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.

December 31, 2014

Sake for NYE

New Year's Eve countdown at Sake Bar GINN.

Fukuju Daiginjo (福寿 大吟醸) - very smooth and sweet on the palate, with banana on the nose.  Became dry and spicy (辛口) when it warmed up.  Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.

Hakuko Tokubetsu Junmaishu 60 Hattan Yamadanishiki (白鴻 特別純米酒60 “八反・山田錦”) - sweet on the attack and mid-palate, but definitely dry and lean finish.  Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 60%.

Manbow Junmaiginjo (萬坊 純米吟醸) - slightly sweet, muted nose and not much other than alcohol.

Ozasaya Taketsuru Junmaigenshu Daiwa Omachi (小笹屋竹鶴 純米原酒 大和雄町) - 24BY.  Served warm, so very dry on the palate.  Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 65%.

Koshinokanbai Ginjo Tokusen (越乃寒梅 吟醸 特撰) - medium sweet and lean, kinda dry on the palate.  Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.

Echizenboyu Junmaishu (越前忘憂 純米酒) - pretty smooth.  Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 60%.

Kaiun Tokubetsu Junmaishu (開運 特別純米酒) - a little spicy on the finish.  Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 55%.

Munemasa Junmaiginjo (宗政 純米吟醸) - I didn't believe this kinda stuff existed... since a nihonshudo (日本酒度) of -15 means the sake is very sweet, and these days most "serious" sake are more on the dry side.  It was pretty sweet alright, with a slightly bitter finish.  Pretty smooth on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

December 30, 2014

Colgin and Champagne

Drinks at Mandarin Grill + Bar.

2003 Krug - the nose was surprisingly floral, although that could have been partly due to the scented candle on the table...  The wine was deep and rich on the palate, young and vibrant while not aggressive.  Acidity balance was just about perfect for me.

Dinner at Arcane.

CL de la Chapelle Instinct Brut - I only had a sip, but this had higher acidity and was also a little more "clean".

2002 Colgin Herb Lamb Vineyard - double-decanted 2 hours prior to serving.  Sweet fruit in the nose but not very explosive, nor was there the usual exotic coconut butter.  Smoky and very minty.  Very tannic, and a little "hot" on the palate from the 15.5% alcohol.  Improved significantly once we chilled it and brought the temperature back down.  3½ hours after opening, the sweet fruit showed a little better, along with some leather and animal notes.  Not bad, but certainly not showing its best.  I guess I needed to stand the bottle up for more than 2 days for the sediment to settle...

Full post on dinner is here.

December 26, 2014

2004 Rousseau Clos Saint Jacques

Dinner at ON Dining Kitchen and Lounge.

2004 Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Saint Jacques - very lovely floral nose, with some sweet black cherries, but the acidity here was surprisingly high.

Full post on dinner is here.

December 25, 2014

MNSC Dinner - Hong Kong Club

MNSC dinner at Hong Kong Club, hosted by Pineapple.

Pol Roger Extra Cuvée de Réserve en magnum

First flight: opened 1½ hours prior to serving from bottle.
1994 Colgin Herb Lamb Vineyard - very sweet nose, with lots of coconut butter, exotic, tropical notes, minty.  Nice forest and dried herbs on the nose.  Surprisingly dry on the palate and not sweet.  My first instinct was that this was a 94 Colgin, but was thrown off by the dry palate.  I was ready to guess this was a 94 Harlan, but when someone offered a guess of Le Pin, I thought that also made sense... Should have stuck to my guns!  97 points.

1994 Screaming Eagle - lots of forest pine, a little smoky, grilled meats, very classic Left Bank nose, plus some savory black olive at the end.  Lots of sediment in my glass, and still some smooth and round tannins on the palate.

Once again this showed me that for a very good vintage of this wine, I could never tell it was Californian at all... and always mistake it for a Left Bank claret!

Second flight:  opened just prior to serving from bottle.

1984 Henri Jayer Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Meurgers - beautiful, floral nose of Mei Kuei Lu (玫瑰露)-infused Cantonese duck liver sausage (膶腸), and savory black olive.  Nice acidity here.  Had it been anyone else serving this wine without a label, I would have seriously doubted the authenticity of the bottle... 93 points.

1984 Mouton-Rothschild - very meaty, a little stinky... nose of pencil lead, and a little savory.  Acidity on the palate here, but could still feel the tannins.  94 points.

Third flight: opened more than 2 hours prior to serving from bottle.
1964 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Vino Monfortino - very savory nose, with animal, blood, iron, and slightly dusty nose.  Acidic on the palate.

1964 Haut-Brion en magnum - wine was off so we did not taste it.

Fourth flight: opened 3 hours prior to serving from bottle.
1947 Vieux Château Certan - really lovely and sweet nose, slightly metallic, some nice fruit, minty.  Later on the sweet fruit disappeared and the nose turned stinky and very peppery.  90 points.

1947 Canon - big nose of sweet grass, with a good amount of sweet fruit, a little animal, and slightly stinky. 94 points.

1947 La Conseillante - even more grassy and green than the Canon.  Some sweet fruit here, but a little leaner.  A little bit of savory soy sauce in the nose.  93 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

December 19, 2014

La Chapelle and Mascarello

Dinner at Serge et le Phoque.

1983 Jaboulet La Chapelle - nose was very muted at first and the wine seems to be a little over the hill, after double-decanting for an hour.  Some stewed fruits, and evolved later to reveal green pepper.  Later still some burnt rubber showed up, with leather notes.  After 5 hours finally some more fruit emerged.  Ex-domaine stock with a curious plastic capsule inside the tin capsule.

1999 Mascarello Barolo - savory black olives, pretty minty, smoky and earthy.  Lots of tannins here but starting to soften up.

2014 Lucy Margaux Wildman Rouge - tasted blind.  Nose was a little bit pungent, showing a little sulfur.  Seemingly from cool fruit, showing sweetness on the edges of the nose, but surprisingly dry on the palate.  Also minty, dried herbs and potpourri in the nose.  Turned out to be a Merlot-blend natural wine.

Full post on dinner is here.

December 18, 2014

La Spinetta and Schloss Johannisberg

Lunch at 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana.

2009 La Spinetta Chardonnay Lidia - ripe on the nose with marmalade notes, and also ripe and sweet on the palate.

Full post on lunch is here.

Dinner at Tin Lung Heen.

2012 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Kabinett Rotlack - nice and floral on the nose.  Palate just a little off-dry with a touch of sweetness.

Full post on dinner is here.

December 17, 2014

2009 DRC VR

Drinks at Neighborhood.

2009 DRC Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cuvée Duval-Blochet - nose of forest, woodsy, a little oak.  A little pungent, like sulfur?  Also some sweet fruit.

December 14, 2014

MNSC Dinner - Chiu Tang

MNSC dinner at Chiu Tang, hosted by Juliano.

1988 Coche-Dury Meursault 1er Cru Perrières - beautiful and toasty, with a little ripe lemon and a little honey.  Acidic on the palate at first, followed by ripeness.  Very nicely balanced.

First pair: opened 1½ hours prior to serving, served from bottle.
1971 Cheval Blanc - sweet grass, a little dusty, ripe fruit, animal, and leather.  A little leaner than the Trotanoy.  95 points.

1971 Trotanoy - riper with more sweet fruit here, with leather and beautiful floral notes, also a little bit of grass, as well as smoke.  Turned a little leaner towards the end.  96 points.

Second pair:
1978 DRC Romanée-Saint-Vivant - very distinctive and strong Chinese medicine notes in the nose, which never dissipated.  There was fruit underneath, and actually rather pure.  No points scored.

1978 Petrus - leather and grassy notes.  A little lean.  93 points.

Third pair:
1978 Roumier Bonnes-Mares - very farmy with bacon fat.  Very fragrant and open nose with a little mint, along with ripe, sweet fruit.  95 points.

1978 Chave Hermitage - very prominent animal and leather notes, a little bit green with herbs, a little stinky with burnt rubber, and peppery.  Acidic on the palate.  95 points.

Fourth pair:
1983 Mommesin Clos de Tart - nice and ripe with sweet fruit, and a little smoky.  93 points.

1983 Ausone - peppery nose with a little leather.  93 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

December 7, 2014

1983 Cristal

Brunch at Gradini.

1983 Cristal - nose was slightly mature and oxidized, but still very vibrant for its age.  Initially pretty acidic on the palate, but this improved as temperature went down.  Ripe on the palate with orange marmalade, later on salty plum (話梅).  Beautiful.

Full post on brunch is here.

December 5, 2014

Selbach-Oster and Quinta do Noval

Dinner at a private kitchen.

2006 Selbach-Oster Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese* - a little plastic, honey, orange blossom water.  Very sweet, and probably more suited as a dessert wine.

2009 Quinta do Noval Douro - ripe and sweet on the nose, jammy black fruits, with pine forest, and a little smokiness underneath the sweet fruit.

Full post on dinner is here.

December 1, 2014

Mixed bag for Chinese

Dinner at Cuisine Cuisine in IFC.

1971 Cantine Lanzavecchia Barolo Riserva Speciale - clearly over the hill, like a few other Barolos from similar vintages I had lately.  Definitely very sour plum drink (酸梅湯), fragrant, like drinking Huadiao after a salty plum (話梅) has been dunked it in for a while.  Savory and a little smoky on the nose.

1986 von Schubert Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese - lovely nose, a little pungent, with a little marmalade.  Palate was drier than I expected, with crisp acidity here, but as it opened up it became smoother and rounder.  The plastic and polyurethane notes were a little more obvious later.

1990 Pignan - nice and sweet fruit here, surprisingly fragrant nose, with a little animal.  Drinking beautifully now.

2006 Guiraud - really fragrant, floral like a perfume.  Really sweet like honeydew, with notes of marmalade.  Very young and fresh, and less acetone.  Surprisingly nice.

Full post on dinner is here.
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