Vintage Tastings (click to search again)

Vintage Name Variety Publication Reviewer Score More...
Red

1998 Château Cheval Blanc

St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The Good Doctor offered up some 1998 Cheval Blanc, and why not. He has over 50 cases of it. Have I mentioned how they like to drink it in Hong Kong? The nose on the Cheval was tight yet sexy, its great t ‘n a slowly unwinding in a seductive manner. It was feminine yet full, possessing lots of red fruits, peanut, wintergreen and ‘still very fresh tannins,’ per the Master. There was great spice in the nose, but the palate was still a baby, but what a baby. There was huge alcohol and acid here, with expressive and defined tannins. Vincent called it ‘a young frau.’ Flavors of rust, red fruits and a hint of licorice emerged, and while this wine was decanted over two hours prior, it tasted like it could have been decanted for twenty-four hours and still come across youthfully. It still maintained a heavenly elegance despite all of its power. This is definitely an undervalued Cheval at the moment (96). 96 points
Red

1926 Château Cos d'Estournel

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
We played a game of bottle variation with two bottles of 1926 Cos d’Estournel, secured from the auction the previous day, actually. The first had a gorgeous nose, classic with its great cedar, cobwebs, smoke and positive hints of vanilla, lemon and rubber. It had a divine perfume without being perfumed, if that makes sense. I loved its dust and spice in the mouth, and it was far superior to the second bottle (94). 94 points
Red

1926 Château Cos d'Estournel

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The second bottle was not as perfumed; ironically, its color was younger even though it was from the same batch. The nose was a bit more closed, purpler and danker, although Gil was in its camp at first. I thought it was shy, and perhaps a hint off (90?). If winos were football players, the above is what we would call, ‘Any Given Sunday.’ 90? points
Red

1990 Château Cos d'Estournel

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The last wine would be a disappointing 1990 Cos d’Estournel. It was sweet and almost cough syrupy, very different from my memories of this wine. It was very cherry and too sweet (91?). 91? points
Red

1990 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The second wine had ‘very dry tannins,’ and ‘ginger flowers’ in its nose per Vincent. The nose was very shy at first, possessing faint peanut. This wine was all about what I call ‘backside’ elements – leather, cedar and minerals. The acidity was superb, and the wine was very long on the palate; it kept coming out more and more with time in the glass. Classy, long and minerally, this was still young and possessed very fresh tannins. Vincent and I were convinced it was the Chateau Margaux, but it was the 1990 Ducru Beaucaillou. It was impressive, but its subtle style did not stand out for many on this night (95). 95 points
Red

1990 Château Gruaud Larose

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The first wine had a clean nose with hints of green olive and bean, gamy in that direction. Its fruit was meaty, and its aromas were rich and hearty with nice spice. Cedar and minerals emerged from underneath, as did traces of leather. It was very open compared to the second wine, and while its fruit had some richness, its body was lighter in style. The wine with which it was served knocked it back a bit. Peter of the AlcoholiHKs nailed the wine – it was the 1990 Gruaud Larose (93). 93 points
Red

1948 Château Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
Horace brought a bottle of 1948 Haut Brion he picked up at a great price at one of our auctions. It was very dry in the nose with lots of charcoal, straw, smoke, citrus and a pinch of penetrating horseradish. The palate was citrusy and tangy, with nice definition of its tannins. There was this bamboo jungle edge that emerged in the nose, and the palate became rich, bordering on saucy, but kept in bounds by its ceramic framework. It was long, elegant and poignant, and an excellent, old HB (94). 94 points
Red

1989 Château Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
Where could we go from here? 1989 Haut Brion, now there’s a good idea. This wine has been popping itself open around me about once a month for the past six. I could get used to that. It is and will be one of the greatest wines ever made in Bordeaux. Period, paragraph. The nose screamed great; its smoky and charcoal-laced fruit was as black as midnight. While fat and voluminous, it was also perfumed, and its posture was perfect. This bottle had even more fruit than the one I had in Bordeaux; it was as good as this wine can get. The Good Doctor also knows his provenance and storage; it says a lot when a bottle in HK can be even better than a bottle in Bordeaux itself! Vincent was admiring its concentration. Its palate was cedary, thick, long, gritty and grainy, almost Pomerolesque in its fruit. I had a flash of 1989 Petrus. The 1989 is an explosive wine that destroys everything in the room without anyone even hearing a sound, and this bottle was no different and as good as I ever remember it being (99). 99 points
Red

1990 Château Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The first wine of the fourth flight had a waxy nose which was deep and big. Aromas of game, spice and a touch of freshly painted wood were present. The palate was rich, saucy and smoky. I then wrote how almost every wine served on this night had a great finish, but this one was a bit bigger than most. Rich, fresh and balanced, this 1990 Haut Brion was fairly consistent with the bottle I had had two months prior (95+). 95+ points
Red

1990 Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
As was the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion that followed. The La Miss had lots of coffee in its nose, along with green bean and minerals. Hints of hoisin and peanut rounded it out. Long and dry, it was coy at first, expanding a bit later on (93). 93 points
Red

1962 Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
Vincent brought a bottle of 1962 Lafite Rothschild, one that we weren’t even sure was a 1962 until a thorough investigation of the cork. The vintage was illegible on the torn label, and the cork was eroded/faded to the point where it was very difficult to see the vintage, but ultimately I found the brand. Sometimes corks can fade or erode and be difficult to read, even when the wine is 100% legit, as this Lafite was. There was a kiss of cardboard in the nose, but behind it was a wealth of fresh fruit, along with carob, chocolate and pencil. Gil noted, ‘a little bandage.’ The palate was pretty as all heck, delicious with beautiful balance and natural, mature flavors that still came across fresh. Its silky, velvety mouthfeel caressed my palate gracefully (95). 95 points
Red

1990 Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The last flight was upon us, and my notes were a bit briefer. We had to start gathering everyone’s votes and then tally them, so I rushed through this flight a bit more than the others. The first wine was a classic and great. It was all about the cedar, supported by morning cereal, yeast and even a hint of coconut. Its palate had excellent citric tension, and it was nice to see a good show for the ‘house’ wine, so to speak, as this was the 1990 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (95). 95 points
Red

2001 Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The 2001 Lafite Rothschild had a gorgeous nose, with classic aromas of cedar, cassis, pencil and sweet, open fruit. There was much more volume here, and Alex found it ‘voluptuous.’ The palate was round and coy, its hidden acidity slowly emerging. Its tannins, too, were on the dry side and hints of oak, soy and salt led to a fish ‘n chips impression. Pretty and polished, long and with nice citrus twists, the Lafite was an excellent wine (93). 93 points
Red

1990 Château Latour Grand Vin

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The wine that was paired with the Baron was quite pungent, possessing glue in its nose at first. Brooding fruit and lurking oak peered out from the shadows of this behemoth’s nose. There were lots of peanut flavors and sweet cassis fruit, and this wine had excellent length and balance, gaining and expanding in the glass. It was a 1990 Latour, and while not as good as my two recent experiences, it was still outstanding (95). 95 points
Red

1996 Château Latour Grand Vin

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
I had brought a magnum of 1996 Latour to share with a few people, and it was outstanding and bordering on that next level, as usual. Out of magnum it was a bit tight, but it was the typical brooding beast that young Latour can be. All the elements were there – black fruits, walnuts, minerals, earth. It felt mountainous in the mouth but was still graceful and stylish in its presence. This will be an all-time great Latour (96+). 96+ points
Red

1990 Château Léoville Las Cases

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The third flight led off with a wine that had a big, warm nose fill of sweet, purple cassis. There was great musk and spice, excellent nut, and an almost creamy impression. The palate was rich, hearty and long with outstanding acid and outstanding tannins. Its finish was huge, really big, the biggest so far by a long shot. It had a tidalwave of a finish. The Good Doctor observed, ‘almond,’ and I added extract. This was a great showing for the 1990 Leoville Las Cases, and ultimately my wine of the night (96+). 96+ points
Red

1990 Château Lynch-Bages

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The 1990 Lynch Bages was all about the coffee as well, more grinds than fresh brew. There was a powdery edge to the nose, and hints of animal and green bean lingered. The palate was rich, but the finish was softer, especially once I considered what it was later on. There was a touch of a synthetic quality to its flavors, and it was exotic in its cinnamon and cedar (93). 93 points
Red

1962 Château Magdelaine

St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
There was one last wine to this amazing week in Hong Kong, and that was a 1962 Magdelaine, reconditioned at the Chateau in 1991. This was a ‘good’ reconditioned bottle, one that still retained the original personality of the wine. The nose was sweet and sexy with lots of red fruits, wintergreen and nice pitch and spice. The palate was similar, and while the wine still had that reconditioned polish, it was an excellent bottle of wine (93). 93 points
Red

1990 Château Margaux

Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The third wine of this second flight was deeper in its nose and possessed more oak. Cedar blended in, but its oak was still noticeable. The wine was long and gritty, cedary and leathery but marred by the oak. There were lots of forest flavors as well, but the fact of the oak remained. The Good Doctor didn’t like its flavor, and it was his least favorite wine so far. It was very dry, long and closed, and while there was good acid here, there was no fruit up front on its palate. I was stunned to learn later that this was the 1990 Margaux. Based on my experience two months prior, this showing was not consistent. I know bottle and variation are dirty words in Bordeaux when used together…more things that make you go hmmmmmmm (92?). 92? points
White

2004 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet

Montrachet Grand Cru Chardonnay more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
We started at the table with a 2004 Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche. The Drouhin had a classy nose of sweet butter, yellow fruits, corn, minerals, wheat and caramel. The palate was beautiful, quite elegant for Montrachet, long and smooth. Master Vincent admired its ‘very long’ qualities, and there was nice grain on its finish. Wendy, the Angry Chick, was along for the ride and observed, ‘fresh lavender,’ and its palate got smokier in the glass (94). 94 points
White - Sparkling

1955 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon

Champagne Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The auction saw fireworks out of the glass and on the sales floor. Numerous wines were sampled and consumed during the auction, and two stood out for me above all the rest. Wendy had brought a 1955 Dom Perignon which was in perfect condition. It was just delicious. The nose had straw, hay, vanilla, cream, caramel, rain, wheat, crackers, musk…there was a lot going on. It was rich and tasty, very saucy and still with a lot of pop to it. There was great balance, a youthful personality but mature flavors. It was everything one could want in a vintage Champagne (97). 97 points
Rosť - Sparkling

1996 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon Rosé

Champagne Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The 1996 Dom Perignon Rose was consistent with all my previous experiences. Very dry, citrusy and tangy, it has the potential to blossom, but it is a bit mean at the moment. I do not think it is in the elite category of DP Roses, and I would rather have many, many other 1996s before this, at least for now (93). 93 points
Red

1955 Mommessin Clos de Tart

Clos de Tart Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
A 1955 Clos de Tart Vandermeulen bottling was a bit controversial. Martine noted ‘coffee’ right away, and that it was ‘not pure.’ It tasted very chocolaty and fruity, and definitely not 100% pure. The question became, when and where did the doctor operate, and the relativity theory of its authenticity came into play. If it was real, i.e., actually released by Vandermeulen, but it was so doctored, was it still real? That kind of stuff. It was quite fruity and young, a little Syrah-ish, definitely more New World than old, and tough to drink next to the 1961 (88?) 88? points
Red

1961 Mommessin Clos de Tart

Clos de Tart Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
We actually did serve a couple of Burgundies first. We didn’t want Martine to start getting the shakes lol. A 1961 Clos de Tart smelled great. There was lots of rust, bright citrus and intense t ‘n a. Hints of violets, rose petals and game rounded out its complex nose. It had long acidity on the palate, as good ’61 Burgs are prone to have. I was discussing recently with Wilf, and he thinks it might be considered the best of the decade before all is said and done. 1961 always seemed lost in the shadows of ’61 Bordeaux and ’62 Burgs, but I must agree that the ones I have had of late are fantastic. This was no exception, and its brick flavors, pinches of Worcestershire and strawberry/rhubarb action all added up nicely. Gil noted, ‘a little VA, but who cares.’ A hint of vanilla ice cream and creamy root beer floated its way into the equation, and this wine was tasty and possessed great rusticity. The thing I liked most about the bottle was the Acker sticker on the back :) (94). 94 points
Red

1990 Château Montrose

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Hong Kong Killers (2/5/2010)
The second to last wine of the night would ultimately become the group’s wine of the night. The nose was open and exotic, full of blackberry fruit in its nose. The palate was rich and saucy, with coffee grind and earth flavors and a meaty and dense personality. It was a Dr. Jekyll bottle of 1990 Montrose, which can often be green and unpleasant, but this was obviously one of the ‘good’ bottles that received so many accolades (95). 95 points
  • Reviews: 34 /
  • Wines: 32

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