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.

September 25, 2011

1940 Latour, ex-château

Dinner at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Taipei.

1940 Latour (ex-château April 2011) - the sommelier decided not to decant the wine, and as he didn't want to shake the bottle too much by pouring too many times, he gave the three of us very big pours into the Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru glasses.  I think he probably poured 85% of the bottle into the three glasses in one go.  The wine was perfect.  From the moment I took the first whiff, I could tell this was a much, much better bottle compared to the one 10 years ago.  A beautiful nose of smoke and lead pencil came up from the glass to greet me.  The acidity was still a little high and the body still a little thin at the beginning.

With time and further aeration, sweet and grassy notes came out as the wine started to unwind and was no longer tightly closed.  After an hour, the nose was much more open, the sweet fruit a lot more apparent, and even showed a little black pepper.  The sommelier was right to gave us all really big pours and let the glasses act as decanters.  When we were done with the first pour, we got fresh glasses and the sommelier carefully poured out the remaining wine - with a little bit of sediment - into the them.  The bulk of the sediment was left in the bottle.  This last pour, too, was very enjoyable as it had even more body.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 24, 2011

85 Madeleine Collignon and more

Dinner at Le Moût in Taichung.

Torresella Prosecco - we were served small pours as an aperitif.  Lovely, tropical and fruity with nectarines and minerals.

2008 Leflaive Mâcon-Verzé - recommended by the sommelier.  Big, toasty nose of minerals, loads of beautiful and lovely butter.  Pretty ripe.  Drank very well.

1985 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine-Collignon par Bouchard - my contribution for the evening, and the third bottle I opened in recent months.  Again this was opened earlier but not decanted at the sommelier's suggestion.  Chilled in a bucket to lower the temperature.  Served around 2 hours after opening.  Nose seemed very slightly cooked with pruny notes.  Definitely some fruit but didn't get much sweetness coming out.  A little mushroom.  The wine drank OK, but not at the level of the previous two bottles.  Perhaps it's still suffering from bottle shock, having traveled from Taipei to Taichung today and from Hong Kong to Taipei 2 weeks ago...

2002 Désiré Petit Arbois Pupillin - this vin jaune was served by the sommelier together with my Bresse chicken.  Quite fragrant, a little nutty, mossy and medicinal.

2003 Charmes des Vignots - this Sauternes was served by the sommelier with our desserts.  Classic nose of acetone, orange rind and honey.  Pretty sweet on the nose and palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 17, 2011

2007 Willi Schaefer GH Kabinett

Dinner at DN Innovacíon.

2007 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett - nice and big nose of petrol, plastic, white flowers, white peppers and minerals. Surprisingly sweet mid-palate for a kabinett, although the finish was slightly bitter. A very beautiful wine, and I'll be sure to buy more of this for my cellar.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 11, 2011

MNSC Dinner - 1961 horizontal

Dinner at the Pawn.

2010 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes - made from Torrontes Riojano, displays really floral and tropical notes like lychee and peach.  Very lovely and easy to drink.

1961 Rayas - the color was very, very light and it was easy to pick this wine out from the rest of the group.  Definitely oxidized, nose was very sweet with lots of caramel, sugar and ripeness.  A little bit of potpourri and cedar.  The second pour showed a little more concentration and more fruit.  A little disappointing.  91 points.

1961 L'Evangile - smoky, a little bit grassy and sweet.  92 points.

1961 L'Eglise-Clinet - big nose of cigar smoke, pencil lead, a hint of green peppers with plenty of grilled meats.  A beautiful wine and just about everyone's wine of the evening, much to our surprise, especially since this was the only wine that wasn't a château bottling.  97 points.

1961 Léoville-Las Cases - smoke, savory like soy sauce, pencil lead, lovely nose.  One would expect this to under-perform the others, but that wasn't the case for me.  94 points.

1961 Latour - nose was very muted.  A little grassy, a bit of fruit, and the nose showed a little sweetness after 2 hours.  The palate and the concentration was still there, but the nose was nowhere to be found...  I can pretty much say that this was everyone's biggest disappointment this evening, given the reputation of this wine and its current market price.  90 points.  Pineapple thinks he's tasted this wine 7-8 times this year, and none of the bottles actually showed well - they were all closed and tight.

1961 Mouton-Rothschild - ripe fruit, a bit of smoke, meaty, a little coconut butter, and in the end some soy sauce.  Very smooth on the palate.  Performed much better than the Latour.  94 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 10, 2011

86 Mouton, 82 Cheval and more

Dinner at Hong Kong Wine Vault.

1989 Bollinger Vielles Vignes Françaises - a very rare treat.  This blanc de noirs made with grapes from pre-phylloxera vines is a pretty rare Champagne, and I was happy to have a chance to drink this.  The Specialist chose not to decant this and served this in a Pinot Noir glass.  Nose was very lovely, caramelized and sugary with orange notes.  Not as lively as I expected but the nose definitely showed the aging.  Pretty long finish.  Later on mineral notes came out and was definitely a little salty.  Very nice.

1995 Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet en magnum - I pulled this out of my cellar to share with the group, and decanted for more than an hour prior to serving.  Initially the nose was very sugary and sweet, slightly tangerine.  The color was a little dark, and I was afraid that the wine - from a vintage like 95/96 where Burgundy experienced widespread problems with oxidation - would be a little advanced in aging.  The wine turned out fine.  A little bit of spice like cinnamon in the nose, too.  Palate had medium acidity, slightly ripe and alcoholic.  I think the wine finally reached its peak some 3 hours after decanting.  Not bad but I had expected a little better.

1986 Mouton-Rothschild - wow... It's been a few years since I last drank this wine, and this was still very backward and young 25 years after the harvest.  Decanted almost 4 hours before dinner, my first pour still tasted very tannic.  Nose was lovely, very sweet with mint.  After breathing in the glass for a little, there was a faint hint of plastic in the nose along with prominent coconut.

1982 Cheval Blanc - the owner of the bottle feared that this wine was in serious decline, and decided to pop open one of his bottles to check it out.  He need not have worried.  Very lovely nose with tea leaves, floral, a little fruity, smoke and forest notes.  Very smooth on the palate.

1997 Huet Vouvray Cuvée Constance - we didn't have any dessert wine, so I went downstairs and fished this bottle out of the cellar since someone had mentioned this wine earlier.  Orange, plastic nose, very ripe, a little caramel and a little sharp.  After a while it was really sweet and full of honey notes.  Sweet on the palate but with enough acidity to balance it.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 3, 2011

Cuilleron Viognier and crappy Pinot

Drinks at Sky Bar at the Sheraton.

2005 Yves Cuilleron Viognier - a vin de pays that drank very well, with floral and lychee notes, a very sweet and fruity nose.  Almost sparkling on the palate, tingling the tongue a little.  Very enjoyable.

Dinner at Celestial Court at the Sheraton.

2008 Yering Station Pinot Noir - waiter's recommendation.  This came to me at a very warm temperature, and I had to ask for it to be chilled twice before it got to what I thought was the right serving temperature.  Obviously oxidized and cooked, as evidenced by the prominent nose of stewed prunes.  A little cherry with a little smoke.  I guess it's been a few days since the first glass was poured from this bottle...

Full post on dinner will come later.

Kikuhime Nigori

Lunch at Unkai in Hong Kong.

Kikuhime Nigori (菊姫にごり) - I don't normally drink cloudy sake (にごり酒), since it's not very refined and I prefer the purity of daiginjo (大吟醸).  But this was lunch and my friend doesn't drink much, so ordering an expensive bottle would be somewhat of a waste.  I saw this bottle on the list, and figured I can't really go wrong with anything from Kikuhime.  Very raw as expected, with very strong, starchy rice flavors.  Sweet on the palate but with a somewhat dry and spicy finish.  Pretty enjoyable.

Full post on lunch to be published soon.

September 2, 2011

Mixed lot BYO

Dinner at Tam Keung's Congee.

2007 Domaine Valette Pouilly-Vinzelles - a bit mineral and lemon.  Acidity was medium-high.

2005 Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond - sweet, nutty, rich, plum, ripe, a little smoke.  A little simple on the palate.

2006 Cloudy Bay Te Koko - minerals and flint, definitely some stinky pipi de chat, and a little bitter on the palate.

2003 Kaesler Old Bastard - herbs, mint, caramel, very ripe and concentrated on the nose. A little bitter on the palate.

1993 Langoa Barton - smoky and meaty.  A classic Left Bank wine.

Full post on dinner is here.

September 1, 2011

Rihaku Tobingakoi and Dassai 23

Dinner at Sushi Sase in Hong Kong.

Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 23% (獺祭「純米大吟醸」磨き二割三分) - this big boy was brought by the regular.  I've always liked Dassai, but tonight the flavors seemed a little simple beyond the sweetness on the palate.  Fruity and easy-drinking it was...

Rihaku Daijinjo Tobingakoi (李白大吟釀斗瓶囲い) - this is a limit-production sake, and they only make 300 issho-bins a year.  I carried this baby back from Tokyo last year.  Definitely drier and spicier on the finish in addition to being sweet mid-palate.  Smooth but more complex than the Dassai.

Full post on dinner is here.

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