November 9, 2012

Zigzaging across Victoria Harbor

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This was always gonna be a busy evening, but it actually went on for much longer than I expected… and I also got a little more drunk than I expected, even though my mind was crystal clear the whole evening.  Let me try to remember the details…

I started the evening at Hong Kong Wine Vault, attending a tasting of wines from Domaine Clarence Dillon.  Jean-Philippe Delmas was in attendance, showcasing wines from both Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion.

2009 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc - pipi de chat, citrus, toasty oak and a little smoke.

2009 Haut-Brion Blanc - toasty corn, more subtle and elegant, perhaps a little closed compared to La Mission?  Riper on the palate.

Then came a pair of wines I tasted back in 2009 at the château during en primeur.

2008 La Mission Haut-Brion - really sweet and ripe, with metallic minerals, vanilla, smoky and minty. Of course the tannins are still here.

2008 Haut-Brion - more muted, smoky, slightly peppery.  Grippy on the palate.

1998 Chapelle de la Mission - in a word: manure.  Farmy, earthy, savory, soy sauce, fermented soy bean, stinky cheese.

1998 Bahans Haut-Brion - smoky, nice and elegant.

I was getting incredibly late for my dinner across the harbor, especialy since Jean-Philippe (as was expected of him) delivered a speech about the wines he is responsible for making - during which no one was able to reach for the wines.  I left without having tasted the 1998 grand vins.

Making my way from the south side of Hong Kong Island to Central, then hopping into the MTR to cross the harbor, I arrived at Cuisine Cuisine at the Mira (國金軒) some 50 minutes late for my dinner.    As it turns out I wasn't the last one to arrive at our table, and dinner hadn't started given the cocktail session was still going on.  Whew!

This was part of a German wine series organized by the Mira, and tonight the restaurant's cuisine was paired with wines from Schlossgut Diel.  As I had never eaten at this branch of Cuisine Cuisine before, and I didn't know enough about the wines from this producer, it was a pretty good opportunity for me to check out both.

2004 Diel Dorscheimer Goldloch Riesling Sparkling Brut - notes of orange, lemon and minerals.  A little ripe on the palate and slightly bitter.

Crispy oyster on fresh green (翠盞金蠔) - a pretty big oyster deep-fried in batter, then drizzled in a sweet/sour/spicy sauce.

Spinach soup with seafood and dried scallops (菠菜瑤柱海皇羹) - not bad, with shredded conpoy, shrimp and fresh scallops.
2011 Diel Dorscheimer Pittermännchen Riesling Kabinett - white flowers, very elegant, a little ripe tangerine.  Nice level of sweetness for food.

Pan-fried prawn with premium light soy sauce (豉油皇煎中蝦) - very good.  I think the flavors were just right, and the prawns were also pretty delicious.

Sautéed garoupa fillet with asparagus in black bean sauce (豉汁鮮露筍斑球) - this was OK.  These days I'm not usually a fan of fish fillet in Chinese cuisine, but there wasn't anything technically wrong with the dish.
2011 Diel Dorscheimer Pittermännchen Riesling Spätlese - white flowers, very elegant, sweeter on the palate and fatter.

Sautéed fresh crab claw (油泡鮮蟹鉗) - fairly decent.
2008 Diel Dorscheimer Goldloch Riesling Großes Gewächs - nose of petrol, mineral, white pepper, white flowers.  Dry but slightly ripe on the palate.

Fried rice with assorted diced seafood, pumpkins and black truffles (松露南瓜海鮮炒飯) - umm… HELLO?!  Where's the truffle?  The fried rice was a little on the soggy side, and while I could taste the sweetness of the pumpkin, overall it didn't do much for me.

Double-boiled Hokkaido milk with lychee purée (荔枝蓉燉鮮奶) - I normally don't partake in the steamed/double-boiled milk desserts, but made an exception because of the lychee (荔枝).  This was OK.

2002 Diel Dorscheimer Goldloch Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel - marmalade, acetone, honey.  Lovely.

During dinner Victor Diel came over to greet us, and I forwarded regards sent by the Specialist as she and Dr. Poon are friends with Victor.  After dinner was over, Victor and I decided to join Dr. Poon and the Specialist back on Hong Kong Island to drink a few more wines…

1990 d'Auvenay Meursault Les Narvaux - lots of heavy, intense toasty oak, flint, very ripe, with a hint of honey.  Nose was absolutely beautiful after about an hour.

2005 Dugat-Py Bourgogne "Cuvée Halinard" - minty, forest, exotic spices.

1971 Schloss Schönborn Hattenheimer Nußbrunnen Riesling Beerenauslese - orange marmalade, honey and acetone on the nose, pretty sweet on the palate with some acidity.  My contribution.

This was a very long evening, and I seem to have consumed more wine than I realized...

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