February 22, 2011

Porto and more

Pin It

I was invited by a friend to attend a dinner tonight featuring the wines of Dow's Port.  I have always thought of Port as an after-dinner drink, so I was curious to find out how they would pair with food.  The venue was George's at Parkview Hong Kong.  It's been more than a decade since I last stepped foot in Parkview, and I looked forward to my first dining experience there.

Jorges Nunes, the winemaker at Dow's, was on hand to lead us through the tasting. 

Dow's Fine White Port - initially served with tonic water on ice. The combination was interesting and refreshing, as the bitter flavors of the tonic were tempered by the sweetness from the Port. Later on I asked for a glass of the White Port on ice, as it is traditionally drunk in Portugal. Nose of orange marmalade, honey, nutty, a little bit floral and fragrant. Finish is slightly bitter.

1988 Dow's Quinta do Bomfim - the single vineyard wines are made in years when vintage is not declared. Nutty, dried figs and generally sweet on the nose. Very smooth on the palate, and can't really feel the tannins anymore.

1985 Dow's Vintage Port - more herbs and spices on the nose, with nutty, sweet and plummy notes. This is definitely a bigger wine with much more concentration. A deeper color despite being 3 years older than the '88.

1994 Dow's Vintage Port - this was the much-touted stellar vintage when I started to read Wine Spectator years ago as I began drinking. Much fresher and younger, with the acidity plainly evident in the nose along with herbs and spices.

2007 Dow's Vintage Port - another stellar vintage. Interestingly the nose was very metallic with lots of iron, like a concentrated, young American Syrah. Notes of toasty oak and mint. Soo sweet on the palate.

Foie gras terrine with figs and Port jelly - this was pretty good.

Dow's 40 Year Old Tawny Port - honey, nutty and figs. Lovely, rich, soo plummy and complex with layers of caramel. Tawny is still my favorite style of Port, especially since it's virtually indestructible.

Spanish gambas pil pil - whoa!  This was really, really spicy!  The prawns tasted great, especially with the garlic, but my tongue was on fire!  The white wine pairing didn't really help much...

2008 Blanc de Lynch-Bages - plenty of pipi de chat upfront in the nose, with minerals and a bit of Muscat.  Definitely a food wine, as it's a little lighter than I expected. 

George famed mushroom soup - very strong mushroom flavors, with truffle oil.  Overpowered the Chassagne.

2008 Bachelet-Monnot Chassagne-Montrachet - grassy, minerals with the acidity slightly on the high side.  Kinda light-bodied.

Porcini mushroom risotto - while the rice grains themselves were kinda al dente, the rest of the whatever's on my plate was mushy.  Not the best I've had by a long shot, and again the truffle oil overpowered my olfactory senses and I had to take my wine glass out of the room to smell the wine...

2006 Prieure Roch Vosne-Romanée Le Clos Goillotte - nose of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, fruity, preserved plums (青梅), Chinese liquorice (甘草), a little bit of Chinese rubbing medicine (鐵打酒) as well as some floral notes.

Classic grilled rib eye - this was OK.  I was surprised that the white asparagus was actually rather raw and not mushy from poaching.

2003 Torbreck RunRig - one of my favorite Aussie wines.  Sooo ripe and sweet, with a bit of rubber and plastic, as well as lots of tropical coconut butter.  Very New World.

Chocolate fondant - a nice, sweet ending to the meal.

2007 Kapcsándy Vino del Sol - this Californian estate has been getting a lot of attention for making some great wines. We tasted this fortified wine made from 100% Merlot blind, and I thought it was a Cali Syrah. It's got that very metallic and iron nose, along with lots of honeydew melon, herbs and forest notes. Very good stuff.

1970 Haut-Brion - our host generously pulled this out of the cellar. Smoky, herbs, dried fruits, coffee, minerals, a little savory, a hint of brett, and some toasty oak. Very lovely.

2000 Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon - a very lovely rosé, with nose of minerals, toast, strawberries and yeast.

A very good evening with lots of excellent wines.  I look forward to visiting Jorges at Dow's on my next visit to the Duoro.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map