May 28, 2010

Acker Hong Kong IX: kicking off early

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Acker's back in Hong Kong with another auction, and like their first auction 2 years ago, they held it right after Vinexpo ended.  This time they called it the "Imperial Cellar", as the collection on sale came from a single seller and would make just about any wine lover very jealous.  The headline number was HKD 125 million...

Because of the large number of lots on sale, the first session of the auction started earlier than usual at 3pm today.  My friend and I arrived not long after it started, as we both wanted to bid on lots in the early part of the session.  As usual I ran into a few friends, and was pleasantly surprised to see François Mauss from Grand Jury Européen.

I managed to win a lot consisting of 3 cases of white Burgundy from arguably the best producer in the region, going slightly above the high estimate to grab it.

I took a short break from the auction and returned to the office to finish up the daily routine.  Yes, I had work to do... eating and drinking isn't my day job... Anyway, I stepped back into the auction room just as they were finishing up another lot I wanted to bid on, and before I realized what was going on, the hammer went down and someone else had grabbed the wines.  Aargh!!!

There were now wines on the tables as it was approaching dinner time.  And I was only too happy to start sipping wines and continued for the rest of the evening.

2003 Haut-Brion - smoked meats, mint, black fruits, sweet, almost honeydew.  Still kinda tannic.  After half an hour, it transformed into an amazing wine with a huge, sweet nose like toffee.  I initially stopped by to visit my friend as they were drinking 2006 Ausone at her VIP table, but this was what she poured me instead of the Ausone...

1999 Rouget Echezeaux - sweet and honeyed with a little caramel, some orange, a little smoky and a little bit of moss.  This was my second, subtle attempt at getting a glass of the 2006 Ausone, and I still failed to get one!  Oh well...

1997 Masseto - my friend open this bottle in honor of the man who made this wine, Lodovico Antinori.  Unfortunately it didn't turn out the way I expected.  Nose was pretty funky, with smoke, black pepper, paprika and stewed fruit.  I last tasted this wine back in early 2002, and it had been sweet and jammy.

1985 Solaia - again, this was drunk with Lodovico whose brother Piero made the wine.  I liked this bottle much better... Nose was a little oxidized with street strawberries, smoke, a little vegetal with green pepper, herbs and soy sauce. I almost wanted to say dried bean curd (豆腐干)...

2005 Méo-Camuzet Morey-Saint-Denis - nose was a little muted at first, with mint, pine needle and red fruits.

1995 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Faletto di Serralunga d'Alba - a very interesting wine to drink.  The color was now golden brown with amber rim, and very deceiving.  The nose was a little high in alcohol, with lots of sweetness like honeydew and some light glycerin.

2007 George Vintage V Leras Family Vineyard Pinot Noir - I was so surprised when the guys at Acker brought this out... I love this wine!  This was such a classic Cali Pinot, with lots of sweetness, caramel, toffee, cotton candy, raspberry, oxidized pear and mint.  Beautiful and lovely.

2000 La Mondotte - drank pretty nicely after breathing for a long time.  It was surprisingly old world... sweet but not too extracted, with mint, smoke, forest and a little floral.

2007 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet - lots of minerals, citrus, cheese, straw, toast, popcorn, a little butter...ripe and sweet.  A beautiful wine.

A lady from Acker came over with a bottle of 2007 Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet.  My friends all gestured that they did not wish to taste it, and she subsequently misunderstood my gesture... I wasn't waving her off!  When I got up after her to try to get a glass, I was told by the hotel staff following her that there was no more wine, as I saw her pouring the rest of the bottle for the group of investment bankers (from the bank that's been in the headlines lately) at the next table...

2000 Trotanoy - very classic and a great wine.  Lots of smoke, pencil lead and soy sauce on top of the fruit.

We left before the end of the first session, and ended up grabbing some food at Sumi (澄). I had eaten some food at the buffet dinner, so I restrained myself.  I did go home and grabbed my last bottle of Kokuryu Shizuku (黒龍しずく).  This daiginjo (大吟醸) with a semaibuai (精米歩合) of 35% drank beautifully. It was sweet and smooth, with tropical fruits like banana in the nose. Fortunately my apartment was only a stone's throw away and it was easy for me to crawl (oops) stagger (oops) walk home...

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