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What’s happening lately?

It has been a while and I want to update you guys on a few things.

First of all, I now have somebody my junior in the family, and that’s a big deal. Not only I am helping out to take care of him, I will also need to behave in order not to set a bad example. The good thing is that I can look forward to having company in doing so many things for the rest of my life.

The other exciting news I hear from granddad is that Donum Estate (for which Vinopolis is the exclusive representative in Hong Kong) has just completed the acquisition of the Savoy Vineyard in Anderson Valley and that will expand the total planting acreage of Donum by about 25%. Savoy will be managed with the same Donum philosophy. Organic farming has been in practice since 2018 and the plan is to get certification ASAP. Being an established vineyard, it will add immediately in 2023 to the overall wine portfolio to satisfy the growing demand of Donum wines.

With many in the Hong Kong wine community being Bordeaux lovers, there are always great anticipations every year for the En Primeur (EP) to kick off. There have been reports for some time how 2022 had an excellent growing season and the resulting wines should be very good. But with the Russian-Ukraine conflict going into the second year and the overall world economy still very uncertain, one would have hoped that EP prices would be set more modestly and in any event, EP is to (1) provide producers with immediate cashflow and not having to wait till bottling (2) give buyers half a chance to saving money or making a small profit upon delivery (3) attract new wine lovers into the market early. The surprising thing though is somehow the vineyard owners and negociants have decided a roughly 15% price hike over last year is justifiable. We shall know whether that is sustainable as you can see in the chart below (using the popular Lynch-Bages as an example) how the 2022 EP pricing seems way too aggressive.

Looking at it more positively, that has made some of the ready-to-drink back vintages such attractive propositions, especially if the inventory was bought during latter part of last year when Sterling was at its rock bottom.

So among other things, there is an emphasis of Bordeaux in what we are suggesting this time:

2013 Dom Perignon (WA95 at HK$1,500/bottle) – Medium to full-bodied offering by one of the most well known house, charming and elegant with aromas of pastry, spice, almond, citrus and a touch of smoke. The long cool growing season has brought freshness and a delicate earthy note to the finish.

2019 Donum Three Hills Pinot Noir (WE97 at HK$750/bottle) – Exclusively distributed by us in Hong Kong, this highly rated Donum Pinot is out of grapes from a cooler part of the vineyard, thus the slightly reserved character and is more about elegance. There are expressions of raspberry, black cherry, cinnamon and rose petals, leading to a juicy and expansive finish.

2005 Pierre de Lune (RP95 at HK$450/bottle) – This is St-Emilion at its finest. A voluptuous opulent wine with an extraordinary nose of black truffles, roasted herbs, incense, chocolate, coffee, saddle leather on top of dark berries. It is a complex and enormously endowed, even fleshy offering that will bring great enjoyment, assuming you can find it, given that there were only 200 cases produced.

2008 Pontet-Canet (RP96 at HK$760/bottle) – Full-bodied offering from this excellent Bordeaux estate, the wine boasts copious aromas of sweet blueberries, blackberries and black currants intertwined with lead pencil shavings and subtle barbecue smoke. There is fabulous texture and freshness as Robert Parker remarked it to be First Growth like and a candidate for wine of the vintage.

2010 Clos L’Eglise (RP95 at HK$1,250/bottle) – This Pomerol red leaps from the glass with vivacious baked raspberries, red and black plums and dried herb notes plus wafts of pencil shavings and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has impressive energy and a firm line of tannin with bold freshness and an enduring finish.

2016 Malescot St-Exupery (WA95 at HK$500/bottle) This Margaux red sings of cassis, fragrant earth, tobacco and lilacs with compelling notes of mocha. Medium to full-bodied and strutting loads of expressive fruit layers, it is framed by ripe, grainy tannins and lots of freshness, finishing with great length and depth.

2005 Mouton Rothschild (WA98 at HK$5,300/bottle) – Deep garnet in colour, this very good First Growth Bordeaux has flamboyant notes of Christmas cake, plum reserves, chocolate-covered cherries, eucalyptus and crème de cassis with beautifully fragrant wafts of potpourri, incense, Indian spice and cigar box. Full-bodied, the palate is dazzling with exotic spice, floral and earthy nuances, framed by firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, with a mineral laced finish that goes on and on. It is as good as wine can go.

2013 Domaine Michel Gaunoux Pommard 1er Cru les Rugiens (WA94 at HK$900/bottle) – A Burgundy red of grand cru depth and dimension even in this challenging vintage, this Pommard 1er cru delivers a reserved bouquet of sweet red fruits, spices, candies and subtle espresso roast. On the palate, it is full-bodied, ample and layered, with excellent concentration and a long chewy finish.

2016 M. Chapoutier CNDP Croix de Bois (WA95-97 at HK$550/bottle) – A star of this reputable French producer for the vintage, one notes pepper, licorice and black raspberry singing loudly in this full-

bodied, supple, creamy-textured beauty. There are debates as to how much it will evolve for the better but who can resist drinking this sexy and lush wine now?

2019 Burn Cottage Pinot Noir (WS96 at HK$380/bottle) – This Pinot from New Zealand is aromatic and expressive, with notes of tarragon, sage and white pepper mingling with fresh, juicy flavours of raspberry, cherry and pomegranate. It is clearly defined and focused, with firm tannins providing wonderful structure for the long, complex finish. Only 2,400 cases made.

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.


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