Enoteca is a popular wine shop originally from Japan, and it was actually one of my to-go places in Tokyo to purchase Italian wines especially, since Japan back then was much more advanced than HK in sourcing artisanal quality Italian wines. The Hong Kong outlets of Enoteca have also been trustworthy whenever I needed a quick recommendation on purchasing wines before dinner. The IFC Enoteca outlet, ups a level and offers a bar area where customers can pay for some weekly drink offerings and simple bar snacks, or even a full course dinner. Since it is May, we arrived here again a bit later than planned to experience their Le French GourMay Wine & Food Pairing, thanks to the invitation by Enoteca IFC.
Plenty of Japanese and local Enoteca selected Fine Wines -
I buy a lot of wines from both Enoteca and Winebeast in Hong Kong, the former has a good hit rate with recommendations, the latter has a great offering of niche products which punch above their weight.
Foie Gras Entier - Duck or Goose Liver
These are entire blocks of livers which must satisfy a selection criteria, in order to be sold as such. They are being offered for sale here at Enoteca IFC store.
Porcini Saucisson and Duck Cured Sausage -
These hailing from LYON, close to Rhone Valley. The Porcini version initially was quite peppery but some pieces had a good porcini flavour ratio. The Duck version was a mixture between duck & pork, it almost reminds me of Chinese Sausage or Liver Sausage in texture and fat distribution.
Pate en Croute -
The version for sale here was really good. It has layerings of Turkey, Pork, Duck mousse made with duck parts and liver, pistachio, mushrooms, stock jelly, and encased in the brioche like pastry case. A well structured version with good textures in all layers, which befits the versions available in multiple Michelin starred restaurants.
Gerard Bertrand Aigle Noir Brut 2004 – Cremant de Limoux $160
I have always thought that a bubbly petillant is like a Cava to Spain and Prosecco to Italy, which is more like a compulsory aperitif before the big meal. But most Champagnes are too prestigious for this purpose, and this Cremant version produced outside of the Champagne AOC is bony with dry crisp lemon, sweet pear and balanced mineral. Not much hint of toastiness as hinted, this was a clean and lovely balanced sparkling. ~ 8/10
Charles Hours Happy Hours Cool Sec 2007, Jurancon – $170
The initial nose was very ewe’s milk cheesy with a grapefruit acidity, it was quite likeable but unique. Usually I drink the off-dry or sweet versions of the Jurancons but I also happen to have dry versions of some at home. These are unique in tasting profile, they are likeable but only if you’re open minded. For me I love them and think they could pair well with a Grana Padano in profile. ~ 7/10
Domaine des Escaravailles La Ponce 2009, Cotes-du-Rhone Rasteau $260
Actually this polarized the table. For me and the sommelier who helped to pick this, we thought this Cotes-du-Rhone was sophisticated and punched above its weight and price tag, albeit it was quite sweet. It initially was slightly green peppery and spicy, sweetish jammy, with hints of animal fur and some vanilla oak, but also likeable raspberry notes. It was complex in a sweetish way. It was an interesting exercise because I find that personal preferences aside, one tends to judge wine versus it’s intentions and potentiality. I mean I knew the CdP below was going to be more sophisticated with higher aging potential, but for me, this outperformed it’s category. ~ 7.5/10
Domaine des Bosquets 2010, Gigondas – $350
Whenever I see this wine, I can’t help think of the Vaucluse region it is produced in, as it is famous for it’s Asparagus. But Asparagus is famous for one of the hardest ingredients to pair with wine – and it is usually white wine, which Gigondas AOC doesn’t produce. See the conundrum here ? Anyway this 2010 Gigondas opened up easier and carried the most perfumed nose, slightly white peppery spicy with dark stewed berries. It was quite likeable and I was told this would perform better at this stage of it’s bottle life. ~ 8/10
Domaine Durieu 2010 – Chateauneuf-du-Pape $420
A 2010 CdP wouldn’t instantly open up as expected. After around 1 hour of bottle opening and a further 20 minutes in the glass, did it finally reveal glimpses of it’s potential. Not a professional wine writer unfortunately, but this changed during the development than I could keep track! Initially this was quite restrained and more about tar, tannin and sweet dark fruits. Eventually, this settled down to something so different and more ripe cherries and raspberry like. It was the most sophisticated Rhone for today’s bunch, and rightly so. It was elegant but sweet for now. ~ 7.9/10
Price: $350 – $500 (This was a Le French GourMay review by Enoteca’s Invitation)
Food & Wine: ♕♕♕♕ – ♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Address: Shop 3027, IFC Tower, Central, Hong Kong
Ph: 2234 5100