A couple of friends were in town on business, and asked me to join them at Tim's Kitchen (桃花源) for dinner. They were only able to book the first seating, so we were under a little time pressure to finish and move on. The restaurant is moving to a bigger location next month, so hopefully there won't be a seating issue with their 6,000-ft space...
I brought a bottle of 1999 Beringer Chardonnay Sbragia Limited Release since we would be starting with some seafood dishes. I bought the wine at the winery years ago, and it has now turned a deep golden hue. As I expected, the wine has gone through much oxidation, and the nose was sweet with honey, grass, marmalade and apricot notes. Kinda disappointed at first. Palate was ripe but dry, with a long finish. After an hour, the sweet corn notes that I love emerged...so it wasn't a total loss after all.
Double-boiled soup with pork and whelk (豬蹍螺頭湯) - very nice...there wasn't a lot of Chinese yam so the aftertaste wasn't too sweet. People seemed to enjoy eating the whelk and it disappeared in no time.
I've been meaning to open the 1997 Kay Brothers Block 6 Shiraz for some time, and I wasn't disappointed. The wine was still very concentrated, with mint, minerals and a little smoke in the nose on top of lots of fruit. Reasonably smooth on the palate with a finish that was a little spicy. You could cellar this wine for years to come.
We needed to clear the table for the 8:30 seating, so we moved on to Sevva for drinks. I ordered a bottle of 2006 Cloudy Bay Te Koko, one of my preferred Sauvignon Blancs. It was pretty good, with classic nose of muscat and flint. It was surprisingly a little tart on the palate, and pretty ripe. I think that this wine was a little less complex than the previous vintages I've had, but still enjoyable to drink.
Always good to catch up with friends from out of town. Next time I'll need to bring out some better wines!