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 15, 2023

Bollinger and Pagodes

Dinner at Le Train Bleu in Paris.

Bollinger Special Cuvée - an easy drinking wine. There's acidity here but the palate is definitely more on the sweet side.

2020 Pagodes de Cos - ripe and jammy cassis, definitely pretty oaky with that vanilla, some smoky on the nose, too. I could feel the tannins a little but the wine was already soft enough to be drinkable. Soooo minty and fragrant on the nose, this was a vibrant wine and drinking pretty well.

Full post on dinner is here.

Le Gamin du Terroir

Drinking at L'Etiquette in Paris.

Romain Henin Le Gamin du Terroir, dégorgée en Juillet 2023 - very refreshing with crisp acidity, with was not too high. Floral notes along with small and fine bubbles. Very clean but slightly on the simple side. Needs aging to develop some complexity.

Full post on the day is here.

November 13, 2023

France 2023 day 4: Trimbach

Tour of Maison Trimbach and tasting with Jean Trimbach.

All the wines are aged for 6-8 months and not longer.

2021 Trimbach Pinot Blanc - flinty nose, lots of minerals, tropical stone fruits. Got some good acidity, actually.

2021 Trimbach Riesling Réserve - a little vanilla or marshmallow, perhaps, with flinty and minerals. No peaches in the nose. Higher acidity on the palate and more tart.

2021 Trimbach Riesling Vieilles Vignes - a little more muted on the nose, still a little flinty, almost floral, with ripe pears. Quite nice on the nose. High acidity on the palate but with more depth and more length on the finish.

2019 Trimbach Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg - big nose of polyurethane and petrol, or as Jean would say, white truffle. Also beautiful flint and minerals. Wow! Really long finish on this one.

2017 Trimbach Riesling Frédéric Emile - a mix of 2/3 Osterberg and 1/3 Geisberg. Big, big nose of plastic, polyurethane, and petrol. Much more depth and much bigger on the palate. Very high acidity.

2018 Trimbach Riesling Clos Sainte Hune - "white truffle", so floral, just a beautiful wine. I smell some petrol here but it was much more elegant. Really big and grippy on the palate, very, very lean and steely.

2017 Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve Personnelle - good combination of aromatics along with the petrol and flint. Definitely a little ripe on the palate together with the acidity.

2015 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre - this was sooooo beautiful, such aromatics, with tons of ripe lychees. In fact, I've never had so much lychees in a wine. Very ripe but strangely not sugary sweet.

2017 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Vendages Tardives - amazing aromatics here. So much honey. So lovely.

November 12, 2023

2022 Josmeyer Peau Rouge

Dinner at Restaurant Au Pont Corbeau in Strasbourg.

2022 Josmeyer Sylvaner Peau Rouge - nose of Anjou pear with that sweet yet metallic combo. Kinda sweetish on the palate but tapers off. Also a little fizzy on the palate, pretty rounded and easy to drink. After more than half an hour, this became a little bitter on the finish.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 11, 2023

France 2023 day 2: Yquem banquet

Dinner at Château d'Yquem with wines chosen to pair with dishes from Guillaume Galliot.

2018 Yquem - nose of apricot, orange blossom, honey, beeswax, saffron. So fresh, so energetic and lively. The wine is still too young to be unctuous on the palate, but it's already soft and supple. Very exotic. Very delicious.

2021 Ygrec - nose of muscat grapes, a little bit of flint and mineral. Good acidity, as it's there but not too sharp, with some ripeness to balance out everything. This was a good match with the scallops.

2017 Yquem - just a year older than the 2018 but this was much more mature. Very supple and alluring, with nose of honey and apricot. Much sweeter on the palate but also comes with the bitterness on the finish. A bit more viscous in terms of texture. Chef says he smells durian in this wine, but I didn't think so. Maybe the creaminess but there's no stink here.

2001 Yquem - so rich, soooo unctuous, and much more mature. Showing lots of marmalade and then the bitterness on the finish. Nose of honey, minerals, a little acetone, so much ripe honeydew melon, and sooooo sweet on the nose. This was such a stunning wine!

1990 Yquem - this was soooo smooth now, thinner on the body and definitely lighter. Nose of raisins, with a prominent, bitter finish.

1970 Yquem - lots of alcohol and tons of acetone made this sharp on the nose. Lots of raisins on the nose, a little exotic, with some medjool dates, and this was actually more aged mandarin peel than the classic marmalade thanks to a bit of smokiness. Lots of depth on the palate, and the bitterness was there, but this was not viscous by any means. So happy to have tasted this at the château.

1934 Yquem - nose of honey, raisins, medjool dates, almost nutty. More sharp on the nose than expected. Later on also showing honeydew melon. Very elegant now. Not so sweet on the palate at this age, and not too bitter on the finish. After the cheese course, though, a little more of the bitterness came out.

Full post on dinner is here.

November 10, 2023

France 2023 day 1: Yquem

Dinner at Château d'Yquem.

2020 Ygrec de Yquem - nice and flinty just as I expected, with green apple and muscat grape on the nose.

2007 Yquem - very high level of botrytis, with orange marmalade and almost candied clementine, a little bit of saffron and beeswax.

1988 Yquem - really rich in botrytis and lots of saffron on the nose. Surprisingly not too sweet on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

France 2023 day 1: Quintus

Tasting at Château Quintus, hosted by Estate Manager Mariette Veyssière.

2019 Saint-Emilion de Quintus - lots of potpourri and forest, more extracted and alcoholic on the nose. There was almost a little rubber. Very sweet finish.

2020 Saint-Emilion de Quintus - more concentrated than the 2019, and of course more tannic, but then also pretty fragrant and woodsy.

2019 Le Dragon de Quintus - this was more exotic on the nose, with more vanilla. Also a little bit of rubber on the nose. More tannic.

2020 Le Dragon de Quintus - a little bit heavier with big nose of black fruits. Nice and spicy, with more powerful, oaky nose. This was surprisingly smooth and drank nicely.

2019 Quintus - clearly more voluptuous but also more elegant, with some eucalyptus. Sweet on the palate and still tannic, but ready to drink now.

2020 Quintus - this was really nice, with nose of potpourri, spices, pine needles, with a little less fruit than the 2019.

France 2023 day 1: Cheval Blanc

Lunch at Cheval Blanc, hosted by Pierre Lurton.

2021 Le Petit Chaval Blanc - good, crisp acidity on the palate. Really classic and lovely sauvignon blanc.

2018 Quinault L'Englos - of course this was ripe and young, but tannins were already smooth now. Unfortunately a little dusty and chalky so not the cleanest nose.

2011 Cheval Blanc - so fragrant and beautiful on the nose, with lovely spices, cedar, a little leather. Good acidity here to balance the tannins. Toasty notes came out later. Really showing very well today.

2010 Cheval Blanc - more tobacco notes on the nose with a hint of cigar, more smoky and also some graphite. There was fruit underneath but it was initially overshadowed by the smoke. Later on the woodsy notes came and the wine became more showy, beautiful, and at the same time powerful.

2009 Cheval Blanc - this was more exotic and sexy on the nose, with more oak, more flint. This was definitely more open so the nose was woodsy and lovely. Later on we also got some coffee notes. A real beauty!

2001 Cheval Blanc - tons of cedar on the nose, sooooo fragrant, such a beautiful wine that was incredible open and flamboyant, with smoky and coffee notes.

Full post on lunch is here.

November 9, 2023

Madame de Sainte-Hélène

Drinking on Air France.

2022 Madame de Sainte-Hélène Cabernet Sauvignon, airplane size - pretty ripe with black fruits, and definitely oaky on the nose.

Full post on the terrible airplane meal is here.

November 8, 2023

2008 Sonoma Coma

Drinking at home.

2008 George Sonoma Coma - decanted and drank immediately. Initially the nose was kinda jammy, although clearly the wine has been aged so this wasn't a big punch in the face with the fruit. Nose was kinda like cherry-flavored cough syrup, with black cherries and blueberries. About 50 minutes in the nose was more open and fragrant, with more spices, a little potpourri. Really sweet on the palate.

November 5, 2023

2006 trio

Dinner at Sportful Garden Restaurant celebrating the life of a beloved dog friend.

2006 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese - nose of white flowers, getting honey and petrol on the nose. Definitely on the sweet side with some honey on the palate. Very rounded and getting viscous, but slightly bitter on the finish.

2006 Bodegas Chacra Pinot Noir Cincuenta y Cinco - pretty gamey and meaty, with a little barnyard feel.

2006 Jean-Michel Stephan Côte-Rôtie Côteaux de Tupin - definitely some floral and violet notes on the nose, a little soapy, actually... but also showing gamey notes and grilled meats. Of course, black fruits are always present for this wine. Still could feel some tannins on the palate.

November 3, 2023

SQN and friends

Dinner at The Bay by Chef Fei in Shenzhen.

2002 Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne, dégorgée 18 Novembre 2020 - this was really nice, ripe with marmalade notes. Drinking after the chilled fish brings out the fatty flavors from the fish. Perfect.

2013 Keller Westhofen Kirchspiel Riesling trocken - served about 30 minutes after opening. Lots of petrol on the nose, with a bit of honey. Much more ripe than expected, and lacking the acidity one is looking for from a großes gëwachs wine.

2007 Sine Qua Non Pictures Grenache - served 1 hour after decanting. Pretty fragrant nose, nice and ripe fruits here with lots of oak. Fragrant and woodsy notes. Drinking pretty well.

2008 Sine Qua Non The Line - decanted 1 hour after opening and served after 2 hours in the decanter. This was more open and a little more flamboyant compared to Pictures, with sweet and ripe fruit of course, almost like blueberry jam.

Full post on dinner is here.
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