Savored…on the 3rd day of the Goat

Now that the Lunar New Year of 2015 festivities are done. I have started to settle down and CATCH UP.

You see, Lunar New Year celebration is observed for 15 days. Traditionally, Chinese businesses are supposed to close for that duration of time, but realistically speaking, these day it is impossible to do so. If I didn’t resume business on the fifth day, my clients will have me for a feast!! Nonetheless the feasting didn’t stop and never will. On the 3rd day, my brother got the family and a close friend together to eat drink, and to give this close friend a hard time about his growing belly…the whole night.

On this day, there was a request for me to roast some pork belly, and so I did. Sio Bak (roasted pork belly)”mark 4″ was done just right and I nailed the crackling. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know what I mean. Although this batch was a little salty, but my young nephews gave me a perfect 10. Dad was requested to whip up a batch of wok-fried mustard beef, one of his famous signature dishes. And my two nephews made (with help of course) pizza from scratch. So what did we drink you wonder? Well, not too shabby.

Silex and Seta

The interpretations of Semillon and/or Sauvignon Blanc from these two labels couldn’t be more different. The Silex was a 2006 showed lots of mineral, floral, nut and flint. There was crispiness that was lips smacking, and elegant wood was cashmere-like. Love the depth and evolving characters of the tropical fruits notes that kept me sipping. Still youthful. On the other side of the Atlantic and continent, the SETA 2008 was silky, broad, spice-ridden, with fruity notes of melon and peaches. Notable vanilla creaminess lingered fleetingly on finish. No faults but not sure if it will age further.

3rd day of Goat

The reds matched my Dad’s mustard beef brilliantly. I was amazed that RSV Los Carneros Pinot Noir held up nicely. Definitely not a power house by now, but it didn’t give way. It was definitely that the later stage of its lifespan, but lets see because I have a couple more bottles. Sawyer (this winery doesn’t exist anymore) was exactly what California Cabernet Blend should be. Fruit driven but not overwhelming and balanced, quite elegant with supple tannins and held its structure brilliantly. It will age gracefully and I am more than happy to wait. The surprised bottle of the night was La Chapelle 1988. An absolute pleasure to drink and drink and drink. It was not powerhouse but not shabby. The flavours were of dark fruits with just hints of dried cherry, notes of baking spice and rusty minerals. Not too sure if it will age gracefully further.

Savoured…Villa Sorriso

I have laughed and cried (Monk & Mindy), have been mesmerised (Awakening) and touched (Dead Poet Society) by, and definitely have gotten drunk through Robin Williams.
I am very sad by his passing. Like many, I grew up watching him. When I was much younger, I love his comedy. When I got older, I admire his serious sensitivity without losing his unique sense of humour and creative wits. For many years, he battled with depression, an illness that cannot be underestimated. Despite of that, one of his many moments of brilliance and clarity, he purchased a vineyard in the Mayacamas Mountains area of Napa and Sonoma Valley in 2000.
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Appropriately known as Villa of Smiles (Villa Sorriso), it is a 640-acre Napa ranch, of which 18.4 acres are planted with vine of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Although no wines were produced directly from the grapes of these vines, they have found their way to Robert Craig Cellars’ Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and Affinity blend for 20 years. I have been working with Robert Craig Cellars’ wine for about 10 years, and it is comforting to know I have savoured some of his smiles and laughter that he has shared on this land, and been intoxicated by his spiritual presence of grace and gentleness.
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The property was put up for sale again early this year. Maybe it was purely a business investment, maybe he found beauty in the land, maybe just maybe. But with all that he has been so well-known and well-loved, I will remember him through Villa Sorriso, maybe an opportunity to walk through the vineyard like he probably once did.

Rest in Peace Robin Williams, you are now in the front seat.

Savored…Jin Long Restaurant, Singapore and Quintessa, Oakville

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On the left is French (Didier Dagueneau, 2007 Silex Blanc Fume de Pouilly) and on the right is Californian (Quintessa 2010 Illumination). On the left is the best Sauvignon Blanc can be and will ever be because Didier Dagueneau past away in 2008 and this 2007 Grand Cru is his very last vintage. I was told that since his passing, this wine is now worth about SGD250. I noted it really crispy acidity and mineral characteristics complimented with flavors of fresh melon and citrus, subtle nuttiness and spiciness, and fresh cut flowers. There is a sense of stylishness in texture and the finish is persistent.

When I visited Quintessa during my recent trip to Napa, I was brought to the very top of a hill that over looked the eastern slope of it vineyards with a beautiful man-made lake in the middle. M brought out the Illumination and opened for us to taste. I was attracted to it aromas of slightly underripened citrus notes, white flowers and a touch of spiciness. There were flavros of lemon, pomelo-like and delicate sweetness, firm but fine acidity and a touch of bitterness but not offensive in the finish. M proceed to tell us that the inspiration for Illumination was Didier Dagueneau’s Silex. They were inspired to nuture California Sauvignon Blanc and to bring it to a benchmark that will be worthy of world class appreciation. They were even inspired by the choice of bottling as well.

I do like both very much. It is not everyday that I can afford a Silex. But I look forward to savoring Illumination on a more regular basis once I get a few cases.

Savored….Harlan Estate, Napa

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Wineries are always most proud of the wines that they made and eager to share with you the fruit of their achievement. When i visited Harlan Estate yesterday afternoon, I was most surprised when Don offered us a glass of Krug Champagne as we were mesmerized by in the incrediable view of Napa Valley from the winery. It was an impressive introduction and definitely memorable.
I am not particularly fond of Krug because of a unsavory experience with a representative of Krug a few years ago. He (Krug Representative) may not know, but I thought he was rather rude. Hence since then, I have always try my best to avoid Krug. But an exception was made for this occasion, and I had just one glass. Although the visit to Harlan was very special, and I will share it here another day, I thought this is a good start to my visits in Napa and Sonoma.

Wine & Style….Dinner at Morton’s of Chicago with Viader

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April 18 2012….@ Morton’s of Chicago Singapore

One is an iconic symbol that can only be found in any of the Morton’s of Chicago restaurants in the world. The other, in my opinion, is iconic for the brilliance of California wine, and the strength and tenacity of a woman who is owner and winemaker.