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.

March 30, 2016

Château Mercian and Hudelot-Noellat

Lunch at Koguma in Tokyo.

2014 Château Mercian Private Reserve Hokushin Chardonnay - very fragrant and floral, with notes of tropical fruits.  Still a little sharp.  Actually riper on the palate than expected.

2012 Hudelot-Noellat Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes - a little smoky, with black fruits and a little minty.  Still young and a little sharp.

Full post on lunch is here.

March 29, 2016

Isojiman and Kokuryu

Dinner at Kadowaki in Tokyo.

Isojiman Aiyama Daiginjo (磯自慢 愛山大吟醸) - with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  Very smooth and sweet on the palate at first, then became more spicy with deeper and more complex layers of flavors.

Kokuryu Junmai Daiginjo Nizaemon (黒龍 純米大吟醸 二左衛門) - with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  Soooo smooth, mild, elegant, and sweet on the palate.  With notes of tropical fruits.  After some aeration the body seemed fuller and the finish became drier.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 28, 2016

4x Sine Qua Non

Dinner at La Ruée vers l'or in Tokyo.

1996 Sine Qua Non Omadhaun and Poltroon - right off the bat this showed good amount of toasty oak, very fragrant, with lemon, fruity, and floral notes.  A hint of marmalade, with straw and a little sweet grass.  Definitely very ripe and sweet on the palate.  An hour after opening, showed caramelized sugar and vanilla.  Two hours after opening it was still really toasty with lots of buttery corn, which faded a little to show some leather notes even later.  This Roussanne and Chardonnay blend was just incredible.

1996 Sine Qua Non Against the Wall - served 1 hour after decanting. A little chalky on the first whiff, kinda dirty. Unfortunately this never went away for the rest of the evening. A little savory mineral, then showed coconut and vanilla oak. Later on more savory again with soy sauce. Very smooth on the palate. Second pour showing some cooked fruit, a little more smoky and a little leather. Unfortunately this probably suffered from some bottle shock as it was only allowed to rest for 2 days after a flight.

2006 Sine Qua Non The Raven No. 1 Grenache – served 1½ hours after decanting. Soooo powerful, so sweet and rich. The alcohol was so sharp it burned the hairs of one’s nose. Minty and a little dried herbs on top of the sweet fruit, like a young Bonneau one would taste in the master’s cellar, but cleaner. Almost a little pine needle with black pepper. Love how it tastes on the palate. A little coffee after 2 ½ hours and still really sweet. An amazing wine.

2006 Sine Qua Non The Raven No. 3 Syrah – served almost 2 hours after decanting. Lots of iron, ripe and sweet fruit. Amazingly minty with herbs, incredibly almost seemed like cool fruit. Totally awesome. After 3 hours showed some mocha. A monumental wine that begs to be aged for another few decades.

This was such a fun evening! The food was delicious and extremely good value. The wines… well, there’s never any doubt to me that the Krankls make incredible wines, and if it weren’t for the ’96 Against the Wall, it would have been a perfect lineup tonight. I look forward to drinking H-man’s 2006s in 10 years time!

March 27, 2016

Kokuryu and Tatenokawa

Dinner at Yoroniku in Tokyo.

Tatenokawa Junmai Daiginjo (楯野川 純米大吟醸) - as this came not in bottles but in one-go (合) servings, I never saw the bottle and had no idea which of the many daiginjos this was.  Surprisingly a little savory on the palate, with a pretty spicy finish. So maybe this was the Honryu Karakuchi (本流辛口) bottling?

Kokuryu Daiginjo (黒龍 大吟醸) - kinda spicy on the palate, with flavors reminiscent of fermented tofu.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 26, 2016

Sake sake sake

Drinks at Tamanegiya in Tokyo.

Shun Kanmuri Daiginjo Tobin Show Special (駿 冠 大吟醸 斗瓶選抜酒), 26BY - with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 40%.  Nose of banana and a little bit of fermented rice, but surprisingly smells a little dry.  Nice sweetness on the mid-palate with a dry finish.

Azumaichi Daiginjo Tobintori Katsuki Special (東一大吟醸 斗瓶取り 勝木スペシャル), 24BY - with a seimaibuai of 39%.  Not much on the nose here.  Pretty smooth and soft mid-palate, with a slightly dry and spicy finish.

Hatsukame Show Special (初亀 鑑評会出品酒), 27BY - once again Master has bought up all 34 bottles of this.  Also not much on the nose except lots of fermented rice, with medium dryness and a little sharp on the finish.

Hatsukame Kame Junmai Daiginjo (初亀 亀 純米大吟醸), 10BY - with a seimaibuai of 35%, this is a koshu (古酒) with 16 years of aging.  Surprisingly muted nose, but very rich on the palate with plenty of depth here.  Pretty spicy and dry on the finish.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo Nakatori 35 (磯自慢 純米大吟醸 中取り 35), 26BY - the only glass not poured from a fresh bottle.  Lots of banana and sweet, ripe tropical fruit in the nose.  Fresh and vibrant.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo Nakatori 35 (磯自慢 純米大吟醸 中取り 35), 25BY - more clean and tight compared to the 26BY, with lovely floral notes and also honeydew melon.  Sweet on the palate with a little dryness on the finish.  Pretty elegant.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo Nakatori 35 (磯自慢 純米大吟醸 中取り 35), 24BY - more elegant, plenty of honeydew melon, and pretty sweet on the palate.  Later on showed a little of that paint thinner with the banana smell (香蕉水).  The favorite of the crowd tonight.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo Nakatori 35 (磯自慢 純米大吟醸 中取り 35), 23BY - also kinda fruity, showing more fermented rice.  A little drier on the palate.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo Nakatori 35 (磯自慢 純米大吟醸 中取り 35), 22BY - a little banana and honeydew melon, with some floral notes.  A little bit of acidity here.

March 25, 2016

Everyday Red

Dinner at a friend's home.

Everyday Red - very fruit-forward as expected, but a little thin on the palate.  Not sure what grape varietals are used here but definitely something with thinner skin and less tannins.  Alcoholic, and very sweet on the palate.  A little like cough syrup.  Surprisingly this lasted a lot longer than the first bottle I had a couple of years ago.

March 22, 2016

2000 Egly-Ouriet and 98 Grand Mayne

Dinner at Mandarin Grill + Bar.

2000 Egly Ouriet, dégorgée en Mai 2008 - lots of caramelized sugar in the nose here, with a good balance between acidity and ripeness on the palate.  Also notes of Chinese licorice (甘草) and marmalade, and ended up pretty ripe and slightly bitter on the palate.

1998 Grand Mayne - decanted upon opening.  Sweet nose with straw, sweet grass, leather, mint, and a little earthy and smoky.  Classic and just drinking beautifully right now.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 20, 2016

MNSC dinner - Seventh Son

MNSC dinner at Seventh Son, hosted by Curry.

First flight: decanted 30 minutes prior to serving.
1973 Petrus - lovely nose with tobacco and smoke, cedar, and sweet grass.  Really smooth on the palate.  With second pour the nose was even more smoky.  Classic and beautiful.  96 points.

1973 Lafleur - a little more burnt rubber in the nose.  A little animal and herbs, like Chinese licorice (甘草) that is sometimes found on preserved plums.  Riper with more concentration on the palate, and also more tannic.  95 points.

Second flight: decanted for 1 hour prior to serving.
1919 Cheval Blanc, ex-château - the color was really light, and the wine was very murky. The nose was initially really sweet with tons of desiccated coconut, which I really loved.  But the palate showed that the wine was very old and over the hill.  About 1½ hours after decanting the sweetness started to fade in the nose, and very strong notes of cep mushrooms showed up.  92 points.

1982 Cheval Blanc - nose was kinda ripe and sugary like honey.  Much cleaner, and almost a little floral.  Definitely an above-average bottle of this wine.  96 points.

Third flight: decanted 2 hours prior to serving.
1978 Guigal La Landonne - nice and sweet nose, with smoke and a little bit of black olive later.  Beautiful.  96 points.

1978 Lafleur - nice with plenty of woody notes, smoky, minty, a little bit of green pepper, a little earthy.  Three hours after decanting the nose showed a little Chinese angelica (當歸).  97 points.

Fourth flight: decanted 2½ hours prior to serving.
1990 Beauséjour-Duffau - sweet and smoky nose, with slightly cooked fruit but still relatively lean.  96 points.

1990 Jaboulet La Chapelle - a bit more peppery, smoky, a little bit stinky.  There was a lot of potential here but the wine was still closed.  96 points.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 17, 2016

Riesling trumps reds

Dinner at a private dining facility.

1989 von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Auslese 137 - nose of petrol, white flowers, lemon, with a hint of polyurethane.  Nice acidity here, and almost a little fizzy.  Rounded on the palate.

2001 Kracher Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese No. 9 Zwischen den Seen, from half-bottle - big, grapey and raisin nose, with honeydew and marmalade.  Sooo incredibly sweet on the nose and the palate.

1985 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine-Collignon par Bouchard - very disappointing as the fresh fruit never showed.  Instead we got very savory black olives, leather, and stewed fruit.

2003 Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux, en magnum -  decanted for more than an hour.  A little exotic, a little toasty, somewhat chalky and toasty.  Later on some smoke emerged.  Tannins still here.  Disappointing.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 16, 2016

1991 Opus One

Dinner at Amber.

1991 Opus One - decanted upon opening.  Very smooth.  Fragrant nose with earthy and savory notes.  After 50 minutes smoky, cigar notes became prominent.  After 90 minutes some sweet grass notes emerged, along with nice fruity notes.  Drinking extremely well.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 15, 2016

02 Lafon Santenots

Dinner at Quest.

2002 Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru Santenots-du-Milieu - decanted upon opening.  Nose was relatively muted, with a little animal and leather at first, with some slightly-stewed fruits.  Died horribly after 2 hours in the decanter and became unpalatable.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 9, 2016

Hodgepodge for beef

Dinner at Neighborhood.

2004 Bollinger La Grande Année - a little toasty, with some ripeness and a slightly bitter finish.

2007 Henri Abelé Sourire de Reims - tons of toasty oak and a little pungent.  Lighter on the palate.

1997 Mauro Veglio Barolo Castelletto - sweet fruit, dried herbs, very fragrant nose.

2000 Guado al Tasso - nose of sweet fruit and very fragrant.

2000 Fisher Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard - opened 1½ hours earlier.  A little smoky and oaky at first, and sweet fruit came out later.

Full post on dinner is here.

March 8, 2016

Whites for Canto

Dinner at Ming Court.

2006 Cloudy Bay Te Koko - green apple, flinty and savory mineral, polyurethane notes.  Later on nose turned really ripe.

2008 Vincent Girardin Corton-Charlemagne - toasty nose, with lovely lemon citrus.  A little ripe on the palate but still got the acidity.

2006 Jean Noel Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets - overripe and caramelized nose, with honey and Chinese licorice notes.  A little ripe marmalade on the palate.

1994 von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Auslese 45 - classic petrol and white flowers.  Surprisingly not very sweet for an auslese, with nice acidity.

Full post on dinner is here.
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