Beijing dumpling night at home with friends

Hong Kong
Tasted Friday, March 15, 2013 by ilee with 245 views


Since my mum in-law was in town, Mrs L put her mother to work cooking up a storm of delicious traditional Beijing dumplings with various other delectable northern Chinese home-style dishes. We invited a few of the usual suspects over, and with a total of 8 of us around the table I lined up an assorted bunch of Rhones to lubricate us through the happy and noisy evening. Other than the Pegau, all the wines were double-decanted 4-6 hours prior to dinner. True signs of a successful dinner party -- at least one guest passes out on the sofa, and nobody wants more wine

Flight 1 - Bubbly (1 Note)

  • 1996 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon 95 Points

    France, Champagne

    A terrific DP that hits all the right notes in terms of balance, complexity and sheer bubbly pleasure. It may sound like sacrilege but I served this with a small dollop of creme de cassis at the bottom, which (for me at least) takes away some of the acidic edge and adds a sweet note which really tickles my fancy.

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Flight 2 - Assorted Rhones 1990-2007 (5 Notes)

  • 1997 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle 94 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Beautiful perfumed nose of cherries, dried herbs, camphor, smoked meats. This was the first wine of the evening and it's always night to start a night with a smile and an "a-a-h". The fruit is certainly on the red side of the spectrum, and lends the wine a medium-bodied juiciness and vibrancy on the palate that is nicely complemeted by delicately complex floral and mineral notes. The tannins are nicely rounded, and the finish plush and long. Having been through a case of this wine over the past 4 years, I find this wine maturing very nicely -- this is probably the best bottle I've had.

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  • 1998 Château Rayas Côtes du Rhône Château de Fonsalette Cuvée Syrah 88 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône

    I had high hopes for this vaunted Syrah cuvee but this bottle did not oblige. The colour was dark ruby with no hint of bricking. Apart from faint hints of black cherries and tapenade, there wasn't much else going on in the nose which came across as rather subdued. On the palate, there were green notes intermingled with the dark fruit, and the finish was somewhat short and attenuated.

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  • 2005 Roger Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Prestige 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Excellent CDP with a classic Southern Rhone nose of dark fruits, licorice, garrigue and pepper. Smooth, plump and velvety with a sweet edge, the full-bodied palate boasted notes of black cherries, ripe figs and minerals. Nice long finish. While this wine can no doubt improve for another 10+ years it's already very enjoyable now. I've never had an unenjoyable CDP from this illustrious domaine.

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  • 2007 M. Chapoutier St. Joseph Les Granits 92 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph

    This wine really shouldn't be opened for another 3-4 years, but I included in the lineup for a bit of fun and context. It's already enjoyable though, with a vibrant nose dominated by black fruit, floral and pepper notes. Heavy bodied with beautiful layers of fruit, this wine already shows some very nice mineral complexity. A great no-frills example of N Rhone Syrah

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  • 1990 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 97 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Wow, this was my 4th and last bottle of this wine and it finally delivered the goods. Light ruby with a bright amber rim, this wine certainly looked like it was getting on with age when poured (without decanting), but what freshness, what power! The rich, luxurious nose with bright notes of licorice, strawberry, garrigue intermingled with wet forest floor was matched on the palate by powerful layers of fruit, stacked like one plush rug on top of another then another. The finely-etched mineral complexity carried into a finish that seemed to stretch all the way back to 1990. A terrific bottle, happily I seem to have saved the best for last...

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