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.

January 28, 2014

Italians old to new

Dinner at Messina.

2004 Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux - ripe on the palate.  A little grassy, lemon, flinty, sweet.  Opened up very nicely.

Jacques Selosse Version Originale - very ripe on the nose and palate.  Caramelized sugar and a little salty plum in the nose.

1999 Gaja Gaia and Rey - really ripe and sweet on the nose, with plenty of vanilla, and a little toasty oak.  Wonderfully buttery once it opened up.

1952 Borgogno Barolo Riserva - minty, pine needle, a little alcoholic at first, smoky, tar, and plummy.  Not bad at all.

1964 Mascarello Barolo Riserva - much more plummy, sweeter, leather, lots of pine needle, potpourri, dried herbs, almost a hint of coffee, a little savory soy sauce and minerals.  Drinking beautifully.

1971 Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - served 30 minutes after opening.  A little savory, still young and tight, alcoholic, minty.  After 1½ hours opened up a little more, showing farmy and leather notes, but the acidity had gotten too high.

2004 Tua Rita Redigaffi - decanted for 3 hours before drinking.  A total fruit bomb with tons of coconut butter, vanilla, a little coffee, jammy, really sweet and exotic.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 26, 2014

MNSC Annual Dinner - La Chapelle

MNSC annual dinner in the Grill Room at Hong Kong Country Club.

1996 Moët et Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon - really fresh and vibrant, delicious, ripe on the palate with great acidity balance, with a nice, long finish.

1959 Vogüé Bonnes-Mares - obviously very old with tons of sediment, but color is still deep with no visible amber at the rims.  Lots of leather, still powerful on the palate.  Very savory nose with black olives and minerals.  Amazing condition for a wine of this age.

First flight:  opened just before serving
1962 Jaboulet La Chapelle - really lovely.  A little farmy, grilled meats, bacon, blackcurrant, along with a hint of dustiness.  After 2 hours lots of coffee came out in the nose.  96 points.

1964 Jaboulet La Chapelle - really beautiful.  Wonderful and open nose, with plenty of bacon fat, really sweet fruit, lots of forest and potpourri.  After 2 hours there were also coffee notes.  98 points.  Wine of the evening.

1976 Jaboulet La Chapelle - really sweet, vanilla, a hint of star anise, forest, ripe fruit.  Lots of concentration here on the palate.  95 points.

Second flight:  decanted for 2 3/4 hours before serving
1983 Jaboulet La Chapelle - beautiful floral nose with violet, bacon fat, lots of sweet fruit, leather, mint, pine needle, forest and dried herbs.  After 3 3/4 hours lots of pine needle in the nose.  A stunning wine to drink tonight.  98 points.

1989 Jaboulet La Chapelle - drank after 4 hours.  Very ripe and concentrated, a little chalky and a little sharp.

1990 Jaboulet La Chapelle - nose was pretty closed.  Chalky, forest notes.  Very concentrated.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 25, 2014

1976 Dr Loosen Auslese

Dinner at Don Alfonso 1890 in Macau.

1976 Dr. Loosen Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, from half bottle - nose of polyurethane, plastic, honey, marmalade, nutty, apricot, minerals.  Wonderful and soft on the palate thanks to the maturity, with mellow acidity and slightly bitter finish.  Round and slightly thick texture, which feels so nice on the tongue.  The finish was a little shorter than expected, and perhaps needs to be sure that the wine is drunk relatively cold.  Lovely dark amber color.  Yummy.  Worked really well to neutralize the strong "fishy" flavors of sea urchin.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 23, 2014

Selosse and Amoureuses

Dinner at Lupa in Hong Kong.

Jacques Selosse V.O. (dégorgée le 3 Octobre 2007) - very oxidized and ripe, kinda sweet on the nose, Chinese water chestnut and sugar cane water (竹蔗茅根水), Chinese licorice, minerals.  Still lively and has a long way to go.

1990 Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses en demi-bouteille - opened for 45 minutes before serving, not decanted.  Forest, berries, dried herbs, leather, opened nicely, animal.  Drinking nicely but no "wow" factor.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 18, 2014

Wines at Sotheby's

Drinking at Sotheby's auction.

2004 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin - yeasty, a little toasty, with lemon citrus.

1982 Pichon Baron en double magnum - smoky, earthy, lead pencil and some fruit.

1982 Pichon Lalande - very lovely.  Smoky, earthy with tea leaves, cedar and woody notes.

1982 Vieux Château Certan - savory, soy sauce, smooth and velvety on the palate.  Very nice.

1986 Climens - lots of plastic, honey, dates, orange blossom water, apricot on the nose.  Sweet but slightly bitter finish.  Beautiful.

1981 Beaucastel - very smoky, burnt rubber, manure, brett.

2000 Beaucastel - minty, forest, berries, jammy, with a hint of sharpness.  Good concentration and there are still tannins here.

2005 Clos des Papes - really sweet and jammy, with lots of forest, pine needle and cedar.  Syrupy.  Opened up nicely.

Dinner at Hong Kong Club

1974 The Clan Denny Cameronbridge 38 Year Old - initially this was like paint thinner, but also heavy with sweet vanilla, some marmalade and a hint of smokiness.

January 17, 2014

Sotheby's pre-auction tasting

Tasting at Sotheby's.

1975 Mouton-Rothschild - smoky, earthy.  Smooth on palate.

1986 Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Bèze - very green and vegetal.  Bouchonée.

1985 Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Bèze - beautiful and open, pretty rich, with bacon fat notes.  Kinda sweet on the palate.  Very nice.

1985 Faiveley Mazis Chambertin - not bad, but less enjoyable compared to the Clos de Bèze.

1982 Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises - very mature, oxidized, with Chinese licorice and apricot notes.  Nice medium acidity on the palate but sharper finish.

1962 Vega Sicilia Unico - a little minty, exotic herbs, a little smoky.  Noticeable acidity on the palate.

1988 Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint Jacques - nice and open, a little cloudy and not as clean, sweet on the palate with an acidic finish.  Not bad at all.

1978 Mouton-Rothschild - spicy green peppers, smoky, a little savory and mineral, soy sauce.

1982 Lynch-Bages - a little smoky, slightly green, not the best condition.

1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou - vegetal and green pepper.  Slightly earthy and smoky.  Not the best bottle.

Dinner at Carnevino.

2004 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Santa Caterina D'Oro Vigna di Pianrosso - good fruit, a little smoky, slightly alcoholic, with pine needle and grilled meat notes.

1986 Cos d'Estournel - very classic.  Smoky and earthy.  Pretty smooth on the palate but still good concentration.

January 11, 2014

78 + 85 Guigal and 90 Pignan

Dinner at a friend's residence.

Sotheby’s Champagne Blanc de Blancs (élaboré par R&L Legras) – very fresh, fruity, yeasty with crisp acidity. The Zalto Champagne glass seemed to have delivered a more focused nose.

Rien (梨園) – very sweet pear liqueur, and very “fragrant” thanks to the essence/extracts/flavorings added. Not sure which type of pear this was, as Hita Pear (日田梨) could be any of 8 cultivars.

1978 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde – served 10 minutes after opening without decanting. Lovely floral nose with bacon fat, sweet fruit, a little yammy. After 40 minutes the wine started going downhill. The palate was very soft, but there’s still plenty of life in this wine.

1985 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde – served 1 hour after opening without decanting. More minty, more concentration here, showing cooler fruit, riper and sweeter on the nose. For some reason this declined drastically later, turning really dusty and kinda nasty. Needs to be drunk within 1½ hours of opening.

1990 Rayas Pignan – initially seemed a little dusty because of the glass. A little alcoholic at one point, but there was a good amount of sweet fruits here. Naturally this was lighter than the Guigals.

Number One Drinks Company 1990 Hanyu (一番 羽生) – surprisingly peaty and medicinal for a Japanese whisky. Single cask at 55.5%.  Bottled in 2007.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 9, 2014

Les Terrasses and 70 La Lagune

Dinner at Fook Lam Moon.

2001 Alvario Palacios Les Terrasses from magnum - sweet on the palate and very forward.  Spices, woody, a little smoky, and a little potpourri in the nose.  Still got plenty of concentration but not tannic.

1970 La Lagune - ex-château stock purchased from Sotheby's.  Opened 30 minutes before decanting.  A little savory on the nose, a little smoky.  Initially the nose was a little muted, an opened up after 20 minutes after decanting.  Very smooth on the palate.  Towards the end showed minty nose with tea leaves.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 6, 2014

The Hilt

Tasting of wines from The Hilt at Mayfair Fine Wines.

2010 The Hilt The Old Guard Chardonnay - alcoholic, pretty ripe, really sharp on the nose, oaky, a little pungent, with vanilla notes.

2010 The Hilt The Vanguard Pinot Noir - sweet and ripe, almost jammy.  A little pungent with sulfur.  Later some forest notes when it opened up more.

2009 The Hilt The Vanguard Pinot Noir - pretty sweet, less pungent.  Still lots of oak here, and some forest notes.

2010 The Hilt The Old Guard Pinot Noir - sweet fruit and coffee notes.

2011 Château Alcée - pretty pleasant and easy drinking.  A little young now.  Sweet fruit with dried herbs.

January 4, 2014

Impromptu MNSC

Impromptu MNSC gathering at Juliano's residence.  Theme was pre-1982.

1986 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill - nice and mature, rather soft on the palate, with marmalade, oxidized/caramelized nose and notes of honey.

1971 Egon Muller Riesling Scharzhofberger Auslese - classic nose of petrol, very floral and perfumed, a little polyurethane, a hint of white pepper.  Nice acidity balance here - a little sweet but not too much.  Such a beautiful and elegant wine.

1959 Margaux - opened for 30 minutes prior to serving, without decanting.  Very smoky, classic claret, with a hint of soy sauce?  Beautiful and elegant with coffee notes.  Still very vibrant and young.

1973 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard - riper, a little more funky and exotic, sweeter, with potpourri notes.  Body still firm.

1955 La Mission Haut-Brion - very big, savory nose, with mineral, seriously intense soy sauce, medicinal notes.  A little sweet fruit core underneath it all.  Still powerful and youthful.  What a privilege to be able to drink this!

1959 Paul Jaboulet La Chapelle - mineral, minty, sweet and ripe on the nose.  Very lovely.  This was an ex-château bottle shipped in 2013 without a label.  Speechless...

1976 Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins - a little alcoholic, a little sweet.  Smooth but not light by any means.

1973 Petrus - a little dusty.  Very smoky, a little savory, minty, coffee, a little caramel, green pepper, earthy.  A lovely wine.

Not a shabby line-up of wines for a "casual" dinner at home...
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