Château d'Yquem Large Format Offer

 

In Hong Kong it is not that uncommon to be served Château d’Yquem, but all too often it is at the end of a red fine wine marathon, and while this nectar offers welcome relief, and a nice pick-me-up, its extraordinary depth and quality often gets a bit lost.     
 
Not in large format! For a large gathering, why not make it a central feature? A superb choice for a toast at a Chinese wedding perhaps?

 

Even in bottle, Yquem has a proven track record to age effortlessly for many decades, sometimes centuries. So if you were born in, your child was born in, or you got married in one of the vintages below, shouldn’t this be in your cellar? Or, if you are lucky enough to have a cellar you can actually visit, there is nothing like the glint of a copper-gold large format Yquem to gaze upon (and talk to).          

From a purely drinking point of view, the 1994 is the most mature, delicious, though a little less unctuously rich than the others. It’s great value, and the most suited to combining savoury food courses (a really smart gastronomic choice). The 1986 is the most potently opulent – a very grand Yquem, bold and assertive. The 1983 is intense, has wonderful complexity and length and is perhaps the most refined of the selection. It is still youthful, and should prove immortal in 6-litre. My favourite modern-day Yquem is the 1989 with its intense botrytis and dried fruit character. It’s hard not to drool just thinking about it!    

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Offer

 

The Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé is one of Burgundy’s most extraordinary estates. It dates back to 1450, and today is by far the largest owner of Musigny Grand Cru (70%). It is perhaps for this reason, as much as anything, that the domaine is able to indulge in the idea of also making a small amount of white wine from what many regard as one the very greatest Pinot Noir vineyards on Earth.     
 
The domaine is especially conservative when it comes to protecting the grand cru name “Musigny”. For the red Musigny, anything produced from vines less than 25 years of age is demoted to the ‘Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru’ label, even though it is entitled to the Musigny appellation.

 

So when significant replanting of the domaine’s chardonnay in Musigny took place in the 1986 and 1994, what were they to do? The next appellation down from Musigny for white is the lowly ‘Bourgogne Blanc’. Since 1994 that is just how they have marketed all of their white from Musigny – as ‘Bourgogne Blanc’. (It now seems we are not too many years away from a return to the ‘Musigny Blanc’ label).          
 

Domaine Armand Rousseau Offer

 

Even in the company of wines from other exalted producers it is sometimes hard to fathom just how Eric Rousseau does it. Mike, Sora and I witnessed this just a couple of weeks ago at a dinner in Shanghai – all Chambertin and Chambertin Clos de Bèze.

 

There is a sort of understated ease with which Domaine Armand Rousseau’s two top wines comes across. Old vines, low yield, and the confidence to let the wines speak without tasting like they have been polished up too much during winemaking. The ’02 or ’07 Bèze, or the ’89 or ’06 Chambertin are good choices if you wish to delve in now and see what the wine is about. The ‘08s are exemplary, but for the cellar, and the ’99 – such a great vintage and so rare in magnum format, I expect to be picked off this list quickly.

 

But at Rousseau there is a great collection, and one that demonstrates the breadth as well as the depth of Gevrey-Chambertin. Take the Cazetiers, the Clos St-Jacques or the Mazis for that deeper spectrum dark fruit Gevrey character. The Lavaux is in there too, but shows a more shy, tight-structured style (often an undeservedly overlooked label).

 

I think the Ruchottes is particularly special. Note that it is Clos-des-Ruchottes. It often feels cooler, more red-fruited, very refined, mineral, nuanced in style. After the Chambertin and Bèze, this is my personal favourite of Rousseau’s wines.

Pingus - the ultimate Spanish cult wine

 

I recall attending Peter Sisseck’s Pingus masterclass at Vinexpo in 2003. Although 1995 was the first vintage, even then in 2003, it was hard to gain a seat to the tasting – this was already a cult wine.

 

A peculiarity perhaps that one of Spain’s greatest, and most sought-after wines would be made by a Dane. This glorious wine is unmistakably Spanish in expression – super low-yield (just 8~12hl/ha!) Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) from Ribero del Duero.

 

Viticulture is biodynamic and winemaking is modern. The wine has extraordinary aromatic and sumptuous fruity depth. Production is miniscule – just 300~500 cases a year. Most of what is made (around 3,000 cases) goes to the second tier label – Flor de Pingus.

 

This, the grand vin, is something all wine lovers should try at least once. I still recall my astonishment in 2003.

Roulot - Meursault King of Lieux Dits

 

Jean-Marc Roulot is one of the greatest white winemakers in the world today. The astonishing thing is that he has achieved this recognition, little by little over the years, without any grands crus, and only three 1er crus. As great as his 1er crus are – and they are truly great – I have always thought of him as “King of the Lieux Dits”. He has enormous passion for the individual personality of these village-level parcels. It is through these – perhaps even more than the 1er crus – that I have come to appreciate the breadth Meursault has to offer.

Extensive Perrot-Minot offer - intense yet charming wines from exceptionally old vines

 

Christophe Perrot-Minot’s wines could be described as something of a Burgundy Ultra – indeed, this is used on some cuvées to denote tiny yields from exceptionally old vines. ‘Vieilles Vignes’ just doesn’t do it justice. Everything is done meticulously, with rigorous sorting to ensure cuvées in great health.

The style is modern – de-stemmed, cold pre-soaking – but since about ten years ago the wines have lightened to a delightfully transparent expression. Gentler pumping over has largely replaced punching down, and new oak has been paired back to 25% for village, 40% for 1er Cru and 50% for grand cru. The incredible low-yield fruit, and the lighter touch make these very special indeed. Tiny quantities made.

Claude Dugat new arrivals  - with limited quantity

 

The small-scale family domaine of Claude Dugat is something very special. A meticulous vigernon, Claude is happiest when out in his vineyards with his beloved horse Jonquille.

 

The extraordinary fruit he is able to yield is carefully sorted and de-stemmed. Winemaking follows a modern approach with a high proportion of new oak in the grand crus. Here, like at Leroy, it works. The wines has amazing fragrance, rich, but balanced fruit and a supple texture. There is a juicy, sumptuous dark fruit intensity to his wines.

Rene Engel - as rare as it gets

 

The word “rare” is used quite often by wine merchants on email offers, including yours truly, but this is as rare as it gets because the Domaine no longer exist.

 

Domaine Rene Engel was one of the leading estates in Vosne Romanee until the tragic death of Philippe Engel in 2005. The wines are often delicate and transparent, with great focus and concentration, and there is generally light extraction and only a moderate amount of new oak used (rarely more than 50%, not until later years did he switch to 100% for the Grand Crus). There are 3 Grand Crus: Clos Vougeot (situated at the favourable top portion of the Clos with 85+ year old vines – some consider this his top wine), Grands Echezeaux and Echezeaux.
 

Burghound Gala  - Wine Suggestions

With our Allen Meadows Gala Dinner taking place next Saturday night (23rd April), the buzz in the office at The Fine Wine Experience this week has been...
 
What to open??!!
 

The style of this dinner is to celebrate Burgundy by sharing Burgundy wines with friends over a looong dinner. Lots of wines, lots of friends. Popular wine choices fall into two (overlapping) categories: Large format bottles that can be served in small portions to a very large number of people. Here is the chance to meet a lot of people, friends, new acquaintances, and share. 3 litre and above is the way to go here. Peak drinking fine Burgundies that are irresistibly in their apogee. Rarities in particular go down well, whether from gilded addresses or not.

Domaine Leflaive - Sheer quality at every level

Anne-Claude Leflaive (1956-2015) was one of Burgundy’s greatest vignerons, known for her tireless, uncompromising perfectionism. She joined her father Vincent in 1990, and following his death in 1993, and Olivier’s departure in 1994 she assumed full responsibility. Already an estate with a high reputation, Anne-Claude shifted the estate to biodynamic viticulture, improving vineyard health and reducing yields.

 

The style? I would sum it up as ‘luxuriant elegance’. The depth and definition is always there, but with a softer, more caressing texture than, say Coche-Dury, or d’Auvenay. The wines are distinctive, but the signature stamp offers a stylishly gentle impression on the nose and palate.

Please find below an impeccably-sourced selection of ready-to-drink first growth Bordeaux. 

 

Some of my personal favourite current-drinking wines are in this delectable selection, e.g. -
1998 Ch. Lafite-Rothschild — the top Medoc, now drinking well.
1970 Ch. Latour — contender for wine of the vintage, it was typically slow to evolve and is now in its apogee.
1982 Ch. Latour — one of the greatest Bordeaux of the 20th century, still on the early side of its drinking window. Can be an exciting wine.
1996 Ch. Margaux — I think this vintage more than any other captures that beautiful violetty Margaux stylishness.
1985 Ch. Haut-Brion — the charm of 1985 is best captured at Haut-Brion where the mellow fruit is matched by earthy minerality. Wonderful elegance.
1979 Ch. Petrus — an underdog year, but at a Petrus BYO dinner I once hosted this was actually my favourite wine. Elegant, fragrant.
1989 Ch. Petrus — a wine of the ages. One of the deepest, most potent years here. Immense depth.

A great selection here too for those born in 1975 or 1976.

Note too that this selection includes plenty of magnums (in mature years the “magnum factor” plays a role in the wine’s performance), including some quite rare magnums of 1994 Ch. Haut-Brion BLANC. Delicious.

Everything here is landed in our Hong Kong professional storage facility and ready for immediate delivery.

Large format bottles are hugely fun. Their very excess adds dimension to whatever special occasion is being celebrated.

A 3-litre is no excess at all. For a group of 4 to 8 people, it simply becomes the main bottle for a dinner. An extra special one.

In the picture below you see an 18-litre bottle of 2003 Chateau Cos d’Estournel. With a bit of help from the crew, we got this decanted into a dozen decanters, and it served about 150 people. A glass each — everyone sharing from the same bottle. That’s special. (Oh, and the ’03 is drinking really well right now).

 

But even though these large formats are ‘special occasion’ bottles, why wait for a special occasion? Do you remember the movieSideways? Miles is saving up his bottle of 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc for a special occasion. Maya chastises him, saying “anytime you open a bottle of Cheval Blanc is a special occasion."

Vega Sicilia Unico has long been referred to as Spain’s “first growth”. This Ribera del Duero red is based on Tempranillo, blended with the support of Bordeaux varietals. It like, it needs long ageing to really shine.

The offer below represents some leading vintages for current drinking. Note the rare chance to obtain magnums (1990), or an OWC of 12 of the 1990 or 1981. For 1968, 1983, 1990 and 1994 the bottles are available individually.

Freshly landed in Hong Kong, we are pleased to offer this selection of ready to drink Burgundy grand crus from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

Note the 1978 Montrachet – perhaps the vintage for this vineyard from DRC. A legendary wine. Is the 1996 the legend-in-waiting? This is still so youthful but shows amazing richness, freshness, poise, and balance.

1976 was a successful vintage at DRC for reds, which now fully mature, have a lovely spice and sous bois quality to them.

1969 Grands Échézeaux is a personal favourite. Lovely minerality, fruit and acidity.
 

A rare chance to acquire an original wooden case of the 1993 Richebourg, a fine vintage, drinking now but still with all its drinking years ahead of it.

Finally two original assortment cases from top years – 1995 and 2001. Keep, or broach!

The cellaring and waiting has all been done for you.

We are delighted to present The Fine Wine Experience 2014 Burgundy offer.In 2015 our team made two visits to taste 2014s from barrel.

 

The season had an early start but a mixed summer that delayed development. Fortunately a fine September meant Indian Summer conditions at harvest.

 

Compared to the ‘13s, that we liked very much, the ‘14s seemed more immediately charming, rounder, fruity in style, yet still showing great delineation between individual terroir, good freshness and balance. These are going to give great pleasure to a broad audience, and at an earlier stage in the cellar than the ‘13s. Just what everyone needs!

"Riesling: Understanding Auslese" tasting on Saturday 11th June

11th June 2016

 

Date: 11th June 2016 (Saturday)
Time: 2 PM - 3.30 PM
Venue: The Fine Wine Experience Shop
Ticket: HKD750 per seat. Fully redeemable upon $5,000 Riesling orders on the day (from across our entire Riesling list)