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The Golden Ticket Lunch

by Doug Rumsam (MD of BI's HK Office)

Think Supermarket Sweep meets Willie Wonka's chocolate factory. 4 lucky souls were granted access to the cellar of one of HK’s great collectors and the choice of bottle was all ours. Bravery or trust? He was about to find out!

Cue lunch at CIAK and the four golden-ticket winners grinning from ear-to-ear...the food was great, but let’s get down to business:

1990 Clos de Mesnil, Krug
Golden nectar. Delicate perfume, not some pretender draped in head to toe in Gucci, this is discreet and very ‘old money’. Then it begins...sublime citrus lined acidity, with the most awesome structure. A slow release of power that gradually seduces the palate. Sweet, gentle and sooo long, this is the bee’s knees; so restrained, so much class and verve, it takes shampoo to another level entirely. Came back to it an hour later and the last drop was reminiscent of the finest old Montrachet you could lay your hands on! 98 pts DR

1991 Montrachet, Ramonet
Mellow caramel and toffee’d honeysuckle, if that exists – a really alluring nose. Delicate and fine, maybe lacking a little oomph, this surprises with its length. Laced with a gentle vanilla edge and a little maize on the finish, this has persistence, purity and surprising staying power despite the gentle touch. 93 pts DR

1998 Rayas Blanc
Smells like eating a slice of pineapple at a petrol station...that may not sound appealing, but bear with me. Soft, waxy ripe fruit. Tropical notes with cinnamon and yet quite a sedate, lean entry. This is a complete contradiction: soft, diluted entry but still incredibly complex and powerful aromas. Perplexing: this is messing with my head. 91 pts DR

1980 Clos de la Roche, Ponsot
Cloudy, plummy colour. What a nose! An ethereal quality… what is it that renders mankind speechless when they encounter the highest level of Sushi or Burgundy?! Bitter cherry, feather-soft fruit that floats across the palate. Such poise and balance. Sweet, a little sour and one of the purest forms of Burgundy to pass my lips this year. Reminds me of the quote from Jimmy the Saint: “You glide. It's a very attractive quality. Most girls, they merely plod along. You, on the other hand, you glide:”

...please sir, can I have some more? 99 pts DR

1993 Corton les Rognets, Meo Camuzet
This wins the nose of the year - smoky meat, horse hide, rich ripe fruit. Wild in a “Crazy Horse” Parisian cabaret sense, this stuff is off the charts. Rich, seductive and the masculine Corton streak has had an adrenalin shot, so concentrated. Powerful, sauvage… this just overrides the senses. Ridiculous juice. 98 pts DR

2001 Clos St Jacques, Rousseau
Signature CSJ: all about the fruit. So clean, so pure, so refined. We are coming at this early, but as it softens this will turn into a real stunner. Great poise and the acidity knits this tight little beauty together perfectly. One to revisit once it has lost that bashful restraint. 94 pts DR

1970 Latour
Classic heady aromatics of lead pencil, slate and dust.  Chunky dark fruit and still so much life here. Plenty of grip and structure, but this could just do with a touch more charm - it would be nice to see it soften a little more (of course, this could simply be due to the fact that lunch had largely been a Pinot-fest prior to this last wine). 93 pts DR

Amazing generosity and above all great fun. Drinking bottles like this and laughing ‘til you cry with friends...that’s why I got into this game in the first place.

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