Cristal 1999

  Bok's Rating:

Cristal 1999
9.75 stars
1 Dec 2019

Served from a jeroboam format (3 litre bottle), I was lucky enough to taste from 2 such bottles in a night! The freshness of the champagne from a big format was astonishing, the content was showing that the champagne was perhaps produced just a couple of years ago! The freshness was incredible, the bubbles immediately captivated my palette with the signature Cristal fruitiness, super clean fruits with super long finishing. It immediately put the Dom Perignon 1999 served next to it looked like a clown (but obviously Dom Perignon 1999 has it’s own beauty not showing up as quickly as Cristal, refer to my notes). There was a tinge of smokiness and bitterness from the 2nd bottle, not sure if it was the lingering Avruga caviar I had before tasting this 2nd bottle or not. Either way, a rare opportunity and a honor to drink such aged champagne.

 

Dom Perignon 1999

  Bok's Rating:

Dom Perignon 1999
9.5 stars
1 Dec 2019

This was surprisingly young that definitely did not taste like a Dom Perignon straight out of a bottle. In a blind tasting, I would think this was probably produced post 2010 grower champagne! The complexity was not obvious right at the start, furthermore my friend served me this champagne in a flute, making it even more difficult to detect the signature characteristic of a Dom Perignon, the bouquet was very muted. However, after I changed it to a white wine glass, the complexity surfaced; bouquet with smoky character, fruits started surfacing, and complexity was astonishing thereafter, with a lot of honey like character showing. I think this vintage definitely requires a lot more time to age before the tertiary character showed it’s full color.

 

Vina Ardanza, Rioja 1994

  Bok's Rating:

Vina Ardanza, Rioja 1994
8.5 stars
27 Nov 2019

From a great Rioja vintage which was pretty much a Tempranillo vintage, the outcome of this Vina Ardanza was mildly disappointing to me. I suspect this was not a label that can age well (pardon me, but Tempranillo was the most age-worthy grapes on earth), and preferred to drink it young. I vividly remembered the 2004 I drank a few years ago in HK, the content was stunning. However, this one right from the uncorking that gave me a bus load of dried raisins, to the content that’s also another huge taste of dried raisins, was too one dimensional to my liking. As such, previous experience of a younger vintage was never a guidance of backward vintages as wine making skill improved.

Vachet Rousseau Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 1990

  Bok's Rating:

Vachet Rousseau Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 1990
9.5 stars
21 Nov 2019

Legend Continues

Vachet Rousseau only owns 14 acre of land in Gevrey Chambertin, I’m not sure if it’s related to Armand Rousseau, at least they shared the last name and the quality being produced were on par with each other (at least back in the 70s and 80s). I swear by this producer, as my friend Johan P. has been bringing 3 different bottles of this label produced in the 1978, and thrice it has won Wine of the Night, sweeping away all other red burgundies under the table without a doubt. Thus I did not hesitate to acquire this 1990 knowing the pedigree. It didn’t disappoint, while it was still in it’s youthful stage, I can feel that there’s a lot of potential going on with this burg. It wasn’t decanted by the sommelier, so it has to open up in the glass. Initially very muted, slowly morphed into ripe cherries and later stage smoky. The body was stunning too, drinking next to Lafite 1978 (which was not as stunning as the previous bottle I had), I keep going back to this red burg as it seemed to have attracted me a bit more; very matured, very rounded and a lot of ripe and great quality fruits attracted my palette.

Barde Haut, St Emilion 1998

  Bok's Rating:

Barde Haut, St Emilion 1998
9.25 to 9.5 stars
13 Nov 2019

A deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by pure, sweet aromas of blackberry and blueberry jam revealing nicely integrated oak. This wine exhibits medium to full body, a fat, concentrated mid-palate with structure as well as definition, admirable length and richness, low acidity, and abundant fruit and extract. Anticipated maturity: now-2018. Last tasted, 3/02.
Score: 90

The above review was done by Robert Parker in March of 2002. For tasting notes, I am semi-agreeable to his notes, although I found a lot of prune and plums on the nose, while on the body the acid is elevated (not low), although the mouth feel was very smooth and well-integrated fruits with the oak. But for his “anticipated maturity” of 2002 to 2018, I would have vigorously disagreed on such observation. As you can see on my drinking date, this was done in Nov 2019, and by Parker’s standard, this wine was probably over the hill already. Quite the contrary, this wine just entered it’s grown up stage, and this maturity stage will easily last another decade before entering middle age. Bear in mind this 1998 was one of the best vintages for right bank, and it should easily last 4 to 6 decades of drinking period, so please take Parker’s tasting note as a pinch of salt.

Bouchard l’Enfant Jesus 1998

  Bok's Rating:

Bouchard l’Enfant Jesus 1998
9.25 stars
9 Nov 2019

I must admit Bouchard’s l’Enfant Jesus is the unique style of most red burgundies. Unlike most red burgundies, either they win your heart by the bouquet, or they’re feminine and win your heart by the the softness or mellowness. L’Enfant Jesus has a different approach to red burgundies; they’re a very structured style, I must say it’s masculine and very different from most red burgundies. Quite creamy on the palette, caressing the palette with very complex flavor, with multiple dimensions and good length. Only setback was the bouquet, I smelled nothing from the crappy Riedel Sommelier series glass (of which they don’t produce any good bouquet anyway).

Louis XIII, Cognac

  Bok's Rating:

Louis XIII, Cognac
9.5 stars
1 Dec 2019

Drinking next to the Richard Hennessy using the same stemware provided by Richard Hennessy, this was a superb opportunity to have them side by side for comparison. In the past, my imagination was that Louis XIII was the best cognac, and I had on numerous occasions tasted it, and don’t deny the extremely complex taste of it. A flagship product of Remy Martin, the final blend was composed of up to 1,200 eaux-de-vie, ranging from at least 50 years to 100 years in age. Sounds extreme and definitely more eaux-de-vie blend than Richard Hennessy, unfortunately the end result spoke of all. No doubt it was also extremely complex cognac, it paled sitting next to Richard Hennessy’s taste. It tasted more like an “entry level” cognac next to Richard Hennessy, with more tea leaves rather than sophisticated taste.

Hubert Lamy, Chassagne Montrachet, En Remilly, 2014

  Bok's Rating:

Hubert Lamy, Chassagne Montrachet, En Remilly, 2014
9.25 stars
1 Dec 2019

After the killer Phillippe Colin En Remilly 2016 , I was really hooked to this particular parcel, so when I see any En Remilly, I tend to snap it up. I must admit this Hubert Lamy even though a well-known winemaker, did not produce a white burgundy that can rival Philippe Colin, although not too far away. Bouquet of strong perfume, perhaps a Chanel No. 5 intensity. Acidity was obvious throughout the content, with a great balance of fruits and acidity, slightly snappy. Worth a punch!

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