One of my big surprises this year was how a handful of wines can make a reputation for a vintage. What I am speaking about is 1996 in Bordeaux, and how the five first-growths made the reputation of what should have only been considered a very good year, certainly not an exceptional one.
Everyone in the press seems to be writing his or her year-end recollections or discoveries. I just read the New York Times today and it was full of year-end discoveries in food and wine. Some of it seemed pretty obvious to me, but the NYT sometimes likes doing that sort of re-coining of the obvious.
Back to earth….from the gastronomic nirvana of Japan with some of the greatest wine collectors ever to home with my mother for Christmas dinner and non-vintage Bollinger and 2004 Seghesio Zinfandel Alexander Valley Home Ranch.
It’s the first time I have had first-growth Bordeaux at 45,000 feet. And it’s very good … too good. This is crazy. I am pinching myself. I was going to fly on Cathay Pacific this morning to Tokyo to hang out with some friends for a few days in what must be the best food city in the world.
One phrase keeps on going round and round in my head today following an extraordinary dinner last night that featured eight vintages of Château Pétrus , the legendary Pomerol. “It’s only wine! People forget this.
I have a couple of thoughts after a lunch and dinner last night. Modern wines are exciting, and Italy is making great wines. I guess I am stating the obvious to many, and I write about this all the time in articles and columns.
I felt like the referee at a sumo match, but the only wrestling being done was the debate over whether certain bottles were fake or not. We were drinking some of the greatest bottles (magnums) ever produced on the face of the earth during a dinner last night here in Hong Kong.
Insane is the only word I can use to describe it. I was invited to a blind tasting dinner at the restaurant Caprice to celebrate the 30th birthday of Paulo Pong, a Hong Kong wine merchant, and I really didn’t expect to have to try to “find” the wines I tasted during the outrageous dinner.
Just got back from lunch with Henry Tang and friends. He wanted to make a great impression on Frédéric Engerer, the president of Château Latour , who is here for Paulo Pong’s birthday celebrations.
What is it about drinking great Burgundy? When it is right, it is so right. It takes your breath away. It’s sensual pleasure in a bottle. OK. I will say it. It’s almost like great sex. I had a 100-point red Burgundy last night with Henry Tang and a dozen or so others here in Hong Kong during dinner.
I just arrived in Hong Kong. I am visiting before Christmas for what should be a major blowout in rare and fine wines. Among the events I have planned with friends are those from wine merchant and mega-collector Paulo Pong.
I survived my 2004 Bordeaux tasting. I never caught the cold. I tasted perfectly. The only thing that went bad was my stomach. Zantac didn't work. Neither did Rennie. But I tasted about 350 reds from 2004 and a couple dozen Sauternes, and I was pleased.
I haven't been blogging with my normal frequency because I've been lying low in Bordeaux, reviewing hundreds of 2004 reds from bottle in blind tastings here at Les Sources de Caudalie , a beautiful hotel in Pessac-Leognan.
I had dinner last night in the Piedmont village of Treviso, at the restaurant La Ciau del Tornavento , with about two dozen producers of the best Barbarescos and Barolos. They were all there, from Bruno Rocca to Domenico Clerico to Enrica Scavino.
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