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1988 Cristal, 1999 Mugnier Bonnes-Mares, 1986 Mouton Rothschild, 1958 d’Yquem, 2000 ‘Y’ Ygrec, 2006 Drouhin Montrachet, 1996 Robert Ampeau Volnay-Santenots 1er

February 24, 2021

I enjoyed the privilege of another outstanding dinner hosted by Messrs Yu père et fils with the usual suspects on 22 February 2021 at Imperial Treasure Great World, now most certainly the best restaurant in Singapore for outstanding Cantonese cuisine and impeccable wine service. All wines were also generously supplied by my hosts, unless otherwise stated. Thank you, Sirs!

1988 Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal. Superb luminosity. Deeply perfumed bouquet of yeast, clear citrus and graphite minerals amidst a chalky density, exuding tremendous allure and complexity, developing further traces of medicinal powder over time. The palate has an equally refined intensity of citrus and longans, oozing suave acidity with seamless depth and layering in an amazing display of astonishing freshness and clarity in spite of its thirty-three years. Outstanding.

20210222_223407.jpg2000 Château d’Yquem ‘Y’ Ygrec, courtesy of Sir Bob. Dense perfumed aromas of orchard fruit and pears. Very well concentrated on the palate, topped with crème de la crème and vanillin. Open with sublime acidity, revealing seamless depth and lovely intensity as it finished with great linearity in a fabulous complex of diesel, earth and mint. Still yet to peak. Excellent.

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau Volnay-Santenots 1er. Aired in bottle for three hours prior. Displaying a mature murky crimson, this wine is amazingly fresh with a very clean feel, somewhat lean at first even though it exudes a very fine presence of mature raspberries, strawberries and currants with lively intensity. Became more rounded over time, developing more plummy tones with a bit of velvety trace without any attenuation of its high-toned acidity.

2009 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Chambolle-Musigny Les Feusselottes 1er, courtesy of Andre. Lovely evolved pinot tint, exuding a gentle glow of red fruits, ripe berries and currants. Open with rounded supple tannins, showing excellent definition and refinement. Poised with quiet confidence and understated intensity, its innate feminine character still quite discernible in spite of the masculine nature of the terroir. Excellent.

1999 Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Bright translucent ruby, exuding an understated delicious fragrance that led to a lively medium-bodied palate imbued with bright red fruits, mulberries and raspberries underpinned by a ferrous earthiness. Quite beautifully open and supple. Morphed into a rounded whole over time, very well-proportioned yet effortlessly balanced, maintaining its confident understated poise throughout the evening. An introspective Bonnes-Mares, very much like the man himself who once said to me: “I only look after the garden. I don’t shape the flowers”. Truly.

2003 Tertre Roteboeuf. Decanted on-site. Deep crimson, proffering rich layers of dark fruit with a savoury hint amid sweet overtones of glycerin. Showed a distinct acidic edge initially that betrayed the searing heat of that vintage before morphing into a more seamless whole with fine intensity and minty tones, a little short at the finish.

1986 Château Mouton Rothschild. Still very dark at its deep garnet core, showing just a dash of crimson at the rim while rich swathes of dark fruit and black currants leap from the glass with a luxurious glow that hinted strongly of velvety depth. Medium-bodied. Very lively and open with supple tannins and ripe plummy tones imbued with a deeper core of understated minerals. Rather slender, displaying fine precision and slick acidity. Very well-proportioned and balanced. Quite the complete wine even though I’d tasted previous examples that were on even better form.

2006 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Dull golden. In spite of having been decanted for nine hours prior, this wine was still quite reticent on the whole, opening with an expansive bouquet of recessed chalky white tones and tropical fruits whilst the medium-full palate is amply endowed with refined fruit and acidity on a dryish floor of stony minerals that gained greater prominence over time, imparting a shade of austerity and heaviness in its structured density. No doubt still a classic Montrachet in the Drouhin mould, but best to lay down for another decade, at least.

1958 Château d’Yquem. This is the darkest hue (above) of d’Yquem that I have encountered, exuding a superb lift of mint, apricot and sweet incense. Still astonishingly fresh and intense after sixty-three years, retaining excellent structure, acidity and definition that imparted great verve and supple mouthfeel. Still has decades of life ahead. Superb!

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1995 Dom Pérignon Rosé, 1990 Ch Latour, 2011 Baron Thenard Montrachet

February 16, 2021

These were wines drunk at a dinner at Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine at Guoco Tower, Singapore, on 15 February 2021, hosted by the great man behind SC Global who had generously brought a couple of the wines as well. Thank you, Sir!

1995 Champagne Dom Pérignon Rosé. Quite heavily scented with the lovely fragrance of strawberries, light cherries and rose petals whilst the palate carries a slightly forward balance of grapefruit and red tangerines, quite open with softly rounded bubbles that yield very fine presence, detail and definition. Very well balanced and not at all angular, taking on an attractive minerally shine after some time as it finished well with a trail of clear citrus. Excellent.

20210215_210743.jpg2011 Domaine Baron Thenard Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Lim CP. Pale but highly effusive in its explosive bloom of glorious perfumed aromas that is truly beguiling, matched by excellent concentration of white fruits tinged with traces of green capsicum that shone with regal elegance on a bed of recessed chalkiness, exuding a very clean seamless mouthfeel with fine detail and exemplary balance. Quite poised and ethereal, gaining in youthful intensity over time amidst gentle minerally tones that eventually culminated in a rich creamy glow. Better than the 2009. Outstanding.

1990 Château Latour. Decanted on-site. Still rather dark at its core, exuding the classic hallowed glow of a mature claret with sweet savoury undertones. Softly rounded with a fleshy abundance of black fruits and dark currants tinged with capsicum, yielding excellent transparency, subtle definition and supple tannins, displaying rich complexity yet understated in manner through its superb control of power, structure and balance. Supremely proportioned. Caught at its peak and will hold for many more years. Outstanding.

2005 & 2006 Dominus, 1997 Joseph Phelps, 2008 Stag’s Leap Cask 23

February 5, 2021

Our small group met again soon after our first on 22 January 2021 at Origin Grill, Shangri-la Singapore, on a New World theme where we broke our own rule by bringing 2n+1 number of bottles. 

Champagne Ruinart NV, a bottle stored for more than twenty years by Sir Bob. Light golden. The benefits of extended cellaring, even for non-vintage champagne, shows in the very deep characters of toast, yeast, caramel and apricot that burst upon the palate with amazing freshness and attack, seamlessly integrated with subtle green fruits, clear citrus and ferrous shades, still blazing with dry intensity and superb length as it developed further overtones of burnt ends. A great calling card for Ruinart. 

2007 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, courtesy of Vic. Light golden, proffering a very lovely deep earthy pungency that contrasted beautifully against the full crisp minerally palate, imbued with excellent concentration of clear citrus, yielding fine clarity and dry intensity amidst the sheen of very fine bubbles. Excellent.

2014 Peter Michael Belle Côte Chardonnay, courtesy of Kieron. Light golden. Rich creamy textures dominate on the nose and palate amidst overtones of glycerin and caramel, rather forward with a trace of sweetness and a suggestion of lusciousness. Developed further minerally tones over time with a classic tinge of paraffin, exuding lovely complexity with gleaming intensity and length. Excellent.

2006 Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay, courtesy of LF. Dull golden. Complex bouquet of white tones, mint and crème de la crème. Richly layered with excellent concentration of white fruit topped with caramel, snapping into focus after some time with gleaming intensity and minty length, appreciably more forward as well. Quite sublime.

1994 Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Vineyard, courtesy of LF. Musty red. Powerful deep plummy bouquet of unprecedented immediacy, leading to a full palate of dense ripe fruit infused with a certain salinity, finishing with minty overtones. I really can’t imagine this to be pinot noir. Very different from another bottle tasted in July 2019 that was beautifully delicate and fragrant.

1997 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Sir Bob. Deep garnet red. This wine opens with a hint of warm gravel on the nose while ripe red fruits dominate with excellent presence on the open velvety palate, fresh and forward though beautifully balanced with superbly integrated acidity, developing better length over time. Excellent.

2008 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, courtesy of Kieron. Deep garnet red, exuding a deep floral fragrance from an abundance of dark currants and raspberries. Open with lovely depth and concentration with sweet rounded tannins that imparted lasting intensity all the way to its sweet minty finish though very subtly nuanced throughout, ensuring that it is never unduly hedonistic. Excellent.

2005 Mount Mary Quintet. Double-decanted for two hours prior. Open on the nose with a classic cabernet nose of dark currants, raspberries and deep plummy tones tinged with capsicum. Fleshy and softly rounded, ample in red fruits with a ferrous core though there is a distinct leafiness as well, structured with great suppleness and balance but its finish is short. Drinking very well but dwarfed on this occasion by the Americans.

2006 Dominus, courtesy of Vic. Opaque purple. Effusive in glycerin and vanillin on the nose amid crimson tones of camphor. Highly supple and fleshy with a quiet intensity, generously endowed with dark fruits and currants that showed great integration and freshness, betrayed by just a flash of alcoholic heat at the finish.

2005 Dominus, courtesy of Sir Bob. Deep garnet red. Ripe red fruits and currants dominate, laced with a distinct note of graphite. Beautifully lush and rounded. Highly refined and open though its overall demeanour is distinctly darkish. Very different in character from the 2006.

2009 Rockford Black Shiraz. Very fine presence of racy warm ripe Barossa shiraz with subtle nuances of licorice, cedar and dark currants adding a further savoury dash. Very smoothly contoured with refined tiny bubbles, displaying good length with an enticing liqueured depth. Very enjoyable. A classic Black Shiraz.

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Jan 2021: 2017 Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages, 2014 A & P de Villaine St-Aubin Perrières, 2001 Rockford Basket Press…

January 31, 2021

2001 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, 03 Jan 2021 at Jade Palace. Double-decanted for four hours prior. Deep garnet core with some evolution, proffering powerful aromas of varnish and enamel. Supple with a classic Barossa warmth of ripe plummy tones amid overtones of licorice and currants that lingered with minty persistence, imbued with subtle intensity. Uniquely Australian.

Champagne Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut NV. Popped and poured at Asia Grand, 10 Jan 2021. Rather pale, though the palate is lit with brilliant crystalline clarity, lightly layered with a clean presence of green fruits and citrus that impart dry intensity, tinged with darkish elements. Serviceable.

2017 Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages. Aired in bottle for ninety minutes prior to dinner at home, 11 Jan 2021. Chalky white tones permeate on the nose and palate with fine density amid overtones of white pepper, raw nutmeg and exotic spices which add further presence, detail and intensity, finishing with subtle minerally elements. Another bottle tasted over two days from 20-21 Jan 2021 was more restrained and introspective, yielding more of jackfruit, apricots and peaches only on Day 2 with a glowing finish of white pepper and nutmeg, well-balanced but still rather understated. At any rate, this is a wine that truly punches way above its weight. A real bargain at SGD34.

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay, popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 16 Jan 2021. Warm apricots, peaches and dense citrus in great abundance on the nose and palate, delivering a fresh clean presence at the right concentration with just right the touch of creaminess, yielding good detail and layering as it finished with lasting white tones. I can’t get enough of this stuff. Excellent.

2007 Champagne Henriot Millésime Brut, poured from magnum at Kappo Shansui, 19 Jan 2021. Displaying a clear luminosity, this 50:50 blend of pinot noir and chardonnay (comprising equal proportions of premier cru and grand cru) proffers a lovely rounded depth of toasty yeasty characters marked by an attractive earthiness, open with a broad expanse of ripe yellow citrus and peaches that exude subtle dry intensity, just a touch minerally at the finish. Not the most profound of expression but drinking well.

2017 Blanc de Lynch-Bages, courtesy of Vic at Kappo Shansui, 19 Jan 2021. Pale. Rather shy though the medium-bodied palate is quite brightly lit with white fruits with a slightly forward balance, displaying refined sublime acidity with lithe delicate intensity. Not as heavy as white Bordeaux may sometimes be. Excellent.

2009 Château Ormes de Pez, courtesy of KP at his residence, 26 Jan 2021. Very deep dark red. Abundant in cassis, black fruits and dark cherries, saturating the palate with a velvety supple fullness though its angular intensity is still a bit too pronounced at this stage, lending a touch of austerity to its finish. Needs plenty of time.

2016 Tinazzi Ca’ de’ Rocchi Amarone della Valpolicella La Bastia, popped and poured at home, 28 Jan 2021. Dull red. Surprisingly feminine, proffering rosy hues and perfumed fragrances on the nose while the medium-bodied palate is shaped by smooth rounded contours with the relaxed charm of raspberries, cherries and red fruits tinged with cedar and glycerin. Nothing cerebral but drinking well.  

2014 Domaine A & P de Villaine Saint-Aubin Les Perrières 1er. Popped and poured at Ka Soh, 30 Jan 2021. Dull golden. Effusive notes of aged butter, honeyed toast, cashews, distant peaches and bananas with an attractive early complexity. Medium-full with a predominance of glazed caramel on the palate amid cool tones of icing that exude delicate intensity with fine detail, developing more white tones over time with growing intensity of fine citrus. Very elegant and well integrated. Excellent.

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1993 Leroy Vosne-Romanée Beaux Monts, 1999 Ampeau Auxey-Duresses Écusseaux, 2000 Armand Rousseau Mazy-Chambertin, 2006 Hudelot-Nöellat Romanée-St-Vivant, 2012 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Chevalières

January 18, 2021

Sir Bob got us off to a generous start this New Year on 12 January 2021 at Imperial Treasure Great World with a pair of Domaine Leroy, now outrageously expensive but nobody is complaining when there is so much begging to be drunk. This dinner also marked the new formula of 2n for the number of bottles to be drunk at any of our events (where n = number of persons), replacing the previous n+1 🙂

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc. Aired in bottle for two hours prior. Brilliant clarity, evoking characters of cool icing and vanillin with an expanse of chromatic white tones. Shows good concentration of clear citrus, displaying fine layering, inner detail and agility aided by fresh acidity that imparted good structure, precision and intensity. This is not even the estate’s La Mission 1er monopole. Great value.

2002 Champagne William Deutz Brut, courtesy of LF. Deep bouquet of burnt oak, toast and roasted cashews with yeasty undertones, displaying fine complexity. Possesses excellent clarity and freshness, marked by fine presence of citrus and minerally tones that conferred a bit of gunmetal flint, turning slightly stern as it finished with dry intensity. Good stuff.

2017 Domaine du Château de Meursault Meursault Charmes Dessus 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Straw-coloured. Effusive notes of vanillin and frangipani cloaked within an attractive sheen of paraffin, exuding sweet gentle fragrance with a sense of oiliness on the mid-palate, showing good clarity with very fine acidity and verve. Excellent but pricey nowadays.

1999 Domaine Robert Ampeau Auxey-Duresses Les Écusseaux 1er. Aired in bottle for three hours prior. Displaying a lovely crimson hue, this wine is imbued with excellent depth of red fruits, dark currants and distinct earthy elements amid secondary nuances of tangerines, wonderfully fresh and agile with sublime acidity, subtly structured with fine precision as it finished with good length. Superb value.

1993 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots, courtesy of Sir Bob. Deep ruby. Cherries, red fruits and haw dominate with subtle intensity, amply layered, imbued with fairly intense acidity. Wonderfully supple and fleshy, slightly forward in fruit balance but all the better in the face of such amazing freshness, just a tad short. Excellent.

1993 Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob. Highly inviting on the nose, its crimson depth evoking a lovely deep rounded fragrance that led to a great open suppleness, imbued with abundant fruit that is still remarkably fresh, traversing the palate with superb length and intensity worthy of a grand cru. Quite outstanding.

2000 Domaine Armand Rousseau Mazy-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Classic pinot tone, proffering a generous bouquet of glorious red fruits tinged with characters of ash and incense. Highly ample with a lush elegance, seamlessly layered with very fine open density within its rounded fleshiness, laced with great acidity. Carries a certain pedigree and correctness. Caught at its peak. Excellent.

2006 Domaine Hudelot-Nöellat Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Decanted at short notice. Penetrating ruby tinged with crimson, proffering a wonderful depth of dark cherries and small ripe berries with a dash of earth, displaying superb suppleness and subtle intensity on the open palate where its balance is quite exemplary, exuding great lift and acidity. Has real sophistication and breed, perhaps even outperforming its own credentials. Outstanding.

2009 Domaine Robert Groffier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Ripe plummy fruit with a sense of pebbly warmth dominate on the nose, matched by a deeper core of tangerines on the open fullish palate, showing great refinement in its subtle display of early secondary characters and controlled intensity. Still rather youthful. Excellent.

2012 Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault Les Chevalières, courtesy of LF. Aired in bottle for two hours prior. Enticing cool vanillin dominate with lovely presence on the nose whilst the medium-bodied palate is saturated with chalky detail and dense complex citrus, exuding great harmony and brilliance with chiseled definition. Truly a world-beating village. Excellent.

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2007 Montille Aux Malconsorts Christiane, 1992 Margaux, 2005 Drouhin Montrachet, 2009 Jacques Cacheux La Croix Rameau, 2007 A Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin, 2013 Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan…

January 11, 2021

The great man marked his happy day on 09 January 2021 with a lavish home-cooked dinner amongst a small group, adhering strictly to social distancing regulations. With a specially curated selection of wines from his deep cellar (drunk from Zalto stemware, no less) to complement the great food and wonderful friendship, it was the perfect evening. Thank you and many happy returns, Dr Ngoi!

20210111_112921.jpgChampagne Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Orizeaux Brut NV. Pale. Gently layered with predominant green fruits within a very fine sheen of soft bubbles that exude delicate dry intensity. On the lean side, showing good definition with a subtle minerally shine in the mid-body.

2010 Benjamin Leroux Chassagne-Montrachet Tête du Clos 1er. Stony white tones on the nose amid subtle minerally notes, fleshing out with rounded fullness and intense acidity as more of classic Chassagne characters took hold. Very well balanced but still tight, finishing with lovely persistence.

2005 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Decanted from magnum. Pale. Slightly more effusive in whites tones though still rather subdued on the whole with an ethereal poise, imbued with lifted sublime acidity amid traces of earthy minerals. Developed a greater sense of chalkiness with a fuller tone of white fruits after further aeration, beautifully balanced and rounded without revealing much inner detail as its feminine restraint persisted throughout the evening.

2011 M Chapoutier Ermitage De L’Orée. Attractive nose of peppermint gum. Rounded with good concentration of white fruits that imparted some fleeting intensity, just a tad forward. Fleshed out with a lovely sheen of crème de la crème amid cool tones, revealing fine inner detail.

2009 Domaine Jacques Cacheux Vosne-Romanée La Croix Rameau 1er. Slightly darkish in colour though its bouquet is marked by alluring perfumed aromas matched with bright harmonious tones of redcurrants, plums and red fruits on the medium-bodied palate, fairly rich in layering, finishing well. One of only three owners of this 0.6 ha premier cru, Cacheux’s ownership occupies just a mere 0.16 ha.

2007 Domaine de Montille Vosne-Romanée Aux Malconsorts 1er Cuvée Christiane. Tasted blind. Displaying a well-evolved crimson, this wine exuded cherries, raspberries and red fruits with a lovely feminine fragrance, superbly balanced with quite a full rounded elegance on the mid-palate, open with early subtle secondary nuances. Very much on song. I’d thought it might be a mature Clos de Tart. Highly consistent with another bottle tasted in November 2020. Excellent.

2007 Domaine Armand Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru. Tasted blind. Good colour. Red fruits and dark cherries dominate on the nose and palate with a deeper core of tangerines, exuding a high-toned acidity with fine gentle intensity. Wonderfully balanced. Distinctly feminine. Excellent.

1992 Château Margaux. Poured from magnum. Still darkly coloured, exuding that classic glow of a mature claret amid overtones of fresh earth and undergrowth. Medium-full and highly supple, imbued with stern ferrous minerals that imparted a slightly gruff demeanour that is further enhanced by its darkish tones.

2013 Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan. Bright purple. Layered with a gorgeous abundance of ripe berries, blackcurrants and violets, forwardly balanced with vibrant tension and ample concentration that conferred a certain rasping intensity though it never tipped into uncontrolled hedonism, smoothly contoured with fleshy suppleness and fine inner detail. Already accessible. Excellent.

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Montrachet: 2011 Drouhin, 1994 Marc Colin 2006 Armand Rousseau Clos Saint-Jacques, 1994 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cab Sauv, 2017 Montille Corton-Charlemagne…

January 8, 2021

The wines for this dinner at Iggy’s on 18 December 2020 were centered around one kilogram (yes, that’s correct!) of fresh white truffles that LF had specially flown in from Alba the night before. Even Iggy himself was astounded. With a customised menu to match the endless flakes of truffle that we shaved ourselves, it was truly another evening to remember. Thanks LF!!!

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1994 Domaine Marc Colin Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Lovely luminosity, exuding an equally lovely expanse of mature chalky white tones. Quite resplendent with a dense minerally presence, showing fine gritty detail with great purity and refinement, laced with a fairly dominant acidity that imparted regal intensity, elegant freshness and clarity. Finished with a cool minty persistence amid austere minerals. Excellent.

2011 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Grand Cru Marquis de Laguiche, courtesy of Vic. Lovely luminosity. Very gentle elegant nose of white floral tones and white fruits with other exotic notes. Layered with excellent richness and detail, imbued with a deep vein of fruit and acidity that conferred great purity and exuberance, culminating in some minty intensity at the finish. Very lovely and elegant.

20201218_203127.jpg2017 Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Pale. Effusive glow of cool icing and vanillin with expansive white tones on the nose with an additional dash of raw nutmeg on the palate, displaying superb body and concentration, seamlessly layered with great clarity and subtle detail. Developed even greater tonal expanse and linearity after some time, yet remaining highly elegant. This is a wine that speaks to you. De Montille’s Corton-Charlemagne is always very special, on par with Bonneau du Martray. Already drinking very well, but it would be wise to cellar further. A magnum of the awesome 2005 (it’s inaugural vintage) tasted at the domaine is still etched in my mind.

1996 Maison Leroy Bourgogne, courtesy of Sir Bob. Quite deeply coloured with distinctive tones of mature apricot and plums, appropriately weighty with a bright chalky shine amid a dash of sweetness before opening up further with tremendous searing intensity. Excellent.

2006 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of CHS. Mesmerising deep ruby, matched by an equally deep concentration of bright red fruits and cherries with distinct ferrous undertones. Medium-full. Beautifully refined in its purity and intensity of fruit, laced with sublime acidity and intensity. Excellent.

1994 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of LF. Still very deeply coloured, delivering full concentration of dark plums and red currants with subtle minerals, layered with glorious fruit that conferred sweet undertones. Slightly forward with with a lovely rounded intensity. Still remarkably fresh. Superb.

1994 Philip Togni Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of LF. Deep impenetrable red, displaying a lovely lift of dark fruits though the palate is discernibly brighter than expected, filled with rich plummy tones that exert full rounded intensity, structured with velvety tannins that lent some degree of austerity at the finish. Still imbued with superb youthful freshness. Still not ready!

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Dec 2020: 2010 Roulot Meursault Luchets, 2014 Château de Marsannay Chambertin, 2012 Joseph Drouhin Bâtard-Montrachet, 1998 Coriole Mary Kathleen Cab-Merlot, 1998 Ch Lafleur, 2008 Tertre Rotebouef, 1979 Emily Bouley Volnay Santenots 1er, 1988 Krug, 2002 & 2007 Cristal…

December 31, 2020

2016 Domaine Denis Mortet Mes Cinq Terroirs, aired for three hours prior to dinner at Rhubarb, 01 Dec 2020. Much darker than usual for pinot with a dominance of raspberries and mulberries that exude a dark rosy fragrance. Well extracted on the palate, shrouded initially by a thin sheen of paraffin that blew off to reveal gorgeous purity of intense dark cherries underscored by very fine acidity and traces of graphite minerals, yielding greater youthful intensity and acidity with time. Quite delicious but far from ready.

1988 Champagne Krug Collection, courtesy of Messrs Yu. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine, 02 Dec 2020. Light dull golden. Distinctly mature on the nose with a dominant lift of poached pear and peach reduction. The medium-bodied palate is imbued with Krug’s signature dry intensity of white citrus and brightly-lit minerals, eventually mellowing to reveal a greater expanse of mature chalk, boasting great balance, clarity and precision. Still remarkably fresh. Excellent.

2010 Domaine Roulot Meursault Luchets, courtesy of Messrs Yu. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine, 02 Dec 2020. Light golden. Shy at first, proffering just faint glimpses of cool icing before opening up with lovely clarity and balance, highly understated in its gentle presence of apricot and clear citrus that imparted lithe agility. Seamlessly integrated. Very refined and elegant. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Francois Mikulski Meursault Poruzots 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine, 02 Dec 2020. Pale. Effusive bouquet of smoky incense tinged with an exotic fragrance. Well layered, snapping into focus after ninety minutes with fine balance and relaxed inner detail, finishing with cool lingering flavours. Very fine.

2014 Château de Marsannay Chambertin Grand Cru. Aired for three hours prior at Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine, 02 Dec 2020. Rosy fragrance of soft red fruits, displaying lovely colour and purity. Rather full and rounded. Good concentration of fruit, tight at first with very fine acidity and intensity on a bed of saline minerals before evolving into an open seamless whole, exuding plummy red fruits that exert power and depth as it tapered to a glowing finish. Almost has that extra dimension of the best Chambertin.

2013 Domaine Cecile Tremblay Chambolle-Musigny Les Cabottes, courtesy of Tim. Tasted after some aeration at Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine, 02 Dec 2020. Distinctly darkish in colour and palatal tone from a higher extraction of dark fruits. Quite full and fleshy, beautifully integrated and rounded with good sophistication, finishing well amid traces of capsicum.

1998 Château Lafleur, courtesy of Tim. Tasted after some aeration at Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine, 02 Dec 2020. Deep crimson, exuding a classic glow of dark fruits, dried mushrooms, green capsicum and steamed bamboo leaves. Softly rounded and highly supple, displaying fine presence of mature fruit that is still wonderfully fresh along with complex subtle nuances infused with understated acidity. A confident, classy Lafleur that doesn’t call attention to itself. Superb.

2017 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Bourgogne Blanc. Popped and poured at Putien Kitchener Rd, 07 Dec 2020. Pale golden, displaying a light delicate clarity on the nose with fine presence on the palate, imbued with a crystalline quality on a subtle chalky base. Appreciably mellower than a previous bottle six months earlier. Quite lovely without trying too hard.

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2007 Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal, courtesy of Vic at Kappo Shansui, 16 December 2020. Luminous gold. Forward bouquet of lovely floral aromas that exude enticing sweetness. Quite vivacious, displaying dry density with open detail and lively acidity, finishing with distinct ferrous tones. Excellent.

2008 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Hock Foong at Kappo Shansui, 16 December 2020. Its pallor belies a lovely bouquet of light tropical fruits amid traces of incense and floral aromas while the palate is imbued with excellent presence of high-toned white citrus that exude a certain delicate lightness complemented by very fine acidity, displaying some early complexity as it gained weight in the glass, finishing with ferrous minerals. Far from ready but irresistible.

2006 Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut, courtesy of Sanjay at Kappo Shansui, 16 December 2020. Restrained reductive nose. Still fairly tight with a lovely rounded intensity. Very finely balanced, a tad more minerally over time whilst maintain good clarity of white fruits and clear citrus. Lingers on the palate with great persistence. Excellent.

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay. Popped and poured at Ka Soh, 20 Dec 2020. Very refined white floral tones dominate with lithe agility and lovely delicate balance, displaying good clarity with subtle nuances of vanillin and icing, gaining a bit of sharp acidity over time. A real steal at SGD34.

2007 Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé, courtesy of CJ at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Lovely lift of light cherries and rose petals with some gentle yeasty reductive tones. Open textures on the palate, characterised by very fine bubbles lit with a bright minerally shine, displaying fine intensity of dry tangerines at the finish. Excellent.

Champagne Ruinart Rosé NV, courtesy of Hock Foong at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Effusive delicate nose of light rosy characters and grapefruit. Rounded with youthful intensity, displaying excellent freshness and crisp acidity. Fairly tight but accessible.

1993 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Sanjay at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Effusive bouquet of reductive yeasty tones amidst a polished chalky expanse, displaying excellent fullness with mature secondary nuances and distinct ferrous minerals. Very finely balanced with lovely intensity and acidity, attaining a distilled clarity after some time. Very impressive. Still has decades ahead.

2012 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sanjay at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Dull golden. Lovely bouquet of honeysuckle, frangipani and mature tropical fruit tinged with paraffin. Medium-bodied, displaying superb seamless integration within a well-defined body laced with very fine acidity. Developed more of vanillin and intense white tones over time. Youthful but irresistible.

20201222_191101.jpg1998 Coriole Mary Kathleen Reserve Cabernet Merlot at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Deep dark garnet red. Rich ripe black plummy fruit with understated licorice on the nose and palate. Subtly structured with good density and robust sophistication, fleshing out with sweet rounded tannins. Excellent.

1979 Emily Bouley Volnay Les Santenots 1er, courtesy of Sanjay at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Poured from magnum. Fully evolved pinot tone, evoking a lovely feminine floral fragrance of light red fruits with great purity and superb lift on the medium-full palate, still imbued with sweet intensity of fruit and subdued minerals that exude understated complexity.

2009 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Le Corton Grand Cru, courtesy of Sanjay at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Lovely hint of warm pebbles and floral tones on the nose. Rounded, fleshy and seamless whole, imbued with lovely proportions and sleek acidity, displaying excellent purity of fruit with quiet intensity. Just a tad rustic. Drinking well.

2006 Weingüt Markus Molitor House Klosterberg Beerenauslese, courtesy of CHS at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Luminous gold. Medium-bodied, imbued with profound depth of diesel characters and tropical fruits. Almost luscious, though its sweetness is always understated sweetness. Excellent.

2014 Château Rieussec, courtesy of Sanjay at Shang Palace, 22 Dec 2020. Effusive in vanillin and frangipani that imparted a whitish sheen, underscored by a prominence of diesel petroleum, exerting a deep understated intensity. Highly attractive.

2005 Château Sociando-Mallet. Popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 24 Dec 2020. Deep purple, proffering lifted floral fragrances amid deep dark plummy tones and currants. Medium-bodied. Fairly supple, imbued with distinct ferrous elements amid gentle intensity of fruit. Drinking well.

Champagne Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru (disgorged May 2017), popped and poured at Asia Grand, 25 Dec 2020. Deep bouquet of dense citrus and yeasty overtones amid oily textures and chalky undertones. Medium-bodied. Excellent concentration and agility with very fine understated bubbles, seamlessly structured with lovely subtle nuances, light on its feet with refined acidity and intensity, taking on a dash of brightness that, somehow, resulted in a bit of attenuated depth. Drinking well.

2017 Koyle Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Borneo Motors Singapore. Popped and poured at home, 28 Dec 2020. Quite deeply coloured, this Chilean wine displays dark plums, currants and tangerines with a distinct note of malt, rye and heated gravel. Rounded with fine presence and understated intensity, structured with well-managed tannins. Drinking well.

2002 Château Cos D’Estournel, decanted on-site at Origin Grill, 30 Dec 2020. Deep garnet red. Opens with secondary nuances of cedar, cinnamon, dark currants and ripe wild berries in abundance, showing a very fine rounded presence with structured tannins that exert a certain dark intensity, slightly tarry on the floor. Almost stern at the finish. Not the lush velvety sort.

20201230_201934.jpg2002 Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal, courtesy of Shirley Goh at Art, 30 Dec 2020. Wonderful depth of lovely yeasty overtones amidst ferrous minerals on the nose, producing some attractive complexity with a deep rounded chalkiness. Open with great sophistication and agility, displaying excellent concentration with superb crystalline clarity. Very beautifully balanced and integrated. Excellent.

2008 Tertre Roteboeuf, from the list of Art, 30 Dec 2020. Decanted on-site. Full bouquet of rosy floral fragrance tinged with vanillin and graphite elements. Medium-full. Rather fleshy, generously layered lovely ripe fruit and currants that exude warm savoury tones with velvety textures amid traces of earthy elements. Excellent, but still yet to peak.

Champagne Jean Vesselle Prestige Brut NV, from the list of restaurant L’Angelus, 31 Dec 2020. A blend of 30% pinot noir and 70% chardonnay from Bouzy, part of the Montagne de Reims, classified as Grand Cru. Somewhat pale. Attractive bouquet of marine air, saline minerals, subtle ferrous elements and yeast. Very good presence, fullness and depth of lemon citrus and tangerines within a coat of dense fine bubbles, open with fresh warm structured intensity, not too dry. Good finish.

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FUCK 2020: 2017 Bouchard Chevalier-Mont, 1961 Mouton Rothschild, 1990 Margaux, 1990 & 1982 Lafite Rothschild, 1982 Latour, 1991 Bonneau Martray Corton-Charlemagne, 2009 Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Mont, 1990 Château Pétrus…

December 25, 2020

To end such a screwed-up year where we can neither travel nor host big parties, our small group decided to drink our treasured clarets on 15 December 2020 where only the First Growths of 1982 or 1990 would be befitting although nobody would ever deny a 1961 Mouton Rothschild. The line-up was preceded by a promenade of impressive whites while Shang Palace at the Shangri-la Singapore, as usual, lived up to its lofty reputation as the venue of choice for such a stellar evening. Many thanks, everyone, and may our woes be swept away by better tidings in 2021.

1979 Champagne Drappier Carte D’Or, courtesy of LF. Deep golden lustre. Superb powerful bouquet of aged chalk with reductive yeasty and ferrous elements amid brioche and honeysuckle. Still imbued with some residual fizz though generally dry, layered with excellent crystalline presence and fine acidity, lit with intense bright citrus as it turned a tad more metallic over time though somewhat short.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Pale. Cool gentle icing, light citrus and green elements on the nose. Distinctly feminine, displaying great balance with a glowing intensity of white tones and expressive floral notes. Already quite open and accessible, not showy at all. Developed greater power with more minerally characters over time, yet retaining its lithe agility as it finished with subtle nuances of white pepper and nutmeg. More extroverted compared with Montrachet Grand Cru from the same vintage and producer (tasted just a week earlier), totally consistent with what one would expect of Chevalier-Montrachet. Superb.

1991 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Highly supple, proffering layers of mature fig and jackfruit with a surprising savoury quality. Well-structured with a certain crystalline quality, slightly stern towards the persistent finish but it’s the beautiful feminine suppleness that impressed most.

2009 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Lovely golden hue, seducing the senses with a tantalising complex of brioche and chalky minerals tinged with mature apricots. Open with a fabulous ripe golden tone, beautifully structured and layered with fine detail and refined acidity. So absolutely correct in every way. So Leflaive. Superb.

2012 Domaine Arnaud Ente Meursault, courtesy of LF. Cool crème and icing dominate on the nose whilst a deep core of yellow citrus seduces with teasing intensity, laced with sublime acidity that exude tremendous presence and definition. Almost chiseled with pinpoint precision, yet highly elegant and refined, finishing with great persistence amid traces of smoke and diesel. Superb.

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1961 Château Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of Sir Bob. Still showing a deep ruby crimson that belies its fifty-nine years, this wine exudes an outstanding nose of haw and glycerin tinged with incense and a dash of earthiness that evoke a real sense of lush velvetiness. The palate is superbly supple and fleshy, still imbued with very fine acidity and fair power from the concentrated bed of mature red fruits and tangerines, stretching with excellent linearity to a cool relaxed finish. Far from finished. Truly outstanding! I was reminded this estate was still a deuxième cru back in 1961. On the basis of this bottle, I’d say that Mouton really deserved its promotion to premier cru twelve years later. What a privilege!

1990 Château Lafite Rothschild. Deep garnet red. Superb earthy pungency on the nose, most alluring, leading to a well-defined palate of dark fruits tinged with capsicum. Structured with lovely proportions. Still imbued with gentle youthful intensity cushioned with velvety sexy tannins, glowing with an intense core of tangerines towards the end of dinner. Excellent.

1990 Château Margaux, courtesy of Vic. Deep garnet red with a crimson rim. Exudes wonderful vibrancy, freshness and intensity that belies its thirty years. Highly supple, imbued with layers of glorious dark fruits and currants with a deep core of tangerines, structured with lovely presence and refined acidity. Utterly seamless. Very naturally balanced, oozing superb charm and elegance. Still has decades ahead. Highly consistent with another bottle tasted just a week ago. Absolutely on song. Truly outstanding.

1982 Château Latour, courtesy of Kieron. Still impressively dark after thirty-eight years. Rather distant and aristocratic in demeanour, showing off its classic Pauillac signature of tobacco snuff and pencil shavings while the palate is wonderfully supple, still imbued with remarkably fresh acidity tinged with capsicum, new leather and cedar without being too involving, structured with understated masculinity. Still has decades ahead. Excellent.

1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of LF. Deep crimson. Seductive glow of mature red fruits and currants along with a lovely floral fragrance underscored by a distinct tone of iron filings. Softly rounded, displaying excellent presence and fine acidity amid a tinge of capsicum, developing wonderful suppleness with a tremendous tone of sur-maturite in the glass. Beautifully proportioned and elegant. Quite the quintessential feminine Lafite, to the extent where some may wonder what the fuss is all about, which is to miss the point that great wines don’t need any attention. Superb.

1990 Château Pétrus, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Evolved crimson, proffering exuberant red fruits, haw and rosy hues on the nose that immediately suggests a wine of impeccable pedigree and distinction. Bright, supple and plush, layered with glorious fruit that impart lovely acidity with understated sweet intensity, that perfumed floral fragrance again marking its presence on a bed of velvety tannins underpinned with subdued iron filings. Glowing finish. We rightly guessed a Right Bank without realising we were tasting one of the very best efforts of Pétrus. A magnum of this same wine tasted back in 2017 was even more profound in depth, dimension and definition but this is still outstanding.

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Ric’s 53: 1998 Krug, 1996 Dom Pérignon, 2017 Bouchard Montrachet, 1990 Margaux, 1962 Guadet, 1994 Haut-Brion, 1986 Angelus Ausone 1998, 1990, 1983 & d’Yquem 1983

December 19, 2020

My fellow vino sisters and brethren showered me with some of the best drops of God throughout the day of 10 December 2020 when I turned a little older and, hopefully, wiser. My deepest gratitude to all for your wonderful company, friendship and generosity.

1996 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Russ. Light golden. Superb balance right off the blocks, its even tone of delicate complex citrus and pomelo casting an almost ethereal quality without calling attention to itself. Completely understated, poised with utter refinement and sophistication that very few others can rival. Outstanding.

1998 Champagne Krug. Deep greenish golden hue, exuding a gently reductive yeasty nose. Medium-bodied. Open with fine clarity and lively presence of dense yellow citrus and lime tinged with a trace of austerity. Fleshed out evenly with superb expanse and balance, imparting some bright minerally overtones within its mid-body, oozing with sweet gentle intensity at its lasting finish. Excellent.

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2016 Domaine Coche-Dury Bourgogne, courtesy of Stephen. Pale, proffering glimpses of cool icy tones at first with fleeting tropical fruit that became more pronounced after some time. Gently layered with white fruits that impart refined intensity and acidity, yielding fine precision with an open crystalline quality on a bed of subdued chalk. Distinctly feminine. Excellent.

2011 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ruchottes 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Pale. Rather restrained though the quiet intensity of white tones on the palate is evident, gradually warming up in the glass to yield a glowing mouthfeel of the classic dry Ramonet signature, displaying fine precision and elegance with early notes of nutmeg. Lovely.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Double decanted for eight hours prior and aired in bottle again for another two hours. Pale, proffering delicate white tones on the nose, almost faint at first. Quite ethereal on the palate with a lovely seamless presence of white flowers and nutmeg, almost aloof, gaining some mild intensity as it gradually opened to reveal excellent detail and precision, beautifully proportioned with everything in place. Distinctly feminine. Far from ready, of course, but a wine that is already so complete at its infancy can only be destined for greatness.

1962 Château Guadet. Ex-château, a bottle specially sent over by winemaker Vincent Lignac himself. In spite of the cork being completely soaked through (proof that it had never been re-corked), this wine is still quite deeply crimson, exuding a gentle delicious glow of mature red fruits with a soft supple presence of dark plums on a very fine graphite base, its tannins having melted ages ago. Very fine. Just shows how good a non-classified Saint-Émilion can be.

1986 Château Angelus, courtesy of Dolly. Still rather dark. Beautifully mellow, showing fine presence of ripe wild berries and darkish characters. Still imbued with good intensity even as its tannins have begun to recede, finishing a tad short with traces of cordite. Very fine.

1990 Château Margaux, courtesy of Russ. This supposed 100-pointer is absolutely gorgeous on the nose, opening with a deep dark intensity that led to a broad fleshy expanse of mature dark fruits and currants, structured with pliant supple tannins that extend a lovely mellow presence, still remarkably lively, layered with an even tone that took on greater intensity and fine minerally detail over time. Seemingly ageless. Truly wonderful.

1994 Château Haut-Brion. Somehow, this vintage of Haut-Brion has gained a certain cult status, and little wonder. Still showing a deep garnet red with a lovely bouquet of red fruits, kumquat and tangerines, this wine has mellowed beautifully as a fleshy seamless whole, exuding superb lift of mature fruit with fine depth, inner detail and acidity without calling attention to itself. Drinking superbly, reminding one again that there is no such thing as a bad Haut-Brion.

1998 Château Ausone, courtesy of Kieron. Rather darkish in tone and character, this wine opens with an astounding bouquet of luxuriant black fruits and currants that delivered rich layers of delicious ripe fruit and earthy minerals across all dimensions on the palate, exerting a vibrant high-toned complexity with lively acidity, much more open than before, displaying early secondary nuances. Still yet to peak. Superb.

1990 Château Ausone, courtesy of Sandy. Still deeply coloured though surprisingly restrained on the nose, almost haughty. The palate displays a great abundance of dark fruits and currants imbued with refined acidity and very finely detailed graphite elements that impart superb verve and supple intensity, trailed by overtones of cordite and capsicum all the way to its lasting finish. Still youthful after thirty years. Outstanding.

1983 Château Ausone, courtesy of Stephen. Displaying an evolved crimson, this medium-bodied Ausone has an open relaxed character, basking in delicious red fruits that carried a certain sur-maturite, poised with rounded suppleness. Has an air of rusticity in spite of all its elegance.

1983 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Russ. Deeply coloured. Layers of mature tangerines, nectarine and apricots dominate with superb vivacious presence, almost luscious though never in danger of being cloying, still imbued with youthful concentration and sublime acidity that ensure there is still plenty of life ahead. Outstanding.

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