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Robert Parker Grand Tasting HK March 2014

This event was my first exposure to Robert Parker as a speaker.  It was a complete coincidence that I happened to be in HK during a series of events he was hosting on his Asian Tour.  I liked his style.  He spoke eloquently and was very good at playing to the local crowd.  He called HK the new hub of wine (a title that once belonged to New York and London).  He was also adamant that Cantonese cuisine was one of the best in the world to match with wines especially French wine.  In fact, famous French chef Joel Robuchon once said that he felt that Cantonese cuisine married better with French wines than even French cuisine.  Controversial!

I enjoyed Parker’s down to earth style.  I also agreed with his firm belief that we often let wines age too long and should just open and drink them.  The older I get, the more I value the vibrant youthful fruits balance of wines especially in the case of Burgundy.  He was also adamant that wines should be balanced from the off especially when talking about quality/ripeness of tannins.

The selection was based on showing off a few noble grapes and their differences depending on the terroir.  It included a few wines that I’d never tasted and really impressed me (ie: Marcassin and Giaconda).


Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Pucelles 2010 Domaine Leflaive

Mineral, steely, ripe, clean fruit, wet stones, searing acidity tight steely intense palate and a warm finish.  Plenty of  precision and depth.

Chardonnay 2010 Giaconda (Victoria, Australia)
Toasty oak – not yet integrated for me, ripe apples, honey,  some wax, minerals and lemon grass.   Nice balance and a vibrant dry finish.   The wine has undergone 100% malolactic and has had 22 months lees contact with 30% new French oak.

Chardonnay Marcassin Estate  2009 Marcassin (California, USA)
Stoney,  marzipan, more honeyed than Giaconda.  Its broader and sweeter with some tropical fruits coming through.  Good kick of  alcohol but a a very silky texture.  Fascinating wine and unique.  Great texture if a little bit too sickly.

Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard 2012 Kistler (California, USA)
Very closed. Ripe, crunchy apples, citrus, exotic. Soft not as pure and clean as previous two wines and overshadowed buy both but still an impressive wine.  25% new oak.

Ch Leoville Las Cases 96 St Julien
Focussed ink lead lovely purity tight focussed   very cab   very young      needs 5 years plus to open  classic

Dominus 2010 Moueix (California, USA)
Violets, sweet raspberry jam, broad, with hints of cigar box.  Good balance and impressive depth of fruit.

Cabernet Sauvignon Pluribus 2009 Bond  Estate (California, USA)
Ripe Cabernet. Perfumed sweet crushed violets flowers with plenty of toasty oak.

Ch La Fleur Petrus 2009 Pomerol
Alluring and charming.  Very pretty with minerals infused red fruits. Superb elegance and balance.  Lovely to drink now.

Ch Trotanoy 2009 Pomerol
Lovely, ripe Merlot.  Broader than LFP and excellent balance.  Full, good minerality, noble tannins and very long finish.  The most Pomerol of Pomerols (according to an off the record producer survey by Neal Martin).

Masseto 2010 Tenuat dell’Ornellaia
Pure, ripe, tight tannic but top quality tannins and a myriad of of flavours.  Very classy with a long finish.  Needs plenty of time to show it’s pedigree.

Hermitage 2007 JL Chave
Focussed and pure. Red fruits, animal, blood, spice, crushed flowers with zesty tangy sweet tannins.  Tantalisingly good.

Hill of Grace 2005 Henchske

This is made from vines back to 1860.  Good, earthy, complex with ripe fruit and notes of sage.  Excellent especially in 2005.


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