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Parker says(quote and edited by us), 'Giscours' 1996 is atypical for the vintage, being soft, forward, and open-knit, with an absence of tannin. The wine exhibits a dark ruby colour and attractive berry fruit, but it is straightforward and easygoing. Drink it during its first decade of life. Today the vineyard covers 94 hectares, of which the grape variety is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. ' Thanks to Parker's low ratings: the price of Giscours 1996 is very nice, considering that it is from a fine 1996 from a Margaux Third Growth, a rare vintage with 27 years behind. We found Giscours 1996 agreeable, and so did Jeanne Cho Lee, who awarded it 94 points from the angle of a fine claret with the old-school type of making and 12.5% alcohol levels. While tannins are by now melted away, it remains Arsac and Labarde in style. Indeed its merits are for the consumers to decide.

The Giscours 1996 blend gives a natural balance and complexity. The vinification begins in concrete and stainless steel tanks for 18-28 days, then the ageing is 100% in French oak barrels (50% new and 50% of wine) and lasts from 15 to 18 months. A good claret at cru level, which aged fine.

Deep ruby colour purple reflections, very youngish. The nose tones are elegant black fruit notes with exquisite spicy and truffle touches. The palate is beautifully delicate, with subtle flavours of black fruit and plums that embrace the palate while keeping pleasant freshness on the finish—old Chateau with hundreds of years behind. Few people write about this Chateau and its vintages, so few views are found. PJ Mouieux writes that the wine has been vinified batch by batch, in oak or SS vats, then aged for 18 months in oak barrels (33% new). Traditional making and Grape Varieties 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc as well- not much on complexity but an expression of terroir. Planting density is very high: 3,000 vines per acre / 7,500 vines per hectare—Average Age of Vines: 40 years. Soil mixed balanced and exposure excellent, leading to the production of fine, elegant Pomerol. 2014 is intense and fresh. N

o worries.

Scores are consistently high, in the level of 93 to 94. For example,

94 points, James Suckling

A unique red here with so many floral, bark and dark fruit aromas that follow through to a full body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Lively acidity. It needs two or three years to resolve the tannins. But it should come around nicely. 50% whole bunch fermentation. Cool. (2/2017). Edited.

93 points Vinous

The 2014 Rouget is a wonderfully complete wine that melds together super-ripe, racy fruit and structure. Succulent red cherry, rose petal, mint and white pepper give the wine its distinctive aromatic and flavour profile. Despite its flamboyance, 2014 has plenty of structural underpinning. A few years in the bottle should help the wine soften. Even so, this is a decidedly opulent Pomerol. 2014 was quite impressive both times I tasted it. (AG) (2/2017). edited.

94/100, VertdeVin, "The nose is fruity, gourmand, elegant and aromatic. It reveals notes of blackberry and cherry cream combined with subtle notes of cassis, crushed gariguette strawberry, liquorice, and toasted wood, as well as a hint of vanilla, dark chocolate and a discreet hint of coconut. The mouth is fruity, mineral, elegant, well-balanced, and sophisticated and offers fat and a good volume. On the palate, this wine expresses notes of crushed blackberry and sour cherries combined with slight notes of crunchy strawberry, cassis, small red berries, cocoa, liquorice, discreet woody notes and an imperceptible hint of coconut. Tannins are fine and well-built. Good length." Edited.

RP91. The 2014 Rouget was memorable, extremely rich and opulent when I originally tasted it from the barrel. Now in bottle, it has retained that brash and ostentatious persona with intense oyster-shell-tinged red fruit that packs a punch compared to some of its more demure brethren. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive density, a muscular Rouget at first but give it time in the glass, and you start to see more of its nuances and elegance. Hopefully, time will temper the aromatics; if so, this will be a worthy Pomerol. My only caveat is that the wood tannins are still conspicuous on the finish and need to be subsumed. Drink Date 2020-2038. Edited.

Just try for the still uninitiated! You may not need any reason to try this delicious second wine! It is just a great, mammoth, supple testament of wine--in short, a new archetype you must try.

2010 for this second wine is an elegant vintage—alcohol 14.5%, which flows in line with style. The vineyard where the Tempranillo grapes come from to make this red wine, aged for 14 months in new and used French oak barrels, was converted entirely to biodynamic agriculture. This 2010 has a deep ruby colour still with purple reflections and aromas of fresh red fruits(strawberries, raspberries and cherries). Pleasant herbaceous and vegetable notes, forest floor, mineral, smoked tobacco and spice touches surround it. On the palate, it confirms this fruit and mineral aspect, almost sapid; it has an impressive tannic structure, refreshing acidity and persistent finish, all wrapped in an aura of elegance and finesse, in perfect balance with its intensity and depth. Of course, like its first wine, the high altitude, cool nights, wide diurnal variation and soils richly endowed with chalk and limestone contributes to the style. These factors combine to give the wines of Ribera del Duero deep colour, varietal purity and vibrant acidity. Natural fermentation; no headache.

95 Guia Penin, 'Colour: Cherry, garnet rim; Aroma: spicy, creamy oak, toasty, complex, scrubland, fruit expression, red berry notes; Flavour: powerful, flavourful, toasty, powerful tannins, good acidity.' Edited.

94 points Adega, '"Vivid purple. Ripe cherry, cassis, potpourri and cracked pepper on the intensely perfumed nose, with subtle liquorice and woodsmoke qualities adding complexity. Deep, sweet and expansive, offering explosive dark berry compote, floral pastille and anise flavours. A spicy quality gains strength on the finish, which leaves smoke and mineral notes behind. This bottling has been going from strength to strength in recent years and offers superb value relative to its ritzy Pingus sibling. Edited.

NM also gave RP92, which comments,' The 2010 Flor de Pingus is raised in 40% to 50% new French oak (Darnajou and Taransaud). It has a superb bouquet that is taut at first but unfolds beautifully with very pure small dark cherries, cassis, orange blossom and a faint, attractive note of strawberry cheesecake. The palate is medium-bodied with sumptuous, plush tannins counterbalanced by the crisp thread of acidity. It has great clarity and tension with vibrant allspice and white pepper notes towards the finish that closes down a little, suggesting that it will need two or three years in the bottle. Excellent. Drink 2015-2025.' 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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