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.

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving mix

Dinner at Seventh Son.

1999 von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese-trocken - mineral, white pepper, petrol, a little floral, big and ripe on the nose, and also ripe on palate but without the sugar.  Not bad at all.

1985 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine-Collignon par Bouchard - decanted for 30 minutes prior to serving.  Plummy, stewed fruits.  Not bad but seemingly a little tired.  Nice on the palate, though.
2004 Ponsot Chapelle Chambertin - a little vegetal, un petit bouchonnée.  But still drinkable.

2000 Coche-Dury Meursault - served after opening for 2 hours.  Really lovely nose, big and toasty, with lots of toasty corn and minerals.  This may not be an elegant wine, but it sure got the power!

1996 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis - a little minty, pretty sweet.  Nice on the palate, but this can develop a little more.

1996 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon - a little green, which led me to think that it was also un petit bouchonnée.  This would be the second consecutive bottle of 1996 Chapoutier Ermitage that I've opened this year that was corked.  Otherwise the nose was smoky, lean, savory like black olives, animal and leather.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 27, 2013

2006 Roederer

Drinks at Le Dôme de Cristal.

2006 Louis Roederer Brut - pretty strong nose of toast.  Nice acidity balance, much better on the palate than the 2006 Cristal.  A lovely wine.

November 26, 2013

02 Bordeaux and 99 Guigal

Drinks in the office.

1999 Guigal Côte-Rôtie - big, ripe, fruity nose that was slightly alcoholic and sharp.  A little smoky, and later chocolate notes.  Clearly from a big and ripe vintage, and not yet mature.

Dinner at Blue Butcher.

2002 Pontet-Canet - my glass was the last pour from the bottle.  Reasonable concentration, so-so on palate.

2002 L'Evangile en magnum - riper, sweeter with black cherries and a little cedar.  Softer and rounder.

Unknown Prosecco - very peachy, flinty, oaky.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 24, 2013

MNSC Dinner - Seventh Son

MNSC dinner at Seventh Son hosted by Lord Rayas.  Theme for the evening was a massiiive vertical of Château Rayas.

1990 Dom Pérignon - very smooth, almost a little light on the palate.  Ripe and mature on the palate, with cane sugar notes on the nose.

First flight:  aired for 1 hour in bottle prior to serving.
1969 Rayas - first whiff showed a little plastic, but underneath the nose seemed to be lovely.  A little plummy and sweet.  Smooth with a light body.  93 points.

1971 Rayas - lightest color of all three wines, definitely kinda old.  Showing a little plastic in the nose, with floral notes underneath.  Fuller body compared to the '69.  93 points.

1978 Rayas - a little smoky, farmy and earthy, but not showing much in the nose.  Still medium to light bodied.  91 points.

Second flight:
1979 Rayas - nice and sweet fruit, farmy, smoky with grilled meats.  Showing much better than the first flight.  95 points.

1983 Rayas - a little metallic, reminds me of iron in the blood, which was distracting.  Very sweet on the palate, full-bodied with a long finish.  93 points.

1990 Rayas - plummy, clearly very ripe on the nose, almost a little stewed fruits.  Smoky.  96 points.

Third flight:  aired for 3 hours in bottle prior to serving.
1989 Rayas - grassy, dried herbs, a little plastic. More concentrated on the palate.  93 points.

1993 Rayas - smoky, ripe, a tiny bit alcoholic on the nose.  Also forest and pine needle notes.  95 points.

1998 Rayas - very ripe and very sweet, with forest and potpourri notes.  Beautiful nose.  Exotic with a hint of lychees.  Unmistakably Rayas.  97 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 23, 2013

A fantastic birthday lineup

Dinner at Seventh Son.

First flight:  a trio of blanc de noirs Champagne

1996 Billecart-Salmon Le Clos Saint-Hilaire - nice and ripe.  Sweet on the nose, with a little cane sugar.  Later on the acidity became more obvious on the finish.  Very enjoyable.

1998 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay - a little more toasty, fresher, more vibrant, and yet more elegant.  Pretty sweet, full-bodied on the palate, with a long finish.  Later on the nose got to be a little more pungent.  The best of the trio by a hair.

1980 Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises - initial nose was coffee.  Pretty oxidized by now, very ripe, with big nose of cane sugar.  Full-bodied on the palate with slightly high acidity on the finish.  Also a little bitter on the finish.

Second flight: a pair of Montrachet.  Breathed for a little more than 2 hours.

2000 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet - initially the nose was more muted thanks to over-chilling, then toasty corn came out, which was lovely and not in-your-face.  A little bit grassy and straw notes, which led some of us to wonder if it was un petit bouchonée.  Soft and buttery on the palate.  Such an open and beautiful wine now.

1992 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche - nose was a little more muted, flatter, more flinty.

Third flight: Burgundian twins

2007 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine Collignon, élevé par Faiveley - minty, forest notes, very classic.  Seemed to be from cool fruits.  Lovely.

2007 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine Collignon, élevé par Pierre André - a little sweeter, still good concentration on the palate, but somehow less interesting.

Fourth flight: a pair of 1980 Musigny with a backup bottle thrown in

1980 Comte de Vogüé Musigny - grassy, vegetal, oxidized, a little over the hill and kinda off.  A little acidic on the palate.

1980 Maison Leroy Musigny - soft and smooth on the palate.

1980 Bouchard La Romanée - a little smoky.  Soft on the palate.  Not bad.

Fifth flight: a pair of 89 Pomerol

1989 Lafleur - minty, some ripe fruit, a little smoky, a little savory, mineral and tea leaves.

1989 Le Pin - so sweet on the nose, like Cantonese sugar cane water (竹蔗茅根), and a little coconut.  Classic Le Pin.

Finally there was the dessert wine...

1980 Yquem - nose of plastic, polyurethane, a little toasty.  Not too sweet and nice acidity balance.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 21, 2013

2006 Cristal

Private launch party of 2006 Cristal at the Platinum Suite in Lane Crawford IFC.

2006 Cristal - first sip was… bland.  Yes, it was soft and supple, and one could say it's elegant.  But I expected more from a prestige cuvée.  Nose was a little toasty later, and there was more body and slightly longer finish.  Yes, there was the orange marmalade on the palate, and acidity was medium, but this showed none of the complexity I was looking for.  Should Roederer have declared this vintage?

Louis Roederer Brut Premier - much punchier nose, with heavier toasty oak.  Palate was also livelier, with stronger flavors and longer finish compared to Cristal.  

November 18, 2013

2003 Carruades

Drinks at Hong Kong Club.

2003 Carruades de Lafite - a little smoke, cedar, dried herbs, minty, plum, black fruits.  Sharp and alcoholic at first but faded with time in decanter.  Full bodied, tannins still there but not heavy.  Sweeter on the nose and on palate, especially compared to 2000.

November 17, 2013

Sugandake Hokuetsunokaze

Dinner at Tenzen.

Etsugosenzan Sugandake Hokuetsunokaze Ginjo (越後泉山 菅名岳 北越の風 吟醸) - very smooth on the front palate, soft and sweet.  Mid-palate to finish was actually a little dry and spicy, especially with more aeration.  60% seimaibuai.

November 14, 2013

94 Chapoutier L'Orée and 95 VCC

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon.

1994 Chapoutier L'Orée en magnum - a bit vegetal, grassy, straw notes.  A little sweet from ripeness but not what I had hoped for.  Over the hill.  No real palate and no finish.

1995 Vieux Château Certain en magnum - a little spicy, exotic spices, smoky, black fruits.  Medium bodied.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 13, 2013

1995 Remirez de Ganuza Reserva

Dinner at Upper Modern Bistro.

1995 Remirez de Ganuza Reserva - pretty ripe, plummy, a little smoky.  Very smooth on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 12, 2013

270 Years of Moët & Chandon

Moët and Chandon and Sotheby's pre-auction tasting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

2004 Moët and Chandon Grand Vintage - made with 1/3 each of the 3 cépages.  Acidity slightly high  Pretty toasty nose, a little heavy but in a good way.  Easy to drink with a long finish.

1990 Moët and Chandon Grand Vintage Collection, disgorged October 2003 - released in two batches - in 1995 and 2008.  The bottles tonight were from the 2008 batch.  How beautiful this was!  Yeasty, bready like a fresh baguette.  Toasty and big nose, with coffee, a little dried apricot, caramelized, starting to turn into Chinese salty plum (話梅).  Soooo lovely.  Wonderful acidity balance, soft and voluptuous.  It's hard to imagine a more gorgeous wine.

1985 Moët and Chandon Grand Vintage Collection en magnum, disgorged November 2002 - nose was bigger, heavier and toastier compared to the 1990.  Toasty corn, with higher acidity in the nose, and some coffee.  Powerful and ripe on the front palate, but there's acidity on the back palate.

1975 Moët and Chandon Grand Vintage Collection en magnum, disgorged June 2002 - an interesting vintage in that it was 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay with no Pinot Meunier.  Very heavy toast in the nose, with what I thought was a hint of cumin.  Turning nutty with some coffee notes.  Smooth on the palate and pretty nice.

1962 Moët and Chandon Grand Vintage Collection en magnum, disgorged February 2013 - surprisingly vibrant, thanks to the very recent disgorgement.  Very nutty, with heavy toast, coffee and perhaps a hint of coconut.  Really lovely nose, and very smooth on the palate.

1990 Moët and Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé Collection - more red fruits, and fuller on the palate.  I was getting pretty buzzed by this point…

It was interesting to learn the philosophical and stylistic differences between Moët and Chandon Grand Vintage and Cuvée Dom Pérignon.  The former is made in the style which is representative of the Champagne region and also of the vintage, while the latter is only produced in years where it is possible to follow the specific Dom Pérignon style.

Full post on the tasting is here.
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