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Archive for the ‘Wine Tastings’ Category

Le Pin

Le Pin

We learnt a few interesting facts about Le Pin from the young Monsieur Thienpont.

Le Pin is Le Pin, never Chateau Le Pin because it is truly a very small house in the middle of the vineyard, never an extravagant Chateau.  So the label is always Le Pin.

It is a relatively young vineyard and the first vintage is 1970.  You will never find a legendary 1961 Le Pin.

Then the missing vintage – 2003!  The year that the heat wave hit Europe, temperature was over 40C.  They did not produce the vintage, as it would not live up to the heart and soul of the cult wine.

Not that I could afford a bottle, but in case you find a 2003, then you’ll know!

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Le Pin_ pine tree

Le Pin stands for the Pine Tree at the Vineyard

Standing on the rooftop of the newly built Le Pin, the young Monsieur Thienpont pointed to the two pine trees in front of the house, still standing tall as the symbol of the vineyard after the renovation.

We walked around the rooftop, probably less than 200 sq ft, and counted the rows of vines that are part of Le Pin.  It is indeed a small vineyard even in St Emilion, only 2 hectares producing 5,000 bottles a year.  There are 7 plots of fields that will go through the fermentation process in 7 separate stainless steel vats after harvest.

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Domaine Laroche @ Chablis

Chablis is a very picturesque town with a small river running in the midst of the vineyards.  It is always a good summer wine with its crisp acidity and mineral aroma.  If you have read the famous Japanese manga, God’s Drop, this is the wine to pair with fresh oysters.  And I found out why after visiting Chablis!

Doamine Laroche’s tasting room was off a quiet street in the heart of Chablis.  We tasted four wines from the domaine, Saint Martin, Fourchaume 1er Cru, Les Vaudevey 1er Cru and then the grand crus, les Blanchot. (more…)

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Most of the domains in Burgundy are still family owned and quite small.  On average the domains own about 6 to 8 hectares of land, producing roughly 30,000 bottles a year.

It is rare for one domain to own the whole parcel of vineyard.

When Sylvia at Domaine Rossignol-Trapet told us they started biodynamic in 1997 and finally received the certification in 2008, I wondered how they could control the quality? If the domain does not own all the vines, what if the vines next to yours are spread with chemicals? (more…)

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Wine Blending

Some people enjoy wines for pleasure, some for investment, some for sharing and then there are some that like to go beyond the label and learn about wine making.

Recently, read a few articles in the paper about a new shop in Hong Kong that goes beyond just selling wines; the owner is also a wine maker now resides in Hong Kong and offers some interesting wine classes, including wine blending.

Well for one thing, you don’t need a Chemistry degree to attend this 2 hour class.   (more…)

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….”

This time of year could be quite warm and humid, may not be the best of times to enjoy alfresco dining.  We just have to take our chance when we plan for a seafood and wine lunch at Lamma Island a few months back.

A cool breeze under the sunny sky over the weekend turned out to be the perfect setting for the outdoor lunch.   The worst of times was waiting for the wines to be chilled for the perfect serving temperature. (more…)

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For anyone who has spent any time or effort getting to know the different grape varietals and their characteristics when turned into wine, the concept that different wines should be drunk in different glasses should come naturally.

Either through experience or study, we all know that white wine glasses should be smaller than red wine glasses, simply due to the intensity of the bouquet from reds, which requires, perhaps deserves, more room to breathe and manifest itself.

We all know this simple rule, but few of us take the time to explore the idea further and find out how different shapes and sizes of glasses impact the actual experience of drinking different wines. More importantly, few of us ask the question: What is the best shape and size for a glass that is best suited to maximise the qualities of a particular varietal? (more…)

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