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Farr Vintners' Hong Kong Team Dinner with a Spectacular View of Victoria Harbour

Friday, 30th May 2014 by Stephen Chan

What a busy and exciting week it has been!  The week kicked off with a special Chateau Rauzan Segla Wine Dinner at The Grand Hyatt hotel, followed by 3 days of the Farr Vintners Fine Wine lounge where the Hong Kong Team and Stephen Browett were able to meet up with our long term and new customers.  Then last but not least, a 2006 Bordeaux vintage tasting of 19 wines (more blogs to follow).

The restaurant with its spectacular view.

To celebrate a successful week the Hong Kong team on Thursday evening dashed out of the office, boarded the 128 bus and headed through the tunnel to Tsim Sha Tsui, to enjoy a Chinese supper at Above & Beyond restaurant at Hotel Icon.  Our venue lived up to it's name - located on the 28th floor, this restaurant enjoys spectacular views across Victoria Harbour (especially last week when the skies of Hong Kong were bright and clear). As an added bonus we were also in time for the 8pm "Symphony Show of Lights", Hong Kong's famous light show, highlighting the best of Hong Kong's landscape.

The full line-up

All our wines that night were tasted blind - to start off we had three whites.  Our clues - all were the same grape variety, two from the same country.  In good old fashioned wine trade blind tasting tricks, eyes flashed to the shape of the wine bottles - then it was back to the glasses.  All showed classic Chardonnay characteristics, yet each was different.

Wine Number one was the lightest, less viscous than the others, delicate and fresh, white peaches and nectarines with some floral characters, definitely the youngest and thoughts were it could be a Chablis.  In the mouth, fresh and clean acidity medium to light bodied.  A much fuller nose on wine no 2 - rich, toasty, buttered toast, vanilla, fleshy tropical fruits.  Medium bodied with lovely cleansing acidity and similar tastes to the aromas.  Wine number 3 had another rich nose (slightly less intense than wine number 2), yet cleansing acidity, lots of tropical fleshy fruits.

The white wines

Conclusions: wine 1 and 3 were burgundy (from our favourite white Burgundy producer - Verget) and wine 2 the burgundy impersonator - New Zealand's Kumeu River:

  1. 2012 Pouilly Fuisse Roche, Verget (GB140 per case)
  2. 2010 Coddington Chardonnay, Kumeu River (GBP200 per case)
  3. 2009 Chassagne Montrachet Morgeot, Verget (GBP320 per case)

All went very well with our dim-sum style starters - truffled egg, steamed pork, shrimp and roe dumpling and moist bbq pork belly with excellent crunchy crackling.

Some of the dishes

Then onto the reds with the main courses - assorted mushrooms, fresh garoupa and wagyu beef cubes:

First up was a lone red - an elegant nose, still fairly young, red and floral notes on the nose.  On the palate beautiful to drink now, still has structure, classic pinot fruit with a slight vegetal hint.  This was 2010 Cote de Nuits, Mallard (the winemaker who is responsible for the production of Domaine Eugenie owned by M. Pinault of Chateau Latour).  It's hard to find great value / quality burgundies but if you are hunting, look no further - it really is a bargain at GBP125 per case

Next up were 3 reds, all from Bordeaux.

The first of the three wines was very young, purple in colour, a beautiful nose and a dash of velvety quality, dark black cherries, licourice, fresh vanilla pods, cedar and sprinkling of Asian spice.  Wine number two showed a bit more age, more earthy in character, red and black plums and cherries, and then wine number three - lots of blackcurrants, earthy, meaty.  When the wines were unveiled we were surprised at our line up:

  1. 2011 Cruzelles - whilst young this is approachable now and cracking stuff.  Made by the talented Denis Darantou this wine punches way above it's weight.  Although from Lalande de Pomerol this tastes just as top notch Pomerol should. GBP150 per case.
  2. 2004 Canon - again approachable and able to drink now, went perfectly with the chinese roasted chicken. GBP430 per case
  3. 2004 Sociando Mallet - we were taken by surprise by this wine.  At 10 years old, it is still young on the nose the palate and exhibiting almost right bank like berries flavor when tasting blind, given its high ratio of merlot.  GBP250 per case
Some more dishes!

Not only was the roasted chicken delicious but the roated pigeon was our dish of the night - this was cooked to perfection, having been smoked with tea leaves - this is a must order dish!

The red wines

Finally we have a very special dessert to mark the end of the fantastic wine dinner - Chocolate Ice-cream made with the famous Chinese Spirits Baijiu Mao Tai! If that was not enough to put Stephen to sleep on his return flight to UK, then nothing would be!

It was really a wonderful dinner and a fantastic way to end our successful week. I am proud to have been working with the HK team and Stephen Browett during his week in Hong Kong!


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