Weekend Treat…Skinny Jeans

Not quite a treat because I do not need to wait for weekends to wear jeans.

Skinny Jeans
But I realised that i have not worn jeans this week, and will not be doing so this weekend either. It is turning out to be a 7-day work week for me, and I will share with you soon why it is so soon.  Don’t worry, it is a good thing.
Here in my part of the world, we are enjoying a long weekend with Monday being a public holiday. And I have planned to sleep in till the $30 wine challenge dinner in the evening. That will be the day I put my jeans back on.

At the meantime…HAPPY WEEKEND.

Spotted…Fedora and Moustache

Every once in a while, I am reminded that it really takes all sorts. Initially I thought he was rude, but after a chat about wine, he became quite charming.
Fedora and Moustache
I was having a meeting with Marie of FFW during Vinexpo when this gentleman simply walked behind her booth, attempted to pour himself some wine. He didn’t stop there, he proceeded to ask Marie about the wine even though Marie was in the midst of talking to me. Well, we sort of shrugged and put our conversation on hold to take care of him and his friends. He could be a potential clients for Marie, which was the whole purpose of Vinexpo.

Maybe it was the fedora or the moustache, or maybe they were slightly high on alcohol. We were so forgiving.
With what have been happening around the world, a little more forgiveness may be in order.

Savoured…Happy 70-ish Birthday

When I am 70, I would still love to drink this well.
A couple of months ago, we celebrated a dear friend’s 70ish birthday during one of the regular wine group dinner gatherings that I am a member of. My bad, I must have drunk too much or had too much fun, I forgot his exact age. But I know he is in the 70s.

Nothing start a party like a Champagne.
Dom Perignon 2003-001
And so to adhere to the rule of starting from light to heavy, this became the obvious first red:
Ch Figeac 1964-001
The grand dame has aged rather gracefully. Sure, she has lost some of her rosiness and she should, but she was still interesting. Like a classic, there was dried rose petals sweetness laced with savoury notes, stewed plum, well-worn leather, and cedar shavings, slightly medicinal. Gently fading, not faded.

The next few Bordeaux were younglings by comparison, but full of potential with patience.

Pictures2Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2009
By comparison, it exuded bright ruby hue with youthful purple tint. It wore a brand new leather jacket offering just ripen dark fruits and smoke of a just lighted cedar shavings. It was not quite ready with firm acidity, notable hard tannins,  and tight fruit structure. I would have love to taste it 18 hours later.

Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 2005
It was ravishingly bright of deep ruby hue. Wonderful aromas of savoury spices, game, floral perfume, caramel, jammy red fruits and smoked meat. It took a while for me to taste the wine because I was so in love with the aromas. Then it embraced me at first sip with fleshy just ripen red fruits, and smashed plum and baked sweetness. Beautifully round and lush. Took me a while to put the glass down.

Chateau Pedesclaux 2005
Bright ruby hue with inky core. Revealing a conservative aromas of leather, rubber, sweet ripened cherry, blackberry, forest floor, and blueberry jam. Spices made its presence upon sipping showing firm and vibrant dark fruit acidity. Very enjoyable now.

Chateau Margaux 2002
The wine was aptly opened about 4 hours before we got to drink it. 14 years of cellaring was not not long enough to fade the dark youthful hue. First whiff revealed musky, wood, sweat, celery stalk, and savoury spices with a firm sense of masculinity. Gaminess made its first impression on the palate, followed by fleshy meatiness, savoury, sweet nuts, and steamed fruits. Seemed to have dulled out with weight or still tight, not quite ready to be drunk maybe?

Pictures1Chateau Haut Brion 1995
It showed some ageing with amber hue on the edge. Barnyard like aromas with notes of game, musk, wax, cedar chips and baking spices. Flavours were more revealing with notes of spice, red fruits sweetness, oak, and leather. The finish was slightly bitter of medicine and graphite. Every time, I revisited, I was getting rather different flavour notes. Quite a chameleon.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1995
Compared to the Haut Brion, this looked more youthful with tint of deep blue core. Aromas were quite tight with hints of violets, nut, dark fruits such as blueberries and blackberries, firm leather, dusty minerality and austerity of tar. The flavours echoed the aromas with notable firm acidity, restrained sweetness and texture that seemed rather aggressive, firm and chewy.
Definitely needs at least 10 more years for it to give.

Chateau Petrus 2004
It showed impressive bright ruby hue. It presented itself at first whiff of graphite-like minerality, mint and lead, accompanied with warm tone of burnt rubber and bullish approach (not sure why I wrote this in my notes?). Flavours came through brighter with red sourish sweet cherries, lip-smacking vanilla cream, and racy acidity (rather fast and furious type). This was my first Petrus, fingers cross that it will not be my last.

Chateau Y quem 2004
My view on Y quem has always been DO NOT DISTURB FOR AT LEAST 20 YEARS. The sweetness of a dessert wine should not be too upfront and make you cringe. This didn’t quite did that, but I thought it would be perfect in about few more years. It revealed notes of melon, honey, vanilla cream, nuts such as hazelnut and almond, nougat, oak and citrus rind like bitterness on the finish. There is a sense of effervescence and bite. For me, everything just needed to mellow out a little more, but very delicious nonetheless.

I left this alone from the collage because for me, this was THE WINE of the evening, not just for me, but for several of others as well.
Ch Cheval Blanc 1999-001
At 15 years old, it showed density in colour with brilliance. Fruit notes didn’t stand forward, but leather and sweat made its presence first (without swirling). Aromas of blackberries, dusty blue fruits, mint, cedar wood and game came through with a little agitation. I could not stop smelling the wine because it was simply divine and intoxicating. When I was finally done smelling it, I sipped and found taste of black and red fruits, savoury spice, and stewed like sweetness (was thinking of bacon and egg with splash of worcestershire sauce). As expected, the tannins were still firm but elegant.

I am working towards a luxurious morning of Cheval Blanc with Bacon and Eggs one day, preferably before I turn 70.

Spotted…Being Cool

What do you do with a tricky cork?
Being Cool-001
It can be a frustrating, but it is even more important to keep your cool.
If you love old wines, it is almost inevitable that you meet a cork that will challenge your patience, wine-opening skill and sense of coolness. So don’t give up, keep your cool and you will definitely be rewarded. All else fail, decant.

Weekend Treat…Risky By-The-Glass

It wasn’t a weekend, but it was still a treat, despite the scary reports that I have been reading about it. This was my first Coravin by-the-glass. Served to me by a friend who is a Sommelier and the General Manager of the restaurant.
When I indicated that there are reports of exploding bottles, my friend said “never mind lah. Give it a taste”. I was a little apprehensive, so I sort of leaned backward when the wine was flowing (quite slowly actually) into the glass, just in case.

But I am so happy to see a restaurant using it because that means that it will be possible to taste wine that are either old or/and expensive by the glass, without the restaurant worrying about wastage and spoilage. Also, after encountering of a fragile and brittle cork that eventually required the usage of a decanter last evening, I believe the Coravin can be extremely useful in this situation.

I hope the people at Coravin will be able to sort out the issue of exploding bottles soon. I would love to get one for myself.

Spotted…Fourth of July

Celebration of the Fourth of July came early this year for me.
The US Embassy throws a party every year, and this year without fail was a big one with I believe a couple of thousand of guests. There were lots of food, booze and dancing, just the way a party should be. Here’s wishing all my American friends…HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY.
American Flag-001

Savored…Alone with a Zinfandel

Home alone on a Saturday night is not that bad actually.
Other than still trying to figure out the world of Mac with a good friend on Team Viewer, while channel 515 is showing LOTR – The Two Towers, I decided to open this bottle.
Robert Craig 97 Zinfandel
I had this bottle in my wine fridge for quite a while. Every time I have friends over and suggest that we open this, it was always a unanimous NAH. I can understand due to the fact that it is a Zinfandel, and Robert Craig is not known to make Zinfandel. They would probably prefer a 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon. So being home alone, I thought I can drink it and if it is bad, it will not offend anyone.

Well it was not bad. The colour of the wine is showing age, borderline rosy brick. But the nose was still quite fresh with notes of plum, black cherry and leather. On the palate, the aromas echoed with notes of earth, forest floor and savoury spices. Good length and rather balance, but the alcohol was quite pronounce. The Zinfandel was indeed living up to it’s reputation of being high on alcohol content. After 2 glasses, I felt the urge to speak the Elvish language. Well, I actually do not know how to, but the wine was inspiringly good at that moment.

I tasted it again the next day, and there were still some fruits, with stewed like structure. It was holding up pretty well. Hubz thought it was quite savoury on the finish, but not too bad.

On Day #3…I will not cook with it.