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Tasting Notes for KoalaHK

(348 notes on 336 wines)

1 - 50 of 348 Sort order
Red
1982 Château Le Pin Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/10/2022 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at An Other Place Hong Kong - No '82 Bordeaux horizontal would be complete without Le Pin! But yet that statement is a paradox as this is the most un-Bordeaux like wine of all of those we tried today. Exotic, sexy and seductive. It's the Leroy of Bordeaux and so unsurprisingly the wine of the lunch.
Red - Fortified
6/11/2022 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Richard's in Hong Kong - Time, time time and we really did see what time is able to achieve. The color of autumn leaves in the glass and we were all probably hazier than a shade of winter at the end of the evening. Nevertheless, one of the greatest ports I have had the pleasure of experiencing. Almost tawny like in character but with a purity that only vintage port can deliver. The perfect balance between the sweet fruit and the mellow level of alcohol keeps you inquiring of the Bishop of Norwich!
Red
1953 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/4/2022 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Moon Bay Restaurant - Hong Kong - When this bottle was opened and poured almost immediately you knew it was going to be a treat. The sweetness on the nose together with the bright sparkle of the wine in the glass were the tell-tail signs that this was going to be a great Bordeaux performance. And so it was. That sweetness on the nose translated into a Goldilocks like experience on the palate that was truly almost impossible to put down. I'm sure Carly Simon was thinking about mature Bordeaux when she sung 'Nobody does it better"!
Red
5/26/2022 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Ami - Hong Kong: This is in all likelihood one of the greatest Burgundies ever made. And whilst it’s almost indecently young, such is the balance and precision imbedded in this wine, you can not only enjoy it now but it provides immeasurable pleasure. Usually when I describe a wine there are features that stand out that bring to mind the appropriate descriptors. The 2005 Romanée Conti’s subtlety is Swiss watch like in its ability to impart its consummate brilliance without any rough edges whatsoever. This is the Rembrandt or Mozart of wine and it will probably transcend time in the same way. Bottle No. 1668
White
1993 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
9/10/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Hong Kong Cricket Club - A late release bottle that was completely clean and vibrant. Initially very precise with a touch of minerality that could have been Grand Cru Chablis. Put on weight and complexity in the glass as the evening went on but not in any way flabby. A great Leflaive experience.
Red
9/9/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Jashan Hong Kong - Brilliant wine, great balance. Tannins, fruit and acid all in the right place. Definitely gives the Graveyard a run for its money!
Red
1982 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/5/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at the Hong Kong Club - It's always good to drink a bottle of this wine. Still under the radar price wise for an '82 Bordeaux that isn't just going strong but cruising comfortably along its plateau of maturity with absolutely no sign of losing altitude. Silky tannins, harmoniously resolved with its dark fruit this is one of the best fully mature ex First Growth clarets out there.
White
7/15/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Ming Court Wan Chai Hong Kong - You would be unlikely to guess this wine correctly if it was served blind in my view. A heavy dose of botrytis is evident both on the nose and on the palate almost resembling a sauternes. Very viscous in the glass, again sauternes or auslese like but lacking a line of acidity. A pleasant enough drink but not at this price. Bottle No. 442.
Red
1982 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/19/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at the Koala Bar Hong Kong - from Imperial. The firm rustic tannins are undoubtedly the overriding feature of this old school classic claret. Still a very pleasant wine albeit in a style that is atypical of most modern Bordeaux. After almost 40 years however, I would say the fruit is receding slightly faster than the tannins now.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1983 Château Cheval Blanc St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/29/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Beef Bar Hong Kong - No need to decant this wine, sediment is limited and it performs well with a few hours of slow ox in the glass. Fine, soft tannins are fully integrated and the fruit is pleasantly sweet. A wonderful Cheval.
Red - Fortified
4/5/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at An Other Place Hong Kong - For all great vintage ports to reach their apotheosis the alcohol needs to be seamlessly integrated with the fruit and such is Graham '55. Far superior to the Taylor '55 in my view and so much so that this was ranked top three in a line up that included both '90 Chave and '90 Margaux.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/30/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Gia Hong Kong - Old school rustic Northern Rhone here marked by the exotic smell of roast(ing) meats, smoke and game. If you gave 100 points for nose alone this wine would deserve it. On the palate it's a bucolic wine that you imagine yourself drinking in the kitchen of a French farmhouse with a baguette and cheese. It doesn't have the precision of some of the modern Cote Rotie and the fruit did fade eventually but nevertheless worth seeking out even if it's just for the stylistic differences alone.
Red
3/26/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Zest Hong Kong - This bottle was served alongside three younger vintages of Mugnier Musigny and it really wasn't a patch on those. Quite rustic and tannic with a classical barnyard nose developing in the glass as the night went on. Absolutely nothing wrong with any of these characteristics but the younger vintages seem to be a step up in quality.
Red
3/20/2021 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at the Koala Bar - Hong Kong. A bottle bought very reasonably at auction some 7 years ago for which I had limited expectations, so much so that it was served as an aperitif before the main lineup! Absolutely blew my socks off. Beautiful balance, no shortage of fruit, bewitching Rhone nose. In short better than any modern Chapoutier I've had. Can't imagine I'll find this again though (sad face emoji).
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
12/4/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at Giando's Hong Kong - Having had a couple of '63's from different shippers over the last few weeks I can honestly say the Taylor '55 is 'younger' than those. The alcohol is still quite prominent but not in an unpleasant way. It seems ridiculous to say that a 65 year old wine needs more time but that's my conclusion.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/19/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at The China Club Hong Kong - This is an excellent wine with impeccable balance. It achieves weight and structure without being disjointed or angular. Although this is relatively young in the great scheme of things you are not left feeling that it 'needs' further time in the cellar. Don't get me wrong it's almost certainly going to develop with time but it's so well made you can enjoy it now and probably for multiple decades to come.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/18/2020 - KoalaHK wrote:
Drunk at McKay's Steakhouse at The American Club Hong Kong - It's interesting reading the prior CT tasting notes for this wine: 'needs time', 'overly acidic', 'shut down'. All of these comments speak of a wine that needs plenty more time in the cellar. Before I tasted today's bottle, these were indeed my expectations as well. This bottle was not that. Very open, quite resolved and with the acid present but not overwhelming. Probably more advanced than you'd expect from an '08 Meo Grand Cru but it goes to show bottle variation isn't all bad.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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
1980 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Vino da Tavola Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
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
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