Thierry Fournier Cuvee Speciale versus Brut Reserve

  Bok's Rating:

Thierry Fournier Cuvee Speciale Versus Brut Reserve!

Both 9.25 stars
18 Apr 2020

Thierry Fournier Cuvee Speciale is a blend of 50% Meunier and 50% Chardonnay from Thierry Fournier, of which I was very eager to try after having the fantastic Brut Reserve. However, I must confess the Brut Reserve being much more attractive to me with the intensity of the fruits, however, it losses out to the Cuvee Speciale, as the latter is actually much more feminine than the more mascular Brut Reserve!

I would say the Brut Reserve is also a bit rugged, while the Cuvee Speciale added a touch of elegance and finesse.The content was definitely much more superb than supermarket acquired champagnes, and even those big names like Moet & Chandon or Veuve Cliquot. The mousse on the palette was very attractive, with a soft and creamy bubbles caressing the palette before dissipating away quickly.

Bok’s Preference:Thierry Fournier Cuvee Speciale!

Chassagne Montrachet Showdown: Paul Pillot La Grande Montagne 1er Cru 2015 versus Philippe Colin En Remilly 1er Cru 2016

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Chassagne Montrachet Showdown: Paul Pillot La Grande Montagne 1er Cru 2015 versus Philippe Colin En Remilly 1er Cru 2016
9.5 stars
3 Apr 2020

These are my two favorite winemakers in Chassagne Montrachet, and I do consider the plots as best of the best (apart from La Romanee), so tonight I opened both bottles to compare which one I preferred. I have previously reported on Philippe Colin En Remilly here . La Grande Montagne’s wine was as good as it can get for Chassagne Montrachet, especially coming from Paul Pillot’s creation. Bouquet of big and bold fruity and floral attractiveness. Body was similarly big and bold, with great acidity on the frontline, while the big and broad fruits being the signature style of this bottle. Amongst the two, I still prefer Philippe Colin’s En Remilly style, winning with a slight edge, as it was more focused in taste, with very snappy acidity and great length to mesmerize after every sip, even though En Remilly’s fruit is not as big as La Grande Montagne. Probably the vintage also came into play as 2015 was more fruit base while 2016 was more acidity play.

Zind Humbrecht Clos St Urbain, Riesling Alsace Grand Cru 1999

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Zind Humbrecht, Clos St Urbain, Riesling, Alsace Grand Cru, 1999
9.25 stars
28 March 2020

This was a monopole plot of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, obviously a rare Grand Cru. Production was not easy, as one has to extract the grape from a 60% gradient slope. This wine must have inherited the pedigree of German Riesling, as it possessed the typical kerosene and petroleum bouquet, plus a hint of ripe pineapple. Not every Alsace Riesling that I came across possessed the kerosene and petroleum character, thus this was as authentic as it got. For a 21 year old Riesling, this was really matured; color of deep yellow gave me an impression that it may have been more matured than the vintage implied. Flavour was deep and mellow, very easy to drink and with a pleasant, ripe taste, with the added ripe pineapple fruit style. While the deep and mellow taste was impressive, it lacked the obvious acidity, not even a hint of it, so this Alsace wine was totally fruit driven, albeit an enjoyable one.

Verget “Coquillages et Crustaces” Blanc 2017

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Verget “Coquillages et Crustaces” Blanc 2017
9.0 stars
31 March 2020

As you probably know, Verget’s key winemaker is Jean Marie Guffens, and he is a very good winemaker in burgundy, Parker once told Jean-Marie Guffens that “he was one of the 3 best white winemakers in the world”. A couple of years ago he bought some plots in Bordeaux to produce some dry white wines, and I think he has been very successful in migrating the style of white burgundies over to Bordeaux. As you probably know, most Bordeaux blanc lacked acidity and excitement, very stony and dull. Guffens changed all this with his skills, in fact, I suspect he’s bringing a revolutionary changes to Bordeaux blancs, and a lot of Bordeaux blanc winemakers should be worried and felt threatened. Thus, you can expect this bottle to be very lively and fresh, with no style of Bordeaux’s dull and boring taste, and the wine was filled with lively excitement, closely mimicking white burgundy style. Perhaps being the first vintage, it may not have a lot of complexities and depth yet, but I’m confident Guffens will be able to overcome in the subsequent vintages. Let’s watch out for some revolutionary changes in Bordeaux over the next decade!

Lagrange St Julien 1970

  Bok's Rating:

Chateau Lagrange, St Julien, 1970
9.25 stars
26 March 2020

Came with a totally ruined and rundown label, but I never been bothered with the label, most importantly the fill was very decent with high shoulder (for a 50 year old wine, such fill was superb in my opinion). The cork was tightly intact although Duran uncorked it effortlessly. I then decanted the wine for 30 mins just to clear off some musty characters common with aged wines. Bouquet was filled with loads of musty wet cupboard initially but quickly blew off, replaced with powerful and bold bouquet. A sip and it reminded me of ripe cherries, quite surprising to find aged Bordeaux with such a character, more like a super-tuscan wine. The gist of this wine was how young it was, it definitely tasted like a wine in the late 80s rather than a 50 year old wine that’s normally tired, no signs of an aged wine except the palate may lack some fruits. However, overall it’s a great and worthy experience.

Domaine du 1er Juin Riesling, Ningxia China 2017

  Bok's Rating:

Domaine du 1er Juin, Riesling, Ningxia, China, 2017
9.25 stars
24 March 2020

Wax sealed cork from China?! Hard for me to accept it as it was probably a hoax, as I didn’t know any Riesling to have premox or oxidation characters, so I didn’t understand why they have wax seal on the bottle? I wish to find out from the winemaker one day if I ever have a chance to go to Ningxia. My wife had a whiff and she was already mumbling about the kerosene and petroleum nose, and I concurred. Body was with extremely high acidity, and the sourness was also very high, however, I do enjoy the fresh, crisp and somehow wet stone character of the wine, definitely with a blend of lemon and pear alike fruit character, quite lean but enjoyable. The quality was quite a leap forward compared to many Alsace Riesling producers, may not rival traditional German winemakers, but for the quality I must confess China’s Riesling wine producing skill has advanced a lot more than most people’s assumption! Priced very reasonably, I’d urge wine lovers to drink this blind against any top Alsace winemakers to gauge for yourself the outcome!

Vina Real Gran Reserva, Rioja 2009

  Bok's Rating:

Vina Real Gran Reserva, Rioja, 2009
9.25 stars
20 March 2020

Looking at my drinking history of Vina Real, I just want to stress a fact, Spanish wines like this one can age a lifetime! The oldest I have drank was 1959, and felt super young! As a Gran Reserva, it was aged 2 years in oak and 3 years in bottle and sits on the highest hierarchy of Tempranillo Rioja quality. I do not know the reason why Tempranillo grapes can age so well, to me it’s just magic! This 2009’s bouquet was very compact fruity style, not overpowering fruits, just great but subdued power. A sip and the first impression was quite a lot of vanilla, and naturally American oak came into play. However, despite moderate amount of vanilla, the body was surprisingly balanced and really friendly and pleasant to drink, no lurking tannins and no harshness. Frankly, the price of Vina Real is really superb value, I must confess it’s “cheap and good!”

Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne 1996

  Bok's Rating:

Drappier, Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne, 1996
9.25 stars
14 March 2020

Some overnight leftovers from my friend, I always loved to drink an overnight champagne (as the bubbles fizzled out, it’s easier to taste the true content). I was made to guess the sparkling wine; the initial taste was quite intense or aged, so I have to decide on what grape varietals to call it. I made the call of being Pinot Meunier as I thought the fruit taste was rather intense, but I was wrong, I was told it was 80% Pinot Noir and 20% chardonnay blend. Now I have work backwards on the aged taste. Was it a grower or a house champagne? I pondered a bit and jump right to conclusion: House, coz grower champagne it’s hard to find very aged ones. And lastly the vintage; I initially thought it was a 1988 (as it tasted good) and 88 was a great vintage, but then the remnant taste of Dom Perignon 96 crossed my mind, so I made my guess as 95 or 96. Making systematic guesses were great fun and make the wine journey a lot more educational!

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