Mark's Duck House

We had some terrific wines, including the fully mature 1995 Côtes du Rhônes from Domaine Gramenon, a young, vigorous, intensely blackberry and mineral Syrah, the 1995 Cornas Vieilles Vignes from Alain Voge, and the outstanding but somewhat fatigued and unexciting half bottle of 1989 Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape (this wine is far superior to what it revealed this day). The 1980 Hubert de Montille Pommard les Rugiens proved once again that Montille's wines rarely live up to their reputation, generally remaining hard, angular, and emaciated. The 1980 continues the succession of old yet pristinely stored vintages pulled from my cellar that have been largely undrinkable.

We had two fabulous wines from Italy thanks to one of the guests, Yanna de Grazia. The 1999 Clerico Barolo Genestra Ciabot Mentin Genestra was sensational, as was the even more remarkable 1998 Clerico Barolo Per Cristina. Both wines are still young, but reveal sweet tannin as well as huge fruit and body. They were both stunning with the array of Dim Sum.

Some great red Burgundies were showcased at this meal. The 1997 Arlaud Clos St.-Denisrevealed some mustiness, which may have been cork-related, but overall, the wine under-performed based on previous bottles. The dense ruby/purple-colored 1997 Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras from Vogue possessed sweet black fruits with hints of flowers and liquid rocks. Very impressive, it is still youthful and likely to improve. At first, the 1991 Leroy Clos de la Rocheseemed closed, but with airing, it exploded. This wine rocked over the next four hours, adding one layer of complexity on top of another. While not yet fully mature, it offers a spectacular glass of Pinot Noir! Virtually perfect, the 1993 Hubert Lignier Clos de la Roche once again confirmed that the finest wines of this vintage are truly majestic. It's such an erratic year, but then, what Burgundy vintage is not?

Lastly, one can not say enough about the exquisite Hong Kong-styled cuisine at Mark's Duck House!

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