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, 2011

Bordeaux, Rhone and Burgundy

Drinks at Classified in Happy Valley.

1989 Le Gay - in true Pineapple style, he served his namesake wine for the crowd.  This was classic Pomerol and drank very well.
1989 Rayas - I had higher expectations for this wine, but the initial whiff showed a slightly cooked and pruny nose, along with earth and minerals.  I guess the wine just needed more time to air before being drunk.  It also didn't help that a few cigars had been lit by this time and smoke filled the room.

1990 Latour - this was courtesy of a friend who had brought his leftover wines from dinner.  Very classic, with mint, smoke, a hint of sweet grass.  Lovely wine.

2003 Coche-Dury Meursault - another leftover, but so enjoyable!  I've always loved Coche-Dury and this was just classic.  Big nose of toast, with underlying sweet, buttery corn.  I can just drink this all day!

January 27, 2011

Cos d'Estournel dinner

Dinner at Pierre hosted by Jean-Guillaume Prats.

2007 Cos d'Estournel Blanc - there's very little of this wine to go around, somewhere on the order of 3,000 bottles, so I think this is actually the first time I've ever tasted it.  The Sauvignon Blanc traits are immediately apparent - minerals, pipi de chat, muscat and lemon.  Lovely wine.

2007 Pagodes de Cos - nose was very sweet, with caramel notes, forest and pine.  Very New World...

2006 Goulée Rouge - minty, pine and alcoholic.  Later on nose turned sweet with caramel. 

2001 Cos d'Estournel - smoky, minty, more game meat and alcoholic.  Jean-Guillaume told us that the style had already started changing by this vintage, but nevertheless I found it to be halfway between the newer, riper style and the classic claret.

1996 Cos d'Estournel - very lean, smoky, green pepper, spicy, meaty and alcoholic.  This is the classic claret through and through.

1993 Cos d'Estournel - minty, brett, smoke, more fruity than the '96.  Nose was open and sweet.  Very enjoyable and better than the '96.

2001 Hétszőlő Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos - big nose of polyurethane and acetone, with honey, orange marmalade and alcohol.  Surprisingly not like other Tokaji I've had before, in that there was a good balance between the sweetness and acidity.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 25, 2011

A pair of 1990s

Dinner at Caprice.

1990 Guigal La Turque - unfortunately, the wine disappointed tonight.  Two hours in the decanted failed to open the wine sufficiently, and the nose was initially very muted.  Gradually the unmistakable floral notes emerged, along with black fruits, prunes, smoke, game meat and forest.  A little alcoholic, actually.  But the real deal never showed up.  I would rate it 92 points at best, far from the perfection I expected.

1990 Rouget Echezeaux - I was surprised by the strong nose of toasty oak, which faded to reveal some sweetness, prunes and clear oxidation.  I must say I was a little disappointed in this wine, too.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 23, 2011

2005 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim

Dinner at a friend's house.

Louis Roederer Champagne - don't remember which one but it was an NV.

2005 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim - it was everything I could ask for in a Gewurz.  Explosive nose of lychees and tropical sweetness, honey and a bit of marmalade.  I could imagine how ripe the grapes were that year, as there was still a good amount of sugar left even after fermentation to 15%!
Full post on dinner is here.

Drinking at Sotheby's

Went to the second day of auctions at Sotheby's.

2000 Gruaud-Larose - smoky, meaty, Asian five-spice (五香), soy sauce with black fruits.  Full-bodied and lovely.

2000 Ducru-Beaucaillou - green peppers, lead pencil and smoke. 

1996 Montrose - first pour was really grassy, sweet, smoked duck, vegetal and brett.  For a second I thought it might have been lightly corked.  Very concentrated with lots of tannin here.  Second pour from a different bottle had no vegetal notes, but was amazingly tannic for a wine this age.

Full post on the auction is here.

January 22, 2011

Pink Champagne and Italian red

Dinner at Sabatini.

Egly-Ouriet Brut Rosé Grand Cru (disgorged Nov 09, 52 months on lees) - I decided to bring a bottle of bubbly for the birthday celebrations, and I was desperately wanting to taste this wine.  I'm a big fan of Egly-Ouriet, and as it turns out so were some of my fellow diners.  Apparently the same Pinot Noir is sold to Anselme Selosse for the Jacques Selosse Rosé...  Lovely nose of red fruits like strawberries, minerals, sweet, with only a hint of oxidation.  

2005 Il Borro - ordered this from the rather expensive restaurant list.  Nose of pine needle, forest, sweet and alcoholic.  Very firm tannins from this young wine that just needs time to soften.

Full post on dinner is here.

Drinking at Sotheby's Andrew Lloyd Webber sale

The sale of the Andrew Lloyd Webber collection by Sotheby's.

2002 Bouchard Echezeaux - meat nose with black fruits, and a little smoky.

1995 Calon-Ségur - smoky, forest notes with soy sauce, minerals and Puer tea.

1990 Gruaud-Larose - minty, minerals, sweet, coffee, herbs and smoked meats. Lovely.

Full post on the auction is here.

January 21, 2011

Drinking at the Acker auction

Day 1 of the Acker auction.

2008 Vogüé Bonnes Mares - minty, herbs, potpourri, light sweetness that is almost like caramel, game meats.  Very light-bodied and not much tannins at first, but gained weight with time.

2007 Coche-Dury Meursault - tell-tale nose with lots of toast, minerals, corn and lemon.  Good acidity, but the wine was surprisingly light both in terms of color and body.

1986 Pichon-Lalande - ripe fruits, smoke, forest, mushrooms, mint and black olives.  Lovely wine.

2005 Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin en jeroboam - fruity, sweet, caramel and mint.  Body lighter than expected.

1999 DRC Romanée-Saint-Vivant - very floral, sweet with black fruits.  A lovely wine.

2000 Guigal La Landonne - smoky, grilled meats, sweet fruit and toast.

Adjourned to the Lobster Bar for drinks after the auction.

2004 Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Bèze - gamey, love nose of red fruits, sweet, pure and fresh.  Still a little alcoholic.  Second pour showed more concentration and fuller body.

Full post on the auction is here.

January 20, 2011

Acker tasting

Went to the Acker pre-auction tasting tonight.

1989 Jaboulet La Chapelle - nose of dates, forest, wood.

1955 Lynch-Bages - definitely old, mossy, soy sauce, smoky, tea leaves, black olives.

1982 Pichon Lalande - smoky, sweet, exotic spices.

1989 Lafleur - soft and velvety, fruity, lovely.

1961 Ducru-Beaucaillou - soy sauce, smoked duck, black fruits, lovely.

1978 Mouton-Rothschild en magnum - typical cigar smoke, herbs.

1966 Palmer - very cloudy, sweet, prunes and typical sweet grass.

1982 L'Evangile - lovely fruit, open, oak, vanilla, spices, roast corn.

1953 Ausone - exotic spices, sweet, smoke, savory notes.

1990 A.F. Gros Richebourg - big nose of roast corn, sweet, tangerine and pine needle.

1985 Bouchard Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine Collignon - nose was very oxidized like Madeira or cough syrup.  Non-existent palate.

1982 Dom Pérignon - toasty, smoky, a little salty plum (話梅).

1985 Krug - candy, sugar cane, oxidized, a little salty plum (話梅).

1985 Salon - much more oxidized than the other two, more prominent salty plum (話梅) and minerals.

January 18, 2011

George Pinot Noir

Dinner at Pierre featuring Pinot Noir from George Wine Company.

Arlaux Brut Grande Cuvée - toasty, caramel, slightly oxidized.  Lovely balance.

2008 George Pinot Noir Sonoma Coma - pretty sweet and fruity, with cherries, leather saddle, banana and mint on the nose.  Very smooth and round on the palate.  Medium-bodied to very little trace of tannins.

2009 George Pinot Noir Sonoma Coma - with 1/3 of the blend coming from the Hansen Vineyard, this was more mineral, leather, stronger/punchier, gamey, almost savory like cheese, a little alkali.

2008 George Pinot Noir Leras Family Vineyards - nice and fruity with herbs and caramel on the nose.  Very clean and pure fruit.

2008 George Pinot Noir Hansen Vineyard - minerals, savory, earthy, animal, cheese, smoky.  There was a scent which took me a long time to identify, which George agreed with - manure.  Around 300 heads of cattle graze next to the vineyard, so George believes that the grapes naturally smell of the cattle and anything that comes with them!  This is probably the first time that I can say to a winemaker with a straight face that his wine "smells like shit", and have the winemaker not get offended by my remark...

1986 Doisy-Védrines - orange blossom, acetone, apricot, honey and honeydew melons.  Very sweet.  Very delish.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 17, 2011

2001 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Gran Reserva

2001 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Gran Reserva - drank at On Lot 10.  This was fruity and sweet, with a little strawberry, smoke and mint.  Tannins were still a little chewy and velvety, which was pretty nice.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 13, 2011

Chiani and Pinot

Dinner at Kimberley Chinese Restaurant (君怡閣).

1999 Mondavi Pinot Noir PNX - a little floral and perfumed, minty, decent fruit with cassis.

2005 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico - nose of forest and pine needle, a bit smoky.  Still lots of chewy tannins.

Full post on dinner is here.

Bollinger Special Cuvée

Bollinger Special Cuvée - opened a half bottle in the office to celebrate the start of a new chapter.  Not bad as a casual drink.  It was a little sweeter and richer than I expected, no doubt from the addition of reserve wines.

January 8, 2011

At the Zachys auction

Tasted the following wines at the Zachys auction:

2000 Alter Ego - classic nose of smoke, earth, fruit and mint.  Very easy to drink.

2001 Le Vieux Donjon - what a beautiful wine!  Big, floral nose along with notes of tea leaves, spruce, exotic spices, sweet, and a bit alcoholic.  Still a little tannic.  Very lovely.

1975 Mouton-Rothschild en magnum - smoky, chalky, sweet like strawberry, grilled meats and soy sauce.
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