Hong Kong: the "velvet underground"


There is a common perception that Hong Kong is a Bordeaux only drinking town and that Burgundy (some DRC aside) is rarely seen yet alone uncorked in this neck of the global wine drinking woods. Since my arrival in Hong Kong some 14 months I have found this to be far from the truth.

There is an interested and knowledgeable amount of eclectic collectors of wines from all over the world here and, to my delight, a veritable ‘velvet underground’ of Burgundy lovers here in Hong Kong. Proof of this was provided last week at a dinner I attended amongst an extremely knowledgeable bunch of local Chinese collectors who provided the bottles from their own cellars which took place at the newly opened Drawing Room Restaurant at the Jia Hotel. The food was exceptional.

We kicked off with a still youthful and really impressine Batard Montrachet 1990 from Gagnard-Delagrange followed by a very mineral Puligny Combettes 1982 from Selection Nicolas Potel. Another Potel Selection followed, this time for comparison a Puligny Combettes 1985 which was slightly riper than the 1982 but with plenty of life ahead. It was rich and long but still had plenty of acidity. More examples of how disappointing some recent white Burgundy vintages really are in their inability to make old bones. The last white wine was a Chevalier Montrachet 2004 from Philippe Colin, son of Michel Colin-Deleger, which was more honeyed and already very approachable.

Time for the reds and we started with a Musigny 1997 from de Vogue which was delicious without providing many layers of complexity, but very true to this lovely approachable vintage. This was followed by an excellent Chapelle Chambertin 1990 from Ponsot. Very pure, still youthfull and it grew in the glass all night. Then a very pretty red fruit driven Echezeaux 1993 from Rouget followed which I wasn’t sure was completely representative of the very best bottles of this wine.

We then had two lovely 1996s, wines to assure the doubters that this is an excellent vintage in Burgundy even if it has failed to blow us away yet. The 1996 Vosne Brulees from Meo was strong and youthful, full of complexity but was still tannic and closed. A wine for the long haul but bags of fruit there. A slightly more evolved Chambolle Amoureuses 1996 from de Vogue next, layered with lovely Pinot flavours, but another wine with a healthy life ahead.

Two wines with the cheese, a youthful Chambertin Clos de Beze from Drouhin Laroze from 2001 again showed what a great vintage it is in Burgundy and finally a gorgeous Nuits Boudots 1990 from Leroy.

The Full Menu

Hokkaido Scallop with Pumpkin and Foie Gras
Quail and Langoustine with Borragine Sauce

Gagnard Delagrange Batard Montrachet 1990
Selection Nicholas Potel Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes 1982

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Roasted South Australian Lobster with Zucchini Trumpet, Pata Negra Ham and Lobster Sauce

Selection Nicholas Potel Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes 1985
Philippe Colin Chevalier Montrachet 2004

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Lamb Ragout with Pasta

Comte de Vogue Musigny VV 1997

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Pigeon with Cotechino, Lentils and Black Cabbage

Ponsot Chapelle Chambertin 1990
Emmanuel Rouget Echezeaux 1993