December 14, 2008

An evening of excess...

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Last night I was at a gathering of winos at my friend's apartment. These are people who were serious enough about wine to have sat for exams on the topic (except for moi). Naturally an evening with this group is usually a lot of fun.

There was a ton of food - everything from homemade to things that were brought in from clubs and restaurants. We had smoked salmon, Chiuchow marinated goose (鹵水鵝), soy-marinated baby abalone, roast suckling pig, chicken wings, fried rice with conpoy...etc. Then there was the wonderful slow-cooked wagyu tail, cooked with some Crozes-Hermitage and based on a combination of recipes, one of which came from my friend Susan Jung. The meat just melted in my mouth, and the abundance of carrots made the stew really sweet. We also finished off with a chocolate sponge cake that tasted like chocolate-flavored 馬來糕 - light, moist and not too sweet.

But the main reason for the gathering was the wine! As usual there was quite a diverse selection.

1990 Dom Perignon from magnum - a beautiful Champagne with lots of toasty oak, lemon and minerals.

2002 Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre - ripe nose of lemon, lots of minerals with sweet butter. For a while it was acidic both on the palate and on the finish. Towards the end the palate was a bit sweet and ripe. This wine is already mature.

2002 Ravaneau Chablis Valmur - lots of mineral, flint and lemon in the nose. Very smooth and soft on the palate.

2000 Sylvain Cathiard Chambolle-Musigny Clos de L'Orme - notes of sweet grass, currant, a little farmy. Nose was pretty open and easy to drink.

2000 Armand Rousseau Chambertin - minty, smoky, a bit of smoked meats, alcoholic. Lots of concentrated sweet fruit. Delicious, especially towards the end after further aeration.

2001 Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes - pretty alcoholic nose, a bit sweet with farmy, sous-bois, and some orange marmalade towards the end. Fairy concentrated. This appears to the last vintage for this cuvée.

2005 Lou Dumont Charmes-Chambertin - vanilla, currant notes with a hint of roast meats. Acidic on the palate.

2001 Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Mazzano - I got to this wine rather late, and it tasted flat and lightly acidic.

1996 L'Eglise-Clinet - a classic Bordeaux. Smoky, grassy, currant, slightly minty. Very open and a very nice wine.

2002 L'Eglise-Clinet - minty, alcoholic, smooth and concentrated.

1996 Chapoutier Hermitage Vin de Paille - an amazing nose of cane sugar - just like the Cantonese drink of 竹蔗茅根- as well as honey, orange marmalade and honey dew.

I was well stuffed and buzzed, but the gang decided to move to Kasbah for some shisha. Apparently most haven't experienced it, and they were in the mood to be adventurous. We ended up ordering two different flavors: spiced apple (with licorice) and apple and mint. Needless to say I got pretty high from the smoke, but it was a great way to cap the evening.

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