July 4, 2023

Bord(eaux) on the Fourth of July

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Pineapple pinged us a few days ago and asked if we were free for lunch today. He didn't tell us upfront what it was about, but I figured it would be something pretty interesting, so I put my hand up. I was pretty happy to find out later that we would actually be tasting wines from Château Figeac with Frédéric Faye - who is the winemaker and General Manager of the property - at Woo Cheong Tea House (和昌飯店), of course.

I'm pretty happy to return to the restaurant with Pineapple, because I always get to taste new dishes with him. And history has shown that I'll end up liking many of them.

Deep-fried baby sardines (酥炸白飯魚) - this came with a nice and slightly acidic glaze and was, of course, nice and crunchy.

Shrimp dumpling with bamboo shoots (古法筍尖蝦餃王) - I've never been here for lunch, and therefore I was pleasantly surprised by the thin and delicate wrapper of the har gau (蝦餃), which kept its integrity and did not tear. The bamboo shoots inside were also in reasonably-sized chunks and tasted sweet.

Deep-fried cod fish spring rolls with seaweed (海苔鱈魚脆春卷) - the wrapper came with a lattice pattern and was satisfyingly crunchy, while the cod filling with seaweed flavors were nice and succulent.

Deep-fried squids, chef's special sauce (五味醬脆皮炸魷魚鬚) - how can I not love deep-fried squid tentacles?!

Woo Cheong signature Peking duck (和昌片皮鴨) - I was pretty surprised to see this on the menu. I wondered if this was for the benefit of our visitor...

The chef did a pretty good job of presenting thin slices of the duck breast. It even looks a little like magret de canard, but prettier.

This is how I love my Peking duck served - in slices with a combination of skin and meat. Biting down squeezes the liquid fat out from the skin.

We also got plates with slices of the duck leg and the back, and some of these pieces have a layer of fat underneath the skin, but here the skin was no longer as crispy as the breast. Still very tasty.

Minced duck meat with lettuce (生菜包鴿崧) - the traditional second serving of the duck in a lettuce cup.

Stir-fried pumpkin seedlings with pork larb (豬油渣炒南瓜苗) - oh man... this was so, so satisfying and moreish... all thanks to those bits of pork lard (not 'larb' as printed on the menu) which glistened under the light. Any veggie is gonna taste good when stir-fried with lard, innit?!

Pan-fried noodles with abalone and black bean sauce (豉椒鮮鮑煎脆麵) - crispy pan-fried noodles are always a good idea, and the abalone in black bean sauce was very, very tasty. Yes, it paired very well with the 1966 Figeac...

Ths focus today was squarely on the wines, and we were fortunately to have the affable Frédéric with us.

2014 Delamotte Blanc de Blancs - nice and a little caramelized on the nose, with lovely lemon citrus notes. Good acidity on the palate.

2018 Petit-Figeac - 40% cabernet sauvignon in the blend. Very fragrant with lots of mint and exotic spices. Very ripe fruit. Obviously very young with that telltale nose which comes from thick grape skin that is almost like rubber.

2015 Figeac - still pretty young. Fragrant nose of oak and eucalyptus. Really nice and fresh and lovely. First couple of sips seemed to show that tannins were already smooth, although certainly more tannic than the 2009. After almost 3 hours in the decanter this was showing some coconut butter.

2009 Figeac - a more mature and complete wine than 2015. More smoky, minty but not eucalyptus, with some earthiness. Very nice and more flamboyant than the 2015. About 3 hours after decanting the tannins on the tongue became more noticeable.

2000 Figeac - served about 2 hours and 45 minutes after decanting. Heavier smoke on the nose, more Asian spices and leather, a little more animal notes, and lots of tobacco. Meaty with a little green capsicum. Drinking so well now.

1985 Figeac - this was corked, unfortunately, and showed lots of wet cardboard and grassy notes. Underneath the taint the wine wasn't bad, still showing leather, a little salty plum, and good fragrance.

1966 Figeac, ex-château and rebouché en 2017 - served 3 hours after decanting. Lots of tea in the nose, elegant and beautiful, so sexy and exotic. Fantastic wine.

A very enjoyable lunch with delicious food and of course beautiful wines. Many thanks to Pineapple for the kind invitation. Must stock up on more Figeac now...

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