Just Before the Harvest: Bordeaux

Earlier this month, we reported the early harvest in Sicily, here is a brief report from our good friend in Bordeaux, through the harvest has not started yet and the weather may still be changing, see what we might have for this vintage .

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The French Laundry

The first time I heard there was a restaurant in Napa valley called The French Laundry, I had a bit of a laugh. After all, I had never associated fine dining with dirty linens. But then, my friend told me that it was considered the best restaurant in the United States, if not the world and that it strictly accepted reservations 2 months ahead (and took a mere 15 minutes to become fully booked). Not surprisingly, right then and there I made it a personal priority to go as soon as I possibly could… in the end, thankfully a bit wiser, it took 4 years. The French Laundry is in a small, very humble-and-easy-to-miss 2-storey building in the now foodie capital of Yountville, Napa Valley.

頭一次聽到有關在美國Napa Valley一間名為The French Laundry的餐廳,我真的想笑出來。畢竟,實在想不到有什麼可以把fine dining跟污穢衫拉上任何關係。但是我的朋友告訴我,她是全美國,甚至全世界最好的餐廳。通常需要預早兩個月訂位,而且每天短短的15分鐘內便會被訂滿。知道這之後,我便馬上盡我所能,希望第一時間可以去試一下這間如此出名的餐廳一試,但到最後,經過了四年的時間我才一嚐所願。The French Laundry位於美食天堂Napa Valley Yountville。那是一幢毫不起眼的兩層高房子,經過的時候,就算錯過了也不出奇。

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Travelling in Wine – Château Lynch Bages

Château Lynch Bages,因譯音與香港一名粵劇紅伶相似,所以又名「靚次伯」。在香港愛酒之人一定已聽過它的大名,連香港某航空公司也用它作頭等客倉的貴賓酒。Lynch Bages位於波爾多左岸的Pauillac區,跟Château Pontet Canet同區,佔地有90畝,而平均樹齡為35年。於1855年波爾多分級制中被列為第五級,與Pontet Canet齊名。

Château Lynch Bages, transliterated from the name of a famous Cantonese opera artist in Hong Kong, is also known as “Lang Chi Bak”. It is a well-known brand among the wine-loving community, even one of the local airlines serves their first-class travellers with this premium wine. Situated in the Pauillac region on the left bank of Bordeaux, the winery has a 90-hectare vineyard which generally 35-year-old vines are grown. Producing high quality wines, Château Lynch Bages was classified as a Fifth Growth in 1855 – on a par with Château Pontet Canet.

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My Name is Bond, James Bond

我喜歡電影,但我不特別喜歡占士邦系列電影,可能是因為在眾多男主角中,我只喜歡辛康納利,而邦女郎就更是無一個喜歡,反而喜歡飾演奸角的蘇菲瑪素。不過,我反而很喜歡每次在電影中出現的占士邦戰車,尤其是在《鐵金剛大戰金手指》和《鐵金剛勇破魔鬼黨》兩套電影中出現的Aston Martin DB5。而這部戰車,亦於去年九月的香港蘇富比秋季拍賣會中展出,我專程去了會展一趟,看看這部難得一見的占士邦戰車。

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What Else Besides Tempranillo?

每逢提起西斑牙葡萄酒往往都離不開Rioja的紅、白酒,而然西班牙盛產其他葡萄酒如Sherry,今期便為大家介紹較少人知的葡萄佳釀。有275年歷史的Bodegas Alvear乃Andalucia區最古老的釀酒廠。傳至第八代的Alvear,他們善於採用Pedro Ximenez葡萄釀造Sherry雪梨酒,以名為Criaderas及Solera,一個源於西班牙南部的方法釀酒。

Whenever someone mentions Spanish Reds they don’t really go far from Rioja, which is a shame since Spain truly has one of the world’s best wineries, with Bodegas Alvear being one of them. Throughout its 275 years, Alvear is the oldest winery in Andalucia and one of the oldest in Spain, stretching through eight generations. Using Pedro Ximenez grapes, Alvear adopts the Criaderas and Solera system, unique and originated in the south of Spain.

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Hakushu Single Malt 12years

白州單麥威士忌。早已忘記什麼時候愛上日本威士忌,最初當然是抱著玩玩下的心態嚐試,畢竟這距離威士忌的發源地,蘇格蘭足有九千公里的東洋島國,會以什麼心態對待威士忌呢,自不然有一份好奇。結果跟很多人一樣,開始了這日本威士忌之旅。日本人的一貫做事認真的態度,把一座又一座的蒸餾廠重新在不同的地方建立起來,一個又一個大家現在都很熟悉的名字由此而起,蒸餾廠的一切細節、運作都按蘇格蘭的一樣全搬到日本,而且更盡善盡美。跟蘇格蘭不同的是,日本的氣候較暖,陳年過程熟成會較快,而且由於日本的蒸餾廠較少跟其他酒廠購入原酒作調配以增加出品的風味,因此他們很努力鑽研不同的技術為自己的酒釀增添個性。這也是他們在短時間內成功的因素。

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