes. Totally up my alley. Decanted for 8 hours (!) and still going strong... 95 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

July 11, 2010

1971 Camille Giroud Clos de Vougeot

1971 Camille Giroud Clos de Vougeot - drank at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Taipei. Nose of herbs, forest, a bit of fruit, a little brett, farmy and black olives. Very light bodied. More open with the second pour. Bodied gained a bit more weight but still light. A little smoky. Not a fantastic wine but still enjoyable to drink, especially considering that it's been knocked around in my checked-in bag just 2 days ago!

Full post on dinner is here.

July 7, 2010

2004 Kistler Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard

2004 Kistler Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard - drank at Nadaman (なだ万). It drank pretty much as I expected, with lots of toasty oak and popcorn on the nose. Pretty heavily smoked, with some pipi de chat (surprisingly not unpleasant) and some sweet butter. You could smell the ripeness in the nose, but the wine was actually tilted to the acidic side on the palate, with a hot finish.

Full post on dinner is here.
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