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.

May 30, 2024

07 Boekenhoutskloof

Drinks at Grand Cafe.

2022 Cecilia Beretta Grigio Luna Pinot Grigio - flinty nose with some stone fruits.

Dinner at Nikushou.

2007 Boekenhoutskloof Cabernet Sauvignon Franschhoek - drank 15 minutes after decanting. The nose was nice and fragrant, with woodsy, cedar notes. Pretty smoky once the nose opened up, and with a swirl of the glass we had sweet fruit coming out, along with some minty notes. Still got the tannins here, and it's drinking really nicely.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 29, 2024

Howard Park and more

Dinner at Forum.

1997 Kistler Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard - very ripe as expected, but not totally oxidized to the point it becomes unpleasant. Caramelized nose with lots of vanilla. The palate was sweet but not over, as it's still got some acidity for balance.

1988 Maximin Grünhaüser Abstberg Riesling Auslese Fuder 67 - nose of white flowers and petrol. Palate was rounded but while there's some residual sugar, the acidity was quite high. Drinking very nicely.

2021 00 Chardonnay VGW - the nose was really buttery, flinty, while the palate was nice and lean with good acidity.

2020 Howard Park Riesling Great Southern - nose of petrol and polyurethane. The palate was still relatively dry but it's also got some ripeness.

2023 Howard Park Pinot Noir Flint Rock - really sweet on the nose, like bubblegum.

2007 Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon Leston - the nose was minty, earthy, smoky, with grilled meats. There was good sweetness on the palate.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 28, 2024

Old Napa cabs

Dinner at The Merchants.

1985 Silver Oak Alexander Valley - pop and poured. Still pretty fresh and lively. The nose was very minty, smoky, with lot of cedar, and really sweet, with beautiful notes of tobacco. Acidity was slightly on the high side on the palate. My wine of the evening.

1976 Silver Oak Alexander Valley - this was more mature and more developed compared to the 1985. Nose of stewed fruit, still got the sweetness on the nose, but this has started to develop savory notes like black olives. The nose was still pretty fragrant but the palate wasn't as good as the 1985, with pretty high acidity. The nose had a little more vanilla, and oxidized like old Madeira.

1974 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché - the nose was showing a little game and leather on the edges, with a hint of savory olive, a little bit of smoke, and nice fruity notes. The palate was on the savory side.

1976 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve - served about 1½ hours after double-decanting, which was much later than anticipated. This was a decent showing for the wine, very soft on the palate, niced aged, with a nose that was oxidized and on the savory side. Some 3 hours after decanting the nose was still showing OK, and 4 hours after decanting the nose was pretty savory by then.

1977 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon - this was fresher and cleaner on the nose, with more sweetness. There was a little more body on this wine compared to the 1976, and then also started to show savory notes. More than 3½ hours after opening the nose was showing plenty of savory soy sauce, which was pretty nice.

1970 Heitz Martha's Vineyard - served some 45 minutes after opening. The nose showed nice and ripe fruit, with leather and also nice smoky notes. My third favorite wine of the night.

1976 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - served about 1½ hours after opening. The nose was a little more green than the other wines, but not in a bad way. Pretty open and fragrant nose showing woodsy notes. Really showing nicely some 3 hours after opening, with a bit of sweet grass and almost floral notes. My second favorite wine of the evening.

1984 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - drank about 1 hour and 15 minutes after opening. This was really nice after about 2 hours, showing some sweet fruit on the nose.

1985 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - drank about 1 hour and 15 minutes after opening. The nose was bigger than the 1984, with more savory notes, but still showed a good amount of sweet fruit.

1986 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill - drank about 1½ hours after opening. The nose was nice and woodsy, showing a bit of savory profile. The wine was drinking really nicely some 3½ hours after opening.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 25, 2024

2009 George Leras

Drinking at home.

2009 George Pinot Noir Leras Family Vineyard - the nose was fragrant with notes of juicy black plums, a little eucalyptus, very sweet and kinda jammy at first. The wine clearly had a little age on it, showing a little maturity and the complexity that comes with it, along with being very smooth and silky on the palate. This was really, really beautiful on the nose, with some leather and woodsy notes like sandalwood with more aeration, as well as black cherries.

May 24, 2024

2004 Turley Dusi

Drinking at home.

2004 Turley Zinfandel Dusi Vineyard - first whiff of the nose showed the alcohol was a little sharp, which wasn't too much of a surprise. The nose was very sweet, almost jammy, with black cherries notes. Lovely fragrance like sandalwood, and lots of spices. The palate was a little savory some 30 minutes after opening, but the acidity was also showing. In its 20th year, the wine was still full-bodied, and while the tannins have surely softened, this was by no means a light-bodied wine.

May 23, 2024

2020 Emidio Pepe

Dinner at Estro.

Lagille L'Inattendue, dégorgée en Juillet 2023 - yeasty and toasty nose, with a little marmalade. Acidity was on the higher side thanks to the low dosage.

2020 Emidio Pepe Trebbiano d'Abruzzo - initially showed a little bit of toast, perhaps the wine was too cold. The palate was much more rounded and soft than I had expected. Nice and flinty, slightly caramelized, with maybe a hint of Chinese licorice.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 21, 2024

Prüm and Barnett

Dinner at The Chairman.

2009 Joh.Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett - pretty fragrant nose with white flowers and some petrol. There is some residual sugar on the palate, but it's got acidity to balance things out.

2000 Barnett Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake Vineyard - drank after 30 minutes in the decanter. Nose showed earthy notes, fragrant, with sweet fruits, mint, and a little smoke. The palate changed almost an hour after opening, and became less sweet with additional aeration.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 18, 2024

1998 Musar

Dinner at Nine One.

Bonnet-Ponson Cuvée Perpétuelle Extra Brut - flinty notes on the nose. Palate was more on the lean side with hither acidity.

1998 Musar Rouge - the nose was very fragrant and definitely very savory like tapenade, also medicinal. After 25 years this was now very smooth and silky on the palate, and great for offsetting the tongue burning a little from spices.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 17, 2024

04 Turley Rattlesnake

Drinking at home.

2004 Turley Zinfandel Rattlesnake Ridge - drank 1½ hours after decanting. Clearly slightly corked as the nose was showing wet cardboard notes. Good concentration on the palate even after 20 years, with tannins very smooth now. There was a little sweetness on the palate, as well as sweet fruit on the nose, too, like cotton candy. Underneath the cork taint, the wine was also showing some woodsy fragrance.

May 14, 2024

Kuheiji Crémant

Dinner at Ming Pavilion.

Kuheiji Crémant de Bourgogne - not too much acidity on the palate and a little tart. Quite a simple drink.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 11, 2024

2003 Kongsgaard Syrah

Dinner at Leela.

2003 Kongsgaard Syrah - decanted and served immediately. The nose was really fragrant, with good amount of sweet fruit along with eucalyptus and spices. Drinking really, really well now.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 10, 2024

Hokkaido Kerner and more

Dinner at Test Kitchen.

Antoine Bouvet Les Coutures, vendage 2017, dégorgée le 31 Janvier 2022 - nice with decent acidity, big and yeasty on the palate, with a long and very dry finish.

2018 Nicolas Réau Victoire - very big and toasty nose, flinty, but very ripe on the palate. Still had the acidity for balance.

2004 Pax Syrah Lauterbach Hill - removed the cork 50 minutes after double-decanting, and drank another 50 minutes later. The nose was really fragrant, with lovely spices but not quite floral. There was a little leather with plenty of sweet fruit on the nose, although not quite sweet to the level of being jammy.

2020 de Montille and Hokkaido Kerner - some toast on the nose, but otherwise very flat and boring.

2020 10R Stella Maris Kerner - so much more fragrant on the nose, very lychee, like lolly water. Lots of ripeness on the palate, but also surprisingly lots of toast on the nose.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 9, 2024

Brochet and Legras

Dinner at Toritama.

1996 Legras Saint-Vincent, en magnum - ripe on the palate but there was good acidity, too. There was reasonable depth on the palate, with a slight bit of tartness and bitterness on the finish.

2008 Emmanuel Brochet Millesime Selectionne Extra Brut, dégorgée Octobre 2021 - this was much more oxidized and savory than expected, with a good acidity balance and a pretty big palate with lots of marmalade. A long finish that was also a little tart and bitter.

Full post on dinner is here.

May 7, 2024

Bubbly and pinots

Dinner at Neighborhood.

2019 Klein Constantia Cap Classique Blanc de Blanc - a little tart on the palate. Not very interesting.

2003 Kistler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - served 15 minutes after opening without decanting. Pretty fragrant nose with nice notes of leather. A bit more acidic on the palate than expected, with some notes of hawthorne.

2013 Albert Morot Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru La Bataillèrre Aux Vergelesses - a little soapy and floral, with notes of black cherries.

Full post on dinner is here.
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