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 30, 2015

Mixed bag final

Dinner at On Lot 10.

Ruinart Brut

2012 Roses de Jeanne Côte de Val Vilaine, dégorgée en Avril 2014 - a little more oaky, mineral, and lively.

2003 Françoises Bedel L'Âme de la Terre - very caramelized, like cotton candy, really ripe on the palate, almost like marmalade.

2003 Domaine Leflaive Puligy-Montrachet Les Combettes - nose was very toasty, very ripe, nice and buttery, with a little sweet grass and lemon.

2002 Oremus Eszencia - nutty and marmalade, honey.  Very rich and viscous, but surprisingly nice acidity to balance it.  Went nicely with the foie gras.

1989 Cos d'Estournel - smoky, a little closed at first, with some woodsy notes.  More concentration here.

1986 Cos d'Estournel - more animal on the nose, meaty.

1995 Clinet - nose of coffee and smoke.  Opened up after a little.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 29, 2015

Mouton Rothschild dinner

Dinner at Sotheby's, co-hosted by Mouton Rothschild and the family.

Champagne Barons de Rothschild

2011 Aile d'Argent - toasty oak on the nose.  Nice balance on the palate at first, slightly ripe but not too sweet.  Long finish with punchiness.

2006 Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild - double-decanted 3½ hours prior to serving.  Nose of coffee, mint, sweet fruit, cedar, and tobacco.  Drinking really well.

2003 Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild - double-decanted 3½ hours prior to serving.  Smoky, cigar smoke, nice and sweet fruit, a little meaty, a little coconut butter.  More tannic on the palate than the 2006.  Beautiful and opulent.

2001 Mouton Rothschild - double-decanted 3½ hours prior to serving. Very minty, woodsy, some sweet fruit here, and a little exotic.

1996 Mouton Rothschild - double-decanted 3½ hours prior to serving.  Probably my favorite wine of the evening as it was drinking beautifully.  Heavy nose of tobacco smoke and pencil lead, with some cedar wood.  More powerful than I expected.  Classic Pauillac and exactly what I think a Mouton should be.

1986 Mouton Rothschild - double-decanted 3½ hours prior to serving.  This didn't show very well, as a friend and I discussed before dinner started, and I was told that some tables had new pours from different bottles.  Definitely possible that ex-château stock was simply too young.  Nose was a little earthy, smoky, a little meaty, and pretty lean.  The palate was very lovely and smooth, but the nose just wasn't as opulent and showy as I had hoped for.

1961 Mouton Rothschild - double-decanted 1 hour prior to serving.  Well, for me this wine wasn't showing, either.  Which may be just that I am somehow off tonight... because everyone else I spoke to tonight raved about this wine.  After all, this is ex-château stock of a legendary vintage.  One of my friends remarked that this wine alone was worth putting on a suit and tie for.  Nose showed a little animal, meaty, minty notes.  Very silky and beautifully smooth on the palate, which showed slight savory notes.  A beautiful and elegant wine for sure, but a little too restrained and lacking that sexy opulence.  Of course, this was only the second time I've had this vintage, so what the hell do I know?!

1989 La Cuvée Madame de Château Coutet - given the small production, what a privilege it was to be drinking this wine!  Beautiful and stunning, with honey, apricot, marmalade, acetone, and honeydew melon notes.  Soooo rich and unctuous, but with good acidity balance here.

Liqueur de Cassis de Mouton Rothschild - the upside surprise of the evening.  Lots of ripe berries, a little violet, some herbal notes that reminds me a little of chartreuse, and also displayed the same savory notes as tomato juice.  So alcoholic that it started to singe the hairs in my nostrils...  A very limited production of maximum 1,600 bottles a year.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 28, 2015

Chartogne-Taillet Rosé

Dinner at a private kitchen.

Chartogne-Taillet Rosé - a little caramelized, nice nose of strawberries, and slightly savory.  A good match with the char siu.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 26, 2015

MNSC Dinner - Kwan Kee

MNSC dinner at Kwan Kee Clay Pot.

2009 Comte Lafon Meursault 1er Cru Charmes - opened about 5½ hours prior to serving.  Nose of lemon, oak, flinty. Nicely balanced on the palate.

1985 Beaucastel - opened 2 hours prior to serving.  Some fruit here and pretty nice.

1986 Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins - as someone said, this was "101% corked"... and the cork actually was loose and dropped into the bottle.  Nose of sweet grass and cardboard.

1994 Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin - very farmy, pretty strong animal notes, savory and smoky.  Absolutely perfect with the mutton brisket.

1998 Rayas - what a beautiful wine!  Really sweet and jammy on the nose, with lots of strawberries and lychee.  Body was much lighter than I remembered from previous bottles.  My favorite wine of the evening, just edging out the Célestins.

1998 Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins - double-decanted 2 hours prior to serving.  Good fruit here, but also plenty of concentration.  A little smoky and savory.  A beautiful wine.

1991 Guigal La Landonne - a little smoky, exotic, plenty of coconut butter, almost seemed a little cooked, and slightly "dirty".  Surprisingly not my favorite wine tonight, but still drinking well.

Our two favorite wines of the evening were clearly the pair of '98s.  The interesting is that both wines were made from the same grape - grenache - but they could not be more different stylistically.  At a similar dinner 5 years ago, we made the analogy between these two wines (from the 1990 vintage) to two different types of women.  Tonight they were described as the Malicious East and the Venomous West (東邪西毒) - a reference to characters from the novels of Jin Yong (金庸).

Full post on dinner is here.

January 24, 2015

1992 Marie Beurrier

Dinner at Island Tang.

1992 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Marie Beurrier - served right after opening without decanting.  Nose of animal and leather at first, some sweet, black fruits emerged after 20 minutes, with a hint of grilled meats and a whiff of alcohol.  After 90 minutes, some savory notes such as black olive tapenade came out.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 21, 2015

Champagne Paul Déthune tasting

Tasting of Champagne Paul Déthune at Hong Kong Wine Vault.  Pierre and Sophie Déthune presented their range.

Paul Déthune Brut en magnum - yeasty nose, a little toast, a little floral, a little ripe on the palate, with perhaps some marmalade.

Paul Déthune Brut Rosé - sweeter on the nose, with raspberry notes and a hint of oak.  Love that caramelized nose.

Paul Déthune Blanc de Noirs - sweeter than I expected, very ripe and round on the palate.  Caramelized nose, a little toasty.  Finish was a little dry and bitter.

Paul Déthune Cuvée Prestige Princesse des Thunes - very round and soft on the palate, with notes of wax and apricots.

2005 Paul Déthune - a little toasty on the edges, with lemon citrus notes.  Lively on the palate with good acidity balance.

2004 Paul Déthune - a little ripe with marmalade notes, caramelized, sweet nose.  Very nice and soft on the palate.

2002 Paul Déthune - first whiff of the nose was a little pungent, caramelized like sugar cane, a little more punchy, yeasty, savory and mineral on the nose.  Acidity was a little high.

Paul Déthune Cuvée à l'Ancienne - nose was also caramelized, a little oaky, flinty, slightly yeasty.  Lovely acidity balance here with a long finish.

January 16, 2015

Rhônes and Burgs

Dinner at Seasons by Olivier E.

Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru - ripe on the palate, with a little acidity and astringent at the same time.  Nice and a little flinty.

1998 Roulot Meursault Les Vireuils - pretty ripe nose, a little oxidized, sweet and carmaelized.

2011 Alain Voge Saint-Péray Fleur de Crussol - huge nose of toast, which I love.  Nice and mineral, but also soft and smooth on the palate.  Pretty sweet and ripe, and later on even a little buttery.

2002 August Clape Cornas - a little sweet fruit, earthy, pretty light and soft on the palate.

2005 Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes - a little stinky and dirty at first, and still closed.  Took a while to open up.

1985 Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze - I was so glad that this bottle drank very nicely.  Really clean and elegant, floral, fragrant, plenty of sweet fruit like black cherries.  Everyone was surprised that this level of quality from Faiveley.

1983 Jaboulet La Chapelle - a little minty and animal.

Full post on dinner is here.

January 15, 2015

Hodgepodge for Chinese

Dinner at a private dining facility.

Ruinart Brut Rosé - nice nose of strawberries.

Kikuhime Tsurunosato (菊姫 鶴乃里), BY24 - a junmaishu (純米酒) with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 65%. this was served at room temperature and not chilled.  Pretty sweet on the palate, but a little spicy on the finish thanks to the temperature.  Pretty ripe, fermented rice notes, along with some banana.

1986 Vieux Château Certan - drinking very nicely.  Smoky, a little minty, with some leather notes.

1987 von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abstberg Spätlese - not too sweet on the palate, with a nice acidity balance.  A little flinty.  Pretty nice.

2011 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve - pretty sweet on the nose, with some caramel and also some forest notes.  Pretty typical of US Pinot, and certainly my type of wine.

1995 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese - love the sweetness on the palate.  This is always so smooth and delicious.

Full post on dinner is here.
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