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.

August 30, 2012

Rihaku Tobingakoi

Dinner at Shunsai (旬採) in Taipei.

Rihaku Daijinjo Tobingakoi (李白大吟釀斗瓶囲い) - loooove this limited production sake.  Initially I didn't get much out of the nose when drinking out of traditional sake shot glasses, but later the chef brought us glasses from Riedel, which made things a lot better.  Definitely some of that familiar fermented rice (酒釀) notes, with some pineapple and definitely kinda alcoholic on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

August 23, 2012

Jolivet, Andrew Will and Araujo

Dinner at Grand Hyatt Steakhouse in Hong Kong.

2010 Pascal Jolivet Pouilly-Fumé - green apple, flint, white flower, muscat.  Acidity mid-palate and finish was quite high.  Together with the lobster, the minerality really came out… perhaps not the best pairing.

2007 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard - minty, really sweet and syrupy, very ripe on the nose.  The alcohol at 14.5% was so sharp that it burned my nostrils.  Blend is dominated by Cab Franc for this vintage (45%).

2007 Araujo Syrah Eisele Vineyard - not surprisingly this wine was really concentrated, really sweet on the nose, with a little vanilla and some smoke.  With a little time it opened up to reveal aromatic coffee and muscovado notes.  The wine showed lot of alcohol at 14.8%, and burned the back of my throat as it went down.  Needs a few more years, or at least another hour in the decanter...

Full post on dinner is here.

August 18, 2012

Kiwi, Aussie and Froggie

Dinner at Gold by Harlan Goldstein in Hong Kong.

2007 Cloudy Bay Te Koko - classic Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, with green apple, mineral, pipi de chat and muscat grape notes.

2005 Petaluma Tiers Chardonnay - my first taste of this wine.  Smooth, some toasty oak, a little sweet on the palate with a spicy finish.  Very ripe and alcohol is evident on the palate.

1985 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde - I was a little apprehensive about opening the first bottle from a batch I purchased at auction last year, and my fears were justified.  I think there was a hint of TCA here.  The nose showed brett, some fruit, prominent notes of salty mineral and soy sauce, and even a little tea-smoked duck (樟茶鴨)…  This bottle is tasting a little tired and over the hill.

Full post on dinner is here.

August 17, 2012

98 and NV Krug

Dinner at Caprice in Hong Kong with Champagne Krug.

Krug Grande Cuvée, first glass served during reception - toasty and smoky nose, pain grillé, caramelized sugar and candy notes.  Nice acidity balance, and a little tart on the finish.  Later on the palate was a little sweeter.

1998 Krug Clos de Mesnil - first pour: flinty, caramelized sugar, lovely oxidation, sweet.  Starting to show her voluptuous body as it slowly undresses and reveals her mysteries.  A hint of acidity on the finish.  A little vanilla, tropical fruits like pineapple, and creamy butter on the nose.  Second pour: colder now.  A little fresher, more vibrant, slightly higher acidity, more citrus notes.

1998 Krug - orange marmalade ripe, surprisingly more acidic on the palate than the Mesnil.  Bubblegum, sugar, lovely oxidation, straw, flint and mineral.  Perhaps a little more restrained than the Mesnil at this point, which surprised me.

Krug Grande Cuvée, glass from the tasting - served colder than my first glass, which made it more vibrant.  Flinty nose with higher acidity.  Still lovely.

Krug Rosé - toasty, flinty and a little more red fruits.

Full post on dinner is here.

August 11, 2012

Riesling, Chardonnay and Yuzu

Dinner at Ming Fu (明福餐廳) in Taipei.

2007 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese - much sweeter than I expected from a spätlese.  Still very enjoyable.  Unfortunately this was served a little warm.

2007 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay - buttery, oaky, green apple, mineral.  Drinking well now.

Drinks back at my apartment.

Bijofu Yuzu Liqueur (bottled August 2010) - two years after bottling, this no longer tasted as fresh as it did when I bought it 2 years ago.  Instead the flavors of honey - one of the ingredients - has become more prominent.  On the palate it now tastes more like candied lime or aged lemon marmalade.  I made the comparison with aged, oxidized Chardonnay.  We wondered how it would taste if we froze it and made it into a Slurpee…

Full post on dinner is here.

August 10, 2012

Cab face-off: Bordeaux vs. Napa

Dinner at Toscana in Taipei.

2000 Léoville-Las Cases - aerated for 12 hours in bottle, and decanted just before dinner started.  Minty, cedar, woody, fruity, black pepper.  Fragrant and beautiful.  A little smoky.  So smooth on the palate.

1995 Montrose - opened and decanted at the start of dinner.  A little sharp on the nose at first.  Minty, a little earthy, pencil lead, smoky, and a hint of green peppers later.  Full-bodied.

1998 Harlan The Maiden - aerated for an hour in bottle, then decanted for 2 hours prior to serving.  Lots of vanilla, coconut butter, dried herbs, sweet, coffee grounds, a little smoky and a little earthy.  A little alcoholic.  Drinking pretty much as I expected.  My contribution.

2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia - aerated for 8 hours in bottle and not decanted.  Really ripe and sweet, which is not surprising for this vintage.  Lots of herbs, potpourri, ripe orange, vanilla, pine needle.  Really concentrated.

Full post on dinner is here.
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