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.

February 28, 2011

2006 Seña

2006 Seña - drank over dinner at Blue Smoke Bar-B-Que.  Smoky, forest notes. 

Full post on dinner is here.

February 25, 2011

2001 horizontal

BYO dinner at Tim's Kitchen organized by Christie's.

Krug Grande Cuvée en magnum - toasty and lovely.

2001 Carl von Schubert Maximin Grünhauser Riesling Spätlese - I looooove this Riesling and have some older vintages at home.  Nose of urethane, plastic, a bit floral and mineral.  A little sweet on the palate.

2001 Weegmuller Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Spätlese - more minerals in the big and open nose.  Leaner on the palate.

2001 Domdechant Werner Hichheimer Kirchenstuck Riesling Spätlese Trocken - this was the biggest surprise for me.  The nose was beautifully honeyed with marmalade, and one would immediately conjure up images of luscious, sweet dessert wines.  But in reality the palate was completely dry, with flavors and notes of straw.  Thank you, Charles!

2001 Leroy Chambertin - I had to pour myself a glass early on because the rest of the crowd was going for this, and the bottle would be empty had I waited a little longer.  Beautiful nose of leather, smoky with farmy notes.  Very open and lovely, and more on the animal side instead of clean, pure fruit.

2001 Dujac Charmes-Chambertin - very open, fruity and kinda sweet.

2001 Palmer - really big nose of forest, potpourri, smoke with some fruit.  Good acidity balance here, and a very beautiful claret.

2001 Dalla Valle Maya - very open and lovely nose of forest, pine, fragrant wood and a bit of smoke.  A little ripe and slightly sweet on the palate.  Very uncharacteristic for a Cali Cab.

2001 Doisy-Daëne - plastic, botrytis, pomelo skin, a little minerals and green on the nose.  Obviously sweet on the palate.

2001 Haut-Brion - the bottle was empty by the time I got to it.

2001 Yquem - the bottle was empty by the time I got to it.

2001 Drouhin-Laroze Chambertin Clos de Beze - very fruity, minty and fragrant, kinda sweet, lovely and elegant.  Sweet on the nose but not on the palate.  Seemingly on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Leroy Chambertin.

2001 Branaire-Ducru - smoky, brett, a little savory minerals and soy sauce.  A classic claret.

2001 Leewuin Estate Art Series Chardonnay - I brought this bottle to make an interesting pairing of two Chardonnays, but I wondered if this was a little corked.  Very strong nose of straw, a bit mossy and green.  A little banana and perhaps some chalk.  A hint of minerals. Very ripe and oxidized on the palate.  I love Leeuwin Chardonnays when they have been aged, and I always thought they could go head-to-head against white Burgundy, but I was disappointed by this bottle.  

2001 Ramonet Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet - ripe and a little oxidized, and ripe on the palate.  Citrus rind notes with a little bitter finish, and a little alcoholic.  I love Ramonets but I was slightly disappointed in this bottle that I brought.  My friends seemed to have liked it, though...

2001 Château de la Gardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - surprisingly honeyed and sweet in the nose, with urethane notes.  Pretty nice and open.

2001 Bouchard Corton Renardes - minty with herbs.  Soft and pretty decent.

2001 R. López de Heredia Viña Bosconia - lots of herbs and forest, a bit sweet with some ripeness.

2001 Latour - minty with sandalwood, fragrant, open and beautiful.

2001 Sassicaia - smoky, a bit mineral, toasty oak and sweet on the nose.  Open, fragrant and beautiful.  Wow!

2001 Musar - very open and sweet, a bit oxidized.  Beautiful.

2001 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz - fragrant wood, sweet, oxidized, smoky and alcoholic.

2001 Col d'Orcia Riserva Poggio al Vento - a bit acidic on the nose with some smoke.  Not bad.

2001 Vergenoegd Old Cape Colony Port - nose of minerals, alcoholic and sweet.

2001 Gloria - totally forgot to taste this...

Full post on dinner is here.

February 22, 2011

Dow's Port and then some

Dinner at George's in Parkview Hong Kong.

Dow's Fine White Port - initially served with tonic water on ice.  The combination was interesting and refreshing, as the bitter flavors of the tonic were tempered by the sweetness from the Port.  Later on I asked for a glass of the White Port on ice, as it is traditionally drunk in Portugal.  Nose of orange marmalade, honey, nutty, a little bit floral and fragrant.  Finish is slightly bitter.

1988 Dow's Quinta do Bomfim - the single vineyard wines are made in years when vintage is not declared.  Nutty, dried figs and generally sweet on the nose.  Very smooth on the palate, and can't really feel the tannins anymore.
1985 Dow's Vintage Port - more herbs and spices on the nose, with nutty, sweet and plummy notes.  This is definitely a bigger wine with much more concentration.  A deeper color despite being 3 years older than the '88.

1994 Dow's Vintage Port - this was the much-touted stellar vintage when I started to read Wine Spectator years ago as I began drinking.  Much fresher and younger, with the acidity plainly evident in the nose along with herbs and spices.

2007 Dow's Vintage Port - another stellar vintage.  Interestingly the nose was very metallic with lots of iron, like a concentrated, young American Syrah.  Notes of toasty oak and mint.  Soo sweet on the palate.

Dow's 40 Year Old Tawny Port - honey, nutty and figs.  Lovely, rich, soo plummy and complex with layers of caramel.  Tawny is still my favorite style of Port, especially since it's virtually indestructible. 

2008 Blanc de Lynch-Bages - plenty of pipi de chat upfront in the nose, with minerals and a bit of Muscat.  Definitely a food wine, as it's a little lighter than I expected. 

2008 Bachelet-Monnot Chassagne-Montrachet - grassy, minerals with the acidity slightly on the high side.  Kinda light-bodied.

2006 Prieure Roch Vosne-Romanée Le Clos Goillotte - nose of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, fruity, preserved plums (青梅), Chinese liquorice (甘草), a little bit of Chinese rubbing medicine (鐵打酒) as well as some floral notes.

2003 Torbreck RunRig - one of my favorite Aussie wines.  Sooo ripe and sweet, with a bit of rubber and plastic, as well as lots of tropical coconut butter.  Very New World.

2007 Kapcsándy Vino del Sol - this Californian estate has been getting a lot of attention for making some great wines.  We tasted this fortified wine made from 100% Merlot blind, and I thought it was a Cali Syrah.  It's got that very metallic and iron nose, along with lots of honeydew melon, herbs and forest notes.  Very good stuff.

1970 Haut-Brion - our host generously pulled this out of the cellar.  Smoky, herbs, dried fruits, coffee, minerals, a little savory, a hint of brett, and some toasty oak.  Very lovely. 

2000 Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon - a very lovely rosé, with nose of minerals, toast, strawberries and yeast.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 19, 2011

Leroy and other Burgs

Dinner at a friend's place.

1990 Pol Roger - yeasty nose, a little caramelized.  A little sweet on the palate with good acidity balance.  The oxidized nose which showed later was very, very nice.

2002 Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet - nose of sweet grass, lots of ripeness and alcohol here. A bit of orange, lemon and minerals.

1995 Leroy Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot - nose was pretty cardboard, mossy with lots of straw.  I initially suspected it was a little corked but it probably wasn't.  Very sweet nose with a hint of ginger.

1985 Nicolas Potel Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes - nose of lemon, ripe and oxidized, caramel, toasty oak.  Really open and lovely, especially after 3 hours.  I'm glad my last bottle of this wine drank well.

2002 Ponsot Griotte-Chambertin - herbs, a little perfumed with some mushrooms.  Still a bit alcoholic and tannins were still obvious.

1999 Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses - floral and lily notes, with game meat, animal, minerals, iron and smoke.

1993 Leroy Corton-Renardes - acidity was a little higher than the rest.  A little floral with red fruit notes.  Very elegant.  Not bad at all.

1976 Leroy Volnay - floral, game meats, a bit toasty and pop corn.  Not bad at all.  

Full post on dinner is here.

February 16, 2011

Shikizentokoro Junmai Daiginjo Genshu

Shikizentokoro Junmai Daiginjo Genshu (四季膳処 純米大吟醸原酒) - drank over dinner at Nadaman (なだ万).  This is made for Mitsukoshi Department Store (三越) by Tenryohai (天領盃).  With a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 35%, this is pretty fine.  The initial attack was mildly sweet, but turned dry and spicy on the finish.  Not terribly complex, though...

Full post on dinner is here.

February 11, 2011

Tasting wine at Tastings

Tasted a few wines at Tastings.

2007 Heidler Grüner Veltliner Thal - nose of lemon, minerals, and a bit sweet on the nose.  Surprisingly ripe on the nose and palate.

2006 Willy Gisselbrecht Gewurztraminer Frankstein - lots of lychee and floral notes.  Very sweet.  A big wine.

2004 LAN Reserva - nose was really sweet, like strawberries, bubblegum, vanilla.  Tannins are present but have already softened up, with medium acidity.  Very enjoyable.

February 10, 2011

Kokuryu Daiginjo

Kokuryu Daiginjo (黒龍 大吟醸) - drank over dinner at Tenzen.  Pretty smooth and easy to drink.  Not too sweet and not too dry.

Full post on dinner is here.

February 6, 2011

2005 Vincent Girardin Santenay 1er Cru Les Gravieres

2005 Vincent Girardin Santenay 1er Cru Les Gravieres en demi-bouteille - drank at home.  Smoke, earth, herbs, pine needle, alcoholic, game meats, bacon, surprisingly ripe and sweet, with some chocolate notes.  Still pretty tannic and needs a few more years to smooth out.  Not bad.

February 2, 2011

2007 Dominus

2007 Dominus - drank at a friend's house, and had been opened for a while by the time I got to it.  Honestly this was pure infanticide... the wine's just been drunk way to early.  2007 is a fantastic vintage when it comes to Californians, and I can see why the usual crowd of Americans who love big wines will find this enjoyable.  It was very, very, ripe and sweet on the palate; very full-bodied with notes of iron, minerals and cedar.  All the elements were there and almost completely meshed together, but you can feel that you're better off waiting another 5-7 years...
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