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All vintages(2011, 2017 and 1988) look young and robust enough, with a tight rim. All vintages give a consistent, confident, complex nose of floral, black cherry, truffle, thyme, and plum aromas (compared to the En Primeur Team tasted back then). Full-bodied, rich, and concentrated drinking in 2011 has a good structure. 2017 gives clean fruit and tastes modern. Back to traditionality, 1988 gives a complex, dry fruit, minerality and classic spice.


Rauzan Seglas is well-liked by us because of its:


  1. Silky smooth tannins and freshness (premium fruit quality, sorting, parcel by parcel vinification, relatively low alcohol at 13.5% still despite higher merlot content used) that lingers on your palate and adds exceptional ripeness to it(higher merlot composition for the class, manual harvest);

  2. Vigorous mid-palate intensity good structure(increased to 10,000 vines per hectare, efficient drainage with a new drainage system, crop thinning, smaller vats);

  3. Reasonable complexity integrated primary, secondary and tertiary tones(4 royal grapes by design);

  4. Medium Power(vinification takes place at 35 Celsius for suitable extraction, malolactic fermentation in smaller vats for fixing even better fruit, the wine aged in an average 60% new, French oak barrels for between 18 months, hence the richness)



Of course, this wine holds a special place amongst veteran importers because John Kolasa, the winemaker, was and still is a friend to many Hong Kong tasters. He was replaced in 2014 by LVMH's other winemaker.

It is priced super effectively as a Super Second of Margaux (sic, President Thomas Jefferson of USA), coupled with the ability to age and develop. If you like Margaux, 2017, Rauzan Segla deserves a place in your cellar. 2011 is more for immediate consumption, and 1988 is for nostalgic appreciation.

Full decanting is recommended. That evening, when we tasted it, its virtues come close to frailty, as if silence speaks even more than the sound of music and cadence tells as much as arpeggios. It is a wine for dining at candlelight and whispers, accompanied by good dishes and an intimate friend.




We tasted 2000 Barde-Haute many years ago and have not re-tasted it since. By GCC standards, it is a simple, ripe, and balanced wine. The structure is almost perfect, with fine, ample tannins. Scores for this wine/vintage is well accorded and a host of writers write well on this wine such as:


93 points Jeb Dunnuck

I loved the 2000 Château Barde-Haut. It offers a mature, complex bouquet of blackcurrants, toasted spice, tobacco, and leather with a medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced style on the palate. While fully mature and drinking at this point, it should easily evolve for another 7-8 years. It's a beautiful wine. (3/2020, edited)


92 points Wine Advocate

A great sleeper, this fully mature wine, made by Helene Garcin, has loads of deep raspberry and black cherry fruit with hints of liquorice, toasty oak, and a spice box. It is plush, succulent, and indulgent, yet at the same time complex. I loved their 1998, and this wine has also turned out well. (RP) (6/2010; edited)


92 points The Wine Independent

The 2000 Barde Haut is deep garnet coloured with a hint of brick. It leaps with warm blackberries, stewed plums, fruitcake scents, and dried herbs and tobacco wafts. Medium-bodied, it is elegant and refreshing with evolved, plush tannins and a long, minerally finish. (LPB) (1/2023, Edited)


91 points Int'l Wine Cellar

Good medium ruby-red. Explosive Nose combines cherry liqueur, woodsmoke, flowers and smoke. Sweet, fat and pliant but juicy and aromatic. It has the inner-mouth aromatic complexity and complete flavour development one would expect from a cool site that benefitted from a hot growing season and harvest. It is a very sexy wine, finishing with big, palate-dusting tannins and excellent length. (6/2003; edited)


Wine Spectator

Many crushed berry, flower and vanilla aromas follow through to a medium-bodied palate with fine tannins and a balanced finish. (JS) (3/2003; Edited)

Scores are consistently high for Gruaud Larose 2015.


WE95 writes, 'The ripe fruit that is a hallmark of this vintage at th



is estate has been maintained along with solid tannins and richness. This has both tannins and concentration, although the fruit is the main thing, making a wine that will develop relatively quickly. Edited. A similar view is expressed by JS95, who says, 'Concentrated and elegant with a great harmony of dry tannins and ripeness (but no hint of overripeness), this has a long finish with a lot of drive and enormous freshness. You could drink this now with red meat, but it has decades ahead. Also, TA95, who continues, 'Gone are the bad old days of farmyard aromas and flavours, to be replaced by something that is classic, yet modern at the same time. Polished and well-defined, this carries its 100% new oak with ease, such is the structure and depth of the wine. Drink: 2022-32. Edited.


Also, a whopping 97+ from Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, who writes, 'Gruaud Larose 2015 is medium to deep garnet in colour. It leaps out of the glass with notes of crushed black cherries, blackcurrant pastilles, juicy blackberries, and suggestions of violets, camphor, and black truffles. The medium-bodied palate is fantastically elegant and intense, with fine-grained tannins and bold freshness to support it, finishing long and perfumed. Impressive. 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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