Thursday, August 18, 2011

Champagnes & Wonderful reds

Ok, I do admit that sometimes I'm very spoilt when it comes to dining and drinking. I have friends with fine tastebuds and thus sometimes the dinner can get a little lavish. So happened that during dinner sometime ago, it also coincides with my sis getting a promotion and it was very kind of my friend to call for a celebration with some wonderful bubblies.

Dom Perignon 2002

The Dom needs no introduction. However, the latest release of the 2002 shows that it is capable of drinking well with a very floral bouquet, hints of ripe apricots, passion fruits and peaches on the palate and a finish with a subtle hint of bitterness. It's good to drink now.

Right after we finished sipping our Dom, a lady brought in a plate of strawberries. At the corner of my eyes, I've already spotted a bottle of Cristal, the jewel and tête de cuvée of Champagne Louis Roederer chilling in the champagne bucket. I was squealing with delight but my sis was kinda blur and didn't know I was excited about her favourite champagne.

"If a wine could ever make you want to pull the top down on your '68 Ferrari convertible, rip off the rearview mirror and take off, this is it" as quoted by Wine & Spirits.

And so, the strawberries were meant to go with the Cristal 2002. Wine & Spirits gave this a 100 pointer but it managed to get a 96 from Robert Parker which is the same rating for Dom 2002. Cristal 2002 is brilliant yellow with light amber highlights and has a beautiful mousse with fine cordon of persistent and fine bubblies. The nose is intense and delicate, revealing a clean and well-blended mixture of flavors of honey, cocoa, lightly toasted hazelnuts, candied citrus fruit.It's a harmony of well-blended flavours that is silky and refined.

The dishes we had were pretty simple. There's steamed prawns, "seng kua" with pork, bbq pork ribs and also my favourite pork noodles. Ok, almost all the dishes are pork.

And a cigar in between dishes.

My friend liked the idea of doing blind tastings as it tells whether we really like the wine as it is or because we knew it was an expensive label. Obviously none of us knew what we were drinking that night until the end of the dinner.

Blind tastings of reds

Oh I do love blind tastings. It made the whole wine drinking experience so interesting and exciting because you just wanted to know if your tastebuds really do get influenced by the mind after knowing the labels.

The first wine has a very nice nose. It turns out to be one of the wines that I so wanted to drink! it's a Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2000. Vega Sicilia is indisputably one of the great estates of Spain.The one we were having is actually a second wine of the Unico, which is dubbed as Spain's "Chateau La Tour".

Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2000
This was the vintage of the good wine grower, for much depended on careful work in the vineyard, which has given the wine richness and concentration, with tightly knit fruit and nicely balanced oak, making for a structured but elegant wine.

Powerfull on the nose, some oak, vanilla, tobacco, but well integrated. Good acidity and bitterness. Long and complex finish.

I love the palate of the second bottle, not knowing that it's actually a bottle of the Wirra Wirra Chook Block 2002. Why this wine of Australia is so special, you ask?

From time to time Wirra Wirra produces wines from very small parcels of extremely intense, high quality fruit. Chook Block is a unique wine which is not made except in exceptional vintage like 2002. It is not made to a particular style; winemaking is purely in a custodial sense attempting to reflect in the wine the quality of both the Chook Block Vineyard, and the vintage. The fruit was 100% Hand Picked, with bunch selection by hand to remove any undesired bunches. "There’s no doubting that it’s a deep, profound wine!"

Only 250 cases were made! There's an oriental spices bouquet with an underlying score of licorice. On the palate, it's concentrated, chocolatey with a refined structure of finely balanced acid and fine grained tannin. As this is purely Shiraz, you can expect it to be medium to full bodied and has a savoury complexity and exceptional length in flavour and intensity.

The friend of mine was trying to bluff me and tells me that this is a bottle of YellowTail which until today, I've yet to taste it. I told him, "If this is really a Yellow Tail, I really don't mind drinking this all the time at all!" And then he kept quiet. Oh come on, I'm still not drunk. The 4 of us drank these 4 bottles in one dinner.


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

gosh all of your friends got some lubang to bring in this for dirt cheap or they r just dirt rich?

blind tasting is prob the best way to actually see if one is enjoying the wine for what it is oppose to seeing the label. i must admit for one, when i go to the bottler, i assess the wines by the price haha, the more exp it is, the better it is!

Sean said...

blind tasting sounds like fun! i'll try it sometime, though i suspect i won't be good at it :D

eiling lim said...

Joe: Haha... that's a good question. My friends are just generous and they enjoy good food and wines. Of course good company is very important too.

Sean: Yeah it's interesting to see our own perception towards the wines without knowing the labels and price

suituapui said...

Dom Perignon... I think this is the good one that I like. I wonder if it's available at duty free and how much they're selling a bottle...

eiling lim said...

STP: It's available. I think it's about RM500-600 now for a 2002 bottle

Huai Bin said...

250 cases? That's a very limited run, lucky of you to have tried it. :)

The Dom looks good too, but somehow I prefer Moet et Chandon even though it's priced lower.

Cristal, I haven't tried - the price tag is prohibitive. :x

Glad you're having fun Eiling! :)

Mun Mun said...

A good way to start a blind with two beautiful champagne, Dom n Cristal. But the two blind wines were really good, bet one of them really suits ya palate. Well lucky girl, you deserved to get the best. Enjoy!

eiling lim said...

Huai Bin: hehe... well, am sure you can also afford a Cristal once you get your paycheck *wink

Mun Mun: Yeah actually both the red wines I like very much.

Mun Mun said...

Oh Great.. Then I know what kind of wines you like! Swing by my bar soon, could get you some nice wines for you to try.. :)

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