St Julien vs. Pauillac – Tasting in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour

HK tasting

Head of F+R Asia Ross Eva shares his notes from an evening spent sampling some of the very best Bordeaux, against the bright lights of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour… 

Working in the wine trade is not without perks. One of the best is that when a client asks you to help out with an event they’re hosting it usually means that, at the very least, you’ll get the chance sample some rather special wines.

Last month this exact opportunity came upin our Hong Kong office as we were asked to assist in hosting a ‘St Julien vs. Pauillac’ wine tasting on board the Aqua Luna – a renovated, refurbished ‘junk’ boat that cuts an iconic figure on its daily cruises across Victoria Harbour.

As for the wines, no expense was spared in showcasing six of the very best to come out of that iconic corner of South West France over the last 15 years, each providing a fantastic example of the greatness of Bordeaux (if anyone needed reminding)…

Full notes on the wines below.

HK tasting bottles

Tasting Notes

2008 Latour – 95 points James Suckling

Deep, mesmeric ruby core, radiates warmth. Piercing red cherries, incredibly precise nose, cuddled by black currents. Layer upon layer of rich velvety fruit. Dark cedar wood, coffee and chocolate. Massive tannin and acidity but not distracting from the purity of the fruit. Length goes on and on! Sensational stuff.


2009 Beychevelle – 17 points Decanter

Opulent – like all 2009s! Dense on nose, compacted red fruits but already some secondaries coming through. Stream of fresh blackberries on the palate, filing the whole of the mouth. No loose ends. Balance maybe a bit wonky right now but still very pretty – hard to make a bad 2009…


2005 Grand Puy Lacoste – 93 points Wine Spectator

Perfumed, soft fruit on the nose. Tabac and other flavours already starting to come into the mix. Very firm on palate – archetypal Pauillac! Strength with elegance. Slightly Burgundian-esque? Lots of freshness and lightness, but at the same time, concentration and richness – this has decades ahead of it yet.


2007 Ducru Beaucaillou – 90 points Wine Spectator

Immediately appealing, open red and black fruits. This isn’t hanging around but what a pleasure right now. Herbal hints – that classic claret set of characteristics coming through from the nose to the palate. Extremely approachable. Dances quite nicely as the tannin is very well integrated now. Sure to last at least another 5 years but not sure I could wait…


2003 Duhart Milon – 92 points Robert Parker

Nose showing some maturity, dark leather. Mouth coating finish and sound balance of acidity and tannin. Fruit is all perfectly in place. Not too heavy, hints of the Lafite majesty from the team. Nose was perhaps a touch underwhelming but a great drop.


1999 Leoville Lascases – 94 points Wine Spectator

Immediate memories surface of the Latour from earlier. Still so young! Depth and richness… felt a touch closed but a minute or two in the glass and it’s already opened up nicely. A beautiful wine, could easily last for another two decades!


If you are interested in attending our future events, please contact our Hong Kong office so that we can keep you up to date with any tastings or dinners we have in the pipeline.

Fancy a further glimpse into the world of fine wine? Find us on instagram @fineandrarewines