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Adios to the Snake

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

We hit Amuse Bouche in early January to see off the Snake and welcome in the Horse. Glorious food accompanied the wines at every juncture, proving once more that Kent (the owner and manager) is a dab hand at this pairing lark. On the subject of wines, there was no particular theme - just a general unspoken understanding that any participants rocking up with Blue Nun would be swiftly kicked to touch by the cleaver-wielding Amuse Bouche chefs.

Here goes on the wines:

1988 Cristal
John said “a little too forward”, but I would take this all day long. Rich with caramel plumpness. Still good acidity holding this together. Great way to kick off proceedings – slabs of lush honeyed fruit lined the palate. 94 pts DR

1982 Krug
Tighter, more structure and guts here. Bready, sweet citrus rim and real poise. Pinpoint precision, this was a belter. 95 pts DR

2001 Charmes Chambertin Bachelet
Smoky goodness, I love this style. Sublime definition and clean lines with silken tannins – damn, this fruit is just so pure, it just cruises on the palate and has awesome length. If only you could find more of it! One of the stars of the evening for me...incredible Pinot. 96 pts DR

1997 Rocche de Faletto, Giacosa
Class is in the structure here. Big-boy style but the layers drift into one another with some formidable tannins pinning this down. Soft edges though, so it lets you in...this has bags of potential. 94 pts DR

1983 Bartolo Mascarello
Little vegetal nose. Smoky, lofty light cherry fruit, beautiful perfume. Mid weight, with solid core of pretty, mellow cherry and mature dark fruits. Fine old Barolo. Bartolo should be on the radar. 93 pts DR

1996 Mommessin Clos de Tart
Sweet, aromatic and fresh, still plenty of bite and chiseled ripe fruit. Acidity provides lift and drives it home. 92 pts DR

2003 Lafleur
Lush, rich and open for business. Pillows of dense sweet dark fruit and a real surge of flavour hits the palate as the wine expands and fills the mouth. Juicy, fresh and worth following its progress over time. 92 pts DR

1982 Pichon Lalande
Bullseye, hole in one…whatever you want to call it, 82 Pichon has it nailed. How does a wine of such freshness, vitality and depth, drink as though it is devoid of tannins?? Sublime elegance encased in the most perfectly balanced framework…fresh black fruits are so light to the touch. Carries the fruit effortlessly. The wine with its pencil shaving, smoky, fresh fruit aromatics had the whole table in awe. 98 pts DR

1983 Palmer
What a nose! Great red smoky fruit aromas. Pulls you in. Tough act to follow that 82 Pichon, but held its own. Aromatics are the real draw here. Mellow, smooth tannis gently coat the palate and still plenty of freshness to guide it along. Class act. 94 pts DR

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