I was extremely fortunate to be invited to a wonderful dinner which took place at Crown Wine Cellars in Hong Kong on March 18th. We were very lucky as they were showcasing their fantastic tasting menu which I recommend highly. Our task was to provide a few bottles to accompany it from our own cellars. The rest, as they say, is history……
We kicked off with a surprisingly mature Dom Perignon 1995 and (Im told) a quite delicious Salon Le Mesnil 1988 which I somehow managed to miss out on! Clear lack of early focus.
Our first course (lobster) was accompanied by three great white Burgundies, a positively mindblowingly youthful 1995 Batard Montrachet Domaine Leflaive, a very mineral and, again, young Chevalier Montrachet Domaine Leflaive 2001 and a slightly disappointing 2002 Bienvenue Batard Montrachet Domaine Carillon which had come with me in the hold on BA 31 from London the day before and was suffering from jetlag. Previous experiences of this wine lead me to believe it was atypical. Neverthless a promising flight of whites!
We decided to remain in Burgundy where a Gevrey Chambertin from Antonin Rodet was outshone by a terrific 2001 Charmes Chambertin from Christian Serafin which if you have in your cellar needs to be left there for another 5 years.
We decided next to take on the ‘older, mainly Cabernet crew’. First up Ch Lafite Rothschild 1975 which was fully mature but was showing really well. We then put Ch Montelena (anyone seen Bottle Shock?) 1986 up against Montrose 1986. I preferred Montrose’s elegance, but the Montelena had plenty of fans in the room. Then we had a Cheval Blanc 1994 (soft and easy) and finally a La Mission Haut Brion 1990 (needs more time).
We then took on an extraordinary flight of 1989s with the duck. Vega Sicilia (one of the wines of the night), Grange (lots of potential here, still needs time). Haut Brion (my wine of the night) and La Mission Haut Brion 1989 (not quite as profound as the HB, clearly superior to the LMHB 1990).
Cheese next…and Hermitage La Chapelle Jaboulet 1982 and 1989. The 1982 was lovely, elegant with great purity and a freshing, lifting acidity. Truly harmonious and drinking beautifully. The 1989 was very young, closed, full of potential but a wine to pop back in the cellar for another 5 years.
Then on to two sweeties, both Climens. The 1971 was simply gorgeous, with a lovely rich texture and a (hazel) nutty note. The 1986 if tasted blind could have been something made in 2000s. Incredibly youthful, with an edge of lemony/limey acidity.
Our host then decided that a few blind wines were required and we tasted through Giugal’s La Landonne 1989 (I was way off, the wine was not), La Conseillante 1988 (I got the Chateau but was 10 years out on the vintage – so stunningly youthful, tasted like a 1999 red Burgundy) and a 2001 Shafer Firebreak ( 90% sangoivese I think..??) which was very well described by one of the attendees as…”like an amazing and wholly unexpected backhand winning shot after the jaw dropping rally.”