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.

April 29, 2013

MNSC Dinner - Amuse Bouche

The Ox hosted an MNSC dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong.

1973 Dom Pérignon Œnotheque, disgorged Spring 1999 - nose of Chinese licorice, toasted nuts, ripe, a little savory, toasty and yeasty, almost like sourdough.  Good acidity balance on the palate.  Due to late disgorgement this didn't taste like a 40-year old Champagne, but as it's more than a decade since disgorgement, it wasn't really "fresh", either.  Beautiful.

Flight 1:
1961 Ducru-Beaucaillou - opened and decanted 10 minutes before serving.  Very smoky and minty nose.  Grilled meats, saddle, black tea with a sweet fruit core.  A little metallic with some soy sauce at the end.  Smooth and medium-light bodied.  An elegant and lovely wine.  96 points.  Sourced from Altaya.

1973 Ducru-Beaucaillou - opened and decanted 10 minutes before serving.  Funky nose with pine forest.  A little chalky?  A little stinky, with animal notes.  Lighter than the '61.  91 points.

1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou - opened and decanted 1 hour before serving.  Color was noticeably darker.  Nose was very smoky but a little closed at first.  Ripe, stewed fruits, grilled meats.  94points.  Sourced from Altaya.  While the condition of the wine was impeccable, we all agreed that this bottle was not representative of what the wine should taste like.  The bottle I drank a day earlier was noticeably better.

Flight 2:
1973 Mouton-Rothschild - opened and decanted 30 minutes before serving.  Floral and sweet nose, with cassis, a little smoke, farmy, and later a little chalky.  93 points.

1982 Mouton-Rothschild - opened and decanted 2 hours before serving.  Toasty, smoky, more concentrated than the '73.  A powerful wine but very well-balanced.  94 points.  Sourced from Altaya.

1986 Mouton-Rothschild - opened and decanted 2 hours before serving.  A little bit of burnt rubber at the beginning.  Acidity clearly higher despite being the youngest of the flight.  A little pine needle on the nose.  92 points.

Flight 3:
1973 Petrus - opened and decanted 1 hour before serving.  Very smoky, minty, more concentrated and powerful than the previous 2 flights.  Nose of black fruits, a little chalky, green pepper.  Very open and enjoyable. 96 points.

1989 Petrus - opened and decanted 2½ hours before serving.  Smoky, a little sharp, a little ripe.  Nose was a little too closed to enjoy now.  93 points.

1973 Yquem - honey, apricot, marmalade and acetone.  Very sweet on the palate but with enough acidity there.  Another lovely wine.  Sourced from Altaya.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 28, 2013

82's and more

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon in Hong Kong.

1982 Philipponnat Grand Blanc - recently disgorged so relatively fresh.  Nicely oxidized but not overly so.  Mild on the front palate with an acidic and long finish.  Interesting to drink such an old blanc de blancs.

1985 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine-Collignon par Bouchard - it looks like I didn't learn a lesson from my last bottle… this wine just shouldn't be double-decanted but rather drunk straight out of bottle.  You'd think I would know better…  Nose showed a little stewed prunes right after uncorking.  After an hour it was showing soy sauce, braised pork belly with preserved leafy mustard (梅菜扣肉), minerals.  Acidity was a little high.

1982 Beychevelle - very classic Left Bank, with a smoky veil on top of earthy and mineral notes.  Very smooth and perhaps a little on the light side.  A lovely wine.

1982 Drucru-Beaucaillou - one of my favorite wines, and this was in excellent condition.  Really nice and lovely, with some sweet grass notes, sweet fruit, a hint of smoke and later star anise.

1999 Greenock Creek Shiraz Roennfeldt Road - first whiff was really plasticky… later on showed vanilla and coconut butter, which I guess is what I'd expect from an Aussie Shiraz.  I'm glad this has been cellared for a number of years so that it's softened somewhat.

1970 Warre's - a little sharp thanks to the alcohol level.  Caramel and prune notes.  Very sweet on the palate.  I last drank this on my birthday last year

Wenjun (文君) - normally I don't drink baijiu (白酒) as I just can't stand the smell nor the taste of it, but for some reason the staff brought this out for us to try.  Typical smell that just seems so artificial to me, while lovers of this would find it very aromatic.  Apparently this has been made in Qionglai, Sichuan (四川邛崃) since the Ming Dynasty.  Two sips is quite enough for me...

Full post on dinner is here.

April 26, 2013

A mix bag of good stuff

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon.

Jacques Selosse Les Carelles (disgorged February 24, 2011) - salty, minerals, salty plum, sweet on the edges of the nose.  Palate pretty mature and round, almost a little flat, with a little bit of savory minerals.  A blanc de blancs lieu-dit from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, made solera style using 2003 and 2004.

2003 Christophe Roumier Charmes-Chambertin Aux Mazoyeres - a very floral and violet bouquet, with cool fruit, a bit sharp on the nose, but lovely and soft on the palate.  A little animal, leather and dried herbs.  Quite a lovely wine that's pleasant to drink.

1989 Chave Hermitage Rouge - lots of animal and leather, grilled meats, a little smoky, with some toasty oak.  A really lovely wine.

1976 Christoffel-Berres Erdener Prälat Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese - a little plastic, with marmalade and nutty nose.  Wonderful acidity balance with the sweetness.  This wasn't as sweet as I expected from a TBA, but the acidity was perfectly meshing and in tune with the sugar.  Very round and soft on the palate.  What a beautiful wine to drink now!

1995 Roulot Meursault 1er Cru Perrières - big, toasty nose.  Interesting to find acidity in the nose, which was kinda ripe.  Nicely oxidized, with toasty corn.  Finish was a little bitter.  Pretty nice.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 23, 2013

Pax Syrah and Mondavi Botrytis

Dinner at Legend Concept in Hong Kong.

2003 Pax Syrah Griffin's Lair - lots of sweet, ripe fruits, forest, alcoholic (15.5%), a little sharp, vanilla and metallic.  Still pretty full-bodied after almost 10 years.  Not quite grippy, but the tannins are still there.  Drinking fairly nicely now, and pretty classic Cali Syrah.

1994 Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis from half bottle - my friend and I love this wine when we discovered it years ago, and treasure every bottle we drink together.  Nose of really ripe honeydew melon, manuka honey, pecan, concentrated grape and raisins, apricot, orange blossoms and a little marmalade on the finish.  What an absolutely amazing wine!

Full post on dinner is here.

April 14, 2013

Sugandake Hokuetsunokaze

Dinner at RyuGin in Hong Kong.

Etsugosenzan Sugandake Hokuetsunokaze Daiginjo (越後泉山 菅名岳 北越の風 大吟醸) - very refined with a semaibuai (精米歩合) of 35%.  Sweet on the attack and mid-palate, with a slightly dry finish.  Smooth and round, elegant at first but hides the full-bodied flavors, and the Japanese would say "コクがある".  Nose of banana and fermented rice.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 12, 2013

Bunch o' Bdx

Drinks and dinner at the Chariot Club, Hong Kong.

1985 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - definitely oxidized/off.  Still some oak and some acidity, but not much body left.

1986 Pichon-Lalande - lots of smoke, earth, mint, sweet fruit like cassis, leather and soy sauce.  Very classic.

1997 Rouget Echezeaux - nice red fruits here, dried herbs, forest.

1997 Salon - toast, minerals, lemon citrus on the nose.  Ripe on the palate.

1988 Clinet - smoky, minty and earthy.

2002 Palmer - smoky with sweet fruit, brett/medicinal.

April 11, 2013

Louis Jadot dinner

Dinner at Pierre in Hong Kong, featuring wines from Louis Jadot.

2010 Ferret Pouilly-Fuissé Autour de Fuissé - big nose of toasty oak, heavy smoke, revealing sweet core after the smoke fades.  Almost a little floral.  Acidity strong mid-palate, and almost a little bitter.  Long finish. At 13.5%, definitely felt the alcohol burn going down.  Surprisingly excellent to drink.

2008 Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Clos de la Chapelle - mineral, a little sweet, tropical coconut.  Served a little too cold initially.  Definitely lots of body weight, and acidity was very prominent.  Later on this grew fatter and more buttery.

2008 Jadot Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet - a little ripe, with good acidity balance but slightly acidic on the finish. Toasty, buttery and sweet.  Lovely and elegant.

2001 Jadot Corton-Charlemagne - nose was a little closed at first, with a hint of cheese.  Toasty, and acidic on the finish.

2006 Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Ursules - a monopole within the 1er Cru Vignes Franches, which was Jadot's very first vineyard holding.  Really ripe fruit, sweet on the nose with a little eucalyptus and some toasty corn much later.  A bit alcoholic.  Light on the front palate but got slightly grippy at the end.

2006 Jadot Clos Vougeot en magnum - meaty, animal, a bit smoky.  A little more tannic.

2004 Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin - more animal, leather, forest.  A bit sharp on the nose.  Acidic on palate.

2001 Jadot Corton-Pougets - a bit more body here.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 10, 2013

04 Williams Selyem

Dinner at Gold by Harlan Goldstein in Hong Kong.

2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors - red fruits, ripe, dried herbs and eucalyptus on the nose.  Still concentrated and somewhat tannic.  This was OK but not a great wine.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 8, 2013

Cloudy Bay with Thai food

Dinner at the Landmark Mandarin with David Thompson from nahm, Bangkok.

Cloudy Bay Pelorus - yeasty, a little mineral, somewhat ripe on the palate.  Not very interesting...

2012 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc - floral, sweet, honey, peach, slightly oak at first but then turned really oaky as temperature warmed up.  Ripe on the palate at 13.5% alcohol.

2010 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir - lots of coconut butter in the nose, ripe, sweet fruit, forest, and mint.

2006 Cloudy Bay Late Harvest Riesling - plastic, botrytis, acetone.  A little sweet on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 6, 2013

07 JJ Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr

Dinner at On Lot 10.

2007 Jos. Joh. Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese - classic mineral and petrol on the nose.  Palate was a little sweeter than I expected, after drinking so many bottles of this wine.

Full post on dinner is here.

04 Hugel Riesling and 96 Pagodes de Cos

Lunch at a friend's house.

2004 Hugel Riesling "Jubilee" - lots of plastic and polyurethane in the nose, with minerals and a little honey.

1996 Les Pagodes de Cos - nose was pretty intense, very much like a St. Estephe, with smoke, brett, black pepper, leather, mint, and earthy.

Full post on lunch is here.

April 4, 2013

Wines at Sotheby's auction

Wines served at the Sotheby's auction.

Louis Roederer Brut Premier

2008 Alion - nose was very sweet, sugary, bubblegum, vanilla, a little smoky, spices like nutmeg, lots of oak and very fragrant.  Pretty forward and more "New World", but I like it.

2008 Bachelet Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes - acidic and a little thin on the palate.  Smoke smoke and maybe some rhubarb.  Not enjoyable at all.

2001 Corbin - nose of sweet fruit, dried herbs, lots of smoke, mint, mineral and earth.

April 3, 2013

Demon Riesling and Champagne

Dinner at MC Kitchen in Hong Kong.

2004 Thierry Massin Demon Brut - made with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.  Yeasty, slightly mineral and a little sweet on the nose.  Not too acidic and slightly richer on the palate.

2010 Diel Riesling Kabinett Demon Riesling - nose of plastic and petrol.  Sweeter on the palate than I expected.

Full post on dinner is here.

Wines from elBullicellar at Sotheby's

Wines served at the Sotheby's auction of the elBullicellar in Hong Kong.

2004 Pintia - alcoholic, with a hint of rubber?  Kinda flat on the palate.

1998 Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5° - more acidity on the palate here, with smoky notes and lots of sediment in the glass.  Second glass was more tannic on the palate.

1995 Beaucastel Rouge - classic Beaucastel nose of farmyard, manure, leather, smoke, with tenapade and soy sauce, and almost violet and floral.

Full post on the auction is here.

April 1, 2013

Drinking with Ferran Adrià

Dinner at Catalunya in Hong Kong, with Ferran Adrià in advance of Sotheby's auction of the elBullicellar.

2002 Dom Pérignon Rosé - red berries and mineral.  More intense in the pinot noir glass.

1973 Dom Pérignon Œnotheque en magnum - wow!  Loads of toasty oak.  So powerful!  Sweetness a little later.  Ripe on the palate, and great acidity balance.

2001 Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - totally Cantonese sugarcane and water chestnut juice (竹蔗茅根水)!!!  Very sweet on the nose, and slightly bitter on the palate.  With the king prawns, the alcohol really came out!

2009 Hospices de Beaune Corton-Vergennes Cuvée Paul Chanson, elevé et mis en bouteille par Lucien Le Moine pour Juli Soler, El Bulli, Roses - very ripe, with minerals, metallic and lots of toast.

2009 Hospices de Beaune Volnay-Santenots 1er Cru Cuvée Jehan de Massol, elevé et mis en bouteille par Lucien Le Moine pour El Bulli - lots of fruit, sweet like cotton candy.

2000 Grange des Pères - a little raisiny, still alcoholic, concentrated and medium-bodied.  A little hint of paint-thinner, par hasard?

2007 Hospices de Beaune Corton-Clos du Roi Cuvée Baronne du Bay, elevé et mis en bouteille par Lucien Le Moine pour Juli Soler, El Bulli, Roses - much more intense, eucalyptus, a little spicy pepper?  A bit of smoke and cotton candy.

1997 Shafer Hillside Select - smoky and concentrated on the palate.  Nice, ripe fruit with vanilla.  Just had this wine last month

2000 Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita - smoke and concentrated fruit.

2003 Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi - black olives and smoke.

The full post on dinner is here.
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