An unforgettable Le Grand Day of Indulgence 2011
The second Le Grand Day of Indulgence was as splendid as the 2010. Over 60 guests joined Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, the most respected French wine critics, and our guest of honour Mr Pierre Lurton, director of Cheval Blanc and Chateau d'Yquem, on 17th September at the Grand Hyatt Pool House for a full day of excellent wine and delicious food.
The day started with a journey of discovery of Cheval Blanc: Le Petit Cheval 2006 and 2001, and Cheval Blanc 2001, 2000, 1998, 1990, 1982, 1975 and 1967. Mr Lurton revealed the secret to Cheval Blanc’s distinctive style: the high percentage of nearly 60% Cabernet Franc blended with Merlot, compared to the usual 80% Merlot 20% Cabernet recipe on the right bank. The wines were refined and elegant and showed a great complexity, thanks to the sandy and gravelly soil.
Mr Lurton also talked about the new state-of-the-art winery completed only a few months ago. The wavy outline looks similar to Hong Kong's Convention and Exhibition Centre, but Mr Lurton assured us that tradition is given the utmost respect inside, with 52 concrete vats representing the different fragments of the vineyard.
This was followed by a Dom Perignon comparative tasting: Vintage 2002, Rosé 2000, a 1996 Vintage v Oenotheque comparison and the 1975 and 1969 Oenotheques. Michel explained that the difference between Vintage and Oenotheque is the time the wine spends on lees. While the Vintage 1996 has developed wonderful brioche and biscuity aromas, the Oenotheque 1996 is still vivid and fresh because it was aged eight years longer on lees. Guests were split between the 1975 and 1969 Oenotheques. Meanwhile, Vincent Pages, brand ambassador of Dom Perignon, helpfully suggested food and wine pairing tips for guests.
Before dinner, guests lined up with bottles of their favourite Cheval Blanc vintage for Mr Lurton to autograph. Michel and Thierry then smashed the remaining empty bottles in front of the guests to ensure they could not be reused.
Finale of the day was the French wine and Chinese Celebration Dinner, specially created by Chef Tim from Grand Hyatt to pair with the selected wines. The bubbles of the Dom Perigon 2002 gently caressed the succulent scallops while the subtle spices of the stewed cod perfectly complement the multi dimensional Corton Charlemagne Bouchard 2000. The acidity of Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases 1989 enlivened the rich abalone and beef. The meal finished with a sublime match of mango pudding and d’Yquem 1988, both intense yet elegant.
Michel summed up the Day: "I expected great moments: sharing exceptional wines with exceptional people is always a source of happiness for a wine expert. For this second Le Grand Day of Indulgence, the quality was above any expectation. I met wine lovers and wine collectors of the highest level—all-in-all a great attendance, with a perfect blend of Chinese, Asian, Australian, South African, British and French illustrating the cosmopolitan way of life in modern Hong Kong. The wines were delicious (if I except two or three tired bottles, difficult to avoid with old vintage tastings)—the Cheval Blanc aristocratic, ultra-refined, the epitome of a balanced blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot varietals, with an especially glorious 1982 and a superb 1975, so different from many dry and rustic wines from that unpredictable vintage; the Dom Perignon fresh as a daisy even at forty years old. Not a bad thing on a hot HK summer's day! And we all enjoyed the illuminating comments of Pierre Lurton, the master behind the Saint-Emilion jewel."
All the guests and speakers enjoyed the day and are looking forward to the third Le Grand Day of Indulgence. Send us an email and we’ll keep you posted on next year’s event.
Click here for the tasting notes
Click here for the photo album
Le Grand Day of Indulgence 2010 – A little indulgence is non-negotiable
‘A little indulgence is non-negotiable' was the motto shared by 50 satisfied participants at Le Grand Day of Indulgence on 18th September. The highlight was the vertical tasting of Chateau Mouton Rothschild guided by Chateau owner Mr Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, and Commercial and Managing Director Mr. Hervé Berland, who flew into Hong Kong for less than 24 hours specially to tutor the tasting. Guests tasted seven vintages of Chateau Mouton Rothschild: 2006, 05, 04, 03, 2000, 1996 and 1986, a 2005 Petite Mouton and the rare white Aile d’Argent de Chateau Mouton Rothschild.
One of the participants remarked, "It was truly entertaining with family stories and insights from Mr Sereys de Rothschild. Mr Berland detailed the conditions of the various harvests while Michel, Thierry and Simon elaborated the taste and stimulated discussion among us."
Michel said, "The most fascinating feature of the day for me was the opportunity to exchange views and feelings with some of the most passionate collectors I have ever encountered. Their tasting abilities and their desire to deepen their knowledge, already considerable, were so different from the arrogant and stubborn attitude of too many French drinkers!"