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Donum and the Chinese Zodiac Signs



First of all, our best wishes to everyone for the Year of the Dragon. Your support is greatly appreciated and we also hope you find value in dealing with Vinopolis HK.


Talking about the Dragon, some of you know that Donum owners Allan and Mei Warburg are very passionate in art. They have one of the World’s largest collections of sculptures, with more than fifty monumental works by a global community of famous artists displayed at the Donum Estate. Among these, there are twelve in the form of animal heads that represent the signs of the Chinese zodiac, which once decorated the Yuanming Yang imperial retreat in Beijing. Originally designed in the 18th century by two European Jesuits, these sculptures were stolen in 1860 when the French and British troops ransacked the place. They are now priceless artifacts and have been popping up in Western auction houses, a few of which had since been acquired and sent back to China. The artist Ai Weiwei was inspired by such to produce his version of the replicas, combining Eastern and Western art in one stroke and at the same time questioning the ideas about authenticity and ownership, real and fake, understandings and misunderstandings in a not serious manner.


Starting from the vintage of 2014, Donum has been making its wine labels in accordance with the animal that corresponds to that particular zodiac year. We are now having the horse, the ram, the monkey, the rooster, the dog, the pig, the rat and the ox with the rest coming in the next four vintages. Other than being very good wines, Donum can be an excellent birthday gift especially for wine lovers who will surely feel blessed that he/she is getting something of his/her zodiac sign. So let us know if you want Donum wine(s) of a particular zodiac label.


Other than Donum, we have the following recent additions that might interest you:


2019 Domaine Ballot-Millot Meursault 1er Cru les Genevrieres (VN93 at HK$1,200/bottle) – By a very good Burgundy house, this white offer a nose of crisp citrus fruit, crushed stone and black currant leaf. The palate is well balanced, with a slight viscous opening, lightly spice of ginger and lemongrass, ending with a grippy and slightly saline finish that does not end for quite a while.


2018 Querciabella Batar (JS95 at HK$600/bottle) – A 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco by a reputable producer of Tuscany, this white is gracious and perfumed, with lovely orchard fruit, chamomile and floral notes that lift effortlessly from the glass. A wine of great precision and nuance, it is simply exquisite.


2021 Liquid Farm Chardonnay La Hermana (WA95 at HK$400) – This California white has pretty aromas of burnt lemon, tarragon, sour cream, matchstick and toast. The medium-bodied palate is satiny and concentrated, its baked apple fruit still youthful and toasty. It is well balanced with great length and a textural presence.   


2009 Pichon Lalande (WA97+ at HK$1,450/bottle) – It is always a challenge not to like the wines from this popular and excellent Bordeaux estate. A great vintage, their 2009 gives notions of black cherry, blackcurrant, stewed plum with hints of damp soil and tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with black fruits and earth, framed by ripe, fine-grained tannins and lovely freshness making for a long, lively finish. Classic!!!


2010 Ormes de Pez (JS95 at HK$300/bottle) – A good-value Bordeaux red, it has a deep garnet colour and slips sensuously from the glass with seductive blackberry pie, Black Forest cake and kirsch scents plus nuances of violets, dark chocolate and licorice. Full-bodied, rich and plush in the mouth, it has a fantastic line of freshness lifting all the decadent fruit to a long and energy-sparked finish.


2017 La Gaffeliere (WA97 at HK$500/bottle) – Truly impressive Bordeaux red as a blend of 70/30 Merlot/Cabernet Franc, the nose is a little closed to begin but slowly unfurling to reveal fragrance of kirsch, black raspberry and plum plus suggestions of cigar and rosehip tea. Medium-bodied, the palate has fantastic elegance and sophistication, with lots of fruit and ripe tannins, finishing with bags of freshness and energy. Truly impressive!!!


2017 Vieux Ch. Certan (WA98 at HK$1,350/bottle) – From an excellent Bordeaux estate, this is composed of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon in 80/15/5 proportion. The wine’s bouquet absolutely prances out of the glass with stunning scents of candied violets, chocolate-covered cherries, roses and eucalyptus over a core of black plum preserves, mulberries, black raspberries, blueberry pie plus hints of iron ore and truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has great balance and expression, with very fine grained, silt-like tannins, finishing with freshness, epic length and perfume.


2018 Domaine Robert Chevillon NSG 1er Cru les Vaucrains (WA93-95 at HK$800/bottle) – This Burgundy red is probably the most powerful within the Chevillon stable. It is muscular, opening in the glass with aromas of cassis, ripe wild blueberries, dark chocolate, rose petals, soil tones and smoked meats. It is full-bodied, rich, deep and concentrated, with ripe, powdery tannins, lively acids and a long, resonant finish.


Thank you for reading. Please feel free to go to our website www.vinopolis.com.hk 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.

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