Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wine of the day #02 - Chateau Calon 2003

Chateau Calon 2003. Don't get me wrong, this is not the 3rd growth Calon-segur. This is from st. Emilion. Not sure if that's a misbuy from dad. Anyhow, give it a shot.

Weather: 2003

It is the vintage of God's joke. Atypically warm March and April resulted in flowering ending two weeks before normal time. May entertained with very little rain, while June and July got almost no rain at all. August was a case for itself. Heat wave which lasted three weeks with temperature between 40-45°C, low humidity and few drops of rain. The growing cycle of vines was halted because of rain shortage.

To the East lies the famous appellations of St. Emillion, with its wonderfully ripe Cabernet Franc, and Pomerol where Merlot rules the roost and produces deep, plush wines of uncommon refinement.

Soil / Landscape: clay-limestone
Clayey soil and limestones in subsoil, keeps as everybody knows a sufficient amount of rainwater back, that’s why Merlot had it better here with rainwater not running deep down or far away.
Producer n Chateau Owner: Jean-Noël Boidron
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Carmenere

Color: ruby, opaque

Nose: Typical Cabernet Sauvignon. As in peppery and blackberry taste. I would have the metal nose to the typical cab sau. Not tasting much of the blending grapes or merlot. Dorminated by Cab Sau component.

Palate: Compare to the standard can sau, it has shorter length of after taste. It is easy drinking, the highlight would be on it's lead finish.

Price: $238
Worth-buy: so-so...
Source: TBC (dad is sleeping...)

Weather Reference:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wine of the day #01 - Prosecco Fossato

Don't envy. Yes, this is an extra dry sparkling wine from Umbrio -- Prosecco. Goes well with Chinese dish. Slightly creamy, sizzling in the mouth. Not too citrus. Excellent with so-called weird chinese food like preserved egg "皮蛋".

This wine unlike champagne, adopting charmat method, 2nd fermentation under stainless steel, less expensive in production. No wonder, it looks like the $2xx - $3xx wine, it's cost is around $70!!! It is one of Bellini's component as well.

Dominantly for local consumption. In recent 2-3 years, they are also available for production in new world countries such as Argentina, Brazil etc.

Prosecco can appear in another form -- CAN. They will be called Frizzante instead. Il Paese that I introduced previously also have these Can sizzling wine available.

Gathering 3: Italian Wine Gallery - Wine & Oyster "Buffet"

Nil promotion at Langham Hotel. Worth me an hour to search online for more information on this randon invitation from my colleagues & wine buddies. Afterall, it is only a soft opening of the event through the tea buffet in lobby lounge.

$258 + 10% including 10 italian wines including parma ham platter.

Artist, Artist, Artist. Despite pondering the museum and exhibitions, how often can you appreciate their paintings? Yes, you can still amaze yourselves through wine bottles with those capture of paintings. They are neither forged nor street hawkers' kinda thing. They are just representing fushion of arts: Wine & Arts.

1. Casntina Tollo "Madregale" Bianco Terre di Chieti IGT 2008
    (90% Chardonnay 10% Trebbiano) Abruzzo
    Quite flat and thin.. Typical Chardonnay.

Paired with Irish Rock Oyster ($38)
- Oyster itself is slightly sweet and creamy. Wine looks crispy and acidic when matched with this oyster

2. Cantina San Marziano "Trefili" Pinot Grigio IGT 2009
     (Pino Grigio) Veneto)
    Very Acidic,  long aftertaste, ends with a vanilla touch. Stronger character than the first.

3. Caruso e Minini "Terre di Giumara" Grecanico Sicilia Bianco IGT 2008
    (Grecanico) Sicilia
    Sicily is not very famous for growing vineyard, therefore it's really rare to drink this kind of wine grape.
    Crisp and green nose, apple note.

Paired with Tasminia oyster ($38)
- Similar to what I had in Tasmania. Savoury, juicy and creamy petit oyster.

4. La Stoppa "Ageno" Malvasia Biane Emilia IGT 2005
    (60% Malvasia Aromatico  20% Ortuga 20% Trebbiano) Emilia- Romagna
   Faulty Wine. Misty body, strong hint of rubber & cork, tea colour. Mould flavour, sweet.
   First time notify the fault wine. Yeah~

5. Toscolo 2005 Chianti Classico

85% Sangiovese 10% Cabernet Sauvignon 5% Merlot

Wood, leath, peppery. Dry acidic, strong tannin, can last a bit longer, for aging. (oh, DOCG~)
In the middles, we are served with the parma ham platter, cheese and so on...

6. Castello Romitorio Morellino di Scansano DOCG 2007

    85% Sangiovese 15% Cab Sauvignon) Toscana

Celery (My fds don't believe me, it's like celery juice!!!) Opened for too long, therefore a bit bitter cherry
flavour, nothing like the description...

Only the DOC / DOCG wine with paintings

Warm tone, family, calmness. Sight depicting with hope yet doubt with uncertainty. Still, the family has the tendency towards future driven by their curiosity. The masculinity shown in the painting match with the structure of the wine. The leather and tannin indicate how much the wine can age, just like the bonding of the family.

7. Castello Romitorio Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2007
Strong scent of blackberries & leather; Strong balance, velvet finish. I am very sensitive to leather as I often caught in the dilemma of it. I hate the note, yet I somehow know that leather would lead to nice and balance wine...

Painting indicates the brother twins setting on a boat escorting their little brother away from stormy wave.
The booklet describes it expresses the tradition is the base to groom the innovation. Just like those baby industry needs protection from the foundation industry and open policy.
The little brother is the symbol of the wine.
My thought would be it's the young wine struggling for survival from the tradition yet have to grow under lots of criticism. Luckily protected by its heritage, it manage to get its way through.

8. Castello Romitorio "Romito del Romitorio" Sant ' Antimo Rosso DOC 2006
(60% Sangiovese Grosso 20% Cabernet Sauvignon 20% Cannaiolo Nero) Toscana

Depicts hermit step out of the hermitage. 1st wine production.
Warrior from the wild, prepare to fight and he is all well equipped.
Wine: gamey, spice and tar note. Coincide with the wild, raw, and rough image on the painting.

9. Marlbourough Highfields 2007 (Replacement of out of stock Barbera D'alba)
      100% Pinot Noir Hint of licorice and red cherries. Mild body, very different style from Italian. Less rough. calm and peaceful wine.

10. Natale Verga MOscato D'Asti DOCG
      Moscato from Piemonte  All-time best wine for picking up girls~
      Flowery, honey comb. Concentrated flower scent. Bunch of citrus bubbles. Nice honey finish.

Special thanks to Geoff's recommendation and introducing us to the world of Oysters. Don't wanna dwell into another hell See how happy we are trashing and messing around the hotel...oops...
P.S. Thanks for Sze's photos

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wine Dinner with Rhone Gangs

A wine dinner organized by Sinolink. It has been years since my dad and I are participating in a wine dinner together, wine dinner as in those cordially invited by the wine merchants. Recalling the last time joining Sinolink wine dinner would be year 2004, while I was still in Uni. Their first comment was that I should learn how to drive so that somebody could drive the drunk dad home. So here, I got my driving license and as expected, I might get drunk as well.
 To accommodate my office hour, we’ve chosen to join the “Dinner with Rhone Gang” at Backstage in Central – A familiar lunch choice for me.

Chateau de Montfaucon Comtesse Madeleine 008 Cotes du Rhone (Serve with bread)
Viognier, Marsanne, Bourboulenc & Clairette. Cirtus notes with grapefruit and honey. Light and good choice as the first wine to taste

Rhone Gang Hold-up No.6
Pinot Noir & Grenache. Grassy, mineral with red berries and kirsch note at the end. light body.

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Rose 2008 (Served with fig salad and parma ham with cantaloupe)
Grenache only. Rhone seldom have one vine to produce one wine. Normally 5-9 vines blended.
Wild berries flavour, nutty in nose. Not a typical rose which has more focus on flower.

Chateau Pesquie Quintessense 2006 Cotes du Ventoux ^.^
Syrah & Grenache. Notes of eucalyptus, sprice, strong leather. Very elegant wine. My favourite of the night, though a bit too alcoholic, seems can last for quite a while. Long and deep finish.

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2007 (served with lamb shank & mashed potato)
This wine matches well with the lamb shank dish. Grenache & Syrah. Blackberry punch with floral touch. Hint of licorice and tar in the tip of the tongue. Balance body, less tannin than previous yet still stands out its own charcter.

Chateau de Montfaucon Mr Le Baron 2007 (Served with petit 4 & chocolate cake)
Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Counoise, Mourvedre, Muscat, Alicante, Tempranillo, Viognire, Marsanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Picpoul -- 13 wines. I thought the vines will fight with each other!!! That's why when you drink it, it's like explosion from the world war in there, lol. Unique style, fruity and floral with elegance. Powerful punch, change in flavours along the palete.

Sons of the 4 chateaux owners were travelling round Asia to promote the wine. Just back from Japan, carry forward with their momentum from Tokyo to Hong Kong. Started with a flash about how commonplace their chateaux are and how family-oriented are the essentials in producing the uncommon wine. One of the chateau – Chateau Pesquie was praised by Robert Parker as one of the most talented wine producer.

Despite wine, music is one of their talents too. Playing jazz, singing quartet that arouse our interest to the French culture, songs etc

Thought of the night: Important to have the wine producers present in the wine dinner to inspire guests with more exposure to the wine world, vineyard and history of wine. Otherwise guests would have only focused on the price of wine, the flavour of the wine without even notice the reason behind those flavours being produced. Perhaps this was to memorize some hard moments of the producers. You’ll never know without get to listen to the stories, the 1st person touch.

Tips for the host: Shall approach the restaurant to see whether they can serve extra if brought the food along. E.g. instead of ordinary cheese platter, discuss with wine producer to find the best match cheese and settle that before the day of dinner. That would present the best effect to the guests. A win-win to both the host & the restaurant.

Italian Night - Dec 09

Italian Wine World – Conventional Wine World, yet its spark is often concealed by its neighbour – France.
This time we shall give it a chance to overthrow the century.

Oliver Wine 
Cascina Bruni Moscato d'asti $161
Caldora Abruzzo $128
Cascina Bruni Barbaresco $375
Masi Campofiorin $187
Barbera D’alba 2004 $158

Il Paese Canapes

Cheese Platter: Ham / Sausage Platter:
Provolone Piccante vs  Toscan Ham
Raschera vs Speck Asiago
Manchego vs Salami Nerone
Meatball Spaghetti

1st Wine: Barbera D’alba 2004
Flowery nose. Plummy. Jammy flavour. This is my favourite pick from last year’s Hong Kong Wine Festival. With less than $160, it is an outperforming other wine displayed that day. Well structured and balanced. Ready to drink.

2nd Wine: Caldora Abruzzo
Peppery and acidic. Not too well balanced. Overall speaking, still Barbera d'alba & Barbaresco are preferred.

3rd Wine: Cascina Bruni Barolo
Stronger structure than all other 3 wines. DOCG. Complex truffle flavour. Garnet with red rim. Wild berries, licorice and spicy finish. Strong tannin. Need time to mature

4th Wine: Masi Campofiorin
Masi is the brand strongly recommended by the supermarket sales, due to its price and according to our preference of strong fruity flavour. It pairs up quite well with the cheese platter, especially the Manchego, the wonderful marriage that stands out the cheese from the others.

Last Wine: Masi Moscato d'asti
Impressive. Easy drinking. Strong honey comb mixing with vanilla, yet refreshing and crispy. No wonder it has been depicted as the jewellery of woman.

However it is not a fair match with the icecream pie strongly recommended by the openrice supporters. Perhaps the dried fruits “engraved” in the ice-cream Spianata Piccante were not too juicy to be mitigated into the moscato. It turns out we prefer drinking moscato alone.

The fun of wine gathering is that everyone are trying to share their thoughts and opinion of the same bottle; exploring the flavours, ultimately confirming with the buddies who are sharing the same glass. Food matching is like putting different puzzles together and you’ll discover millions of combinations that will surprise you at the end.


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