Day One was in the books, and Day Two, or night rather, was at the iconic Peninsula in Kowloon, on the ‘other’ side of Hong Kong. The Garden Suite overlooked the bay and had a spectacular view of Hong Kong Central, and The French Paradox and The Comte were quickly outside on the massive patio admiring the local architecture of a hotel next door.
We started with a perfect bottle of 1969 Salon. It had great citrus, white ice, soda water and cream aromas. It was so dense with zippy, tangy yellow fruit flavors and long, long acid. Colorado John admired its ‘fantastic flavors,’ and I thought it was (better than) outstanding stuff as well (98).
Rock Star ’69
The 1971 Salon was a bit mature and advanced, but I admired its caramel flavors and texture, but there was no fizz and it was clearly oxidzed (95A).
Someone called Salon ‘the Montrachet of Champagne’ following the 1996 Salon. It was a little tough after the perfect ’69, but it was so fresh and zippy. The Zen Master was all over its ‘tangerine’ notes (96+).
We moved on to the whites and a fabulously waxy bottle of 1983 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet in magnum. It was full of nuts, honeycomb, ‘tropical fruit’ and decadent butter in its baked nose. The Zen Master admired its ‘minerality’ and I was loving the wine’s lushness and kisses of wood on the finish. There was more tension and energy here. This had a little botrytis kiss that made this wine oh so delicious (96M).
The Zen Master called out even ‘more structure’ on the 1985 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet, which was also served out of magnum. There, indeed, was better structure and better body to this wine, as well as better balance. It had a full body and a long creamy, zippy finish with ‘lift on the end.’ This was the better wine of the two; the ’85 was still taking off while the ’83 was landing (97+M).
The 1978 Ramonet Montrachet had a fabulous nose that was so creamy, so rich and so lush. It was nutty and reductive, quite gamy in a great way and full of cocoa butter. The acid was blindingly bright, this was a WOW wine all the way and then some. One of the best white wines I have ever had, make that wines period (99).
Eeny Meeny Miny
The 1979 Ramonet Montrachet was so young out of magnum with a rich, buttery nose that had a fireplace spark with the brick house casing. The wine sparkled on the palate and had a crazy intense finish. This magnum was about as good as it gets, if it didn’t follow the 1978, it probably would have gotten 99 points from me (98+M)!
The 1985 Ramonet Montrachet magnum was full of ‘ginger’ per the Zen Master. It had a lot more exotic stuff going on, but it was also less intense. I wrote exotic three times, and it had a great chewy texture with ginger candy flavors and more of those exotic notes on the finish. However, it was no match for the ’78 or ’79, as outstanding as it still was (95M).
The next three wines we tasted were all Bordeaux and all perfect examples. The 1949 La Mission Haut Brion had a touch of band-aid, along with gravel, chocolate and cassis in its wealthy nose. There was so much gravel in the mouth, full of pencil and ‘graphite’ flavors. The Zen Master thought the wine was ‘rustic’ with some ‘old library’ vibes. This was a zippy, great old claret, rock solid in every which way it could be (96).
The 1953 Lafite Rothschild had a great coffee nose that you can often get in old Bordeaux. This was the best in show for this flight and had lots of ‘licorice’ per the Zen Master with toffee and smokehouse flavors. This was spectacularly delicious and a wine that deserves much more credit than its price (98).
The 1955 Haut Brion was ‘smoky and peaty like a whiskey’ according to Charles and ‘richer’ per Zen. This was another delicious wine, ‘so big’ per The French Paradox. The ’55 was fat, chunky and delicious with a lush, rich and gritty finish (97).
We continued with another flight of Bordeaux, and the Comte found the 1911 Latour to be an ‘old baby.’ This had the most intensity of the old flight despite bring the oldest wine. Someone else admired the ‘house style’ of Latour after all these years! There were great citrus, walnut, beef, iron and mineral flavors here, along with an exploding finish. Great vanilla flavors emerged as well. I am so glad I grabbed this bottle at one of our auctions when no one else had the balls to do so ? (97).
Those Were The Days
The 1928 Lafite Rothschild that followed was full of herbs, mahogany and cedar like a brand new cabinet filled with spices. This was beautiful, pretty, tender and soft. Zen found it ‘peppery,’ and I felt lots of tobacco. The ’28 improved in my glass, and the tannins of the vintage came through in the end, but it was still no match for the 1911 (95).
The 1929 Mouton Rothschild was ‘sexy’ and ‘alive’ per The Comte. It was fruity, and I can’t read exactly what I wrote next, but it looks like ‘margarita’ lol. It was a little grapey, soft and fleshy on the palate with just a touch of vim remaining, but this wine was definitely on the downward slope, but at age 89, there were no complaints (93).
The Bordeaux set a high bar on this night, but a flight of Roumier was a good place for Burgundy to counter. The 1979 Roumier Bonnes Mares was oozing autumnal forest floor, wet leaves and misty mornings. This was bloody good, really, like blood, with super spice and intense acidity. The Dirty Frenchman, I mean The French Paradox, called it ‘minty with Griotte cherry,’ and the Zen Master thought it was ‘mossy.’ There was a hint of Sauternes and some olives in this special treat (96).
The 1985 Roumier Bonnes Mares was dirtier, but it was rich with great body and more stuffing than usual. This was earthy, vitamin-y and iron-y without the irony and a good gaminess. ‘Better balance,”truffles’ and ‘more precise’ came from the crowd (95).
The 1990 Roumier Bonnes Mares had this rubber tire action to its nose, along with rose soap. It was rich and a touch dirty, but it had a great finish. However, the wine left me a little disappointed for such a theoretically epic bottle. It was more ‘easy drinking’ than I expected and remembered from this wine (95).
I initially thought that the 1989 Henri Jayer Cros Parantoux was a little off, but the Comte dissuaded me of that ridiculous notion. It did need some time to air out; this was a beast coming out of its cave, for sure. The CP was rusty and milky at first, and I could see all of its potential in the beginning, but little did I realize how much it would open up so quickly in my glass. The palate was rich and great with ultimately the best finish of the flight. The Comte found it ‘amazing,’ and bouillon flavors added some delicious complexity. The finish got insane (98+)!
The 1991 H. Jayer Cros Parantoux was more elegant than the Echezeaux that followed (at this point it was all splitting hairs they were all great!). Northface observed ‘menthol,’ and I found purple rain flavors on its long and flexing palate. This wine was where integrity met sensuality. There was a Rocky Mountain High that this wine gave me, whatever that meant lol (97).
The 1993 G. Jayer Echezeaux was spectacular. It got a ‘Deep Ocean’ from me. Long live Big Boy lol. This was a rich and smooth wine that oozed decadence. There was more of that purple rain goodness along with ‘incredible concentration, color and intensity.’ This was a lip smacker of a wine that got another decadent from me, along with heavy (97).
The 1978 Guigal Cote-Rotie La Landonne was the Zen Master’s favorite of the LaLas, and I always agree with the master! This was great stuff with powerful acidity. There was black fruit, slate, asphalt and a hot, black, zippy intensity. Even The Comte said he could drink a bottle of this on its own and not need anything else. Sacre bleu! Someone noted how its ‘crisp terroir had more influence than the winemaker,’ and The French Paradox called it ‘a monster truck.’ This was a complete wine (98)!
La La La
The 1985 Guigal Cote-Rotie Turque was a beautiful, elegant wine with a touch more bitters to it than the La Landonne. It fell a little short of the bottle I had in London within the last year, which dominated a great tasting. Violets and the classic pepper spice brought it home, although it didn’t bring me home quite yet (96).
The 1991 Guigal Cote-Rotie La Mouline was still dark and deep, full of bacon fat goodness. My belly was feeling like bacon fat goodness, too, at this point (95).
I had excused myself to the patio to watch a bit of a Hong Kong light show of sorts and brought the 1953 Schloss Reinhartshausen Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Edelbeerenauslese with me. After all the red wines, this was simply delicious. And delicious is a lot easier to write than the wine lol (96).
One Hot, One Not
Unfortunately, the 1953 Schloss Johannisberg Furst Von Metternich Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese was off. At this point, there were no fucks given (DQ).
That was a wrap for night two. Night three would be in Macau, after the auction. There was much more tasting to do, and some drinking in the day, too
In Vino Veritas,