Wine in Hong Kong: Le Quinze Vins, with Ganevat, Bereche and Clotaire Michal

Le Quinze Vins was a lovely surprise. It is Sunday afternoon, and Nat and I are looking for somewhere to get a glass of wine after some Hong Kong tourism. We do a bit of searching around, and find the Central branch of Le Quinze, which is empty, but apparently open. We go inside and are sat down; the boss is dealing with an export order which is in the process of being packed up.

We get handed a wine list. Suddenly it all looks up. This is an epic list by any standards, with lots of natural-ish wine, but also some hefty fine wine, too. So we begin: with half a bottle of the Champagne Bereche Brut Reserve NV. This has 12/13 as its base and was disgorged over a year ago, and it’s tasting mellow and developed. A solid start.

Then we opt for Ganevat, and the L’Ailleurs cuvée. It’s quite exciting to find this wine: a blend of Alsace Riesling and Jura Savagnin, hence it’s Vin de France and NV. There’s a beautiful toastiness to the nose, with some sweet citrus notes, and in the mouth it has volume and also precision. Beguiling and really complex, with the faint ghost of reduction.

We order a cheese plate, and it’s gorgeous, and goes beautifully with this wine.

But there’s still time before dinner for another bottle. Beaujolais seems a good bet, and we are steered towards the 2015 vintage of Beaujolais Villages Vignes Centenaires from Clotaire Michal (even though I’m not a massive fan of this vintage in the region: it was just a bit too warm and dry). Lo and behold and the wine is big and dense, almost northern-Rhône in style, with intense, slightly stinky black cherry and blackberry fruit. We are encouraged to decant it: it needs it. This is a little reductive and also a little bretty, but it’s strangely compelling, with the volume knob cranked up, but still it sings a good tune.

Then it’s time to go. Time to head back to Kowloon to change for dinner. We take the MTR, which is a good option – the cheapest way to get across the harbour, and often the quickest. Our bellies full of good wine.

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