January 30, 2010

Acker Hong Kong VII session 2: going gaga over Jayer

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Got up bright and early to get to the second session of the Acker auction.  For the first time I actually arrived before the auction started, because there were a few lots I wanted at the start of the session.

There were only a few people in the early hours, and bidding was a little more civilized.  As time went on and the room filled up, prices started going out of control again.  I ended up getting a case of mature Bordeaux for "everyday drinking", and finally did manage to pick up a bottle of 1969 DRC Richebourg that I really wanted.  I drank a bottle of the Grands Echezeaux last year for my parent's anniversary, and it was superb.  I am looking forward to the day when I open this baby up...  All the other lots I really wanted got bid up beyond reason so I let them go.  Guess I'll have to source my bottles of Pétrus elsewhere...

I thought 9am was a little too early for Champagne, and later on I turned down both the 1998 and 1985 Léoville-Las Cases when offered to me.  I think Gil was a little surprised, and asked me what I wanted.  My reply was "Do you have anything other than Bordeaux?"    He came back with the perfect answer, pouring me a glass of 2000 Sine Qua Non In Flagrante.  There was no way he could have known that I am a big fan of Sine Qua Non, but this was just awesome...  Nose was very, very sweet, plummy, jammy with minerals, smoked meats underneath the fruit, and later coming up with tropical fruits like lychee.  Needless to say it was very alcoholic, but the wine was already showing a good degree of complexity - surprising for an SQN Syrah less than 10 years old.  Yummy.

Later on Gil got up to the podium and handled some of the lots.  He tried to be charming, and conducted part of the auction in Cantonese.  I must applaud him for his efforts, but he needs a little more work.  Getting confused between the words for "thousand" and "ten thousand" is no small thing, especially when you're inflating the price by 10 times...

I left the auction early because I needed to go for a lunch appointment upstairs, but heard that the prices for Henri Jayer wines got ridiculous.  Admittedly the source of the wines is impeccable, but still... Many Asians only got to know Henri Jayer thanks to the Japanese comic  Kami no Shizuku (神の雫), as the series starts with a famous wine critic drinking a bottle of 1959 Henri Jayer Richebourg on his death bed.  Prices for Jayer wines have only gone one way since then...

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