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November 2022: 2002 Hudelot-Nöellat RSV, 2017 Ch de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission, 2006 Pierre Damoy Chambertin-Clos Bèze, 1985 VCC, 2009 Pichon Longueville Lalande, 2014 Ao Yun, 2005 Torbreck RunRig

November 30, 2022

2013 Champagne Bollinger B13, courtesy of LF at Imperial Treasure Great World, 01 Nov 2022. A 100% blanc de noirs. Beautifully luminous, exuding intense yellow citrus with a forward presence. Fairly open and not too dry, imbued with subtle ferrous minerals. Brighter and drier over time with a more distinct austerity even as it developed mild yeasty overtones.

2014 Didier Dagueneau Silex, courtesy of Vic at Imperial Treasure Great World, 01 Nov 2022. Tasted blind. Pale luminosity. Morning dew and mint dominate with a trace of sweetness on the nose. Equally unusual on the medium-bodied palate where it is open and fairly relaxed with a light tinge of rye and ginger, slightly short and dryish. Rounded and highly refined.

2014 Ao Yun, courtesy of LF at Imperial Treasure Great World, 01 Nov 2022. Tasted blind. Deep crimson. Quite rich in dark fruits, black berries and currants on the nose and medium-full palate, tinged with capsicum and spice box, displaying a lovely fullness with superb layering, tension and concentration. Structured with great refinement. Moderate finish. We were unanimous in declaring it a Left Bank; that’s how good it is.

2016 Bollinger La Cote aux Enfants Coteaux Champenois, courtesy of at Imperial Treasure Great World, 01 Nov 2022. Tasted blind. Deep rosy fragrance of haw and red fruits. Medium-bodied. Rounded and fleshy with a rather placid character. Well integrated though somewhat straightforward, lacking true complexity. A dry red from Ay. Fooled us all into thinking it’s a burgundy.

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2001 Château Léoville Las-Cases at Imperial Treasure Great World, 01 Nov 2022. Tasted blind. Dark brownish red. Most unusual on the nose, rather heavy in soy and licorice cushioned by a velvety barnyard pungency that threw everyone into thinking shiraz (!). Medium-full. Has a lithe teasing quality within a muscular frame of sweet tannins. Opened up further with smoky tones though it’s finish is unexpectedly short. Certainly not corked, but it is most unlike a Saint-Julien.

2011 Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot Gevrey-Chambertin Les Crapillot 1er, courtesy of Vic at Imperial Treasure Great World, 01 Nov 2022. Sensual rosy hues, distinctly feminine in its perfumed fragrance. Open with subdued restrained, showing good balance and integration although it is equally understated in structure, finishing short as well. Lacks true complexity.

2009 Rockford Black Shiraz. Popped and poured at Sin Chao Gardens, 03 Nov 2022. Red currants with deep plummy tones on the nose tinged with licorice, unmistakably Barossa in character. Medium-full. The fizz has largely dissipated, leaving behind a wine imbued with lithe subtle minerality within a refined tannin structure, developing greater layering over time with gentle notes of liqueur amid a herbal medicinal lift.

2010 Château Chasse-Spleen, drunk at home over two days 6-7 Nov 2022. Deep garnet. Quite alluring on the nose, boasting a vivid depth of dark cherries, black currants and wild berries that saturate the darkish palate with lively acidity and intensity, imbued with a subtle vein of stony minerals that impart a trace of hardness in spite of its fleshy frame. Drinking fairly well, but I really think it needs another eight years of cellaring.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut NV, courtesy of Melvin at Long Beach Seafood, 08 Nov 2022. Pale. Gentle tones of yeast, nutmeg and cinnamon. Very fine body and presence, displaying decent depth and dry intensity but generally nondescript.

2016 Valandruad Blanc, aired for an hour at Long Beach Seafood, 08 Nov 2022.White creamy tones precede a smooth rounded presence with a distinct note of vanillin, well-layered with refreshing acidity without any hint of its 15% abv, showing early secondary characteristics.

2006 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob at The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore, on 10 Nov 2022. Rosy hues and dark flowers on the nose and palate. Medium-full. Darkly delicious and rounded with smooth sophisticated tannins. Very well-balanced.

2017 Domaine Chavy-Chouet Meursault Clos des Corvées de Citeau, courtesy of Kieron at The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore, on 10 Nov 2022. Poured from magnum. This monopole exudes a lovely oxidative lift of floral scents and delicate citrus. Beautifully opulent with an oily density on the palate, displaying refined intensity and acidity.

2002 Domaine Hudelot-Nöellat Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron at The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore, on 10 Nov 2022. Classic pinot tint. Medium-full. At optimal maturity now, every sip bearing the distilled essence of cool ripe fruit still wonderfully fresh with lithe intensity and just the right degree of acidity. Absolutely beguiling. Quite the complete wine.

2014 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of Pipin at The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore, on 10 Nov 2022. Cool ripe fruits dominate with gentle charm, slightly darkish from its deep minerally vein and dryish tannins in spite of a gorgeous expanse of red fruits, almost veering on austerity.

2006 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron at The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore, on 10 Nov 2022. Good colour, showing darkish tones on the nose while dark fruits and plummy notes dominate on the palate, already developed with characters. Highly refined with supple intensity, impeccably proportioned and balanced.

2018 Domaine Gérard Duplessis Chablis Les Vaillons 1er, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 12 Nov 2022. Rather greenish in colour, proffering a gentle floral lift with soft perfumed scents. Medium-full. Very well layered and taut with good clean precision. Modest finish. Chablis can be most rewarding.

2008 Château Carbonnieux Rouge, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 12 Nov 2022. Deep garnet with a crimson rim. Mature nose of gentle dark velvety tones. Softly contoured with a very refined seamless presence, structured with sleek tannins and understated acidity. Good finish.

2015 Domaine Roblet-Monnot Volnay Saint-François, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 12 Nov 2022. Dark impenetrable red. Whiff of spicy capsicum and wild berries on the nose while the medium-full palate boasts a lithe bold agility, generously layered with dark plummy fruit and lively acidity that culminated in a lengthy minty finish.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 14 Nov 2022. Rather pale but this wine is still as wonderful as ever, softly cushioned with a velvety density even on the nose, imbued with understated sophistication as it unfurled layers of floral characters and white fruits topped with a dash of delicate crème, eventually attaining a transparent clarity and unforced elegance. A real steal.

Champagne Pierre Baillette Coeur de Craie de Verzenay Extra Brut, courtesy of Russ at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 16 Nov 2022. Blanc de Noirs. Heavier tint of gold, proffering attractive tones of mature chalk and yeast. Excellent bright minerally presence on the mid-palate, subtly shaded with delicious complexity with a tinge of austerity towards the finish.

2019 Sandhi Central Coast Chardonnay, courtesy of Russ at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 16 Nov 2022. Pale. Distinct notes of lemongrass and light green fruits on the nose. Medium-bodied. Decidedly relaxed and rounded with fine clarity and subtle acidity. Well integrated with soft intensity. Drinking well.

1985 Vieux Château Certan, courtesy of Kieron at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 16 Nov 2022. Decanted on-site. Dark crimson. Marked earthiness on the nose tempered with haw and soft rosy hues. Highly supple with refined acidity and fleshy charm, still quite ample in its glorious fruit, subtly layered with clean fresh savoury tones that taper to a moderate finish. Very ’85 in character. At its very best.

2015 Château Clos Fourtet, courtesy of Melvin at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 16 Nov 2022. Tasted blind, though its modern Saint-Émilion character is easily discernible. Deep garnet. Dense sweet overtones of black fruits, licorice and bacon. Big, forward, and open with dark delicious tones, fairly taut, imbued with mocha, soy and sweet medicinal spices coated with a sheen of enamel. Firm finish.

2002 Barossa E&E Estate Black Pepper Shiraz, courtesy of Melvin at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 16 Nov 2022. Deep crimson. Forward balance of dark plums, licorice and cedar with a velvety warmth. Boldly structured with supple intensity and lithe agility, still carrying traces of enamel and varnish. Excellent.

2005 Torbreck RunRig, tasted after a brief aeration at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 16 Nov 2022. Very deep purple with a crimson rim. Somewhat restrained on the nose, but the palate is superbly layered with a vast expanse of gloriously ripe Barossa shiraz that exude a pervasive sweet velvety warmth laced with glycerin and varnish within a sheen of ultra-smooth tannins. Immaculately proportioned and balanced, displaying elegant youthful intensity. Drinking very well, but it can easily be cellared for another 2-3 decades.

2010 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Blanc. Poured from 6-litre imperial at Dr Ngoi’s lunch party, 19 Nov 2022. Dull golden tint. Good presence and clarity, imbued with supple chalky intensity. A little high-toned from its refined acidity. Drinking well.

2016 La Forge de Tart at Dr Ngoi’s lunch party, 19 Nov 2022 Classic pinot tint. Restrained rosy hues on the nose. Soft and fleshy, showing good clarity with plenty of feminine charm tinged with a dash of salinity.

2015 Chapelle d’Ausone at Dr Ngoi’s lunch party, 19 Nov 2022. Deep crimson. Quite richly imbued with camphor and red fruits on the nose and full palate, exuding a warm ripeness amid overtones of enamel. Very lively with supple intensity, just a tad spicy towards the finish.

2009 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande at Dr Ngoi’s lunch party, 19 Nov 2022. Dark plums and dark roses dominate amid a savoury liveliness. Medium-full. Highly supple but darkish, laced with sleek acidity that impart a soft fleeting intensity. Fleshed out a little more in the glass, morphing into its usual feminine stance.

2016 Domaine de la Côte La Côte at Dr Ngoi’s lunch party, 19 Nov 2022. A Californian pinot, displaying classic tint with a forward balance of red fruits, dates and cherries with excellent presence. Very well balanced, not overly extracted. Finished well with great charm and confidence. Very correct.

2013 Saffredi Elisabetta Geppetti at Dr Ngoi’s lunch party, 19 Nov 2022. Poured from double magnum. Deep crimson. Darkish tones of wild berries and currants, very generously imbued with a warm velvety ripeness. Structured with svelte supple tannins that exert understated sweet intensity. Very lovely.

2010 Château Pontet-Canet at Dr Ngoi’s lunch party, 19 Nov 2022. Deep garnet with a certain restrained warmth on the nose. Similarly understated in ripeness even though there is ample density of black fruits, slightly velvety against an early cedary floor. Good balance but evolving very slowly.

2018 Domaine Thierry et Pascale Matrot Meursault-Charmes 1er at Dr Ngoi’s lunch party, 19 Nov 2022. Pale. Rather restrained. The medium-bodied palate is also rather unusual, dominated by a distinct note of coconut, lavender and white fruits. Ample but somewhat dryish, subtly structured.

2005 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste. Aired for an hour ahead of dinner at Summerhill, 21 Nov 2022. Deep garnet. Delicious depth of gorgeous black fruits and currants on the nose though the palate is distinctly medium-bodied, structured with tightly knit tannins that exert supple intensity, imbued with fairly rich darkish tones though there is a certain initial glare that disappeared after the wine had fleshed out adequately, yielding further notes of ripe raspberries with gritty earthy detail. Still not quite ready.

2016 Château Prieuré-Lichine. Popped and poured at home, 23 Nov 2022. Deep purple. Controlled bouquet of raspberries, ripe wild berries and strawberries. Surprisingly soft and relaxed with a cushioned feel, showing glimpses of gritty tarry detail before firming up with a dash of graphite minerals that impart a tinge of austerity at its finish.

2019 Domaine Henri Gouges Bourgogne Pinot Blanc, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 26 Nov 2022. Light greenish hue. Cool lift of icing and vanillin, beautifully fresh and clean, matched by an excellent glowing presence of firm white minerally tones that fan out with lovely precision, finishing with refined understated intensity. Great value.

2016 Domaine Launay-Horiot Pommard Les Perrières 1er, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 26 Nov 2022. Very deep ruby, proffering delicious cherries and dark roses with a soft velvety intensity, yielding dense red fruits and supple tannins amid overtones of earthy ferrous elements. Moderate finish. Drinking well.

2020 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills M3 Chardonnay, drunk over dinner at home after an hour’s aeration, 26 Nov 2022. Pale straw-coloured, proffering raw nutmeg, olives and white floral characters with lovely expanse and density, yielding further detail of pineapples and tangy citrus. Very well-balanced and rounded. This wine really deserves to be drunk in a large delicate burgundy glass.

2017 Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. Distinct Médoc character of forest floor and dark berries with a light easy presence, displaying fine tannin structure and gentle intensity. Good finish. A decent drop.

2018 Laurent Ponsot Meursault-Blagny 1er Myosotis, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022 Fragrant white tones, creme and vanillin on the nose. Medium-bodied, imbued with classy fruit that exert understated intensity. Good balance. Drinking well but deserves further cellaring.

2018 Jean et Sébastian Dauvissat Chablis Les Sechet 1er, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. Pale. Rather light on the palate with fine clarity though the fruit is way too subdued.

2012 Champagne Dom Pérignon, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. Cool clear refreshing tones of delicate citrus and distant green fruits, displaying lovely fullness and clarity with impeccable balance. Yet to really flesh out with further depth and detail but it is delightful.

2017 Château Léoville Barton, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. Dominant notes of vanillin oak amid creamy overtones, replicated in equal measure on the medium-full palate. Clearly ample in ripe dark fruits and currants with well-managed tannins, but the wood is too prominent at this stage.

2005 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. Deep ruby. Still youthful, displaying a restrained regal elegance with a gentle lift of secondary characters. Well-balanced and integrated though subdued in intensity. Rather demure. May be best to rest another 5-8 years to allow full maturation.

2003 Paolo Scarvino Carobric Barolo, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. Brownish red with some evolution, displaying ripe plummy tones laced with cedar, cinnamon and licorice on the medium-full palate, imbued with slick acidity and sweetish tannins.

2006 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. Subdued on the nose with darkish tones throughout. Medium-full. Fine depth and intensity of fruit, marked by a firm minerally presence that imparted some glare.

2018 Massetino, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. A blend of merlot and cabernet franc. Impenetrably dark, delivering an unfathomable depth of sheer black fruits freshly layered with vanillin and enamel. Fleshy with refined intensity, finishing with a slight vegetal after note. Clearly set for the long haul.

2019 Domaine Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet Clos de la Maltroye 1er, at Parkway’s cocktail party at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 28 Nov 2022. Pale. Classic Chassagne nose of dense white fruits that shone with cool clarity, delivering on its promise with lovely intensity and acidity, just a tad austere towards its minerally finish.

2019 Yann Durieux Love And Pif Recrue Des Sens. Popped and poured at Sin Chao Gardens, 30 Nov 2022. A bourgogne aligoté. Light golden. Muted on the nose though the medium-bodied palate features a high-toned acidity imparted by a very fine presence of clear citrus tinged with distinct saline and ferrous elements. Fairly tight and lively with good clarity, though somewhat austere with attenuated depth.

Jürade St-Émilion du Singapour Gala 2022

November 23, 2022

The Singapore Chapter of the Jürade de Saint-Émilion held its second Gala at The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore, on 10 November 2022 where twelve more new members were inducted, bringing the grand total of the local chapter to twenty members. The Jürade’s Chancellor Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, along with several other jürats (also winemakers in their own right) and respective Chancellors of Malaysia and Hong Kong, had flown in to officiate the ceremony. The ballroom was resplendent with women in high fashion and, more importantly, the tables were overflowing with wine. The line-up of twelve wines this time featured back vintages all the way to 2009, demonstrating the immense quality and ageing ability of even the lesser-known crus of Saint-Émilion. In spite of the ample supply of juice, my guests generously supplemented with even more wine, from Saint-Émilion, naturally, ensuring that we drank a complete representation of this famous commune from unclassified estates right up to all four Premier Grand Cru Classé A. Those who held their alcohol well were fine, but the rest were properly banged. Many thanks, Melvin and team, for the great organisation!

Jurade 2

Jurade 1

2016 Les Cordeliers Brut. Yellow citrus and green fruits dominate, gently layered with cool velvety precision that exude refreshing clear crystalline quality throughout its length. Surprisingly good.

2018 Royal Saint-Émilion Cuvée Prestige. Attractive earthy pungency. Full-bodied but surprisingly velvety, almost lush in texture and layering, structured with well-managed tannins. Spicy finish. Highly accessible. Really excellent, a real revelation.

2016 Château Penau Laplagne. Dusky. Medium-bodied. Good transparency with an easy charm but somewhat nondescript.

2016 L’Egérie du Chateau Chéreau. Very dark. Medium-full. Good acidity, amply layered. Slightly bold in character.

2015 Château Coutet. Darkish tones from a generous depth of black fruits and ripe wild berries. Medium-full with early traces of cinnamon, structured with refined sweet tannins. Cool minty finish. Delicious.

2015 Château La Rose Côtes Rol. Darkish tones. Medium-bodied. Good transparency. Easy on the palate.

2015 Château Mangot. Deep crimson. Abundant in black fruits that offer lithe supple refinement and sweet intensity. Drinking well.

2012 Château Cap de Mourlin. Some evolution in colour, displaying a refined open intensity with slightly dryish tannins. Excellent presence.

Jurade 3 (3)2012 Château de Pressac. Deep garnet. Richly layered with ample depth of black fruits and currants. Fleshy with savoury tones on a sweet cedary floor, displaying youthful exuberance.

2011 Clos des Jacobins. Deep garnet. Soy and dark fruits dominate with early secondary development. Medium-bodied. Fleshy and open with a lovely freshness but still taut towards its finish.

2010 Château Larcis-Ducasse. Deep garnet, proffering a very fine lift of dark roses from its abundant depth of black fruits, imparting taut tension across a fullish palate still imbued with youthful intensity and traces of vanillin.

2009 Château Bélair Monange. Deep garnet. Layered with very good lithe density of black fruits, structured with sophisticated tannins.

2010 Château Angelus. Deep crimson. Restrained on the nose though the abundant depth of fruit is clearly evident. The palate is beautifully even, taut with refined intensity and lithe tannins, just a little spicy at the sides. Well-proportioned but evolving at a glacial pace, barely hinting at secondary development. Huge potential ahead but best to lay down for the rest of this decade.

1998 Château Clos Fourtet, courtesy of Vic. Deep inky darkness, proffering lifted notes of tobacco and soy. Medium-bodied. Very refined and even balance, imbued with subtle youthful intensity and understated minerality. Good finish.

1998 Château Angelus, courtesy of CHS. Dark youth exuberance of sweet black berries and dark currants. Superbly fresh and vibrant with open supple intensity, displaying excellent linearity all the way to its persistent cool minty finish.

1982 Château Pavie, courtesy of Sanjay. Dusky brown, exuding a lovely earthiness with a relaxed charm of mature red fruits, bark, cassis and cedar laced with glycerin from melted tannins though the finish is short. Distinctly autumnal.

1998 Château Ausone. Earthy pungency. Attractive lift of red plums, dark currants and ripe wild berries that impart a cool freshness on the medium-full palate with excellent definition and precision. Immaculately proportioned and balanced with subtle verve. Doesn’t call attention to itself.

1989 Château Cheval Blanc, courtesy of LF. Fully mature, beautifully developed in autumnal flavours of haw, rose petals and strawberries that stoke the palate with refined subtle intensity, just a tad spicy at the sides, showing good definition with elegant charm and further herbal detail over time.

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1989 Château Clinet

November 14, 2022

20221114_200037.jpgDecanted on-site on the occasion of a casual dinner at Otto Ristorante on 14 November 2022, the 1989 Château Clinet, from an immaculately cellared bottle, is beautifully deep purplish with just a tinge of brown, exuding a feminine whiff of soft raspberries, rose petals and ripe wild berries with an understated earthiness that is immeasurably complex and beguiling. Softly contoured with svelte sexy tannins, this wine is still amazingly fresh and youthful even though it has hit peak maturity, utterly seamless all through its subtle layers of glorious fruit, stretching out with superb length and linearity. It gained a little more subtle intensity with food, yet maintaining its elegant poise and supreme balance without calling attention to itself. Wonderful stuff, truly a real beauty. Comparisons were made with Château La Mission Haut-Brion of the same vintage (also tasted at the same venue a year ago); the latter may, perhaps, be just a little more cerebral but the Clinet is equally searching, highly absorbing throughout the evening. Perfect with the 700g wagyu ribeye. Thanks, John!

2013 Roger Belland Criots Bâtard-Montrach, 2016 Clos des Lambrays

November 8, 2022

The great SC hosted a very small group to an exquisite dinner at Imamura on Sentosa island on 04 November 2022. Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Hirofumi Imamura, the restaurant is most discreetly located at a disused chapel off the premises of the Amara Sanctuary Resort. Don’t expect to see any signages at all until you actually arrive, if you can find it, lit by the dimmest lighting possible. With more than twenty years working in Japan, USA and Hong Kong, chef Imamura-san is perfectly skilled in the art of sushi and kaiseki, very much in the Kyoto manner. Paired with the specially curated wines generously brought by SC himself, every item on the carefully prepared seasonal menu came alive, arousing the five senses without resorting to gimmickry. The teacups are ancient, and you choose your chopsticks from a range of different length and wood. Imamura must surely rank at the top of the very long list of Japanese restaurants in Singapore. Many thanks, Sir, for the wonderful evening.

2013 Domaine Roger Belland Criots Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Poured from magnum. This wine opens with distant lemon and cool citrus on the nose, rather elusive at first like a virginal beauty before gaining traction, teasing the palate with smooth intensity as it developed further notes of pomelo and lime with a warm velvety freshness, all the while remaining subtly shaded and layered, equally subdued in its minerality as it stretched out with elegant length, increasingly alluring with each sip without any hint of its 14% abv. Very lovely. Perfect with the 10-month-old virgin oyster.

2016 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru. Beautifully clear ruby, promising ripe cherries and red fruits that are delivered with open exquisite intensity, subtly structured with darkish overtones at the side with a deeper core of tangerines. The medium-full palate is imbued with great verve, revealing refined inner detail of earth and dry charcoal amid seamless layers of red fruits supported by exciting rasping tannins. Wonderfully balanced and proportioned, finishing with excellent length and linearity. This was exactly how it had tasted from barrel during my visit to the domaine in November 2017 (https://winebyric.com/2017/11/26/__trashed-7/), only even better now. I have never been partial towards Clos des Lambrays, but this may prove to be pivotal.

October 2022: 2003 Domaine de Chevalier, 2018 Pikes Riesling, 2013 Silver Oak Napa, 2019 Taupenot-Merme La Combe d’Orveau, 2016 Château Larmande, 2009 Calon Ségur

October 31, 2022

2017 Meerlust Rubicon. Popped and poured after a brief aeration at home, 05 Oct 2022. Purplish hues, exuding an attractive fragrance of raspberries, redcurrants and ripe strawberries that carried well onto a medium-bodied palate that is surprisingly soft and inviting with a refined elegant presence, very open and highly supple, structured with muted tannins. Truly a wine where the sum is greater than its parts. This can take its place on any table.

Bouchard Aine et Fils Chardonnay-Terret NV, tasted at Changi T3 Krisflyer Gold Lounge, 06 Oct 2022. Pale luminosity with a fairly sharp minerally lift amid recessed notes of nutmeg and wildflowers on the medium-bodied palate, finishing with a slight peppery glow. Serviceable.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Beaune 1er Grêves Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus, poured at the wedding of Jane & Bobie at The Langham, Jakarta, 07 Oct 2022. Dark pinot tint, promising restrained dark rosy hues that carried well onto the medium-full palate with a firm minerally tensile presence, structured with refined even tannins. Best to lay down further.

2000 Château Sociando-Mallet, aired for an hour ahead of tasting at The Carlton Hotel, Singapore, on 13 Oct 2022. Still quite deep in colour, exuding a fairly sharp lift of plums and sandalwood. Medium-bodied and softly contoured, imbued with a prominence of green capsicum and herbs on a slightly dryish floor, showing very good even presence with fine linearity.

2018 Pikes Riesling at Changi Airport T2 Silverkris Lounge, 15 Oct 2022. Pale. Intoxicating bouquet of petroleum fumes and kerosene. Translucent minerally palate, medium-full, proffering fabulous shiny detail with a cleanly defined lift. Good glowing finish. An astute choice.

2020 Stonier Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay at Changi Airport T2 Silverkris Lounge, 15 Oct 2022. Pale. Fresh morning dew on the nose. Gentle creamy palate infused with delicate clear minerality, showing a tad of salinity that finished with glowing lingering persistence.

Champagne Piper Heidsieck Essentiel Brut NV at Changi Airport T2 Silverkris Lounge, 15 Oct 2022. Dry blazing intensity of clear citrus, lime and pomelo. One dimensional but serviceable.

2003 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge. Popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 18 Oct 2022. Deep garnet. Ripe dark currants and blackberries on the nose and medium-full palate, showing excellent tensile presence with refined acidity and a dash of wild berries and vegetal elements. Developed further subtle detail of sandalwood with a hint of charred savouriness as its tannins came alive with exciting verve. Delicious.

1998 Château Musar, courtesy of LF at Canto Jumbo, 20 Oct 2022. Brownish red. Distinct nose of plums and mandarins. Still fresh and supple, showing good clean precision and ripeness with judicious use of oak.

2016 Domaine Luzien Muzard Santenay Maladière 1er Rouge at Canto Jumbo, 20 Oct 2022. Classic pinot tint. Open and softly contoured, imbued with supple plummy notes and raspberries.

2013 Silver Oak Napa Valley, courtesy of LF at Canto Jumbo, 20 Oct 2022. Dark. Rich ripe and savoury, underpinned by cedar and cinnamon amid overtones of vanillin oak. Medium-bodied, yielding supple inner detail with supple freshness. Delicious.

2019 Marc Colin Saint-Aubin Le Charmois 1er, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 22 Oct 2022. Light greenish. Glowing bouquet of lime, citrus and green fruits. Medium-full, fairly rounded with keen acidity and refined balance. Tightly structured with excellent delineation, finishing well with dryish white tones.

2017 Weingut Markus Molitor Brauneberger Spätburgunder Klostergarten***, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 22 Oct 2022. Darkish tint of dark plums and dark roses. Quite full on the palate with a slightly jarring acidity at first, settling down eventually with a little more detail though that nervous tension never really went away, clearing the way for a long finish of charred elements, earth and firewood.

2018 Domaine Rapet Père et Fils Pernand-Vergelesses Sous Frétille 1er. Popped and poured at Eastern House of Seafood, 23 Oct 2022. Unashamedly full and tight on this occasion, displaying a firm mid-palate imbued with white fruits and dense minerally elements that conferred a certain austerity.

2010 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Pruliers 1er. Aired for two hours ahead of lunch at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 24 Oct 2022. Delicious nose of raspberries, mulberries and dark currants tinged with a note of mandarins leading to a fullish tensile presence from the ample ripe fruit, showing excellent integration of tannins and acidity with understated earthy minerals. Good balance. Still youthful.

2016 Château Lanbersac, tasted at Kiyose, 25 Oct 2022. Full presence of warm ripe fruit and dark currants that exert supple intensity. Unashamedly modern.

2016 Château Larmande, tasted at Kiyose, 25 Oct 2022. There is a certain restraint on the nose even though the fruit is wonderfully ripe throughout, promising dark currants with a note of cedar. Quite unexpectedly lush, structured with understated tannins that convey a velvety warmth and rounded fullness, developing further notes of chocolate and mocha. Very well balanced and elegant throughout its length. Absolutely delicious. Punches way above its weight.

2015 Château Cap de Mourlin, tasted at Kiyose, 25 Oct 2022. Very dark crimson with a note of heated gravel on the nose. Medium-bodied. Somewhat restrained in spite of its abundant dark fruits, dominated more by a bright minerally mid-palate. Not quite ready.

2008 Château Guadet, tasted at Kiyose, 25 Oct 2022. Dark crimson. Softly contoured, showing great integration with understated structure. Fresh, warm and ripe, seemingly evolving at a glacial pace.

2016 Domaine Chavy-Chouet Meursault Les Charmes 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Jade Palace, 25 Oct 2022. Dull golden. Sharp lift of cool clear fruit. Medium-full with a lithe teasing quality, yielding fine definition. Finished with white floral tones and understated intensity.

2018 Domaine Bellargus Treilles, courtesy of Russ at Jade Palace, 25 Oct 2022. Its relative pallor belies an elusive boldness that recalls eucalyptus and traces of tropical fruits amid a certain glazed chalkiness. Decidedly more relaxed after some time in the glass, displaying fine clarity and elegance.

2009 Domaine Bruno Clair Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of Russ at Jade Palace, 25 Oct 2022. Red fruits dominate with overtones of cool icing. Softly contoured with fine definition though there is a certain austerity on the mid-palate, finishing with moderate length.

2011 Chapelle d’Ausone, courtesy of Kieron at Jade Palace, 25 Oct 2022. Dark fruits tinged with capsicum on the nose, exuding a mild sweet fragrance. Medium-bodied, displaying a beautifully supple presence, rather slick and understated with early secondary characters. Just a tad short. Reflects the vintage.

2000 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, aired in advance before dinner at Asia Grand, 26 Oct 2022. Somewhat reluctant and angular at first, only faintly delicious. Fleshed out beautifully in unhurried manner with a full presence of dark roses, red plums and preserved cherries tinged with mocha and capsicum. Sleek with great tensile presence, developing subtle detail and layering.

2016 Domaine Hudelot-Nöellat Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Bas Combes. Popped and poured at Sin Chao Gardens, 28 Oct 2022. Accentuated lift of raspberries, wild berries and currants. Medium-full, displaying very good depth and clean definition with a minty glow. Good refinement. Moderate finish.

2004 Château L’Eglise-Clinet, courtesy of Jimmy. Popped and poured at Sin Chao Gardens, 28 Oct 2022. Deeply coloured, exuding a lovely bouquet of cedar and mahogany tinged with eucalyptus. Supple and fleshy with a quiet intensity amid herbaceous overtones, still imbued with excellent freshness, traversing the palate with fine linearity to a glowing finish.

2017 Château de Meursault Meursault Les Charmes-Dessus 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Popped and poured at Sin Chao Gardens, 28 Oct 2022. Slightly heavier tint, exuding a fresh lift of cool icing and vanillin, fairly opulent with creamy detail. Excellent stuff, but expensive now.

2009 Château Calon Ségur, courtesy of Jimmy. Popped and poured at Sin Chao Gardens, 28 Oct 2022. Very deep garnet, proffering a rich dark delicious nose with a distinct note of soy, delivering an abundance of wonderfully ripe dark fruits and currants with early cedary characters. Highly supple, seamlessly integrated with open intensity, developing youthful biting tannins over time.

2018 The Standish Shiraz, courtesy of Dr Lee KH. Popped and poured at Sin Chao Gardens, 28 Oct 2022. Very deep garnet. This Barossa red is richly layered and full, yet beautifully rounded with silky smooth tannins, offering gorgeous dark fruits tinged with mocha and licorice and a bit of toast, finishing on a spicy note.

2019 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Chambolle-Musigny La Combe d’Orveau 1er, by the carafe at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 29 Oct 2022. Good color. Lovely fragrance of fresh red fruits, dark cherries and plums. Rounded with sweet subdued tannins, beautifully balanced and integrated, exerting lovely gentle tension. Almost lush. Delicious.

2019 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 29 Oct 2022. Fairly deep yellowish greenish hue, proffering quite a generous lift of lemon citrus and green fruits. Medium-full. Beautifully structured and amply layered with a subtle chalky glow.

2020 Shaw & Smith M3 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. Popped and poured at home, 30 Oct 2022. Pale. Consistent nose of nutmeg, lemongrass and olives. Full terse presence, delivering fine detail and controlled intensity but it is too tightly wound for me.

Sep 2022: 2015 Bruno Clair Clos St-Jacques, 2014 Drouhin Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, 1986 & 1997 Lafite Rothschild, 1982 Nenin, 1985 Mouton Rothschild, 2004 Opus One, 2019 Philippe Chéron Gev-Cham Romanée

September 30, 2022

2014 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Bourgogne Blanc. Popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 01 Sep 2022. Lime, clear citrus and bitter lemon dominate on the nose and medium-full palate with a high-toned intensity, supported by base minerals and crisp acidity that matched the fruit every step of the way. Very lively.

2016 Laurent Ponsot Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée de l’Aulne. Aired in bottle for three hours ahead of brunch at Jade Palace, 03 Sep 2022. Classic pinot tint, exuding rosy hues and dark cherries on the nose. The palate is beautifully contoured and rounded, imbued with very good presence of soft ripe fruit that reveal subtle inner detail. Highly integral and seamless, showing excellent refinement and charm, finishing well. The new-age label draws polarising opinions, but I like it. More importantly, the wine is really good.

2015 Domaine Bruno Clair Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er. Aired for more than two hours ahead of lunch at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 05 Sep 2022. Classic bouquet of rose petals, strawberries and haw that exude a lovely feminine fragrance. Fairly open with a soft supple intensity, subtly structured with fine presence and decent depth. Settled down with cool refined elegance and moderate length, developing a blaze of delicious red fruits at its finish. Drinking well but best to lay down for several more years.

2019 Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Chablis Vieilles Vignes, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 07 Sep 2022. Deeply coloured with a distinct oxidative note of malt and rye on the nose that suggests a much older wine. Medium-full, imbued with a tight intensity of dense yellow citrus and dry recessed chalky detail, retaining that oxidative tone throughout its moderate length. Packs good power and precision. Certainly not flabby.

2018 Kuheiji Fixin, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 07 Sep 2022. From a producer of sake. Clean dark tones. Rather reticent, before developing raspberries, mulberries, tangerines and haw later. Medium-bodied, layered with very fine juicy presence, showing good verve and balance amid overtones of mahogany. Drinking well, just a little distant.

2018 Jordan Chardonnay. Aired for two hours ahead of dinner at Yang Ming Seafood, 08 Sep 2022. Good lift of stony minerals and clear citrus, imbued with excellent oily density. Well-structured and integrated, displaying refined intensity amid distant tones of icing and vanillin. Finished with good length.

2017 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, courtesy of Vic at Yang Ming Seafood, 08 Sep 2022 Pale. Lifted bouquet of morning dew and clear citrus, lighting up the palate with stony detail and layering with dense white fruits bringing up the rear laced with a dash of sweetness, fleshing out eventually with an open glow of peppery white tones. Highly burgundian.

2017 Littorai Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, courtesy of LF at Yang Ming Seafood, 08 Sep 2022. Dark cherries and plums dominate with cool ripeness and refined presence. Very well balanced and proportioned, seamlessly integrated with bright rosy hues. Beautifully nuanced.

2014 DuMol Lia Viognier, courtesy of LF at Yang Ming Seafood, 08 Sep 2022. Rather pale and reticent at first, its fruit slightly recessed, underpinned by sweet chalky undertones. Took some time to flesh out with dense white tones, displaying superb length and linearity.

2016 E Guigal Condrieu La Doriane, courtesy of CHS at Yang Ming Seafood, 08 Sep 2022. Cool placid tones. Also made from viognier but distinctly different, more floral and highly transparent. Very subtly nuanced, taking its time to unfurl its Rhône character of backward white tones and recessed chalkiness.

2016 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Saint-Veran Champ Rond over lunch at Otto Ristorante, 09 Sep 2022. Clear luminosity. Rather reticent on the nose though chalky tones and yellow citrus dominate with excellent presence and density on the medium-full palate, displaying terse acidity and intensity before turning a little more backward, giving way to a recessed chalkiness with more emphasis on bright minerality.

2008 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Blanc, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Shinzo, 12 Sep 2022. Poured from 6L Imperial. Pale yellow-green hue, proffering a distant nose of fig, chalk, yellow citrus, pineapples and mangoes with a very refined oily density on the medium-bodied palate, imbued with subtle minerality. Developed glowing white tones before taking a more backward stance with secondary characters, the fruit and chalkiness distinctly more recessed as it finished with moderate intensity.

1986 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of Simon Cheong at Shinzo, 12 Sep 2022. Poured from magnum. Deep crimson core, exuding a jazzy funkiness with characters of varnish, rose petals and truffles that morphed into a superb glow of mature claret. Fleshy and still wonderfully fresh, lighting the palate with structured precision and sharp definition before settling down with a distinct feminine grace, just a tad short at its finish. Slightly past its prime, though still highly pleasurable.

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2006 Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé, courtesy of CJ at Morsels, 13 Sep 2022. Deeply coloured, proffering excellent presence of grapefruit and mature tangerines with distinct orangey hues that shone with glowing depth amid a most appropriate dry intensity.

2014 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of CJ at Morsels, 13 Sep 2022. Pale. Somewhat reticent on the nose, though excelling on the palate with a lovely rounded oily density imbued with yellow citrus and bright minerals amid powdery white tones that cut through with fine purity, exuding the classic Chassagne signature as it yielded further supple detail, finishing with lovely persistence. Superb.

2019 Philippe Chéron Gevrey-Chambertin La Romanée 1er at Morsels, 13 Sep 2022. Attractive bouquet of dark roses, cherries and bramble with a gentle minty afterglow. Similarly darkish on the palate though the superb fruit come through with lovely purity and warm ripe opulence, seamlessly structured with silky smooth tannins that yield excellent chewy detail. Highly integral. Very lovely. Not many have heard of Philippe Chéron but it won’t be long before this hits the roof.

2015 Roagna Gallina Barbaresco, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Morsels, 13 Sep 2022. Fragrant dark roses and varnish on the nose, slightly smoky. Medium-full. Surprisingly open, layered with a subtle depth of predominant red fruits that exert suave supple intensity with lovely refinement. Distinctly feminine. Almost Burgundian. Excellent.

2004 Opus One, courtesy of MH at Morsels, 13 Sep 2022. Deep garnet red with a suggestion of warm velvety ripeness. Medium-full. Highly integral and open, imbued with characters of mocha, chocolate and traces of licorice within its seamless layers, structured with subtle power and mature tannins that taper to a strong minty afterglow. Excellent.

2008 Domaine Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis Mont Lusants 1er Blanc, courtesy of Sanjay at Morsels, 13 Sep 2022. Luminous glow of recessed chalkiness and mature secondary characters laced with superb sublime acidity, displaying sharp definition within a medium-bodied proposition.

2013 Champagne Pol Roger Brut at the wedding of Russell & Dolly, Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 17 Sep 2022. Lovely deep burnished tone of buttered toast, citrus and wildflowers, displaying fine presence and intensity without being too dry. Drinking well.

2017 Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux Meursault at the wedding of Russell & Dolly, Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 17 Sep 2022. Its relative pallor belies a nose of gentle floral fragrance. Still tight with reductive white tones that offer fine precision and structure, fleshing out with cool detail. Well-proportioned and balanced.

2017 Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Pruliers 1er at the wedding of Russell & Dolly, Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 17 Sep 2022. Darkish pinot tint, delivering raspberries and dark berries with a dash of briar on the medium-full palate laced with sleek acidity, displaying good energy though slightly lean.

2015 Roc de Cambes at the wedding of Russell & Dolly, Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 17 Sep 2022. Lovely ripe fullness of sun-dried dark fruits, currants and cedar that shone with glowing warmth and savoury succulence, yet to fully shed its overtones of vanillin oak but its class and pedigree is clear. Drinks like a classified growth.

2011 Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru at the wedding of Russell & Dolly, Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 17 Sep 2022. Poured from magnum. Very attractive on the nose, exuding fresh rosy hues with early cedary characters. Medium-full. Highly supple and lively. Very well balanced with subtle acidity and understated intensity, developing a little sultry exuberance as it tapered with fine linearity to a glowing finish of cherries and distant red fruits.

2017 Thomas Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Les Dents de Chien 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Tang Yun, 20 Sep 2022. Fine luminosity. Lovely floral fragrance of fig and green fruits. Medium-full and fairly rounded showing a very refined sleek density laced with traces of icing and petroleum fumes. Settled down with cool tones and minerally notes amid a dash of oiliness. Drinking well.

2005 Château La Tour Haut-Brion at Tang Yun, 20 Sep 2022. Delicious nose of ripe dark berries and currants amidst that inimitable glow of a mature claret. The medium-bodied palate is layered with a chamfered feel of soft red fruits that confer some degree of rusticity. Took some time to flesh out with fine body and decent length. This is the final vintage of this extinct label, its vines having been absorbed into the fold of Château La Mission Haut-Brion.

2000 Château Trotanoy, courtesy of Melvin at Tang Yun, 20 Sep 2022. Still darkly coloured with green capsicum, wild mushrooms and dried wood on the nose. The palate is beautifully soft and supple with a juicy succulence, very seamlessly integrated, just a little bright within its mid-body, yielding fine transparency though it is a little short. At its best.

1982 Château Nenin, courtesy of Sir Bob at Tang Yun, 20 Sep 2022. Slightly opaque, proffering capsicum and ripe wild berries with a delicious fragrance in soft focus though the rounded palate is somewhat restrained, a tad savoury with a suggestion of bacon bits. Beautifully mature. Nenin is excellent value.

1985 Château Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of Kieron at Tang Yun, 20 Sep 2022. Mature crimson. Very beautiful on the nose, a controlled lift of plums, ember and incense amidst a glorious scent of warm ripe fruit that transcends the softly contoured palate with a splash of savoury and ferrous elements. Still quite full and fresh, seamlessly layered and beautifully proportioned with everything in place. Highly elegant, wearing its considerable power within the proverbial velvet glove. The 1985 Mouton simply gets better and better with each tasting in spite of its thirty-seven years. Outstanding.

1995 Château Langoa Barton, courtesy of Vic at Tang Yun, 20 Sep 2022. Still displaying a deep garnet red, this wine is rather muted, proffering only glimpses of fresh dark fruits and black berries though the palate is highly supple and open, still retaining excellent freshness and power though it veered towards some leanness at the finish. May be easily mistaken for a higher growth. Drinking well.

1985 Château Talbot, courtesy of Sir Bob at Tang Yun, 20 Sep 2022. Opaque dull red, exuding a glowing funkiness from its deep core of dark fruits. Highly agile and supple, laced with sleek acidity though still firmly structured, imparting a certain degree of sternness.

2019 Louis Jadot Domaine Gagey Pernand-Vergelesses Les Combottes, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 24 Sep 2022. Deeply coloured with an inviting bouquet of white floral notes, pollen and honeysuckle. Almost full with a predominance of lime and clear citrus, exerting very good tensile presence and intensity without any awkwardness, developing a little chalky brightness in the glass. Good length.

2019 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chênes Rouge, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 24 Sep 2022. Darkish in tone and color with a deep minty lift. Medium-bodied, initially showing a slight excess of acidity though this was properly reined in as the wine opened up with fine integration and bold intensity, allowing its darkish fruit to emerge with unobscured freshness before tapering to slightly sweet gentle finish.

2020 Shaw & Smith M3 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. Popped and poured at Eastern House of Seafood, 24 Sep 2022. Pale. Generous bouquet of raw nutmeg and grassy elements with a full presence on the palate, displaying fine detail and intensity though it remained rather unyielding throughout the evening, tightly coiled with tense high-toned acidity.

2020 M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers, by the glass at Brasserie Les Saveurs, St Regis Singapore, on 26 Sep 2022. Deep purple. Fairly full and ample in ripe cherries, dark plums and wild berries with a bit of savouriness, laced with licorice and vanillin. Serviceable.

2017 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladiere 1er Blanc, aired for an hour before dinner at Liang Kee, 28 Sep 2022. Pale luminosity. Cleanly structured with good definition and terse acidity, imbued with excellent presence of clear citrus and pomelo, fleshing out with rounded cool tones and subdued intensity.

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Corton-Charlemagne: 2017 Joseph Drouhin, 2002 & 2015 Bonneau du Martray; Amoureuses: 2010/16 Groffier, 2006 Jadot; 2015 Georges Lignier Bonnes-Mares GC, 1995 Leroy Chambolle-Musigny Fremières, 1997 Lafite Rothschild

September 20, 2022

The usual suspects gathered at Summer Pavillion, Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, on 15 September 2022 for an evening of Corton-Charlemagne followed by an array of Chambolle reds, all blinded. All the wines were singing, while Leroy is simply Leroy. There was also an open-label Lafite Rothschild thrown into the mix but who would complain? Many thanks, gentlemen.

2017 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Gleaming white tones and chalky hues dominate amidst a lovely floral fragrance, positively glowing with full presence. Subtly layered, fleshing out with suave intensity, still laced with a dash of creamy vanillin. Very correctly nuanced, as always with the whites of Drouhin.

2015 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Rather bold and unusual on the nose with distinct notes of glycerin and crème de la crème though some fig and peaches are discernible; one could almost be certain this is New World chardonnay. Equally full on the palate where nutmeg and clear citrus dominate with excellent concentration and intensity, evolving with a further expanse of frangipani and white flowers. Ample, rich and powerful. Very unlike the usual style of Bonnneau du Martray, perhaps due to the hot vintage.

2002 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Dull golden. Distinct mature tones on the nose and palate, characterised by a recessed stoniness with overtones of rye though there is no question about its freshness on the palate, still quite full with a placid elegance and regal intensity that tapered to a modest finish. At its best though I wouldn’t keep any longer.

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2016 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of Vic. Purplish pinot tint, proffering fresh raspberries and cherries with a subtle floral fragrance, carrying a gentle youthful intensity with ample fruit amid minerally elements within its medium-full density. Highly graceful and elegant throughout its moderate length.

2010 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Lovely pinot tint, exuding a superb rosy fragrance with supple glowing intensity on the medium-full palate. Very seamlessly layered with subtle detail, displaying lovely charm and ease with a certain sur-maurite that makes it seem more mature than it really is. Really delicious. I’d thought it to be a mature Musigny Grand Cru. Outstanding.

2006 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of LF. Deeper, darker tint of pinot, delivering ample depth of ripe dark fruits and currants that still carry youthful intensity, imparting a lovely lift of dark roses and black cherries amid cedar and other sweet secondary characteristics with a chamfered quality on the palate, finishing well.

2015 Domaine Georges Lignier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Aired in bottle for three hours prior. This wine opens with a lovely lift of fragrant rosy hues that carry well onto a highly harmonious palate, seamlessly layered with ripe strawberries and cherries that veer towards understatement, perfectly balanced with refined tannins and good length. Doesn’t call attention to itself. Hard to imagine that this producer will still remain affordable for long.

1995 Domaine Leroy Chambolle-Musigny Les Fremières, courtesy of Sir Bob. Mature pinot tint. Highly enticing on the nose with a beguiling floral complex whilst the medium-bodied palate is wonderfully supple and open, structured with melted sweetish tannins that yield subtle detail of chewy red fruits and tangerines. Perfectly proportioned and balanced, still retaining that all-important freshness that makes up for the modest finish. Outstanding! Only 580 bottles produced, of which we drank number 210.

1997 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of Sir Bob. Decanted on-site. Deep purplish core, exuding a wonderful deep dark rosy fragrance with a trace of funkiness matched by a lovely rounded warmth on the mature palate, revealing very fine inner detail with subtle glowing intensity. It softened considerably after some time, perfectly balanced as it morphed into the quintessential feminine elegance so characteristic of Lafite even in this so-called “off” year, finishing with modest length. Excellent.

1999 Domaine Louis Jadot Echézeaux GC, 2008 Domaine Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares, 2007 Markus Molitor Brauneberger Klostergarten Pinot Noir***

September 7, 2022

An impromptu gathering at Imperial Treasure Great World, 30 August 2022, where the wines were tasted blind. Whereas I’d previously liked to drink my whites properly matured well beyond ten years, I tend nowadays to agree with my buddies who prefer them younger whilst there is still that freshness and agility with less likelihood of premature oxidation. Another stunning revelation is how good German pinot noir can be these days, for the blinded spätburgunder thrown in the mix had the same stuffing, balance, proportion and finish of a burgundy grand cru (I actually thought it was a Clos Vougeot). One can only conclude that global warming has now resulted in perfect conditions for pinot noir in the traditionally cooler Mosel region. Many thanks, gentlemen.

Champagne Pierre Péters Cuvée de Réserve Brut Blanc de Blancs, courtesy of LF. Pale golden. Powerful nose of lime, clear citrus and pomelo, displaying very good presence with dry intensity within a highly refined sheen of smooth bubbles with further notes of green apples over time.

2017 Domaine Bachelet-Monnot Chassagne-Montrachet, courtesy of LF. Pale. Refreshing lift of cool morning dew and distant clear fruits with a tangy velvety presence, teasing the palate with rounded fleeting rounded intensity. Fairly harmonious. Subtly layered with fine precision though it doesn’t quite possess that classic white Chassagne signature of Ramonet.

1996 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob. Dull golden hue with a distinct sur maturite on the nose. Rather reluctant and backward initially, just a seemingly empty chalky shell. Took two hours to shed its shy façade, emerging with subtle chalky hues amid a dash of paraffin as it gradually grew with gleaming intensity of glorious white fruit laced with undertones of varnish, eventually striking a classic Leflaive pose with a bright refined glow.

2017 Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru. Attractive nose of delicious red fruits marked by a deep rosy fragrance though the softly contoured medium-bodied palate is rather modest in presence and finish. Cleanly structured and well-integrated. Doesn’t call attention to itself but neither does it seem to display the depth nor layering one would expect from this grand cru.

2007 Weingut Markus Molitor Brauneberger Klostergarten Pinot Noir***, courtesy of Alvin. This spätburgunder displays a very correct aged pinot tint with a bouquet of glycerin and mature red fruits that is most beguiling, wonderfully textured with excellent refined presence on the medium-bodied palate. Seamlessly structured with subtle weight, finishing with superb length in an understated minty flourish. Foxed us all into thinking it was a Côte de Nuits grand cru. While climate change may have become too hot for French vineyards, conditions seem perfect now for pinot noir grown in the Mosel region.

1999 Domaine Louis Jadot Echézeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. There is a certain elusiveness in its slick earthy bouquet though it is absolutely beautiful on the palate, imbued with mature red fruits that still exert youthful intensity with superb freshness, layered with great acidity amid darkish undertones, tapering to a modest finish. At its prime. Louis Jadot reds are always so very correctly nuanced. Very lovely.

2008 Domaine Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Dense deep crimson, exuding rosy hues with delicate tones of haw and a distinct note of varnish. Medium-full. Superbly rounded, yielding fresh deep plummy tones with fine transparency. Cleanly structured and bright with a modest intensity and finish. Excellent.

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Aug 2022: 2016 Daniel Rion NSG Pruliers, 1995 Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle, 2019 Larue Saint-Aubin En Montceau 1er, 2003 Lafite Rothschild,

August 31, 2022

Vincent Bouzereau Crémant de Bourgogne NV, at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 02 Aug 2022. Gentle yeasty tones amid a bright minerally shine on an expansive dry palate, imbued with very fine presence of brilliant yellow citrus tinged with a dash of sweetness. Drinking well, though it doesn’t quite have that extra dimension of utter finesse and sophistication to measure up to champagne.

2018 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Vaillons 1er at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 02 Aug 2022. Pale. Shy, just a hint of pebbly warmth and summer hay. Medium-bodied with subdued white tones, exuding a quiet placid presence with an understated slick acidity. Evolved with cool icing and subtle detail, developing a growing intensity over time with a stony elegance.

2017 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanc, a glass courtesy of Don Roberto at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 02 Aug 2022. Cool clean presence of lifted summer hay, leading to an elegant medium-full palate of distilled nutmeg, olives and grassy elements, showing superb balance and sleek linearity.

2017 Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Caillerets 1er, at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 02 Aug 2022. Darkish tint. Ripe wild berries, bramble, dark cherries and currants on the nose. Medium-bodied. Supple with a fleshy svelte intensity, structured with soft sweet velvety tannins, just a tad short.

2017 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix 1er by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 02 Aug 2022. Classic pinot tint. Cleanly defined bouquet of youthful red fruits, slightly reductive. Medium-full. Rather tight presence of darkish characters, structured with dryish lean precision that tapered to a slightly austere finish.

2016 Domaine Daniel Rion Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Hauts Pruliers 1er. Aired in advance for two hours prior to dinner at Otto Ristorante, 04 Aug 2022. Predominant red fruits and cherries on the nose. The medium-full palate is quite brightly lit, exuding a slightly forward delicious glow from the ample fruit within whilst the usual NSG ferrous floor is distinctly muted. Very well balanced, gaining in supple intensity as the evening wore on. Reminds me very much of Hudelot-Nöellat’s NSG. Excellent.

1998 Champagne Henri Giraud Ay Fut de Chene, courtesy of Hoi Leong at Lady Boss Fine Dining, 06 Aug 2022. Opaque hue. Firm minerally palate of bitter lemon and pomelo. Rather stern and unsmiling but structured with great precision. Became more deft and agile in the glass, evoking a sense of distilled essence with a tinge of grapefruit.

2016 Thomas Morey Puligny-Montrachet La Truffière 1er, courtesy of Barrie at Lady Boss Fine Dining, 06 Aug 2022. Pale. Restrained, exuding cool tones with just a tinge of saline. Very smooth and easy on the palate with a bright clean clarity. More nuanced after some time though remaining generally subdued even as it added a minerally dash at the finish.

1995 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle at Lady Boss Fine Dining, 06 Aug 2022. Aired in bottle for three hours prior. Deep crimson. Mature plummy tones on the nose tinged with smoke. Medium-full, imbued with a moderate presence of red fruits amid a distinct note of iron filings that impart dryish textures. Still a tad angular at first before mellowing beautifully with smooth supple intensity.

2007 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Nuits-Saint-Georges, courtesy of Hoi Leong at Lady Boss Fine Dining, 06 Aug 2022. Classic pinot tint. Surprisingly reticent, though the medium-bodied palate shows a very refined presence of ripe dark berries, perhaps just a tad spicy but still very correctly nuanced with lovely purity and definition, finishing with a dash of earthiness befitting its NSG character.

2009 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, courtesy of Barrie at Lady Boss Fine Dining, 06 Aug 2022. Restrained with the classic Gevrey signature of pink roses, wild berries and raspberries on the medium-bodied. Surprisingly more delicate than expected for the vintage, showing good integration.

2018 Domaine Coquard-Loison-Fleurot Vosne-Romanée, courtesy of Barrie at Lady Boss Fine Dining, 06 Aug 2022. Deeply coloured. Dark cherries, red fruits and currants dominate with ample presence, layered with velvety detail that excite with supple intensity. Superbly balanced with lovely freshness.

2016 Domaine Hudelot-Nöellat Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Bas de Combes. Aired in bottle for ninety minutes ahead of dinner at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 08 Aug 2022. Deep ruby. Delicious lift of ripe red cherries and currants, carrying well onto the medium-bodied palate layered with a subtle ferrous floor, structured with sophisticated tannins within a fleshy supple warmth. Drinking very well.

Champagne Roger Coulon L’Hommee 1er Brut NV. Popped and poured at Corner Grill, 09 Aug 2022. Alluring smoky hues tinged with ferrous tones on the nose, boasting excellent density of yellow citrus and lime that exert biting dry intensity, oozing with delightful sweetness.

2019 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills Shiraz. Aired in bottle for ninety minutes prior to dinner at home, 11 Aug 2022. Dep purple, exuding aromas of dark roses and dark plums that carried well onto the medium-bodied palate, imbued with cool ripe fruit and darkish tones within a frame of smooth tannins, proffering a bit of early detail. Drinking well but not really distinctive.

2020 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills M3 Chardonnay. Aired in bottle for almost four hours prior to dinner at home, 14 Aug 2022. Very pale greenish hue. Wild grassy elements, summer hay and clear citrus dominate amid overtones of raw nutmeg while the medium-full palate boasts an intense concentration of fruit supported by lively acidity, subtly topped with a layer of crème. Plenty going on but it needs to loosen up a little.

20220817_210635.jpg2015 Domaine Georges Lignier et Fils Morey-Saint-Denis Clos des Ormes 1er, aired in bottle for three hours prior to dinner at Rubicon Steak House, 17 Aug 2022. Correct pinot tint, proffering darker shades of rosy hues on the nose with a rounded medium-full velvety palate, beautifully integrated with a predominance of ripe raspberries laced with subtle acidity, gaining in supple intensity over time. Obviously still youthful but this is excellent stuff.

2019 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault, aired in bottle for an hour prior to dinner at Wah Lok, 19 Aug 2022. Luminous hues, exuding highly refined chalky creamy tones with elegant tension amidst a rounded body of cool ripe tropical fruits. Very well proportioned and balanced, showing excellent clarity and detail with great sophistication, developing a slight minerally tinge with a dash of bitter lemon towards its finish. A great buy.

2016 Meerlust Rubicon, after a brief aeration at home, 21 Aug 2022. Deep purple. Classic cabernet notes of violets, raspberries, black fruits and currants, structured with slightly dryish tannins on the medium-bodied palate. Adequately fleshy and supple with a fine presence of cool ripe fruit. Drinks like a Médoc.

2018 Domaine Belargus Treilles. Popped and poured at Wagyu Jin, 22 Aug 2022, courtesy of Russ. Displaying a clear golden luminosity, this chenin blanc from the Loire exudes cool icing and refined crème de la crème that leads to an unusual note of varnish on the slick perfumed mid-palate, richly imbued with a forward balance of longans that oozed with a distinct note of glycerin. It turned lighter after some time, very cleanly structured with clear precision though there is just that lingering tinge of paraffin at its finish. An astute choice.

2002 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Chambolle-Musigny Les Feusselottes 1er. Popped and poured at Wagyu Jin, 22 Aug 2022, courtesy of Russ. Slightly darker tint of pinot, proffering a delicious bouquet of haw and rose petals with a fine expanse of dark plummy fruit and currants that exert supple intensity on the medium-full palate. Quite generously proportioned, displaying youthful charm and agility. May not yet have peaked but it is drinking very well.

2003 Château Lafite Rothschild, aired for two hours prior to dinner at Wagyu Jin, 22 Aug 2022. Bright purplish rim, exuding a restrained deep fragrance with early tertiary characters amid some earthy pungency. Medium-bodied. Surprisingly soft, imbued with a mild minerally presence within its slick supple velvety textures, yielding fine transparency and linearity throughout its moderate length. Distinctly  feminine. Almost the quintessential Lafite.

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2019 Domaine Larue Saint-Aubin En Montceau 1er, aired for three hours ahead of lunch at Otto Ristorante, 24 Aug 2022. Pale greenish hue. Delicate nose of lime and yellow citrus, fairly ample with lovely oily density and intensity on the palate that is almost sexy. Settled down with food to reveal subtle darkish shades within its layers that eventually opened up with superb clarity and clean precision. Excellent value.

2016 S de Suduiraut, popped and poured at Imperial Treasure GWC, 26 Aug 2022. Pale. Rounded nose of peaches, lychees and icing with mild overtones of paraffin. Medium-bodied. Exudes a bright pebbly glare with a deeper ferric vein, opening up with teasing intensity.

2016 Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroirs, aired for two hours ahead of dinner at Imperial Treasure GWC, 26 Aug 2022. Deep purplish core, proffering a dark rosy fragrance. The medium-full palate displays an uneasy forward balance of dark plummy characters with a minty lift, structured with sweetish tannins that exert youthful intensity. Surprisingly big for village. Not quite ready.

Château d’Yquem 2017, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2003, 1997 & 1996

August 18, 2022

In a repeat of an all-Château d’Yquem dinner previously held in 2018, Grace very kindly organised another at the same venue on 01 August 2022, getting Nicolas to open his restaurant specially for us (when he is normally closed on Mondays). It is certainly possible to pair Sauternes with an entire meal without necessarily including foie gras, as we did very well with pasta, seafood and Bresse chicken. The wines speak for themselves. The 2009 is truly outstanding, as is the 1996 whilst the 2010 remains stubbornly tight. And do not forget Château Climens; if at all, the leading premier cru of Barsac, given its lighter touch and agility, goes even better with food. Many thanks, Grace and Nicolas, for your immense generosity and to all for your lovely contributions.

2017 “Y” d’Yquem, several bottles courtesy of Dr Ngoi and Winfred. Pale. Profusion of fig and nectarine within an effusive white sheen with a further note of jackfruit on the palate, showing fine density with restrained elegance and understated intensity, opening up with shimmering supple detail in the glass.

2017 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Poured from magnum. Highly luminous, exuding a superb glow of fresh nectarine and apricot. Wonderfully fresh on the palate, not overly luscious, showing great integral velvety presence in its even tone and linearity. Supremely confident and regal.

2014 Château d’Yquem. Restrained nose of nectarine amidst a distinct note of egg white, slightly reductive. Very cleanly structured and precise, somewhat lean in almonds and golden citrus though it offers fine definition and good clarity, not at all luscious.

2011 Château Climens. Enticing aromas of vanillin, white fruits and incense. Highly slick and agile in its refined acidity, avoiding any hint of heaviness on the medium-full palate already imbued with early secondary characters of fresh lychees and honeyed tones that teased with deft fleeting intensity. Very different in style from Château d’Yquem of the same vintage, distinctly more feminine. A fascinating comparison between the best of Barsac and the best of Sauternes.

2011 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Peter Tan. Rather elusive on the nose, subtly seductive though decidedly more weighty on the palate with an even expanse of fresh nectarine, peaches and white tones that taper with excellent linearity to a long smooth glowing finish marked by a dash of understated minerals.

2010 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Edward. Quite deeply coloured. Profusion of nectarine and apricot with a fullish forward intensity, layered with luscious honeyed tones. Still rather tight and primal. Huge potential, but it needs time to sort itself out.

2009 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Gisela. Luminous golden hue. Superb on the nose, evoking a smoky hedonistic sweetness that contrasted beautifully against the distinct minerally tones within its refined mid-body, displaying intense youthful power with tremendous precision and integration, opening up later with fine clarity. Outstanding.

2008 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Winfred. Luminous gold. Appreciably more mature than expected with a profusion of apricot and orange peels. Medium-bodied, showing good density, its luscious ripe fruit finely balanced against an equal measure of very refined ferrous elements that finished in a slightly peaty glow.

2003 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Soo Kian. Honeyed tones and nectarine dominate with a discernible pebbly warmth. Medium-full. Rather weighty, somewhat autumnal in its brooding intensity, displaying a hint of early maturity towards its attenuated finish.

1997 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Tsun Yan. Poured from magnum. Very deeply coloured, proffering an outstanding bouquet of exotic fumes and petroleum characters. Medium-bodied. Still imbued with great acidity though the fruit, fully mature, is set slightly backward amid medicinal overtones that lent an after note of exotic spice.

1996 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Sanjay. Poured from magnum. Deeply coloured. Deep effusive glow of mature nectarine, apricot and cinnamon with a dash of orange peel, producing an intoxicating peaty lift. Medium-bodied, displaying lovely integration of fruit and sublime acidity within its layers with a pronounced intensity at its core. Became even more integral and refined after another two hours, smoothening out with tremendous elegance, just a tad short at its spicy finish. Outshone the 1997.

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