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“We are the best”…really?



With the Covid infection numbers trending down and the Government providing a road map to relax the various restrictive measures on April 20 and thereafter, it is exciting to look forward to resuming a lot of the activities after staying mostly at home since early January. Many restaurants closed since Chinese New Year have quietly re-opened and preparing for business extending to the evenings in another couple of weeks. And while we are on restaurants, we want to share with you an observation on the lighter side of things.


Chinese are generally known to be conservative and often overly so. But that does not seem to be the case when it comes to our cooking for which many of us feel really proud, sometimes to unrealistic levels. The likes of General Motors and Walmart at different eras would only claim to be the World’s largest company when they actually booked the highest revenue of any publicly listed companies. Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth because he still holds the 100-metre dash record of 9.58 seconds. But as seen in some of the pictures above (our apology to readers who don’t read Chinese), there are those in Hong Kong claiming to be the “king” or the number one eatery of their kind. But based on what? Worse, some of them are not really that good. Such proclamation often seems at best an act of aspiration, perhaps a case of wishful thinking, a lack of modesty, putting up a brave face, even outright misrepresentation. Vinopolis will certainly never claim to be no. 1 at anything. We just look for continuous improvement in providing a service. We hope restaurants can focus on making great dishes rather than just being boastful.


Back to wines and especially if any of you now want to stock up a bit to do BYOB when dining out later in the month, here are a few highlights of our recent additions:


2015 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Le Cailleret (WA94 at HK$1,000/bottle) – An intense Burgundy white that offers aromas of toasted nuts, citrus and hints of smoke. On the palate, it is quite full bodied, beautifully glossy with considerable concentration and enough acidity to give a long, lingering finish.


2018 Patrick Javillier Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru (VN94 at HK$1,250/bottle) – This Burgundy White has a superb bouquet of crushed stone, flint, yellow flowers and light lemon curd aromas. The palate is crisp and fresh on the entry, sporting weight and a waxy texture. Great tension from start to finish!!!


2009 Clos L’Eglise (RP98 at HK$1,500/bottle) – Robert Parker referred this to be one of the sexiest Pomerol of the vintage. It offers notes of melted caramel, mocha, dark fruits, cigar tobacco, white chocolate as well as subtle toasty oak. Round, opulent and with fabulous purity, there is no hard edges as this lavishly rich wine will surely bring tremendous joy now and for the next 15 years.


2016 Raymond Usseglio CNDP Cuvee Imperiale (WA95 at HK$430/bottle) – We are re-stocking this popular red from Southern Rhone, one offering scents of roses, black tea and raspberries. The palate is full-bodied but silky and almost weightless, delivering an intricate fabrication of red fruit, dried spices and orange zest.


2016 Castello di Ama Classico Chianti Gran Selezione San Lorenzo (WA95 at HK$360/bottle) – Italian red out of the Sangiovese grape type with aromas of blackberry, cassis, rosemary, licorice and a little balsamic tone, it shows fibre, richness and a lasting structure with well-integrated tannins.


2015 Pietracupa Taurasi (WA95 at HK$400/bottle) – Small production (6,000 bottles) red from the Campania region of Italy, it has terrific balance and a very silky texture that is not without power. You get tons of dark fruits, kirsch and earthy tones as well as pencil shavings and sweet spices, all to make this a sumptuous wine to enjoy.


2012 CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva (WA95 at HK$420/bottle) – A Spanish Rioja that is by definition mostly Tempranillo and this one boosting notes of dark spices, ripe fruit, something balsamic and a round, full-bodied palate, with the fine-grained tannins giving it a good grip and an enduring finish.


2005 Hobbs Shiraz (WA95 at HK$500/bottle) – Australia Shiraz from 100-year-old vines, this offers good bouquet of blackberry, blueberry, wood smoke, pencil lead and licorice, all leading to a full-bodied, mouth-filling, opulent wine of great depth with a lingering finish.


2015 Penfolds Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz (JS96 at HK$420/bottle) – Full-bodied and seductive red from Australia, it has decadent blueberry pie and crème de cassis notes with touches of milk chocolate and baking spices. The palate is rich, almost voluptuous, finishing long and on a slightly minty note.