Skip to content

2007 Montille Aux Malconsorts Christiane, 2006 A Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin; Croix Rameau: 2006 & 2017 F Lamarche; Petits Monts: 2014 Canneyt & 2017 G Noëllat

November 23, 2020

Our small group hit a new record for the number of bottles consumed per person on 11 November 2020 at Imperial Treasure Great World, where the primary aim was to welcome C J back from his onerous duties at a distant sultanate whilst exploring the relative merits of smaller plots of Vosne-Romanée. The focus was on La Croix Rameau 1er, a 0.60 ha plot at the north-eastern corner of Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru with three owners (Lamarche 0.21, Coudray Bizot 0.20, Cacheaux 0.16), and Les Petits Monts 1er. The latter, as the name implies, is an uphill promontory comprising rocky clay and limestone flanked by illustrious neighbours: Cros Parantoux 1er to the north, Aux Reignots 1er to the south, and Richebourg Grand Cru to the east. As expected, the Petits Monts 1er showed greater dimension in every aspect apart from the finish. Thank you, Dr Ngoi, for dinner and for the wines as well.

Petits Monts

2008 Champagne Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, courtesy of Vic. Quite deep in colour, proffering a lifted deep yeasty bouquet followed by dense chalky minerals, yellow citrus and pomelo on the full-bodied palate that bore a distinct minerally shine mouthfeel, imparting a dry austere intensity. Not ready.

2002 Champagne Dom Pérignon P2, courtesy of C J. Light dull golden, exuding a delicate floral lightness and clarity from the excellent concentration of clear citrus, medium-bodied with an open dryness, developing a bit of layered depth over time. Still youthful.

1996 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of C J. Light golden hue, proffering a lifted lightness matched by a dry delicate concentration of clear citrus within a narrow spectrum of flavours, slightly bright. Still rather tightly coiled with tense acidity. Truly for the long haul.

2012 Château Pape Clement Blanc. Dull golden. Most unusual nose of paint, enamel and paraffin with a powerful suggestion of rich oily density. Forwardly balanced but still tight, layered with a soothing creaminess amid cool icing. Far from ready.

2017 Domaine Francois Lamarche Vosne-Romanée La Croix Rameau 1er. Beautiful deep pinot tint. Restrained with some rosy hues. Medium-bodied. Fleshy and rounded, displaying fine balance and acidity though narrow in spectrum, mellowing after some time with greater detail and relaxed intensity though short. Still primal.

2006 Domaine Francois Lamarche Vosne-Romanée La Croix Rameau 1er. More evolved in color. More effusive as well in rose petals and red fruits tinged with paraffin, structured with very good definition on the medium-bodied palate. Very well integrated and balanced with excellent purity of fruit but lacking layering and depth. Short finish.

2017 Domaine Georges Noëllat Vosne-Romanée Les Petits Monts 1er. Deeply coloured, hinting at heated pebbles amidst delicious  red fruits and currants on the nose. Medium-full. Rather narrow in spectrum at first, eventually fleshing out with broader expanse, displaying very good presence with fine acidity and intensity though there is a persistent trace of minerally shine within its understated tannin structure. Not ready.

2014 Charles Van Canneyt Vosne-Romanée Les Petits-Monts 1er. Beautiful clear ruby, exuding a very fine presence of ripe cherries and rose petals. Seamlessly integrated with superb acidity and verve, showing lovely balance though marred by a short finish.

2007 Domaine de Montille Vosne-Romanée Aux Malconsorts 1er Christiane. Evolved pinot tint, proffering an effusive rosy fragrance. Fleshy and rounded with lovely presence of fruit underscored by controlled acidity and intensity. Utterly seamless, finishing well with excellent linearity. Exudes a very correct feel in its refined feminine elegance, almost delicate although there is understated power, just missing that extra dimension of La Tâche even though it is nestled right next to that famous monopole.

2006 Domaine Armand Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of CHS. Glorious pinot tint. Wonderful lift of cherries, red fruits and deep rosy hues. Medium-full. Rounded with smooth velvety textures and excellent ripeness of fruit, oozing feminine charm at just the right level of concentration, acidity and intensity. Most excellent.

20201111_184135.jpg

Chambertin & Chambertin-Clos de Bèze

November 11, 2020

Superficially, there may not be much to differentiate between Chambertin Grand Cru and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru. Both are approximately equal in size (the latter a little larger) and both are sited adjacent to each other along the same side of the Route des Grands Crus, separated only by a narrow dirt lane. In his book Grand Cru, Remington Norman writes that, perhaps, the vines of Clos de Bèze get a little more light which may, in part, account for the wine’s ability to combine velvety power with alluring grace while Chambertin itself tends to be more austere and structured. For our blind tasting on 10 November 2020 where the wines had been aired considerably in advance, I certainly could not call a Chambertin from a Clos de Bèze, perhaps because two of the former hailed from Domaine Ponsot (what a rare coincidence, considering Ponsot owns only a very tiny 0.1 ha of Chambertin), pressing home the point again that, for Burgundy, it’s the producer that matters most. We left it to the little old lady at Jade Palace, Singapore, to pour us the blinded reds in any order. To our astonishment, she appeared to have hit the correct order for each wine grew from strength to strength. The line-up was preceded by a mini-promenade of whites that proved to be a worthy front to the evening’s main event. The wines are described in the order poured. Many thanks, everyone.

DSC_1311
DSC_1309
Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze on the morning of 21 November 2017

2006 Champagne Comtes Taittinger Blanc de Blancs, courtesy of KG. Pale. Some attractive pungent earthiness on the nose offset by great density of clear citrus and green fruits on the palate, yielding bone-dry intensity and precision with a dash of sweetness. Still primal.

2016 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Le Cailleret 1er. Beautiful white floral fragrance, displaying a very lovely bloom with a sense of oily density. Excellent presence and mouthfeel, hinting at nutmeg and other exotic white tones, glowing with fine clarity and refined acidity. Became considerably more relaxed over time with a quiet elegance. Montille’s plot is just immediately north of Drouhin’s Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet Grand Cru along the same longitude, separated by just a small road.

2013 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Clos Saint Marc, courtesy of Vic. Beautiful clarity on the eye and palate, proffering lifted white tones, tangy spice, capsicum and nutmeg with a dash of vanillin. Rather open. Very well layered with detailed presence and excellent refinement, receding a little into its shell after some time before re-emerging with even greater clarity and definition though it remained rather understated in intensity, finishing a little short. Drinking well. Totally biodynamic, Jean-Marc uses laser beams to ensure perfect alignment of all his barrels.

2009 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Its distinct pallor belies an enthralling feminine fragrance of white floral tones that seduces the senses with gentle elegance, rather understated in intensity and attack as it traversed the palate with effortless grace, etching layers of white fruits, clear citrus and grassy elements that yield great clarity and detail, becoming more robust and structured by the end of the evening. Has that same regal demeanour as Montrachet Grand Cru which, perhaps, carries even greater inner definition and seamless integration. Superb.

20201110_215220.jpg

2008 Domaine Perrot-Minot Chambertin Grand Cru. Evolved ruby with a crimson rim. Lifted bouquet of red fruits, cherries, vanillin and mint tinged with some incense. Fleshy and rounded with predominant plummy tones, exerting fine intensity of fruit that finished in a minty trail but this wine doesn’t quite possess the extended depth and layering of the best examples, lacking stature.

1997 Domaine Ponsot Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Displaying a mature brownish-red, this wine opens with a distinct herbal medicinal sweetness amidst an abundance of mature plummy tones, rounded with striking acidity on the palate where the lovely ripeness of fruit contrasted well with traces of earthy austerity within an understated tannin structure without any burliness. Quite excellent.

2002 Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Opaque purplish. Lifted bouquet of dark cherries and raspberries. Very well-endowed on the palate, rather plump and plummy, laced with superb acidity that imparted lovely freshness. Very naturally balanced with good structural definition. Caught at its peak and will hold for many years. Excellent.

2009 Henri Boillot Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Deep colour, bit of crimson at rim. Fascinating deep bouquet of dark fruits and currants. Fleshy and rounded with warm ripe fruit, well extracted with a plummy dominance, slightly velvety. Great balance.

2007 Domaine Ponsot Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of KG. Classic evolved pinot tint, exuding a great lift of ripe red fruits and tangerines on the nose and generously endowed palate, seamlessly integrated with wonderfully refined balance and superb acidity, gaining further intensity over time as it developed a deep tangerine core. Outstanding.

2006 Vincent Girardin Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Purplish hues. Still youthful on the palate, rather fleshy, displaying an abundance of well-extracted ripe berries that exert a warm velvety presence with very fine acidity and intensity, structured with refined tannins. One for the long haul.

20201110_213525.jpg

October 2020: 1992 Henschke Hill of Grace, 2018 Meerlust Chardonnay, 2007 Lokoya, 2010 Martelet de Cherisey Blagny Genelotte, 1998 Penley Cab Sauv, 2011 Clos de Tart, 2000 Ducru Beaucaillou

November 2, 2020

2005 Renato Corino Barolo, popped and poured at the in-laws on 01 Oct 2020. Deep brownish red. Generous deep plummy tones on the nose while the palate, structured with pliant tannins, is almost cabernet in character with notes of truffles and dried leaves amid dusty textures, becoming slightly sweeter and medicinal over time.

2003 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, popped and poured over dinner at Imperial Treasure Great World, 08 Oct 2020. Opaque crimson with a fairly effusive glow of dark plums, red fruits and capsicum. Quite full. Softly rounded. Structured with supple tannins and refined acidity that yielded fine inner detail of cordite and incense with understated intensity, just a tad stern at its refreshing minty finish. Very fine though somewhat unsettled, lacking the opulence of the best years.

2005 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon, tasted over 10-11 Oct 2020. Still incredibly dark. Barely evolved at all after 15 years, imbued with a highly intense sheen of ripe dark cherries and currants on a full palate that is still tight and rather unyielding, underscored by fresh acidity that imparted a very clinical feel. Half the bottle was kept overnight and re-tasted again after 24 hours, coming across much better this time with softer supple tannins without losing detail and freshness, loosening up with discernible notes of mocha and chocolate, becoming more Bordeaux-like.

2019 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, popped and poured at the in-laws, 15 Oct 2020. This wine opens with a highly attractive profusion of morning dew, dry grassy elements, nutmeg and olives that explodes with full presence on the palate, exuding a bit of rusticity with its stony intensity and solid acidity. Excellent value.

2008 Rockford Black Shiraz. Popped and poured at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Effusive nose of classic Barossa shiraz amid overtones of smoke, incense and characters of medicinal powder. Layered with excellent concentration of rich dark plummy fruit and currants, displaying lovely depth and freshness with that classic liquored trail that oozed with sweet undertones. Not too dry. Drinking well.

2012 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Hiok at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Very dark, exuding a powerful highly unusual nose of intense glycerin that obscured everything else. Quite smoothly rounded, imbued with full presence of dark cherries and currants that tapered with fine linearity to a long minty finish though I found its distinct alcoholic underpinning to be distracting.

20201016_211606.jpg

2007 Lokoya Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Vernon Lee at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Deep garnet red. Shy at first, though there is a distinct sweetness on the nose. Fleshy with rounded suppleness, displaying very good concentration and weighty detail. Quite seamlessly integrated, forward with a dash of mocha amid layers of black fruits and currants but very well balanced, finishing with gentle minty length.

1992 Henschke Hill of Grace, courtesy of John at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Decanted on-site. Displaying evolved purplish hues, this wine was highly reductive on the nose, exuding a marked earthy pungency that led to broad swathes of black fruits and currants amid overtones of soy with a trace of dusty tannins on the floor. Developed further notes of plums, licorice and camphor as it fleshed out with lovely succulence, becoming beautifully integrated and wonderfully intense as it finished with minty length. Superb.

2001 Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Jeremy at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Decanted on-site. Impenetrable red. Full presence of warm ripe fruit and dark currants imbued with a tinge of green capsicum that reminded me of Pichon Lalande. Very well balanced and layered, evolving further notes of sweet plums. Lovely length. Drinking very well.

1998 Penley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a bottle I’d bought directly from the estate back in 2016. Aired in bottle for two hours prior at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. This wine evokes a gentle earthiness that recalls the terroir of Pessac-Leognan with a hint of diesel and toffee. Still remarkably full, richly layered with lovely ripe fruit and dark currants that exude bright plummy tones with exciting intensity, beautifully integrated with smooth tannins as it finished with excellent linearity and refinement. Caught at its peak and likely to hold for many more years. Superb.

20201018_182226.jpg2018 Meerlust Chardonnay, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 18 Oct 2020. Light golden. Very good concentration and density of clear citrus with distinct minerally chalky hues seamlessly integrated with white tones and exotic spices. Shows excellent inner definition with great acidity, verve and refined intensity. Even better than a previous tasting at the estate’s cellar door in December 2019. I’d have thought it to be a Meursault if blinded. Thoroughly excellent. Superb value at SGD49. Ignore South African wines at your own peril.

Champagne Leon Launois Cuvée Réservée Brut NV, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 20 Oct 2020. Effusive nose of dense floral aromas that led to a very fine concentration of light yellow citrus on the palate with plenty of presence with an understated chalkiness. Grew in weight over time, becoming more forward with a stony dryness. Good value.

2010 Domaine Martelet de Cherisey Meursault-Blagny 1er La Genelotte, courtesy of Dr Beng at Otto Ristorante, 20 Oct 2020. Tasted blind. Some age is clearly evident by its colour, proffering a highly enticing rounded bouquet of cinnamon, caramel and cool icing. Distinctly feminine in its delicate body of floral tones presented with a placid aloofness, gaining greater presence and intensity even as it remained poised with elegant refinement, finishing with excellent length. I thought it was a Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet. Superb.

Champagne Oudinot NV, courtesy of Chris Chong at his residence, 22 Oct 2020. Green fruits dominate amidst darkish undertones in this medium-bodied blend, veering towards some sweetness and a hint of agar.

20201024_151357.jpg2014 Antoine Jobard Meursault Poruzots 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 24 Oct 2020. Luminous gold. Subtle chalkiness, crème and white fruits dominate on the nose, hinting at a luscious wine though it was far more understated and delicate on the palate with a clear presence, displaying fair intensity with sleek acidity. Took another ninety minutes for it to open up with greater intensity of fruit and limestone characters, finishing well. Not ready but would be excellent in time to come.

2005 Château La Tour Haut-Brion, double decanted in advance at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 24 Oct 2020. Dark purple. Shy reticence at first, displaying a clean palate of supple dark fruits, mulberries and delicious currants with surprisingly mellow feminine proportions for a claret. Fleshed out after some time with greater weight, intensity and detail though it never really plumbed the depths, staying in balance with understated tannin structure. Very fine. This is the final vintage of this now-defunct estate, its 4.9 hectares having been reabsorbed back into Château La Mission Haut-Brion.

2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Saint-Veran Champ Rond. Aired in bottle for 3-4 hours prior at Horses’ Mouth, 29 Oct 2020. Delicate white tones on the nose with a distinct feminine fragrance while the highly refined palate is packed with cool white fruit that exude a dense minerality that is almost oily in quality, oozing with juicy clear citrus. Took its time to unwind, loosening its grip to yield greater depth with a relaxed intensity. Excellent.

1996 Champagne De Venoge Blanc de Blancs, courtesy of Sandy at Horses’ Mouth, 29 Oct 2020. This wine opens with a clean lifted bouquet of dense yellow citrus, rather dry and forward at first before going on to develop complex overtones of burnt toast, white tones and dense minerals with very fine acidity, fleshing out with robust intensity and vigour with even greater minerally intensity. Still youthful.

2009 Domaine Marquis D’Angerville Volnay Champans 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Horses’ Mouth, 29 Oct 2020. Beautiful clear ruby. Lovely bouquet of red fruits, incense, camphor and heated gravel while the palate is imbued with excellent ripeness and purity of red fruits and rose petals that exert a gentle rounded warmth, very well integrated and balanced, finishing with good length amid subtle notes of smoldering ember. Excellent.

2006 Ramey Wine Cellars Larkmead Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Melvin at Horses’ Mouth, 29 Oct 2020. Deep garnet red. Surprisingly open, revealing excellent presence of red fruits and currants amid overtones of smoke and savoury sweet meat with very good detail and agility. Very well balanced, neither monolithic nor overwhelming, developing further intensity with a deeper core of tangerines. Excellent.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission monopole 1er, 31 Oct 2020. Cool icing, white tones and distant chalkiness dominate on nose. Layered with excellent concentration, yet agile and delicate with a highly refined smooth rounded intensity, yielding greater detail with further notes of jackfruit and pineapples. Excellent. One of the best buys ever. (M).

20201031_181307.jpg2011 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart Grand Cru, 31 Oct 2020. Darkish. Mulberries, raspberries and minty hues dominate with lovely lift, matched by a warm fleshy fullness that exuded a delicate soft rosy intensity from the fine acidity and ripeness of fruit, finishing well with excellent mouthfeel. Still youthful.

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau Volnay Santenots 1er, 31 Oct 2020. Rather opaque and shy though one discerns good volume of dark fruits beneath. Medium-bodied. Rather acidic at first before fleshing out with greater presence of fruit and better balance with a bit of gritty intensity. Drinking well and I don’t think it ought to be cellared further.

2000 Château Ducru Beaucaillou, 31 Oct 2020. Deep garnet core, exuding a classic earthy plummy glow. Rather full, displaying very fine depth of ripe black berries and currants tinged with a dash of earth and leafy characters that added to the developing complexity, caressing the palate with lovely suppleness and smooth rounded tannins. Excellent. (M).

1987 Vega Sicilia Unico, 31 Oct 2020. Dark. Deeply aromatic, effusive in deep plummy tones with a suggestion of smoke and medicinal powder. Supple concentration and intensity, imbued with tangerines and mocha at the core, structured with rounded tannins. Doesn’t quite possess that special dimension of the best Unicos but this is certainly drinking well, and still relatively youthful.

1989 Château Suduiraut, 31 Oct 2020. Deep golden lustre. Great lift of luscious dense fruit laden with diesel characters though the medium-bodied palate is open with notes of caramelised fruit, apricot and nectarines, still laced with very fine acidity. Excellent. (M).

2002 Domaine Follin Arbelet Corton Grand Cru, 31 Oct 2020. Deep ruby, proffering a smooth gentle fragrance, layered with red fruits and darkish characters that impart excellent concentration and presence with detailed biting tannins though it is all subtle enough without any of the burliness occasional encountered from this grand cru. (M).

1994 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet, 1989 Château Angelus, 1998 La Gomerie, 1961 Château L’Eglise-Clinet, 2002 Masseto

October 28, 2020

Our select group of five met again at Buona Terra, Singapore, on 27 October 2020 to welcome LF back from his onerous duties at a distant sultanate. A Montrachet had been promised while the rest of us dug deep to bring stuff that is less commonly encountered. The line-up turned out to be quite outstanding and with Gabriele Rizzardi and his team on hand to look after us, we were set for a great evening.

20201027_195104.jpg2005 Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal, courtesy of LF. Highly aromatic whiffs of perfumed fragrance hinting at pink roses and haw over some earthy darkish tones, possessing a lovely rounded presence with an emerging crystalline quality underscored by minerally intensity of understated depth, finishing with good length. Excellent.

1994 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru, a half bottle courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind but still easily recognisable as the Holy Grail of whites. Luminous gold, exuding a classic restrained nose of white tones and distant minerals with a lovely creamy smoothness, its warm velvety fruit teasing the palate with a rounded fleeting intensity before finishing with superb linearity and lingering length. Supremely confident and refined, utterly seamless in every way even as it went on to develop expansive swathes of white floral tones with wonderful flair and balance. Outstanding.

2018 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Jardin du Calvaire, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Pale. Nutmeg and wet grassy elements on the nose, somewhat reductive, whilst the palate is reminiscent of green fruits and longans tinged with a bit of sweetness, rounded but slightly forward, imbued with very fine acidity but short. Very hard to place; I thought it might even be New World.

1996 Maison Leroy Bourgogne, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Considerably heavier tint that suggested a mature wine, proffering a delicate bouquet of brioche with a hint of earthiness that led to secondary characters with chromatic white tones on the medium-bodied palate, still imbued with very fine acidity though distinctly short at the finish.

2010 Kistler Durell Vineyard Chardonnay, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Clear golden. Took some time in the glass to put on weight, fleshing out with a classic Puligny-like chalkiness and white tones with excellent acidity and intensity, so much so that I was convinced it was a Puligny-Montrachet.

20201027_194003.jpg

2002 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto, courtesy of Vic. Tasted blind. Dark evolved purple. Dark fruits and currants dominate with a hint of vanillin. Medium-bodied. Superbly lush and supple, exuding fine intensity with excellent inner detail, imparting a plush velvety feel that spelt 100% merlot. I nailed it, though I’d thought it to be the 1997. Excellent.

1998 Château La Gomerie. Dark crimson. Pronounced minty tones, dark fruits and earth along with some bell pepper on the nose. Medium-bodied. Highly supple with a distinct minerally tone, still coiled with some tight intensity within its depths though it eventually mellowed in the glass to reveal highly-refined tannins, caressing the palate with a fair degree of lushness. May not actually have peaked. Also a 100% merlot, but there seems to be more structure to it than the Masseto. This is its fourth vintage since the inaugural 1995 but this 2.5 ha plot has since been reabsorbed back into Beau-Séjour Bécot after its final vintage of 2011.

1989 Château Angelus, courtesy of Kieron. Tasted blind. Still rather dark, exuding an attractive earthy pungency amid overtones of green capsicum. Medium-bodied, imbued with abundant dark currants and ripe berries that impart a lovely feminine fleshiness with a highly supple mouthfeel, yielding fine definition with a hint of succulence, becoming more relaxed and understated with a hint of dry medicinal powder as it sat in the glass. Still remarkably fresh. Absolutely on song. Several thought it to be Left Bank though I thought it to be a mature Pomerol.

1961 Château L’Eglise-Clinet, courtesy of LF. Still displaying a deep dark crimson, this wine opens with a certain minty glow of licorice and cedar that recalled pipagao, imbued with good concentration of mature fruit tinged with sweetness that is still amazingly fresh. Rather placid with fine transparency at first before gaining in weight and layering, becoming more port-like but in the best sense. Still has the legs to carry on. Wonderful stuff.

IMG-20201027-WA0014.jpg

Vosne-Romanée: 2008 Forey Gaudichots, 2011 Montille Aux Malconsorts Christiane, 2016 Thibault Liger-Belair Richebourg GC, 2014 Domaine Prieuré-Roch Les Suchots & 2002 Sylvain Cathiard Aux Reignots

October 22, 2020

A leisurely evening on 21 October 2020 at La Strada, Singapore, on a theme of Vosne-Romanée 1er or grand cru hosted by Timothy Goh where all wines were blinded and served in random order by the maitre’d. We were on good form, for each of us could identify our own wines while picking out the correct plots most of the time. Many thanks for dinner, Tim, and to everyone for your contributions.

2018 Pieropan Soave Classico, courtesy of Tim. Gentle fresh morning dew and floral elements on the nose tinged with a trace of sweetness. Light crystalline clarity, showing clean acidity with good detail, finishing in a minty glow with a touch of salinity.

2016 Aubert Chardonnay, courtesy of Kieron. This wine opens with a lovely complex of citrus, floral tones, some nutmeg and emerging pineapples, fairly vigorous, while a cool velvety creaminess coats the palate with a light sheen of paraffin and distant green fruits, displaying excellent intensity though understated on the whole with lovely restraint. I was spot-on with my guess.

2016 Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Richebourg Grand Cru, courtesy of Tim. Very dark. Clearly youthful, brimming with intense red fruits and currants though shy and elusive at first, becoming a bit more plummy later on the nose. Medium-full, displaying excellent ripeness with clean definition and sleek acidity. Very well balanced and proportioned, revealing a deeper vein of dark fruit that conferred subtle weight. Masculine yet elegant.

2014 Domaine Prieuré-Roch Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er. Bright crimson, looking misleadingly mature based on colour alone. Distinctly feminine on the nose, quite effusive in delicious sweet cherries and red fruits with further notes of plums and haw followed by an earthy tinge. Medium-full. Fleshy with fair intensity and striking acidity that conferred sharp definition though the fruit is rather restrained within a narrow spectrum. Became utterly seamless by the end of dinner, developing a lovely layered fluidity though clearly not the opulent sort. Tim got it right.

2002 Domaine Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanée Aux Reignots 1er, courtesy of Andre. Beautiful clear ruby. Dark raspberries dominate on the nose though a hint of varnish is discernible along with a tinge of ash. Rounded on the palate with excellent presence and depth with subtle sublime acidity though still rather tightly coiled, taking its time to shake off the glare of shiny minerals to reveal good purity and integration, finishing with good length and understated intensity. Still yet to peak.

2008 Domaine Forey Vosne-Romanée Les Gaudichots 1er, courtesy of Russ. Good colour. There is a sense of dry heated gravel on the nose amid red fruits and currants. Rather brightly lit on the medium-bodied palate, showing fine concentration with rounded suppleness, gaining greater intensity with a more forward balance after some time though it remained short. I guessed it right though another bottle tasted last month was richer and more opulent.

2011 Domaine de  Montille Vosne-Romanée Aux Malconsorts Christiane 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Classic pinot tint, exuding soft red fruits and rose petals with a dash of velvetiness amid overtones of varnish. Highly feminine on the medium-bodied palate, marked by remarkably rounded fruit that yielded soft inner detail with a light touch. Beautifully proportioned and balanced. Highly elegant and well-behaved, allowing the vintage to speak for itself. We were unanimous in calling it Aux Malconsorts, though the Christiane here from Montille is a slice that slips right into the southern end of La Tâche. Excellent.

Aux Malconsorts Christiane

20201021_222208.jpg

1996: Montrose, Léoville Las-Cases, Longueville Pichon Comtesse de Lalande

October 15, 2020

A dinner at Origin Grill, Singapore, on 13 October 2020 produced a lovely coincidence – an unplanned trio of 1996 Left Bank clarets. Great minds do really think alike. Used to be famously backward, mirroring its 1986 counterparts, the wines tasted that evening have all advanced in maturity and are now at their drinking best. I’d strongly suggest that you stop hogging them as trophies and start appreciating them on the palate. Be sure to allow plenty of time for aeration, for they do really take a long time to wake up in the glass. Many thanks to sommelier Britt Ng for the impeccable arrangements and wine service.

2015 Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er, courtesy of Sanjay. Lovely clarity with a crystalline quality beneath a gentle layer of crème de la crème, revealing excellent detail as it fleshed out with delicate overtones of nutmeg, clear citrus, pomelo and white floral notes with sublime acidity that is superbly integrated, morphing into the distilled essence of a classic Puligny. Excellent.

1996 Château Montrose, courtesy of Vic. Evolved purple, proffering a mild pungent earthiness within a gentle glow of green capsicum. Dryish at first, gradually fleshing out with fine presence and intensity, displaying excellent definition with sublime acidity as it tapered to a grippy finish amid further notes of toffee. Excellent.

1996 Château Léoville Las-Cases, aired in bottle for two hours prior. Darkish purple. Rather understated on the nose, almost alarmingly soft and uninvolving at first on the palate. It then snapped into place as a well-balanced, fairly seamless and rounded feminine proposition with fine presence of mature dark fruits facilitated by receded tannins, finishing with a dash of austerity. Still somewhat underwhelming compared with another bottle tasted in February 2020 which was stunningly gorgeous.

1996 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, courtesy of MH. Dark with characteristic leafy notes on the nose that is quite the signature of Pichon Lalande (likely from its bit of petit verdot in the blend). Dryish with an open relaxed feel, gelling together very well with a delectable expanse of delicious red fruits and plums, fleshing out with excellent weight and supple detail though that leafiness remained distinctly discernible. Excellent.

2013 Alois Kracher No. 6 Grande Cuvée Trockenbeerenauslese. Peaches and nectarine dominate with excellent concentration, exerting superb control whilst evoking a sense of delicacy and earthy detail amid intense characters of tropical fruits without overwhelming the palate. Excellent.

2002 D.R.C. V-Romanée Duvault-Blochet, 1998 Dujac Clos-Saint-Denis, 1996 Salon, 1999 Domaine Fourrier Clos-Saint-Jacques, 2005 Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet & 2001 Château d’Yquem

October 8, 2020

I was back at Imperial Treasure Great World for the second time in five days on 25 September 2020, this time by the kind invitation of Messrs Yu père et fils who had also generously furnished the entire line-up of wines, unless otherwise stated, all of which were drinking beautifully. Many thanks, Sir, for a most memorable evening.

1996 Champagne Salon. Lovely gentle complex of white fruits, clear citrus and pomelo amid overtones of white ash and mild yeasty tones within a sheen of very fine soft bubbles that exuded a lifted trace of cool icing, showing superb balance with a quiet verve and intensity, not too dry, developing a brighter minerally tone with a deeper note of gunmetal flint. Excellent.

2005 Domaine Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Lovely luminosity. Rather shy at first, proffering just glimpses of pears and brioche with a hint of honeysuckle before blossoming into a lovely chromatic tone of burnished crème, displaying good clarity with a focused intensity underpinned by a trace of steeliness, eventually finishing with a whiff of glycerin amidst understated minerally tones. Yet to peak. Excellent.

2002 Domaine Michel Gros Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées 1er. Evolved red. Tertiary characters of cedar, dark plums, red fruits and rose petals on the nose and palate. Rather fleshy, imbued with very fine minerals and concentration of fruit. Not quite layered in body though it feels very correct in the mouth, very well balanced with a bit of salinity, haw and understated intensity that imparted lovely glow and complexity, becoming utterly seamless and darker in tone over time. Drinking well.

2002 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Vosne-Romanée Duvault-Blochet 1er. Opaque evolved red, exuding an enticing fragrance of rose petals and red fruits with a distinct core of tangerines that is something of a D.R.C. signature. Medium-bodied. Soft, fleshy and highly supple with a certain sur-maturite that seems to suggest an older wine. Very seamlessly integrated with good concentration and intensity of fruit, finishing well. Made from young vines of various plots of grand cru.

1998 Domaine Dujac Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru. Evolved red. Classic characters of raspberries, dark cherries and ripe berries, quite intense and delicious. Soft and fleshy on the palate, generously endowed with a succulent expanse of distilled red fruits, haw and plums, structured with pliant intensity. Very classy. Drinking superbly.

1999 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er. There is an attractive mild earthy funkiness on the nose that led to mature red fruits, mahogany and a sense of pebbly warmth, displaying great suppleness and fleeting intensity with darker shades of ripe fruit supported by pliant tannins that exude great sophistication. Highly successful. Caught at its peak.

2000 Château d’Yquem ‘Y’ Ygrec, courtesy of Sir Bob. Lovely luminosity. There is a fairly heavy  tint of paraffin on the nose with a hint of enamel while the palate is richly endowed with layers of white fruits and crème exerting quite a full fresh vibrancy that is almost haughty, revealing good inner definition though yet to be fully resolved. Needs further cellaring.

2001 Château d’Yquem, a half-bottle courtesy of Kieron. Deep golden, displaying a dominance of apricot and nectarine that glowed with excellent depth and purity. Highly seamless with the rich layering and sweet intensity of fruit held in tight control, utterly smooth as it tapered with fine linearity to a glorious finish.

Sep 2020: 2018 Château Roulerie Terrasses, 2017 Bernard Moreau Chassgn-Montrachet, 2017 Domaine Roc Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé, 2014 Domaine Villaine St-Aubin Perrières, 1983 Château Margaux…

October 1, 2020

Champagne Leon Launois Cuvée Réservée Brut NV, popped and poured at Lou Sang (formerly known as Mak Hong Kee), 05 Sept 2020. Brightly coloured. Dense body of yellow citrus, lime and bitter lemon that exerted dry cutting intensity before developing a hint of smoky depth towards the finish, appearing somewhat two-dimensional. However, another bottle tasted at Otto Ristorante on 29 Sept 2020 showed excellent chalky expanse with better depth and detail. Perhaps not quite as sophisticated as the best maisons but at less than SGD40, it is highly serviceable.

2009 Goulée, popped and poured at the in-laws on 06 Sept 2020. Dark plums, black currants and spicy licorice dominate with fine depth and concentration. Settled down quite rapidly into a medium-bodied proposition, opening up with true Médoc character that is slightly stern and darkish. By Cos D’Estournel.

2018 Château de la Roulerie Les Terrasses Anjou Blanc, popped and poured at Putien Kitchener Rd, 07 Sept 2020. Luminous light golden. Fairly full presence of lemon and oyster essence tinged with salty minerals on a fine sandy floor. Snapped into sharp focus after 30 minutes, revealing some inner detail of icing with fine clarity as it morphed into a harmonious whole with a lovely deep chalky glow. Quite excellent. Don’t under-estimate chenin blanc.

2003 Château Duhart-Milon, aired in bottle for 3 hours prior at Summer Hill, 08 Sept 2020. Highly attractive bouquet of truffles, ember, roast and earth matched by dark plums, currants and ripe wild berries on the medium-full palate. Very fine in concentration and intensity. Highly supple and harmonious, revealing a deeper vein of delicious currants. Took on a bit of tarry quality as it warmed up in the glass but doesn’t possess the opulence nor succulence of the best estates.

20200923_170213.jpg
Fried thinly-sliced Ma Ling luncheon meat

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay, popped and poured at home, 13 Sept 2020. Youthful complex of citrus and white floral tones that exert tight gentle intensity, very well balanced with a lively controlled acidity.

2018 Maison A-F Gros Bourgogne Rouge, popped and poured at the in-laws, 16 Sept 2020. Gentle fresh floral fragrance of rose petals, haw and light cherries leading to a medium-full palate, displaying good concentration of fruit with understated intensity.

2017 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé. Popped and poured at Ka Soh, 18 Sept 2020. Light golden. Broad expanse of chalky white tones amidst greenish hues on the nose. Amply-layered on the palate with an initial delicate fleeting presence that fleshed out with glorious gleaming tones and intense acidity, revealing excellent inner detail amid subtle graphite elements with further notes of lime, bitter lemon and pomelo as it finished with a bit of minty velvetiness. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet at Imperial Treasure Great World, 21 Sept 2020. Distilled white floral glow amid placid cool white tones. Excellent concentration of fruit laid on a broad expanse of classic Chassagne chalkiness, revealing gritty detail and definition with striking presence and intensity, developing a lovely rich creaminess over time as it finished with a trace of austere minerals. Only a village but thoroughly superb.

2016 Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis, courtesy of Kieron at Imperial Treasure Great World, 21 Sept 2020. Rather coy with just a gravelly hint on the nose. The palate is well rounded with fine concentration of yellow citrus with a suggestion of tropical fruit that imparted some fleeting flinty intensity with a trace of austerity. Yet to differentiate.

2016 Domaine Arlaud Morey-Saint-Denis at Imperial Treasure Great World, 21 Sept 2020. Purplish ruby, exuding a lovely glow of red fruits, rose petals and haw. Good concentration, freshness and purity of fruit that shone with bright intensity, mellowing after some time with softer rounded tones and some earthiness although there is a discernible attenuation of depth that remained throughout the evening.

2014 Domaine de Villaine Saint-Aubin Les Perrières 1er, courtesy of Vic at Imperial Treasure Great World, 21 Sept 2020. Lighter toned. A little shy at first, gradually revealing delicate crème, icing and vanillin, very well layered with smooth textures and fine clarity that evoked a cool controlled intensity. Almost aristocratic. Very lovely.

1983 Château Margaux, courtesy of Sir Bob at Imperial Treasure Great World, 21 Sept 2020. Deep garnet red, proffering an effusive intense glow of a mature claret with tertiary characters of dried tea leaves, wood shavings and exotic fragrances amidst a deep core of red fruits and currants immediately recognizable as Left Bank. Soft, fleshy and still remarkably full in spite of its thirty-seven years, imbued with understated sweet velvety tannins and mandarins that finished with excellent length and regal elegance. Much fresher than another bottle tasted earlier this month. Outstanding.

1993 Domaine Robert Ampeau et Fils Volnay Santenots 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Imperial Treasure Great World, 21 Sept 2020. Well-evolved crimson, proffering camphor and plummy tones with restraint. Quite full and fleshy, imbued with abundant warm bright fruit that is still wonderfully fresh with plenty of life in them. Became more open and earthy in the glass with further notes of ripe raspberries, yielding fine detail. Excellent.

2008 Domaine Forey Vosne-Romanée Les Gaudichots 1er, courtesy of LF at Imperial Treasure Great World, 21 Sept 2020. Early crimson hue, exuding copious red fruits with great clarity. Full, fleshy. Very well layered and seamlessly integrated. Highly graceful in its subtle nuances and power, displaying lovely lift and purity. Directly abuts La Tâche but lacks the nth dimension of that great monopole.

1993 Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob at Imperial Treasure Great World, 21 Sept 2020. Displaying a mature vermilion, this wine proffers a lifted complex of red fruits on the nose coupled with fine concentration and purity of fruit that exert striking intensity. Highly attractive. Tasted blind but Kieron was absolutely spot-on!

2006 Fontanafredda Barolo La Rosa, popped and poured at the in-laws, 24 Sept 2020. Dark plummy tones dominate with a dash of burliness, showing very good concentration and intensity of fruit with fine acidity. Slightly medicinal in quality. Not distinctive.

20200928_121807.jpg

2018 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthires. Popped and poured at Jade Palace, 27 Sept 2020. Pale. Delicate highly intense citrus at the open. Settled quite quickly with a more relaxed feel, displaying good clarity and fine inner detail with a gentle chalkiness before fleshing out with greater presence amid overtones of cool icing though it remains distinctly leaner and more introspective than the 2016. Consistent with a previous tasting from magnum last month.

2009 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Porrets St-Georges 1er. Popped and poured at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 28 Sep 2020. This monopole opens with delicious ripe cherries and red fruits on the nose, showing fine concentration and purity of fruit on the gentle medium-bodied palate. Quite fleshy, structured with smooth understated tannins that enhance its delicate intensity, becoming highly supple and seamless though somewhat attenuated in depth, finishing with a minerally trace. Drinking well.

1982 Vieux Château Certan, 1988 Le Pin, Château Margaux 2002 & 1983

September 25, 2020

Dr and Mrs Wang Kuo-Weng kindly hosted dinner for their usual group at Shang Palace, Shangri-la Singapore, on 11 September 2020 under properly-distanced conditions. Mature claret seemed to be the main theme and all the wines were showing beautifully. Many thanks, Dr Wang and Meng, for the wines and to Chuan Ann as well for the impeccable wine service.

1996 Champagne Bollinger R.D., courtesy of WKW. Lovely luminosity, proffering a lovely yeasty pungency with overtones of toast and roasted walnuts. Open with a certain minerally presence within a sheen of fresh bubbles, displaying crystalline clarity and wonderful depth with fine understated intensity as it developed a distilled dry essence over time. Beautifully balanced. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Fuissé Les Cras. Chalky minerals dominate with some earthiness on the nose, displaying sublime acidity and superb clarity of white tones with utmost precision. Superbly integrated and layered with understated depth, teasing the palate with delicate fleeting intensity. Good finish. Pouilly-Fuissé is severely under-appreciated.

20200911_203907.jpg

1988 Le Pin, courtesy of Meng. Evolved vermilion, exuding delicious red fruits on the nose. The medium-bodied palate is highly supple and succulent, boasting fine concentration of raspberries and dark cherries that exert understated intensity. Developed a faint trace of iron ore amid a gentle complex of summer hay and heath as it sat in the glass, maintaining great balance and proportion. At its best.

1982 Vieux Château Certan, courtesy of WKW. Evolved red, showing good lift of dark cherries and raspberries with a smoky intensity while the palate is superbly layered with darker shades of fruit amid understated pebbly minerals, yielding great clarity and velvety detail over time along with a hint of cinder, eventually gaining striking intensity. Still amazingly fresh and vibrant with the legs to continue for another decade, at least. Outstanding.

2002 Château Margaux. Deep crimson. Slim, smooth rounded presence of dark fruits, blueberries and raspberries, displaying good concentration and fine acidity though somewhat narrow in spectrum on the palate. Drinking well but lacking complexity and depth. Short finish.

1983 Château Margaux, courtesy of Meng. Fully mature in every way, proffering an effusive bouquet of aged red fruits and sweet ripe berries that impart the classic perfumed complexity of this particular commune. A certain powdered medicinal trace is evident on the palate, still imbued with fleshy dark characters and cocoa amid supple tannins that are slightly dusty though the fruit has clearly lost some definition, threatening to develop a shade of burliness. Holding out well but will not improve further.

20200911_185535.jpg

1961 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage Chapelle, 1982 Ch Lafite Rothschild, 2005 Masseto, 1996 Robert Ampeau Meursault-Perrières, 1990 Domaine Romanée-Conti La Tâche

September 18, 2020

These notes came from a dinner hosted by Dr Ngoi at Imperial Treasure Great World on 10 September 2020 to celebrate SKY’s birthday, whom I never knew was a movie star until I saw Eric Khoo’s Be With Me. Every wine was showing very well; the old reds in particular were simply mind-blowing. Thank you SKY, Dr Ngoi and Tony for bestowing such a privilege on me.

2004 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Beautiful luminous gold, exuding a lovely fullness that struck a perfect balance between ample lime, pomelo and citrus and subtle ferrous minerals, imbued with very fine acidity that imparted a superb smooth intensity that carried tremendous zest and lift. No wonder everyone loves Dom.

2007 Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Surprisingly deep golden lustre, proffering fine density of caramel, coconut shavings and secondary characters of aged chalk on the nose while the palate is layered with a smooth, almost satiny, intensity of lithe white fruits that opened up with excellent transparency, displaying traces of the classic Corton spiciness at the finish. Excellent.

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau et Fils Meursault-Perrières 1er. Dull golden. Quiet caramelized tone with recessed yellow citrus that led to a medium-bodied palate, layered with lovely transparency that revealed superb subtle inner detail within a highly harmonious body of understated chalky intensity and very fine sleek acidity, delicately balanced and poised with superb refined elegance that finished with lasting persistence. This is Burgundy white at its best.

2007 Domaine Forey Père et Fils Vosne-Romanée Les Gaudichots 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. This wine opens at first with gentle notes of rose petals, light cherries and raspberries, wonderfully fragrant, while the palate is highly harmonious, imbued with excellent purity of fruit that yielded fine understated definition, eventually blossoming with a more intense deeper tone of red fruits as it grows on you with unassuming elegance. A confident refined beauty. 

2015 Domaine Georges Lignier et Fils Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru. Deep ruby. Shy on the nose with a sense of understated intensity. Harmonious medium-full palate of ripe raspberries and subtle earthiness with good purity of fruit and controlled intensity, displaying some early suppleness but still largely primal.

2005 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto, a double magnum courtesy of SKY. Deep crimson with an equally deep bouquet of bold dark currants, red and black fruits, rather forwardly balanced at this point and still harboring traces of enamel. The medium-full palate is superbly layered with a clean astounding freshness and focused intensity amid overtones of mahogany and some licorice, revealing some inner detail though still remarkably youthful. This slimly-defined Masseto is quite different from the lush velvety opulence that I remembered of the 2001. Far from ready.

1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of SKY. Opaque brownish red, exuding a glowing distilled complex of dark berries, currants, cassis, soy and dried mushrooms, superbly focused in its effusive deep velvety fragrance while the medium-bodied palate is beautifully open with supple subtle Pauillac nuances, laced with sublime acidity that conferred understated verve. Elegantly poised with great harmony and feminine refinement. Pardon the cliché, but this is really quite the quintessential Lafite.

1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche Grand Cru, courtesy of Tony Chew. Displaying an evolved brownish red, this wine opens with a wonderful lift of delicate red fruits amid overtones of haw and rose petals, still imbued with sublime acidity and superb concentration of fruit that teased the palate with supple fleeting intensity, fleshing out with tremendous agility and freshness, eventually developing the classic D.R.C. signature of deep tangerines tinged with spice and orangey hues whilst maintaining its refined controlled exuberance throughout the evening. Truly a complete wine.

1961 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle, courtesy of SKY. Still deep crimson in colour, this wine opens with an absolutely beguiling lift of creamy red fruits and red roses with a sense of velvety warmth that carried well onto the palate with amazing freshness and purity, still imbued with superb concentration of fruit laced with a hint of saddle that is utterly mesmerizing in its fleeting sublime acidity. Beautifully proportioned and balanced, finishing with fine linearity although it began to fade a little after an hour. Still glorious in every way. What a privilege!

20200910_203124.jpg