Last year, we held our first “Greatest Wines of the World Weekend.” This event was a reincarnation of sorts, for those of you around long enough to remember the “Top 100” days. The first Top 100 was in 2004, and even though less than fifteen years ago, it certainly seems a lifetime away. One thing that hasn’t changed is our insatiable appetite to try the world’s finest wines over and over again. It never gets old, at least for me. So when we decided to do this event again, we didn’t change the premise, but we did change the location. Hong Kong here we come. This year’s event proved even more extraordinary than the one before, which was no easy task. This would be a weekend of pure wine heaven.
Here We Go
The first night was at Bo Innovation, one of Hong Kong’s few three star restaurants. Chef Alvin Leung, also known as ‘The Demon Chef’ and one of the stars of Master Chef in Canada, was personally on hand and created a special menu that was the greatest meal of East meets West that I have ever had. Bravo Chef! We were off to a great start food wise, but the wines would take it up even another notch.
We began with a rare bottle of 1959 Krug Collection, which was a rich butter bomb with ‘apple juice city’ flavors. It was full of buttery deliciousness. There were nice, fully mature flavors and a rich mouthfeel full of dry honey. The acidity lingered in a sneaky way (96).
The 1973 Krug Collection Magnum was younger and showed much younger. There was more of a mineral backbone with lots of zip. This was very perfumed and had the best of both worlds of young and mature Champagne. Someone commented it was ‘softer than ’59,’ and there were lighter apple flavors (95M).
The Good Doctor preferred the 1990 Krug Collection out of the three, finding it the freshest, which is what he likes in his Champagne. The Hamburglar found it ‘low acid,’ which is generally true for the vintage, he went on. Colorado John found it ‘light and crisp’ (95+).
Three Meursault Perrieres from Roulot are definitely a good way to start any wine portion of any evening. We started with the rarely seen 1983 Roulot Meursault Perrieres, which was full of honeysuckle, acacia, sweet white flowers and jasmine. The French Paradox noted ‘passionfruit.’ There was an unusual sweetness and ripeness here to the point where The Good Doctor noted that this was ‘sweeter than any Burgundy I’ve ever tasted, it’s almost like a Riesling.’ We later discussed that California’s Ted Lemon, now of Littorai, might have had a hand in this vintage as he came to the Domaine in 1984 and made three vintages at Roulot. This was a super sweet and exotic wine, with guava flavors joining the party (95).
Jean-Marc Roulot had taken over the winemaking full time in 1989, and he has become one of the greatest white winemakers in the world. While most 1995 whites are past their prime, his 1995 Roulot Meursault Perrieres still had something to say. It had more milky, creamy and vanilla qualities. Its palate was meaty and lush with more vanilla flavors, and the Good Doctor tasted ‘honey’ (93).
The 1996 Roulot Meursault Perrieres had an explosive nose with lots of T ‘n A. The Good Doctor admired how these vintages were all so ‘different.’ There was lots of richness, texture and more length here than the other MPs. Its flavors were nutty, buttery and more yellow. There was nice light spice and great smokehouse flavors as well. Irv noted ‘butterscotch,’ and 12 Gauge correctly hailed it as ‘benchmark’ Roulot (97).
A good place to go after Roulot is definitely Coche-Dury! The 1993 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne was classy and classic and a bit yeasty and butternutty. There were smoky fruits in its nose, and it was very buttery on the palate, fully mature and round with great richness and a nice mouthfeel. It was dusty and fully mature. The sommelier was in awe and shrieked, ‘Amazing dude!’ Maybe he was talking about me lol. I was struck by its elegance on the finish, and The Good Doctor preferred the 1993, citing ‘older is better’ lol. A discussion about this wine being on a plateau ensued with 12 Gauge (95).
Killer Coche at Large
12 Gauge moved on to the ‘weightlessness’ of the 2000 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne. This was ‘very Coche’ per The French Paradox, full of lots of smoky fireplace action and clean waterfall qualities. This was a super fresh 2000 that was as good as the vintage in general gets. The Paradox admired ‘the roasted Coche thing,’ and this smoky, icy, lemon pie of a wine left me with a lip-smacking finish (97).
The 2007 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne was rich but young, definitely doing its suave Coche thing. It sparkled like diamonds and possessed outstanding richness, but it was still a bit shy. There were lots of white ice, minerals, white fruits and flowers in this Ã”SpringÃ”-y wine. The Paradox continued, ‘You can see the whole Coche family in this flight’ (96).
After nine bubblies and whites, it was time for some reds. The Good Doctor set a high bar when he said that the 1959 Latour was ‘one of the best bottles of Latour I’ve ever tasted.’ He was absolutely right; I seconded that emotion! This was a perfect bottle that was so sweet (in the right way) and so rich with loads of great spice. Dusty, long, thick and smooth, the crowd cooed ‘chocolate’ and ‘cassis.’ This was a gritty and exciting wine. I often say that I usually prefer the ’59 Latour these days to the ’61, and this bottle was Exhibit A-Z (99).
The 1961 Palmer had the disservice of coming after the Latour. It was also a member of the ‘Better Bottle Club’ as some of us referenced having better bottles – not that this one was off. It was still very nice with sour cherry aromas and a citrusy twang. It had fleshy ice cream flavors and still merited an outstanding score (95).
The 1961 Mouton Rothschild was full of chocolaty deliciousness. It was mature, jammy, creamy and zippy with a nice slaty finish. The Hamburglar pointed out the ‘opulent’ warm vintage, and its rich and roasted flamboyant style backed up that argument (95).
We hit a big time Lafleur trifecta next; it was a thrilling flight, and none more thrilling than the 1961 Lafleur. It is extremely difficult to find a good bottle of this wine, but when you do, it is incredible. It had a deep nose that was so plummy, chocolaty and full of royal garden aromas. This was a rich and sumptuous bottle, tangy and intense with amazing texture and incredible acid. This was a perfect bottle, truly incredible. It smacked lips and asses (99).
A Lifetime of Lafleur
The 1979 Lafleur was more Cab Franc-y and more jammy in the nose, but its palate was very slaty with a dry, dry finish. Boysenberry jam emerged with some time, and the wine continued to show off its long finish (96).
I have always loved the 1989 Lafleur, which struck me like the modern day ’61 but even stronger. This is an undervalued wine in the marketplace. There was lots of oil and alcohol, enough for a Russian bachelor party lol. There was a flash of jam in this monster wine. Intense, super stuff (98).
Exit Bordeaux, enter Burgundy. The Bordeaux certainly set a gold standard, so to speak, but the wines of Domaine Dujac were up to the challenge. I drank the 1993 Dujac Clos de la Roche first by accident, or maybe I got served it first and couldn’t wait, but I broke my oldest to youngest trend on this night. There was great spice, great intensity and great twang here. Yes, it was great lol. There was a super m_lange of black, purple and red fruits. This was another lip smacker, thick as a brick with a long, intense finish. It got a ‘WOW,’ and a ‘Tootsie poppin’ fuck it 🙂 (98).
This bottle of 1990 Dujac Clos de la Roche was not as good as the ’93, having more bouillon, more flesh but a less intense finish. It seemed mellow by the usual 1990 standards for Dujac. It was a little dirty and was another member of the ‘BBC.’ No, the Better Bottle Club, geez. 12 Gauge is a ’90 lover in general, and he found the Dujacs were ‘the closest and most consistent flight of the night’ (94).
The 1985 Dujac Clos de la Roche was outstanding, similar in personality to the 1993 but with more mint. It was really more menthol, which developed into what I hailed as ‘Super Menthol’ lol. There was great citrus and great spice here along with gorgeous mahogany and exotic apricot flavors. Sexy stuff (97).
There are not too many Burgundy producers that can follow the flight of Dujac that we just had, but Rousseau would be one of them. The 1985 Rousseau Chambertin was ‘dirty in a typical way,’ someone noted, adding that it was a good thing. I got lots of plum, menthol and some other things I can’t read at the moment. This was a deep wine with rich and smooth purple fruit flavors. Outstanding stuff (96).
Three of a Kind
The 1988 Rousseau Chambertin was dirtier and a little one dimensional compared to the 1985. Another BBC (92).
There was almost something tropical about the 1990 Rousseau Chambertin. It was so rich, a bit soupy and honeyed in those regards, both positives. This was a lush Rousseau with good acid. There were good forest flavors led by cedar and presumably some other tree (again I can’t read what I wrote, it was that time of the night). The ’90 was clearly the richest of the flight, perhaps a touch sweet in a beet like way, but this was a meaty and bite-y wine that showed the best that 1990 has to offer in Burgundy (96+).
The 1978 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle Magnum was all about the pheromones and sexy accordingly. It was so rich out of magnum and also gamy, candle waxy, creamy and dry with texture to match. This was outstanding but another where I had grander memories. Someone likened it to a ‘triple shot of Starbucks’ thanks to the coffee that developed (95M).
Wait, There’s More
I usually have a lot more to say about a 1989 Chave Hermitage, but all I could muster up was ‘hitting a wall.’ I wasn’t spitting much (95).I similarly wrote ‘no more notes’ for a spectacular 1990 Chave Hermitage (97).And I didn’t even write a score for the 1927 & 1945 Taylor. Oops.
It was a spectacular beginning to a spectacular weekend. We would see everyone tomorrow.
15 Bottles is All I Can Fit in One Shot
In Vino Veritas,