2010 Simple Dinner Series No.9, and probably the last episode in 2010, Rhone God’s Birthday. The theme is Rhone and something nice. There were 12 of us and as usual, plenty of wines – 16 (8 Rhone + 8 different region) !!
This round, we shifted back to our home ground, Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant @ The Forum Shopping mall, my first SIMPLE dinner with the gang (was here) and (was) the most memorable one as it was the dinner that leads me to the path of world of fine wines. Appreciated for the opportunity to join them and I have learned a lot from them and having great fun all this while. Hope the simple series will continue every year.
Jade Palace, a Cantonese Restaurant run by Mr. Ho (A gentle, warm person who always able to accommodate for our menu request). The wine selection in Jade Palace is amazing and it is not hard to find one with reasonable price from Bordeaux / Burgundy / Champagne / Australia etc from the restaurant wine list to go with your dinner. You may also BYO without any corkage charge (Rare huh? as this restaurant itself has very good wine list and sanely price). They provide Riedel Restaurant series of Bordeaux and white wine glasses and started to serve with Riedel XL burgundy glass.
- Crispy fresh Bamboo shoot with Crispy roast pork
- Deep fried live frog with sliced ginger
- 3.5kg Alaskan Crab in 2 ways – a. Chilled crab legs and claws, b. Stir-fried crab meat and egg white with truffle oil.
- Braised Soon Hock fish with bean-curd skin
- Baked Kampung chicken with sea salt
- Roast duck
- Claypot rice with mixed wax meat (served with Hong Kong cabbage)
- Fresh fruis platter
- Sweetened Dim Sum
The food is above average and most of them is very good, below is my special pick of the night.
- Crispy fresh bamboo shoot is very special, lightly salted, fresh and crispy, appetizing.
- Deep friend live frog, crispy flour coated skin and hot, sweet juicy tender meat. Delicious. I didn’t have the ginger though as it will affect the taste of the wine (or simply our palate)
- My biggest Alaskan crab so far, as usual, need no introduction of how does the chilled legs and claws taste. Stir-fried crab meat and egg white is nicely blend in with the truffle oil, good flavor but perhaps the egg white is too much thus the satisfaction is slightly decrease.
- Claypot Rice, one of the best in town but today is slightly below the standard that I used to have.
- Pineapple tart, oh my! Yummy!
1988 Krug Champagne Brut (France, Champagne)
It is always great to start with a Champagne as no other beverages able to offer the joy and mean of celebration as Champagne does, not to mention it is a Krug 88! This is still pretty young and yet to evolve and merge together at this moment lack a little bit of the completeness as the Krug 89 present.
- Alcohol :: 12%
Medium golden. The serving temp was cold hence it was very tight on the nose but the underlying material, sweetness and oxidative profile is very promising. Lightly toasted oak, yeasty, earthy with green apple and when the wine warm up, it shows stronger honey coated white and yellow fruits, mushroom, honeysuckle, lots of herb and toasted nut as well as underlying freshness. Not super complex, but focus and deep. First sip, WOW! Powerful! Palate staining intensity with tons of dry extract, good structure, vibrant, toasted profile but the transition to the finish wasn’t perfect as it was disjointed with just a medium length finish with mineral tones and slight heat. Not really showing. I left my pour in the glass till end of the night (3hours later), the wine started to pull itself together and show great freshness, tension, palate staining intensity with well balance of sweet fruits and dry extract then turn to dry, clean precise finish that linger with mineral. The finish is better now, but still, not able to carry the power from the mid palate and lack a bit of depth. This need at least another 5yrs to really show.
I liked the wines from Henri Boillot, clean, pure and elegance but without compromising the intensity and structure. The style is consistent through out the portfolio, be it at Grand Cru level – Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, 1er Cru level – Pucelles /Perrières and Village level – Meursault (didn’t taste the Meursault, but according to my friend).
2004 Olivier Leflaive Meursault Les Narvaux (France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault)
- Alcohol :: 13%
Light golden. Very Meursault. Bold and powerful on the nose with buttery, honey oak, earthy, slight toasty aromas surrounded by ripe pear, melon and herb that waiting to emerge. Very fine, refreshing with good balance of sweetness and ripe acidity that given a touch of lightness to the powerful palate and the buttery, creamy coated honey and yellow fruits form a firm, creamy texture and long, clean finish with touch of bitterness. Not super complex, but very friendly, very comfortable. Quite like this.
2005 Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles (France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru)
- Alcohol :: 13.5%
Med golden. Clean and bright aromas of round, chalky mineral with earth infused yellow and white fruits that accompany with white floral, some gingery spices and oak. The intense, clean palate show off its elegance and harmony with good purity of fruits and dry extract that is well-balance by the round acid and mild minerality, good tension and vibrancy, very bright profile. The creamy, silky mouth feel caressing your palate with pineapple,melon flavor that offer medium depth and complexity leads to very clean, long finish with mineral and herbs nuances that linger. Very attractive and I simply like it!
2006 Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières (France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru)
- Alcohol :: 13.5%
The most powerful, heavy oak influence and bold white wine for tonight. Nose was quite tight giving a way of ginger spice, chamomile with honey, toasted vanilla oak, mineral and hint of wild factor. Fresh entry with good acidity, some sweet fruits and buttery but quickly overwhelmed by the heavy toasted oak, creamy mouth feel that offer super powerful palate, but lack of finesse. The powerful, medium length finish has a heavy oak influence and very bitter aftertaste. Maybe too young? To me, this wine is off-balance and over-extracted.
The lone Burg ::
2004 Mongeard-Mugneret Richebourg (France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru)
My 2nd Richebourg to date and this does impress me of how well the nose could archieve. Simply stunning, though It lacks of the refinement of a Richebourg, but nevertheless, a top class Burgundy and clearly a winner in 2004 vintage.
- Alcohol :: 13.5%
The highly expressive, truly enchanting aromas just soar from the glass! Super focus, precise and fragrance with Vosne spice (but not truly refine, maybe need time to polished up), sweet red cherry, fresh strawberry with stem and minerals that show good depth, with a touch more orange flavor to show good freshness. This is quite primary on the round, intense palate dominant by Asian spices and grounded coffee bean note with umami, perfume floral and some dark fruits. Good power but warm and friendly, not hard to approached. The super duper silky, velvety texture with vibrant, lively acidity lifted the overall profile with good grip, finesse and complexity that flow on to the finish that last more than 30sec, excellent. I like this and I would love this if it is more refine and broader scale and depth that I would expect from a Richebourg? Due to the vintage?
The old Rhone ::
Have known that there will be 2 x 1983 Rhone but never know there will have a mini vertical of Beaucastel (83,88,89). In this flight, 1983 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe is fundamentally different in style as compare to the Beaucastel, it is toward Burgundian in style but remain the underlying Terroir of a CDP while Beaucastel is truly a old school of a powerful, barnyardy CDP.
1983 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
- Alcohol :: NA
Lively med ruby core. Simply super perfume nose that is refine, elegance and vibrant though not as deep as 83 Beaucastel. Fragrance red flower, roasted meat, game intermixed with lots of sweet fig paste, peppery spices and expand a little bit more with touch of american bubble gum touch and barnyard that complete the seductive, complex aromatic profile. Very much alive on the palate, quite sweet entry with sweet red cherry fruits and dried fig paste, super silky also offer good harmony with mineral infuse, soft persistent juicy finish with touch of barnyard aftertaste.
1983 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
- Alcohol :: 13.5%
WOW! A super expressive and absolutely a classic CDP with exuberant aromas of barnyard, roasted meat and game that waving around at the background of sweet fig, sweet red cherry fruits, roasted herb with a sense of wild factor that actually added some depth and attractiveness. The fine, lively mid palate show good depth, complexity and freshness with incredible balance of sweet lush, vibrant fruit, blackberry, mineral and acidity that create the fully mature, perfect harmony environment that complete with long linger finish with touch of spice, barnyard and graphite. Fully mature, excellent though it started to fade after 30mins in the glass, need to drink up.
1988 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
- Alcohol :: 13.5%
This show smaller scale in term of aromas compare to the 83 & 89. Soft aromas of barnyard, underlying freshness, plum, sweet fig intermixed with tons of roasted meat and herb that is refine and focus. Roasted, game flavor profile provide the wild factor while the perfume floral, good acidity with lively sweet plum and fig show good harmonious and sense of elegance on the palate with long grippy, detail spicy finish with super focus and show a touch of roasted aftertaste. Fully mature and need to drink up asap. This is very similar to the 89 but lack of the energry and depth of the 89.
1989 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
- Alcohol :: 13.5%
The nose is the turbo-charge version of the 88 version that offer better depth and complexity with the exotic spices, espresso, barnyard, american bubble gum sweetness with tons of dark sweet fruits underneath with sweet fig paste, meatiness. Great sense of freshness and simply captivating. A classic CDP and very seductive one. Similar to the nose, the powerful palate is richly coated with layer and layer of sweet red cherry fruits and dried fig paste, super focus and energetic, young with super lively acidity that form a firm backbone and impeccable balance, great sense of finesse and refinement. Still a touch tannic, but the sweet, juicy tannin is highly polished that leads on to the long spicy finish with mineral, sweet, light barnyard and game after taste. This is clearly the best Beaucastel to date and no doubt this is my WOTN. 21yrs of age? It need at least another 3-5yrs to be fully mature and will be even better by then. Buy – Yes.
The lone Bordeaux ::
1999 Château L’Evangile (France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol)
- After some old CDP, this wine lead us back to Bordeaux and refresh our nose and palate with tight, focus aromas of new saddle leather, sweet plum, violet, perfume floral, dark chocolate with some underlying spices, herb and capsicum. Very structure and tannic on the powerful palate, lots of new wood and oak dominant the flavor profile and the high level of tannin stain the palate with leathery and underlying plum fruits that offer good depth, vibrancy, muscular, slightly rough texture with long and fine juicy finish. Too young. Give another 6-8yrs.
The younger Rhone ::
1999 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée (France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie)
2nd Cote Rotie in a month after the 1998 E.Guigal La Turque and I started to have better image of a Cote-Rotie. It is not only the power, and nothing like the sweet, fruits driven of New world Shiraz / Syrah. Cote Rotie offer power with finesse, good vibrancy and transparency of the rich, concentrated fruits with lightness which is the style I like.
- Alcohol :: 13%
open at 5pm. Dark ruby red core with light brownish rim. Flower fragrance, roasted meat and herb with lots of Asian spices, sweet fig paste and inkish, earth infused aromas. Super smooth and sweet entry but quickly supported by the fine grained tannin, firm structure, super balance with sweet fig paste, roasted herb and meat that infused with barnyard flavor leads all the way thru to the long, spicy finish that resonants with mineral and earthy tones.4hrs later, Better integration with more refine aromas of espresso, mint, dark sweet fruits, highly polish and powerful palate with concentrated and dense, rich fruits all wrapped in a precise profile that show harmonious and finesse. This has no problem for long aging. Buy – Yes
2000 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
- Alcohol :: 14%
Very different in style with the rest of CDP tonight. Sweet plum and fig, bubble gum, exotic spiciness and herbs with orange peel, very ‘New’ aromas. Sweet and smooth entry, good richness with some bitterness, grounded coffee bean with bitter tannin and light oak present. Smooth, velvety with long spicy finish and touch of heat present. A good wine that drinking quite nicely, but relatively simple and clearly 2notches down from the last bottle. This is so overwhelming by the rest of the CDP.
2003 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Marie Beurrier (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
My 1st wine from Henri Bonneau and a great one and I started to imagine how great would the Cuvee Celestin? Hmmm
- Alcohol :: 14.5%
This is by far the most unique and distinctive aromatic profile in the whole line up of CDP tonight. Not only sweet ripe fruits aromas, it has very BRIGHT profile in it with peppery spices, mushroom, earth and underlying dry fig paste, floral and crushed stone. Very bright, vibrant and fresh. This is painfully young, a infanticide for sure, but still, I’m glad that I was able to try this out. Good structure, balance with high level of fine-grained tannin that stain the side of the tongue and mouth coating intensity with long intense finish. When the wine start to pull itself together, it shows exotic spices and espresso with concentrated sweet ripe fruits. Still primary, but this is a wine will deliver power and grace when it mature. Simply like it and a buy if the price is right.
2001 Tardieu-Laurent Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Spéciale (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Had the 2000 Cuvee VV and I was impressed of how good is the wine from a negociant and his wines remain understated and the 2001 Cuvee Speciale is even better! Very stylish and classy, highly recommended.
- Alcohol :: 14.5%
Another infanticide. But this is very stylish and classy. Expressive, very precise aromas that display espresso, roasted meat and herb show super depth with perfume floral and sweet dark fruits, just seductive. Great structure and this is so well balance that show great sense of harmony and hard to describe the stunning impact on the palate, power with finesse is my word for this wine and it is almost 1st class in quality. Great depth, and long lasting finishing that last over 40sec. Very young, but this will be a top class CDP when it is mature. I will love to try this again in another 10yrs. Buy – Yes
1993 Royal Tokaji Wine Co. Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos Mézes Maly (Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji)
- Alcohol :: 11%
I’m actually have high expectation to this because 1903 is a grest vintage in Tokaji and the single vineyard from Royal Tokaji is truly deserve the expectation. Deep golden brownish, display good level of bortrytis spice, chalky mineral, plum and honey coated apricot with peaches, quite deep and complex. The palate offer medoum level of viscousity, dense with sweet plummy flavor along with dried tea leaf bitterness and earthiness flow on to the clean, dry finish. This is kinda simple for what a 6putt 1993 is and I feel that all the material has fallen apart, this is it or at dumb phase? I hope is the latter.
N.V. Chambers Rosewood Muscadelle (Tokay) Special (Australia, Victoria, North East, Rutherglen)
- Alcohol :: 18
Very dark brown, engine oil color. Layer and layer of caramel and toffee notes dominant the aromatic and flavor profile with rich, assorted honey fruits laced over on the sweet Xmas cake. Bold, broad and good power, rich and concentrated with punch on the palate but the balance is so well that buffer off the heaviness and flow on to the clean finish with caramel candy with harmony. Very good effort but this lack a bit of acidity to have additional vibrancy and finesse. This bottle is not as complex and depth as my 1st bottle.