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As 2022 coming an end…

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

Another year has almost gone by and the scary thing is that the 365 days just seem to be slipping away faster than ever. Whatever challenges you might have endured, we can probably feel more positive going forward as Hong Kong (and China) are embarking on more liberal Covid policies which could soon lead to easing up of various travel restrictions. Not only that will boost the economy but more importantly, we can see our family members, friends and work colleagues across the border, in many cases for the first time in 3 years.

At this juncture 12 months ago, yours truly listed the memorable wines and restaurants experienced during the year and the following is the list for 2022:

1995 Cos d’Estournel (drinking again the first very good wine I experienced almost 20 years ago)

1995 Pichon Lalande (same as above)

2008 Trotanoy (RP’s Bordeaux of the vintage and we agree)

2017 Arnoux-Lachaux Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru Aux Reignots (the hottest Burgundy more recently?)

2014 Clos Mogador Vi de Finca (exquisite…pity Spanish wines not more popular in HK)

2017 Paul Lato Pisoni Vineyard Chardonnay (Californian white like a great Burgundy)

2009 Hundred Acre Deep Time (worth every one of the 100 Parker points it’s got)

2012 Dominus (great wine, and probably the best value of all from Dominus)

Macallan Single Malt 50 years (a generous treat by a friend…and we just like it as a gorgeous spirit)

Ararat 20 Years (Our ignorance…a first taste of Armenian Brandy…and it’s good)

Sun Hon Kee (Hakka cuisine, excellent food and good balance between tradition and creativity)

Wilmer Lobby (better than The Chairman, and much cheaper…only our humble opinion, of course)

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (it was lunch we went)

Mosu (western cuisine by Korean chef…unique and excellent)

Arbor (apology for our late discovery)

Going back to wine, we would like to suggest the following if you are thinking of some last minute stocking up for the festive season:

2013 Agrapart Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Mineral (WA96 at HK$1080/bottle) – One of our favorite Champagnes that possesses beautiful, mingling aromas of citrus oil, dried apricot, pear, toasted hazelnuts and white flowers in a complex bouquet. Full-bodied, deep and vinous, it is layered and incisive, with a racy spine of acidity and a searing chalky finish.

2017 R de Rieussec (JS95 at HK$170/bottle) – By the Bordeaux producer with the same ownership as Lafite, this great valued white is a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend and sings of ripe peaches, pink grapefruit and lemon curd with touches of elderflowers and straw. The palate is medium bodied, fresh and packed with stone fruit and citrus, finishing long and with minerality.

2018 Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Mouchere Monopole (WA95 at HK$1,500/bottle) – Brilliant Burgundy white, medium to full-bodied, deep and multi-dimensional with terrific concentration boosting complex aromas of pear, citrus, hazelnut, dried flowers and smoke. Long and mineral finish.

2017 Jermann Tunina Venezia Giulia (JS96 at HK$400/bottle) – From NE Italy, this white is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia and Picolit. The wine is luminous and bright with bouquets of citrus, green apple, honey dew melon, spring flower and dried jasmine. There is a lot of steel with pretty mineral tones in the finish.

2012 Gazin (RP95 at HK$580) – Petrus bought a big chunk of the Gazin vineyard some years ago and this is testament of the great terroir Gazin is possessing. This is one that offers exquisite aromas of raspberry, wild strawberry, marmalade and minerals that you could nose it all day! The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and crisp acidity that is harmoniously balanced…seriously good indeed.

2012 Troplong Mondot (RP96 at HK$680/bottle) – This St-Emilion estate has been on the upward trajectory for the last 20 years and its 2012 vintage another truly great wine. Notes of cassis, blackberry, licorice are followed by a full-bodied, opulently textured wine with stunning concentration, purity and overall balance.

2009 Duhart-Milon (RP97 at HK$850/bottle) – Another Bordeaux estate with the same owner as Lafite and producing great reds that are better and about half the price of Lafite’s second wine!!! And this one is from a great vintage with a big, sweet nose of crème de cassis, licorice, lead pencil, cedar on top of dark fruits. Viscous and full-bodied, it is the most concentrated example of its offerings over the years.

2015 Chantal Remy Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru (WA93-95 at HK$1,350/bottle) – This good Burgundy red has a light, harmonious red cherry, strawberry and bergamot-scent bouquet. The palate is marked by very fine tannin, nicely focused with great tension, but does not shortchange in terms of fruit and precision on the long finish.

2009 Gaja Sori Tildin Langhe (WA96 at HK$2,600/bottle) – A fascinating, almost imposing red and yet with elegance. Not sure we need to say too much about what is definitely the First Growth equivalent from Italy except the fantastic price we manage to get when most offers in the market at least are 15-20% more expensive.

2017 Castellare di Castellina Sodi di San Niccolo (WS96 at HK$550/bottle) – Excellent Tuscan Sangiovese blend with a beautiful label centred on a different bird species for each vintage, with 2017 being the 40th anniversary edition featuring a special black label (see picture above). This is a vibrant red with a toasty oak flavour emerging from its bright cherry, blackberry and violet aromas. There are wild herb, tobacco and mineral notes too, all leading to a good finish that is defined by lively acidity and finesse.

2016 Yao Ming Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (WA97 at HK$1,100) – The bottle design of his flagship wine is reflective of the imposing physique of the great basketball player who set up his Napa wine operation some 10 years ago. This is a seriously good wine too as it pills seductively out of the glass with compelling crème de cassis, plum reserves and baked cherries scents plus hints of mocha, menthol and cedar. Full-bodied and framed by firm, velvety tannins, there is freshness and a lasting 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 you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!!!


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