May 28, 2011

Acker Hong Kong XV pt 2: 3 Petrus vintages

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So here I go again... after complaining to my friends about suffering from "auction fatigue" - I did end up skipping 2 other auctions in the last week - I am back at it today.  Part 2 of the Acker auction was held at Grissini in the Grand Hyatt today, and this would be the first time I stepped foot in the restaurant for the last 5 years or so.

I arrived mid-way through lunch, and ended up having some of the antipasti buffet.  As usual I chose not to have the steak as my main course, but would go on to nibble on a selection of yummy desserts later in the afternoon and some finger sandwiches.

My friend once again was kind enough to invite me to join him at his VIP table, and I got to taste a good selection of wines:

2006 Quinault L'Enclos - ripe and sweet with mint and forest pine.  Sharp and alcoholic on the nose.  Tannic on the palate with a hot and spicy finish.

2005 Virginie de Valandraud en magnum - cedar, dried herbs, sweet, tobacco and cigar, coffee, and a little toasty on the nose.  Still pretty tannic.  A lovely wine.

1995 Mouton-Rothschild en magnum - smoky with dried herbs.  Very classic.

1964 Petrus - first whiff was really fishy and pungent, like fish that has been left out in the sun for a day without ice.  This cleared up quickly to reveal nose of soy sauce, smoke and dried herbs.  The nose itself was slightly acidic, somewhat like ponzu (ポン酢).  Slightly sweet aftertaste (囘甘), like the sensation from drinking some strong and bitter teas.

1966 Petrus - much better than the '64.  Smoky, dried herbs and coffee grounds on the nose.  The same sweet Chinese licorice (甘草) aftertaste like the '64, too.

2000 Figeac - smoke, cedar, coffee and potpourri.  Sweet on the palate. A very nice wine.  Nose of green peppers showed up later.

1988 Armand Rousseau Chambertin - nose was lovely and floral, with raspeberries and a hint of leather.  Very soft and light.  Second pour was more animal, with sour plum notes.  A lovely wine to drink now.

2000 Valandraud - smoky with black fruits and coffee.  Actually very similar in style to the L'Interdit de Clos Badon I've had... more classic and less garagiste than I expected.

2001 Clos des Papes - initially the nose showed very strong nose of kelp like Japanese wakame (わかめ), and interestingly we got the same nose from 2 different bottles.  It was definitely something from the sea...almost like squid ink.  Smoky, salty with sharp alcohol. There was also a hint of lychees buried deep down which took time to emerge as the nose got better.

Krug Grande Cuvée - yeasty with rubber, lemon and minerals.  The annoying rubber notes disappeared with a new pour from a second bottle.

1984 Petrus - smoky, minty, a little bit of straw and sweetness.  This comes from a famously poor and disastrous vintage in Bordeaux, and since we had zero expectations for this wine it actually outperformed...

While my friend moaned every time Gil got up on the podium instead of John, I kept to my promise from yesterday to never again complain about how slow he is...

I sat through about 4 hours of the auction before I actually raised my paddle on a few lots at the very end.  Thankfully I was successful in getting a case of the best Riesling from France.  Mission accomplished once again.

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