December 19, 2008

Lafleur vertical

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The second MNSC tasting of the month (!) took place tonight at Fook Lam Moon (福臨門), which has recently received a Michelin star. It's my first visit since the publication of the guide, and I wanted to see how the place was doing.

This was quite a filling dinner with 9 dishes, which are as follows:

Stir-fried shark's fin (炒桂花翅) - light and fluffy as always, it's a great way to start the meal.

Charred fatty char siu - pretty decent, but not the best I've had.

Braised goose feet and abalone with lettuce (鵝掌原隻30頭鮑跟唐生菜) - very good stuff, although not exactly wine-friendly...

Stir-fried tripe (油爆肚仔) - very well done as the tripe had a crunchy, springy texture.

Stir-fried lobster with black beans and green peppers (豉椒炒龍蝦球) - delicious and fresh lobster, with the added kick of black beans.

Baked crab shell (釀焗蟹蓋) - lots of onions to add some crunchy texture, with fresh, sweet crab meat. Delicious as usual.

Deep-fried salt-and-pepper short ribs (椒鹽排骨) - I didn't get around to having this, because our host sent it back complaining about the lack of fat...

Pea sprouts blanched in ham broth (上湯浸豆苗) - one can never go wrong with this...especially when in season.

Claypot rice with preserved meats (腊味飯煲) - we asked for a 2:1 ratio between the liver and preserved sausages (潤腸,腊腸), the usual preserved meat (腊肉), and the wonderfully tasty duck (油鴨). This was a really nice way to wrap up the meal, although all the rice crispies (飯焦) were gobbled up by one person...

I finished with a bowl of almond cream (杏仁露), which was fragrant yet not too sweet.

Our host was extremely generous and offered a vertical of Chateau Lafleur - the famed Pomerol estate. Wines were served blind, as usual, in three flights.

1964 Lafleur - nose of soy sauce, preserved plum, game meats and a bit of smoke. Still tannic and grippy for a wine of this age. 88 points.

1971 Lafleur - grassy nose with good amount of sweet fruit, including orange, tangerine. A bit alcoholic and spicy. 87 points.

1981 Lafleur - nose of grilled meats and some sweet red fruits. A tad acidic on the palate. 93 points.

1983 Lafleur - a hint of smoke and mint at first. Very smooth on the palate, with a curious orange finish. Later on sweet fruit and forest notes emerged. 94 points.

1986 Lafleur - a really nice wine, with a really sweet nose and again orange notes. Still tannic and grippy on the palate. 95 points and my favorite of the evening.

1989 Lafleur - very concentrated but nose has shut down. A bit of smoked meats and soy sauce in the nose. 93 points.

It's not often that one gets to participate in a vertical tastings of wines from such a great estate. I'm very happy to have had the opportunity, and look forward to our next gathering - which would actually be next week...

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