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2023 going on 2024…

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Our newsletter issued around this time last year projected a more positive outlook as the various strict Covid measures were about to be lifted in China and Hong Kong. With all that’s been unfolding, some being continuation of events and others new and unforeseen at the time (such as the war at Gaza), 2024 looks to be another challenging year. While we don’t have the wisdom to provide all the solutions, we would merely suggest you to maintain good physical and mental health, without which will make all other matters secondary. Spend time with family and friends, enjoy good food and perhaps share a glass of wine. And by the way, good food and wine need not be expensive.

On that note, yours truly is listing some of the ones that gave memorable experiences during the year:

NV Robert Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra Brut Reserve Perpetuelle - So good one can’t believe it only costs $500/bottle.

NV Ulysse Collin Les Maillons Blanc de Noirs (2019) – If you like Jacques Selosse…this may be better

NV Schloss Gobelsburg Tradition Heritage Cuvee 3 Years Edition 850 – An unexpected discovery at this very nice restaurant in Budapest…surely the food enhanced the experience of the wine.

1986 Lafite Rothschild – Lafite is Lafite…still full of energy after all the years.

2000 L’Evangile – A great millennium wine that can stand up to any First Growths.

2000 Ch. Margaux – Elegant, complex and with such depth…best modern era Ch. Margaux?

2006 Vieux Ch. Certain – Wine of the vintage?

2010 Branon – Such balance and such value…a personal favourite.

2005 DRC Romanee St. Vivant – It got to be good…and it certainly lived up to its reputation.

2012 Domaine Vougeraie Bonnes Mares Grand Cru – In the league of Roumier and de Vogue at a fraction of the price.

2009 Gaja Sori Tildin Langhe – Epitome of an elegant Barbaresco.

2014 Clos Mogador Vi de Finca – A must for anyone who wants to know how great wines from Catalonia can be.

2018 Ata Rangi Martinborough Pinot Noir – Our relative lack of experience on New Zealand reds…this one clearly distinguished itself as one with substance and complexity, very enjoyable.

2020 Donum East Slope Reserve Pinot Noir – The highest rated Pinot from Donum so far.

Forum (Causeway Bay) – Easily serving the best dim sum in town.

Sushi Sakai – Should have included this one earlier…good food. Cordial and sincere owner-chef who is quite prepared to share his gastronomic knowledge.

Bonheur – Good western food, perhaps with a HK twist…the service just makes you feel very at home.

Auor – A new discovery… excellent food (although the owner-chef not a favourite personality of my good friend☹).

Embla – Swedish owner-chef doing Nordic inspired cuisine, not something you would readily bump into in Hong Kong.

For Kee – Don’t look for service from this family run eatery doing what is close to “street food”…the wok-fried porkchop with onion and beef satay toast being their signature dishes.

Ginza Katsukami – A must for anyone visiting Tokyo…it is about different ways to do different parts of pork…such a gastronomic experience and yet at not crazy prices.

Going back to our wine list, we would like to suggest the following if you have run down your cellar a lot after Christmas:   

2013 Agrapart Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Mineral (WA96 at HK$1,080/bottle) – One of our favorite Champagnes that shows beautifully, mingling Aromas of citrus oil, dried apricot, pear, toasted hazelnuts and white flowers in a complex bouquet. Full-bodied and deep, it is layered, incisive, ending with a searing chalky finish.

2019 M. Chapoutier Ermitage de L'Oree Blanc (WA96 at HK$1,350/bottle) – A member belonging to the premium stable of whites by this reputable Rhone producer, the wine boasts notes of toasted grain and ripe, honeyed peaches. Full-bodied and expansive, it is opulent, richly textured and long finish, with waves of flavour echoing.

2015 Jermann Where Dreams Have No End (JS96 at HK$550/bottle) – We are re-stocking this very good Chardonnay from the north-east of Itay. Fermented mostly in stainless steel vats. This is not to be missed by those who like refreshing and unoaked style of whites.

2016 La Gravette de Certan (RP95 at HK$620) – Who could resist a good Vieux Ch. Certain? For those who want a close enough experience at 25% of the cost, this second wine from the same estate is a good alternative. It is an excellent wine indeed more than capable to stand on its own.   

2010 Duhart-Milon (RP96 at HK$720/bottle) – If you like Lafite but don’t feel like spending big dollars every day on wine, you should go for this producer, the wines of which are very good and at prices not even half of that for the Lafite second wine. The Rothschild Family has made extensive attention and investments into this estate. The 2010 vintage is the most concentrated example, offering a big, sweet nose of crème de cassis, licorice, lead pencil, cedar on top of dark fruits.

2015 La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino (WA95 at HK$420/bottle) – A brawny Sangiovese with focus and clarity from Tuscany (Italy), this is a robust and precise wine that shows dark berry fruit, red currant, spice, licorice and grilled herbs.

2021 Comando G La Bruja de Rozas (WA95 at HK$200/bottle) – Good valued Spanish red out of mostly the Ganarcha (Grenache in French) grape varietal, it has electricity, depth and grip without losing subtleness. There is minerality, an herbal tone and no concession for fruit. Enjoyable now but almost certain to be even better with age.

2018 Quinta do Crasto Touriga Nacional (WA97 at HK$430/bottle) – A red representing the best from Portugal, there is finesse as it projects the essence of grape, ripe tannins and oak that is well handled not to be overly woody. The wine show firmness even after aeration, indicating it having the structure to age. Less than 10,000 bottles produced.

2018 Ao Yun (WA95 at HK$1,950) – China is becoming big, not only as a wine consuming country but as a producer as well. If you haven’t tried anything out of China yet, this elite example out of a project by LVMH can show you how far things have evolved. Still a youthful wine, there is already open and abundant aromas of black cherry, mulberry, blueberry, black plum, ripe cassis, complemented by subtle oak, notes of clover, toast and smoke. On the palate, the wine has abundant, fine-grained tannins with lively acidity, ending with a lengthy and concentrated finish.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to go to our website to browse the full wine list. Purchases can be made through the website or by sending us an e-mail or simply WhatsApp 9195-7383. And we would wish everyone all the best for 2024!!!


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