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The wine is almost entirely opaque and has a deep, dark ruby-red colour. On the nose, dark fruit aromas are dominant, with earthy notes and toasty oak. The palate offers indistinct black fruit of medium weight, along with attractive cedary oak and vanilla hints. The acidity is a bit flat, and the alcohol is slightly warming. The fruit flavour lingers, but the tannins give length to the finish. 

James Suckling awarded it 93 points, describing it as decadently rich with a meaty and ripe fruit aroma. He called it full, dense, and juicy, with round, velvety tannins and a long finish, labelling it a big burly wine. He suggested it should be opened after 2015, as it needs time to mature. Edited. 

Neal Martin awarded it 91 points, noting its good deep red-ruby colour and extravagantly ripe, exotic aromas of roasted dark fruits and roasted meat. He described it as large-scaled, fat, complete, and atypically sweet, nicely balanced by harmonious acidity. He praised its smooth tannins and excellent palate-saturating length, stating it's a great vintage for this chateau. 

Wine Spectator awarded it 90 points, saying it presents fascinating aromas of crushed blackberry and lightly smoky barrels. It's full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a medium finish. While it may feel tight now, it's a balanced wine that promises to evolve beautifully with time. Edited. 

Wine Advocate writes, 'The 2003 Lafon Rochet is fully mature, round, soft, and reasonably complex. It exhibits notes of cedarwood, liquorice, Christmas fruitcake, and a delightful blend of red and black fruits. The tannins are resolved in this medium-bodied, low-acid St.-Estephe, making it a wine to savour over the next 4-5 years. Edited. 

The team's optimistic view of the exclusive Pontet Canet 2006 was formed through an impressive vertical tasting on Chateau Pontet Canet, expertly conducted by the renowned Alfred Tesseron at the Hong Kong KCC Wine Society years back. This tasting, which included vintages from 2000 to 2009, showcased the blockbuster style of Chateau Pontet Canet throughout the vertical vintages, mainly benefiting the rigid 2006 vintage. The fruitiness of this vintage was beautifully highlighted, thanks to its not-too-Pauillac and 'Burgundian' nature, allowing the palates to be relaxed enough to appreciate 2007's good balance, minerality, and expressiveness. 

Chateau Pontet Canet 2006 has always been viewed favourably by wine critics, wine bloggers and wine merchants. It was awarded high scores consistently. For example, in 95 Points, Decanter writes, 'Tight and unyielding at the moment but with excellent pedigree, texture and definition, this has lots of life to come. Poised and impactful, with juicy and mouthwatering fruit. Punches far above the weight of the vintage, one of those get-a-straw-in-the-glass wines: among the best of the tasting. Here, tension rises, and your mouth waters on the finish. This is delicate but punchy, with perfect balance. (JA)  (6/2016). Edited.

RP also gave 95 points from Wine Advocate, saying, '2006 is a wine to stockpile, especially for those in their thirties and forties, as it needs another decade to reach maturity, after which it should keep for an impressive 30+ years. This vineyard, just south of Mouton Rothschild, has produced an opaque bluish/purple-coloured 2006 with an extraordinarily pure nose of graphite, charcoal, sweet creme de cassis, and a hint of scorched earth. Incredible concentration, stunning richness, and a 60-second finish result in a wine that transcends the vintage and this estate's 1855 classification. This enormously endowed, modern-day classic is a legend in the making. 95+ (RP)  (5/2016). Edited.

An open nose of black fruit, violets, sweet vanilla, roasted coffee, and undertones of leather and smoked meat. The taste is as lightish and fresh as the nose, so there are fresh cassis and plum juicy, with heaps of other blue and black fruit bursting through the mid-palate. Tones of chocolate, textured tannins, and coffee beans follow—simple and medium finish. It is approachable now but will age for some years. The tannins are sweet, and the wine has adequate weight, density, opulence, and richness that is good enough for a Pauillac Cru at a lesser vintage.   Grand Vin is a blend 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. 

Currently owned by Xavier Borie, this Pauillac estate sits next to Haut-Batailley and is just south of Borie's other famous château, Grand-Puy-Lacoste. It is one of the oldest estates in the Médoc. The name derived from a battle ("Bataille") where the chateau and vineyard are today during the 100-year war in 1452. In this battle, the French re-conquered the neighbouring Chateau Latour from the English, a crucial point in the history of Aquitaine.   Does it matter who won the battle? Knighted by Napolean III as the 5th Growth of 1855, Chateau Batailley may not have the elegance of the British Chateau Latour from the First Growth, but it is now very well made, keeps on improving and has been well-liked by the drinkers, novice and seasoned alike with its high cost-performance. Chateau Batailley is never the most stylish Pauillac, but its reputation for consistent quality and good value makes it one of the most famous wines in the Hong Kong market.

Scores are consistently at 91 to 92 point levels. RP 91 writes, ' A wine consistently exceeding vintage expectations, this is a Batailley drinking very well at a decade old. It is mid garnet in colour, with bold wood spice meets cherries, leather, and a hint of game on the nose. Supple in tannin but bright in acids, this medium-bodied Pauillac hits the classic notes of cedar, graphite and hedgerow fruit in a moreish, compact frame. Meaty, spicy notes bolster the finish with a delicate, fine balance. Drink it now or over the coming 5-8 years. Edited. 

JS92 writes,  'This is very racy with a pretty purity and length. Full body, with mineral and stone. Muscular. 94% cabernet sauvignon with the rest in merlot and petit verdot. Very, very impressive from here. Edited. 

Farr 91 writes, ' Mid ruby garnet in the glass, the nose here showcases Bataille's oak regime, with roasted coffee and exotic spices bolstering fresh red fruits. The palate is bright and crunchy, with vibrant red fruits and powdery, resolved tannins. This mid-weight and compact wine shows none of the green or stalky edges of the vintage. Bright, light, and ready to drink, it should provide good mid-term drinking pleasure over the next 8 years.' Edited. 

This is a consolidation of the tasting and papers

written from 2006 to 2013. These write-ups had been with the orginal site Wine and Beyond, Yahoo, until the service stopped by Yahoo in September 2013.


For years I have been working with wines, either buying it, selling it to wine companies, lecturing and writing about it, and, not unimportantly, enjoying it with friends. If any of the articles on this site are worth reading it is due to my teachers, my mentors, my peers and friends, my students, and in particularly my editors who ignite in me a desire to communicate in wines.


Clinging to the trellis of wine, I started to get more and more involved with estates and winemakers, by supporting them with consultancy in communication and marketing. The more I spend my time outside Hong Kong, the more I sense a desire to be part of the international wine family.


Writing about wine represents a moment of reflection, curiosity, atitudes and a desire to analyse often hidden structures and history, in an effort to make the wealth of wine accessible to a targetted, and hopefully larger audience.


I am not sure if I can wine proivde more accessible to all through this blog. But I am sure to write in wine means being involved in wine and  to remain as impartial and objective as possible.


Kevin Tang.

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