Tasting Notes for KoalaHK

(331 notes on 319 wines)

1 - 50 of 331 Sort order
Red
1971 Château Croizet-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/23/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at The Koala Bar in Hong Kong - This bottle came from a 'mixed lot' from an impeccable cellar but despite that I had low expectations. Upon opening, it was very much alive. A decent amount of acid and a pleasant sweetness of fruit greeted us. Alas, it was not to last, the structure started to crumble and that familiar talisman of old Bordeaux, iodine unfortunately began to dominate.
Red - Fortified
6/11/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at McKays Steakhouse at The American Club Hong Kong - Sweet marzipan greets you on the nose that slowly evolves into liquor chocolates. Phenomenal balance between the fruit and alcohol both of which deliver the power that you'd expect of a wine at least 50 or 60 years its junior. I was expecting the usual 50+ year old mellow vintage port experience something akin to an afternoon in a leather armchair at a St James's gentlemen's club but instead this was like a lap of the Nurburgring in a Bugatti such is the potency of this wine.
Red
6/6/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Little Miss Hong Kong from Magnum - This was a real crowdpleaser as St Henri often is. The lack of new oak can steer you away from Australia, but one deep inhale of that unmistakable Penfold's nose has you right back in the zone. I was fortunate enough to drink both Grange and Bin 707 from this highly regarded vintage this week and St Henri, at probably less than half the price of its nearest rival does not disgrace itself.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/6/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk from magnum at Da Domenico Hong Kong - This is probably one of the most open Latours I've had in awhile. The characteristic Latour nose is omnipresent, plenty of dark fruit but with particularly fine, silky tannins. Nevertheless, it has plenty of weight and is still very much on the ascendancy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/5/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Crown Super Deluxe in Hong Kong - The striking feature of this wine is that it lacks the often austere, rigid tannins that are typical of Las Cases. We decanted it and whilst you possibly don't need to, it did stimulate the lovely old school claret perfume. This is a very attractive wine in an extremely good place right now. I also think the plateau of maturity will last for some time.
White
6/5/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Crown Super Deluxe in Hong Kong - This was quite a revelation for me given I was expecting to have to pick oak chips from my teeth before this was opened. Firstly, it is a brilliantly well integrated wine which suggests it is probably at its peak, albeit not even close to decline. There is a richness almost honied note on the nose, followed by a fullness in the mouth that is almost Montrachet like. Yet it doesn't lack in minerality or acidity and this is probably what holds it perfectly in place in your glass for the duration of the evening. Definitely a wine to seek out.
Red
6/5/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Crown Super Deluxe in Hong Kong - Upon opening this was quite muddled, perhaps heat affected, perhaps a touch maderised. There was a hint of sweetness on the finish however. So we left it in the glass and after about half an hour the 'funk' began to blow off; so we decanted it which I think accelerated that process. There is still quite a bit of acid, which is probably this wine's saving grace. Its more rustic than I would expect from an old Roumier BM in perfect condition but nonetheless even a less than perfect bottle was enjoyable.
White
5/28/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk ar Arbor Hong Kong - A truly spectacular bottle of this wine. In my limited experience with DRC Monty I have found them to be particularly inconsistent. However, when they hit the high notes you see what all the fuss is about and this one was singing like Pavarotti. The beguiling nose initially leads you to expect a more reductive wine but the palate confirms otherwise. Near perfect balance of acid and fruit followed by a finish that may still be there as I write this note! An extraordinary wine. (Bottle 381)
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red - Fortified
5/25/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at James Suckling's Wine Central - Hong Kong. This is a classy port in a perfect spot right now. Excellent balance, well integrated fruit and alcohol. No burn at the back of the throat whatsoever and a lovely sweetness on the palate. Whilst I would say this is close to full maturity I suspect we have many many years left before it even starts to think about fading.
Red
5/25/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at James Suckling's Wine Central - Hong Kong. Opened later in the evening and so it didn't have the opportunity to allow any faults to blow off (if indeed they were going to). Some VA on the nose; as I've come to expect from many old Italian bottles. Plenty of acid present which was a positive but the fruit seemed to have faded and so the combination of the VA and the acid were too dominant to give this wine a chance to show.
White
5/25/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at James Suckling's Wine Central - Hong Kong. I'm glad I was able to try this wine again because they were smarter than me and this is a lovely wine. No trace of the lanolin that I often associate with Rhone whites. There was actually a salinity that really complimented the crab that accompanied this wine. And for the record, no apricot jam in sight!
White
5/25/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at James Suckling's Wine Central - Hong Kong. Nowhere near as reductive as I expected and therefore much more enjoyable for my taste. Also, leaner than your average Meursault with an uncommon minerality. I'm not sure if this was the vintage, the vineyard or the bottle but I would seek this out as a result.
White
5/25/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at James Suckling's Wine Central - Hong Kong. This took a few minutes to express itself. Initially very pleasant lemon notes on the palate but lacking the complexity you normally get from Raveneau. Then it started to get into its stride. Once it opened up, a beautifully complex wine was revealed with the usual brilliant Raveneau combination of minerality, acid and fruit. This bottle disappeared far too quickly!
Red
5/23/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at La Taverna Hong Kong - A significant amount of volatile acidity on the nose initially which did eventually dissipate. Once the VA had gone there was a pleasant enough wine underneath. It's fully resolved and probably not yet in decline but hard to get too excited.
Red
5/15/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Buenos Aires Polo Club Hong Kong - Incredibly open and giving right from the beginning. A great combination of bright fruit, alcohol and acid. The sommelier aptly described the palate as warm. As the evening progressed the wine held up incredibly well, in particular developing further its attractive sweetness. Ponsot really was brilliant in the '80s.
Red
5/15/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Buenos Aires Polo Club Hong Kong - An excellent bottle of this wine that always battles for preeminence with the '83. The things that stood out for me with this wine tonight were its silkiness and its exceptional finish. We didn't decant this time given the lack of sediment but the wine is certainly robust enough to handle it should you choose to decant. In the end great bottles make great wine experiences and this was certainly one of them.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/10/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Octavium Italian Restaurant in Hong Kong - Whilst there's no need to decant it takes a little time to rev up to full speed. Whilst it will never be one of the blockbusters I think you'll find this wine will compliment a greater variety of cuisines than some of its 'bigger' brethren. There's a very pleasant fineness to this wine that is extremely easy to enjoy. Definitely in a great place now but there's no need to hurry to drink this up.
Red
1996 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/9/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at the Mandarin Grill Hong Kong - The nose is this wine's hallmark. Big beautiful black fruits merge harmoniously with polished leather and even a touch of mint. I don't think this wine will ever really soften but that's what you sign up for here.
Red
4/9/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at the Mandarin Grill Hong Kong - Described as Dickensian by my colleague which I think was apt. Great expectations to begin given its Second Growth status and a marquee Left Bank vintage. A little austere initially but with time in the glass it reveals a complex personality. Whilst it is a relatively young wine (it has many years ahead of it) it exudes a stylistic old-fashiondness. It doesn't quite have the length of Bleak House but it definitely has a more pleasant finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/9/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at the Mandarin Grill Hong Kong - Old school claret with very fine resolved tannins. Those textbook secondary Bordeaux characteristics are unmistakable on the nose. All in all a very positive surprise.
Red
4/2/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Jack's in Hong Kong - From Magnum. This took a loooong time to open, perhaps the magnum format contributed but I suspect its the wine as well. Dare I say it, a candidate for a decant? It's quite muscular but with some pleasant red fruit in the mix as well. Just ok. Certainly not punching at Grand Cru level.
White - Sparkling
4/2/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Jack's in Hong Kong - Although I'm no champagne expert this made me come back for more than my obligatory first glass. A lovely fresh fizz and controlled acidity makes this extremely easy to drink now and I suspect it will continue to deliver this for quite sometime before it enters that 'old wine' phase that all the champagneophiles love!
6 people found this helpful Comment
White
4/2/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Jack's in Hong Kong - This was an outstanding wine and dare I say it reasonable value in the stratospheric world of Burgundy prices. This wine manages to combine minerality with enormous weight. Not in any way flabby but just extremely well toned. Typical lemon notes on the front palate with a finish that goes on and on and then on again. Wine of the night for me.
Red
2000 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/2/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Jack's in Hong Kong - From Magnum. The first word that comes to mind when you drink this wine is 'claret'. The antithesis of the modern style of the '05 Pavie that this was paired against and in my view a more enjoyable wine. You can pick faults like the tannins are a little rough or square, the fruit is a little one dimensional; but if you're looking for a 'comfort wine' to go with your roast beef look no further.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Pavie St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/2/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Jack's in Hong Kong - From Magnum. I approached this wine with an open mind given that its reputation from both a ratings and stylistic perspective proceeds it. In conclusion, I can see both sides here. On one hand it is a highly extracted, high alcohol example of the type of wines that were 'winning' high scores and plaudits from a certain American critic. On the other hand it is a very well made wine with enormous purity. In the end I just can't see this coming into balance and if you're waiting for that to happen I think you'll be disappointed.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/2/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Jack's in Hong Kong - Bottled straight from the barrel and completely unfiltered. As long as you can get your head around the cloudiness in the glass this is an extremely interesting wine. Upfront it gives you a sense of exaggerated maturity but again this is just the style. An acquired taste for sure but one that I would definitely like to acquire! Not easy given they made less than 300 bottles I believe.
Red
3/6/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Bistronomique Hong Kong - The Syrah gives this a real Northern Rhone feel to it but perhaps without the rusticity of some of it's Northern brethren. If I was to be critical it is maybe a touch metallic on the front palate but nonetheless a pleasure to try this rarity. It was up against the legendary '89 Rayas which probably didn't do it any favours either!
Red
3/7/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at The China Club Hong Kong from Magnum - whilst its young and a little closed and served in magnum to boot it's still beautifully balanced. A significantly grander wine than the '03 Calon that it was paired with.
Red
2003 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/7/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at The China Club Hong Kong from Magnum - Plenty of dark fruit and a touch of heat that's characteristic of the vintage. Probably took at least four hours after decanting to come out of its shell. Good but not great, somehow missing the typicity of classic Bordeaux.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/2/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drink at Francis - Hong Kong - It's hard to believe this is a '96, no trace of the tannins you normally find in this vintage but more surprisingly it's hard to believe this is a 24 year old Village wine. Whilst lacking the complexity of the Premier or Grand Crus it has a weight of fruit and an elegance that belies its age.
Red
2/29/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Gia Hong Kong - Initially a touch oxidative but that blows off quite quickly. Soft tannins but with surprisingly intense dark fruits. Still plenty of structure and if anything a touch too much acid. Less advanced than I expected it to be and in hindsight it probably would have benefited from a decant.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1996 Les Forts de Latour Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/28/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at the Mandarin Grill Hong Kong - This has the character of the Grand Vin but without the power. It's not a window into how its big brother will be in future years, but rather a 'mini me' I think. The herbaceous quality of the '96 vintage comes through and is pleasantly complimented by the soft tannins and fruit that is aging elegantly. I feel you should always view Les Forts as its 'own man' rather than just a subsidiary of the Latour Grand Vin.
White - Sparkling
2/20/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Cafe Grey Upper House Hong Kong and served blind - If you like your champagne as dry as Mark Zuckerberg's arm pits this is the one for you. My first experience with this grower and I was pleasantly surprised. 100% Pinot Meunier which as I understand it gives it that 'Extra Brut' bite. It was decanted before serving and I think this wine benefits from the extra contact with air. I preferred this to the Cumieres NV which it was paired with.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/20/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Cafe Grey Upper House Hong Kong and served blind - Paired with '03 Lafite and comfortably eclipsed it tonight. This has all the balance and structure that you get with Latour. Always the greatest and most consistent First Growth for me. It manages to combine power with elegance and offers an approachability despite its quite significant youth. Iron fist in a velvet glove is an often used cliche but this wine is worthy of that description.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/20/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Cafe Grey Upper House Hong Kong and served blind - Paired with Latour '03 which is far more approachable right now. This does not taste like a 17 year old wine, despite the fact that we decanted this at least 3 hours before it was served. I'm not convinced that increasing the decanting time will make this any more friendly right now. Its tight and primary and also lacks the leafiness that you normally associate with Lafite. So I will leave the rest of my bottles for quite a few more years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/20/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Cafe Grey Upper House Hong Kong and served blind - To say this punches above its weight is an understatement. Most mistook it for La Turque (once it was revealed as Guigal). All the smoky, gamey characteristics you'd expect from a Northern Rhone, moderated subtly with the touch of viognier. Drinking very well and with many more years to go than the CT drinking window would suggest.
Red
2/20/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Cafe Grey Upper House Hong Kong and served blind - Paired with the '70 which beat this by a couple places for wine of the night. I suspect that at this stage its not about the vintage but rather the bottle difference between these two wines. Whilst the '64 was absolutely lovely it didn't quite have the elegance and supreme balance that the '70 showed. Nevertheless, as I wrote about the '70 definitely worth seeking out well stored examples of these rarities.
Red
2/20/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Cafe Grey Upper House Hong Kong and served blind - Wine of the night, paired with the '64. Quite a rarity and most definitely worth the trouble to find well stored bottles which this definitely was. Pale orange in the glass and mistaken for the older of the two wines. As you would expect the fruit is delicate but not fading, just enough acid to allow this to continue to age more than gracefully.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Domaine Dujac Charmes-Chambertin Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
2/20/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Cafe Grey Upper House Hong Kong and served blind - Unrecognisable as a 2003. No signs of the often burnt fruit, raisins or excessive jaminess that this heat affected year usually presents. A little barnyardy on the nose that some suggested was bret but actually quite pleasant in my opinion. I've had Dujac's '03s before and in my experience he's really the only Burgundy producer that coped with this vintage.
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - Green pepper on the nose, a good dose of acid and superbly rich. This Meo and the Leroy are the wines tonight that are truly showing the elegance and power that great Richebourg should deliver.
Red
1999 Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Richebourg Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - An attractive floral nose, a touch of boiled sweets on the palate (which I recall from other vintages of this wine). The finish is short and thin however. Unfortunately outshone in this company.
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - a touch thin to begin with but it builds nicely in the glass. Again a solid showing in illustrious company but I preferred the H-N '02.
Red
1999 Domaine Leroy Richebourg Richebourg Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - Tannin and structure give way to richness and elegance. When you drink Leroy you wish you could say it isn't worth paying the price, there are better wines; but you just can't!
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - Showing a little more age than some of the others on the table. Performing better tonight than the usually impressive Grivot '00 however.
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - More weight than you'd expect from H-N. Good acid and an excellent finish. A very strong showing, particularly in the company of some heavy weight contenders tonight.
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - Stems are here but a little thin. Surprisingly underpowered for a DRC Richebourg.
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - Spectacular nose, ubiquitous stems, plenty of tannin but in no way jarring. The structure will carry this wine anywhere it chooses to go.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - In honour of Michel Lafarge's passing. Beautifully crisp, just the right combination of acid and fruit, brilliantly integrated tannins. A wonderful wine in a perfect place right now but I suspect with a long future. Thank you fcxj.
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - Mature but with acid still present. A very pleasant bottle of wine indeed albeit no longer showing much DRC typicity.
Red
1/17/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Castellana Hong Kong - Richebourg tasting - DRC stems are there as are the '96 tannins although a touch thinner than I'd expect. Eclipsed by '98 Leroy in this flight.
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