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I Have Sinned With Beef Cheeks and Burgundy






The usual: a view from my hotel window in Causeway Bay, looking west towards Central





Now arrived in Hong Kong and I am enjoying the cool autumn air and bright sunlight that currently bathes the SAR.

My last few days in Singapore were scented with the fine bouquets of some luminary bottles. At the house of a long-standing friend and client a magisterial bottle of 2000 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles from the cellars of the Domaine Leflaive. Here's the note:

A positive pale lemon colour in the glass. The nose is dense and beautiful, of honeysuckle, buttered toast, smoky peach skins and apricot. Toasted nuts play a cameo role, notes of menthol and spice reading the nose's closing credits. The palate is toasty and rich, still a touch firm, relaxing with exposure to air. Nuts and fine minerals are deposited on the tongue, coating the palate. A long wine and one with crisp juiciness at the back. Lovely lactic length here. Delicious, complex, creamy: superb. With breathing, aromas of star fruit emerge and, increasingly, a scent of cloves.

Whooee. What a burgundy!

The next day, lucnh at the Tower Club and (most welcome) a fine spread of dim sum. We appended a bottle of Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay to our pleasure: the '06, which we found crisp, still a touch young, focused and lovely.

And a final and very fitting send off at a restaurant called Sage in the Mohamed Sultan Road where good food is served to diners and where one is welcome to BYO for a little corkage. Present were the proprietors of an estate in Margaret River, WA: Peccavi (Latin for "I have sinned", I am informed). We drank their Chardonnay (crisp, wearing its oak very well; toothsome) and a good Shiraz.

But it turned out to be a wine dinner majoring quite heavily on Chateauneuf. I had taken along a 1999 Cuvee (where are those blasted accents!??) Mon Aieul from Pierre Usseglio, which was rich, complex, meaty and delicious. 2001 and 1995 Beaucastel followed. The '01 was odd. I would never have guessed Beaucastel; perhaps not even Ch9. The 1995 has started to drink supremely well with that horsy hint of brett so indicative of this estate up to the '07 vintage. Beef cheeks went very well!

I am still carrying the dog end of my cold. My cough rattles like beans in a box and my sinuses feel as though they'd like to leap out through my forehead and investigate their new surroundings. But it's good to be back in Hong Kong. It's still buzzing like speed-dating hornets.
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