March 14, 2012

The Colgin perspective

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It's been three days since I first met Ann Colgin and Joe Wender, and I was seeing them for the third time this week - this time in Taipei.  The Specialist had kindly invited me to join her tonight at Justin's Signatures, where Sotheby's was hosting dinner for a select group of clients.  The auction house is working with Ann and Joe to showcase the wines from Colgin Cellars, as a parcel of library wines feature prominently in the upcoming Hong Kong auction.  While my wine collection seems miniscule compared to those of my fellow diners, I am a big Colgin fan as well as a loyal client… and I was so looking forward to tasting all the wines tonight!

Ruinart Brut Rosé - nose of minerals and salty, preserved plum.

Amuse bouche

Tagliatelle with sauté wild mushrooms - pretty nice.  The tagliatelle's consistency was good, and the shrooms were pretty tasty.  The fragrance filled the air around me, and at one point became a little distracting and interfered with the wine.  A good start to the meal.

2007 Colgin Herb Lamb Vineyard - smoke, a little burnt, sweet red fruits and mint.  Really big and alcoholic, with big tannins.  After a pause, the nose became amazingly sweet, like an explosion of muscovado, along with pine needle.  Slightly bitter on mid-palate and finish, along with some exotic spices.  A really lovely wine.  Pity this was the last vintage ever produced.

1997 Colgin Herb Lamb Vineyard - initially the nose was bigger, more fruity and opulent.  Softer tannins.  Fragrant and lovely.  Decanted for 3 hours prior to serving.

Smoked pigeon with caramelized apple - the perfectly seared foie gras was not supposed to be part of the dish, but the kitchen added it anyway…  The pigeon was pretty good, too… Nice and gamey.  The caramelized apple and the filo pastry at the bottom reminded me of Justin's tarte tatin.

2005 Colgin Cariad - smoky, a hint of dustiness, more like a classic Bordeaux.  Full bodied and can feel the tannins.  Nice sweet fruit.

1999 Colgin Cariad - a little Chinese medicine to start, plus a little green pepper and a little smoke.  Evolved and lovely.

Braised wagyu oxtail, red wine sauce - this was really, really yummy… and why shouldn't it be?!  Soft and tender with lots of collagen.  Nicely flavored with red wine sauce and mash.

2007 Colgin IX Estate Red - a little cardboard at first, alcoholic… but turned out I had a bad glass.  With the second glass there was smoke, still alcoholic but this was lovely, with notes of coffee.

2005 Colgin IX Estate Red - minty, fruity, a very big wine with big tannins still.  A little smoke, a bit alcoholic with sweet fruit.

Avant dessert - citrus granité, with diced atemoya (鳳梨釋迦) and foam.  The atemoya definitely tasted of pineapple… and shavings of kaffir lime rind made it a little more fragrant.

2004 Colgin IX Estate Syrah - really sweet, floral, alcoholic and chocolate notes.  A really awesome wine!

Chocolate dessert - it's been a while since I've had warm-centered chocolate cake, and this wasn't bad.  Liked the milk chocolate ice cream, too…

Mignardises - the little financier was not bad, and the raspberry pâte de fruit was delicious.

What a wonderful evening!  Good food and a range of amazing wines.  As Ann and Joe said to me a few days ago, this was indeed a great opportunity to compare different vintages of the same wine, as well as a chance to see the different character of each wine.  It was certainly a privilege to be able to drink wines such as the 1997 Herb Lamb, as I can't imagine there are many bottles left in existence.  The 2007 Herb Lamb is rare, too, as a mere 178 cases were released of this final vintage.

So what was my favorite wine of the evening?  While some around me praised the 1997 Herb Lamb - and it is a fantastic wine - I have to say that I was absolutely blown away by the 2007 Herb Lamb.  To me, this wine was just showing brilliantly tonight.  And as a lover of Rhône wines, I love that Colgin makes a Syrah… and there's a special place in my heart for the 2004 IX Estate Syrah.  I'm going to hold on to my bottles and wait for them to age.

I must thank Ann and Joe for their generosity, and Sotheby's for their hospitality.  I was happy to have spent some more time in the company of the lovely couple.  If I'm starting to sound like a groupie, well… so be it!

Now that we were done with dinner, I thought it would be a good idea for the Specialist to take her boss to Max Bordeaux/Wine Gallery and Cellar, since Sotheby's has a close relationship with Bordeaux Wine Bank.  We had tasting samples of three wines:

2008 Calon-Ségur - really sweet nose, vanilla, candy and cedar notes.  Still alcoholic.  Showing very well.

2008 Cos d'Estournel - forest, dried herbs and mint.

2008 Lynch-Bages - relatively closed compared to the other two.  Minty and alcoholic.

This was a great evening.  Now I need to figure out how to get myself more Herb Lamb, since I was never allocated any...

1 comment:

Julian Teoh said...

Hi Peech,

I was directed to your Colgin post by some guys who knew you on CH. Ann and Joe visited Singapore to host a wine dinner at Les Amis last Thursday. Quite a few different wines from what you had, but a wonderful night all the same. If you care to check it out, I've reported on it here:


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