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FICOFI: Vega Sicilia Unico 2005, 2006, 2007 & Riserva Especial 2016, 2017

April 18, 2018

These notes stem from a FICOFI event at Forlino’s, One Fullerton Singapore, on 26 February 2018 with Pablo Alvarez in attendance. It was just as well that we did not drink any Vega Sicilia when we hosted Pablo to a private lunch the day before, for the lineup this evening was quite generous, offering a mini-vertical of successive vintages of the Unico as well as two bottlings of the Especial, which is seldom encountered. It goes without saying that Unico needs plenty of bottle age, two to three decades being the norm at least. Therefore, it’s not surprising these wines are still tight at this early stage though they certainly hold plenty of promise. Let them sleep.

20180226_211954.jpg1998 Dom Perignon P2. This Second Plenitude of D.P. displays green fruits, melons and pomelo with a dash of bitter lemon on the nose though shy at first, gradually yielding more yeasty tones and earthiness, opening up with fine depth, acidity and balance. Excellent.

2012 Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena no.5. Made of 100% tempranillo, this wine showed an impenetrable deep dark inky red, proffering dark currants and raspberries on the nose, slightly forward in fruit intensity and balance, layered with excellent depth and detail of graphite minerals, dark chocolate and licorice with a certain raciness. Very fine. Consistent with a previous tasting in July 2017.

2004 Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena no.5. Equally deep in tint with just a hint of evolution, stuffed with dark fruits, raspberries and bright red plums with a prominent core of tangerines, fleshy and deft with open textures amidst early complexity though not showy at all. A study in understated elegance. This is a blend of 90% tempranillo with a sprinkling of merlot, highly consistent with a previous tasting in July 2017.

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2007 Vega Sicilia Unico Riserva. Deep impenetrable red, proffering a darkish tone of mocha and licorice, slightly racy, densely layered with dark red fruits, excellent in ripeness and detail, underscored  by understated acidity and earthiness, structured with chewy tannns. More masculine now compared with previous tastings in July 2017 and 2015. Great potential.

2006 Vega Sicilia Unico Riserva. Unique bouquet, more of earth, toffee and mocha, open but narrower in profile on the medium-bodied palate. Quite seamless with gentle tones and sweet tannins that became more pronounced and accentuated over time but essentially primal, yet to develop further.

2005 Vega Sicilia Unico Riserva. This wine exudes a heady fragrance of dark cherries, red currants and cinnamon, displaying excellent presence and depth of glorious fruit with rounded velvety tannins, highly seamless in its impeccable balance between fruit and sublime acidity that combined to produce a superb mouthfeel of immense succulence. Absolutely delicious. No wonder Vega Sicilia took such a long time to release this beauty. Lots of great potential ahead. Consistent with a previous note in July 2017 when it was first released. Outstanding.

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2017 Unico Riserva Especial. Very dark and essentially shut, though the palate is lit by dark roses and cherries with a lovely lift and depth, rather understated in acidity and intensity that exuded a gentle and elegant demeanour, finishing with a dash of earthiness. Plenty of promise here but yet to unfurl its true beauty.

2016 Unico Riserva Especial. More open than the preceding wine, proffering feminine tones of cherry blossom, dark roses and red currants, highly lifted, layered with gentle tones of mocha and licorice, displaying great fluidity and fine gritty detail with understated intensity, finishing well with a long minty glow. Excellent.

2005 Ch D’Yquem. Dense overtones of nectarine and apricot amidst an air of heavy petroleum fumes, displaying superb concentration of fruit that recalled smouldering ember and cider supported by firm stony minerals, culminating in a stern lengthy finish.

 

 

FICOFI: Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron 2010, 2005, 2000 & 1957

April 11, 2018

This is a superb event organised by FICOFI at Nicolas, Singapore, on 27 February 2018 at very short notice, presumably to take advantage of a whistle stop by Xavier Sanchez, Marketing Manager of the AXA Millesimes group of vineyards that include all the estates tasted this evening where the star, no doubt, belonged to Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron where three outstanding vintages each separated by five years were featured generously in double magnum format. And as if that wasn’t enough, a very fine 1957 (my second bottle in two months!) was offered as well. The food at Nicolas, as usual, never disappoints, ensuring that the wine pairing hits all the right notes. For me, the 2010 Pichon Baron would be the new 2000 while the S de Suduiraut, Petit Village and the Quinta do Noval Porto were all superb as well in their own right. An outstanding evening.

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2016 S de Suduiraut. Rich expressive palate preceded by overtones of dry grassy elements, hay and summer heat on the nose. Very good concentration and lovely intensity of white fruits with understated acidity, revealing fine detail with faint echoes of white pepper, tapering to a quiet finish. Great finesse and refinement throughout from this dry white of Sauternes. Excellent.

2014 Ch Petit Village, poured from double magnum. Subdued tones of earth, dark berries, black fruits and graphite. Medium-full. Sits quietly with fine concentration and intensity, framed by highly supply tannins that confer velvety textures, becoming more rounded, warm and open over time. Sexy stuff from a most unexpected source. Excellent.

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2010 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron, poured from double magnum. Aromas of dense black fruits and dark currants amidst graphite and ferrous minerals with traces of vanillin that produced a subdued masculine fragrance. Opened up very well with food to reveal great concentration of gloriously ripe fruit on the fleshy palate, superbly layered and integrated even at this very early stage, structured with highly supple mouth-puckering tannins that imparted sensational mouthfeel and intensity, underscored by understated acidity throughout its length. Still primal but already such a complete wine. Outstanding.

2005 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron, poured from double magnum. Very dark, proffering dense earthy ferrous minerals on the nose. Just beginning to open up on the palate that is still generally tight, infinitely masculine with raw intensity of dark currants, relaxing a little more over time as it developed some degree of suppleness before receding into its minerally shell. Huge potential but awkward and somewhat unresolved at this stage. Give it time.

20180227_211021.jpg2000 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron, poured from double magnum. Superb hue of deep purple, exuding a deep delicious glow of gloriously ripe dark berries, currants and black fruits amidst overtones of tobacco ember, producing excellent concentration with a gentle searing intensity on the palate, structured with ferrous minerals. Just beginning to hit its stride and will stay the course for decades. Absolutely on song. Superb.

1957 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron. Light crimson. Still showing well with a lovely glow of peaches and plums amidst a great earthy pungency, still lively with great acidity, concentration and depth of fruit, utterly seamless, naturally structured and layered with good transparency that revealed its distilled essence of dried tobacco dried leaves, finishing with great length and suppleness. If only we can age just as well. Outstanding.

1997 Quinta do Noval Porto Vintage Nacional. Very dark. Highly supple, possessing a great natural unforced quality with gentle depth and understated acidity, producing a lovely minty glow amidst light medicinal touches. Superb.

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FICOFI: Domaine Faiveley 2016 & more

April 3, 2018

It was good again to catch up with M. Erwan Faiveley, seventh generation owner of this famous domaine, on his annual visit to Singapore at the Four Seasons on 26 March 2018 during a FICOFI event where there was a promenade of selected wines of 2016, followed by a sumptious dinner paired with several back vintages. By now, most of the 2016 has been bottled although those that were tasted this evening are still barrel samples, as one can see from the corner of the labels. Re-visiting them re-affirmed my impression of the 2016s during my recent extensive tasting in the cellars of Faiveley last November. Certainly, the whites of this low-yielding vintage are excellent, displaying fine detail and precision while the grand cru reds are gorgeous, almost stunning in their succulence and structure. When a wine has the concentration, purity of fruit, great acidity, structure and balance right from the start, it cannot go wrong and that certainly holds true for the 2016 wines of Faiveley. Moving on, Erwan was especially excited about the 2017 still sitting in barrel, where it seems the whites are turning out to be exceptional although Erwan has advised that one will need to be selective about the 2017 reds.

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2016 Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Lifted tones of sour plums and floral characters with lovely bloom, displaying superb expanse of fresh lime and citrus and cool rich vanilla icing, sporting excellent acidity, precision and linearity on the medium-full palate. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Faiveley Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Grassy elements on the nose with overtones of nutmeg, exotic spice and a perfumed floral fragrance, displaying excellent fullness of citrus fruit with a hint of bitter lemon, all still rather tightly knit, not revealing much. There is no denying that this wine will eventually blossom very well but the Corton-Charlemagne is the one to drink now.

2016 Joseph Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er. Darker tone and tint, more of earthy minerals and ripe raspberries on the nose, consistent with a high-toned minerally palate, showing good detail and structure, finishing with a persistent spicy glow. Not overdone. Faithful to its terroir, though the 2015 below is actually quite lush and opulent, something not usually associated with this commune.

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2016 Domaine Faiveley Clos-de-Vougeot Grand Cru. Distilled pervasive essence of dark cherries and sweet dark roses, rounded and fleshy with excellent presence and fine acidity that is superbly integrated, very natural in feel, balance and proportion without trying too hard. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Rich abundance of ripe dark cherries and red currants that caressed the palate with creamy fullness and lovely raw intensity amidst earthy elements suffused with superb acidity, imparting a sense of velvety power. Excellent, and may be outstanding over time.

2016 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Corton Faiveley Grand Cru. Generous aromas of red fruits, full-bodied yet gentle on the palate, displaying earthy minerals amidst the ripe fruit with superb precision, acidity and understated intensity that produced a persistent lasting mouthfeel. Always a perennial favourite. Huge uncoiled potential.

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There were more wines to be drunk at dinner (everyone was unanimous that the European cuisine served was outstanding) where it was clear that the 2013 whites can be rewarding even in their youth whilst the reds from the great vintages have stood the test of time. The last decade has seen Faiveley attaining the level of refinement, character and understanding of terroir that has, hitherto, been somewhat elusive.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Complex deep bouquet of crisp citrus with a great lift that led to a medium-full high-toned minerally palate of ferrous elements and delicate citrus with fine seamless acidity, becoming crisper and more layered as it took on proper grip with emergent notes of creme de la creme. The 2013 whites appear to be evolving faster than either the great vintages of 2012 and 2014.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Bienvenues-Batard Montrachet Grand Cru. Generally shut, rather backward on the nose, proffering just gentle citrus whilst an abundance of white fruits dominate on the palate with fine understated acidity, superbly integrated, building up towards a lovely gentle intensity over time. Poised, elegant and unflustered. Usually more approachable than Batard-Montrachet, this further supports my view that one should drink the 2013s while waiting for the 2012 and 2014 to come around.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Displaying some early evolution, this wine exudes a mild earthy pungency with a layered soft core of white fruits and tempered citrus that opened up well, tapering to a cool gentle finish. Drinking well, but the 2016 is superior in every way.

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2015 Joseph Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er. Deep color, proffering a glorious bouquet of early cinnamon and superb ripe fruit, highly inviting. Equally stunning on the open palate where the great concentration of fruit is layered with gorgeous acidity that added immeasurably to the fabulous mouthfeel, already showing some early inner detail, finishing with a trace of austerity. Makes the 2016 seem reductive.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Clos-de-Vougeot Grand Cru. Deep in color, showing just a faint whiff of earthy pungency with traces of graphite minerals though the palate is well layered with very fine acidity, definition and detail, displaying good linearity all the way to its glowing minty finish, becoming more delicate over time.

2010 Joseph Faiveley Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru. Most alluring in its bouquet of dark red fruits and dark roses amidst earthy tones, matched by a deeper streak sweet dark currants laced with sublime acidity, exuding lovely feminine fragrance, purity and elegance. Gorgeous, re-affirming what we already know about the 2010 Cote de Nuits: just buy everything.

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1999 Joseph Faively Volnay Santenots 1er. Effusive in cedary tones with further notes of truffles coming on later, proffering a generous spread of succulent ripe dark berries layered with great acidity, excellent in refinement and complexity without any burliness or vegetal tones. For many, this was the wine of the night and the least expected. Great stuff.

2009 Domaine Faiveley Pommard Les Rugiens 1er. Dark tones of dark currants and berries pervade this wine, carrying excellent weight, acidity and concentration. Very fleshy, oozing with sweet supple tannins, never at all heavy, reminding us again why Les Rugiens is considered by many to be ripe for re-classification into grand cru.

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2006 Armand Rousseau Charmes-Chamb’, 2005 Groffier Amoureuses, 1961 Gilette…

March 29, 2018

Ever the generous soul that he is, CJ very kindly threw a grand dinner at Yan on 24 March 2018 for the usual suspects. This time, though, we knew the raison d’tre behind it. The manager Shek rose brilliantly to the occasion with the wine service while the restaurant has maintained its very high standard of cuisine. Contributed by people who know what they are drinking, the highly curated line-up was simply outstanding. Thank you everyone and especially to CJ; please do journey more to the east.

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2006 Champagne Salon, courtesy of CJ. Luminous tint, exuding a lifted floral bloom with fine concentration of green fruits, lime and bitter lemon that shone through its dry textures with excellent clarity, possessing a deeper minerally vein with an emerging trace of early layering. Still tight. Highly consistent with my initial impression at its worldwide launch back in April 2017. Excellent now, but will be outstanding in time to come.

2008 Champagne Deutz, courtesy of Sanjay. Slightly heavier tint with a sharper nose of attractive yeasty pungency amidst traces of burnt. Expansive on the palate, its crisp citrus imparting good attack, concentration and intensity with further notes of creme and dark green fruits after some time, smooth with excellent linearity, distinctly more feminine over time, exuding lovely floral tones.

2004 Champagne Salon, courtesy of Sanjay. Compared with the 2006, this wine is more open and relaxed with a restrained quality though equally luminous, glowing with gentle yeasty tones on a palate of lush white citrus, nutmeg and stern minerals, just a tad dry with some early complexity coming on. Excellent.

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2002 Piper Heidsieck Rare, courtesy of KG. This wine exudes pungent yeasty tones amidst a complex bouquet, quite superb, open and delicate enough on the dry finely detailed palate with further notes of snuff and high-toned citrus, slightly stern, that yielded some attractive gentle tension. Pretty consistent on the whole with a previous tasting note in Nov 2017. Excellent.

2005 Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Tessons Clos du Mon Plaisir. Displaying a slightly evolved hue, this wine is rather reserved, proffering quiet gentle tones of aged crème with reserved intensity and understated acidity, quite minerally and delicate on the whole with traces of sweet as it tapered to a neat finish, revealing better inner detail over time. This is a wine that cannot be hurried on the table.

2004 Domaine du Comte Ligier-Belair Vosne-Romanee Aux Reignots 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Well evolved, proffering a fine bouquet of plummy red fruits with gentle tones of earth and mint that preceded a fleshy core of tangy citrus, soft and rounded with very fine acidity, focus and weight, just a little short.

2005 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of KG. Very correct in color and tone, generously effusive in dark cherries and dark roses, displaying superb balance, poise and elegance with excellent focus, definition and purity, opening up with deeper growing intensity over time, highly persistent in its complete finish. As good as the 2006 from the same producer that was tasted at this year’s La Paulée, if not better. A complete wine. Outstanding.

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2014 Domaine Roger Belland Criot-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of CJ. Shut on the nose though there is quite a bit going on on the minerally palate where grassy elements and cool icing dominate initially with a soft focus that eventually gained better definition as other characters of mint, white flowers and incense emerged. Plenty of potential here but this isn’t the right time to pop it.

2001 Domaine Remoissenet Pere er Fils Le Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Grace. Very relaxed feel. Layered with lovely concentration of fruit and minerals but somewhat reserved, developing well in the glass as it gained richer tones of creme, icing and complex minerals, very subtly layered. Excellent but not exceptional, missing the inner detail and ethereal delicacy of the best Montrachets. Highly similar in character to the Montrachet of Baron Thenard, which used to sell its Montrachet grapes to Remoissenet in the past (as stated on the label) before the former began bottling Montrachet on its own. Baron Thenard has the second largest holdings of Montrachet Grand Cru in two plots, all on the Chassagne side.

2002 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Clos-Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of John. Racy with an exciting deep streak of dark fruit and raspberries, ripe and fleshy with excellent concentration, slightly forward in balance, just managing to keep its raw intensity under control with matching sublime acidity that ensured lovely suppleness with a special lightness. Quite fabulous.

2006 Domaine Armand Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Great colour and purity that promised rose petals and bright cherries, wonderfully open with a fabulous richness that produced great intensity, depth and verve, impeccably balanced. This is a wine of utter elegance and sophistication. Still youthful but drinking fantastically well. What a superb treat for the senses!

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1999 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, courtesy of MH. Rather dark, as expected from this source. There was an initial whiff of faint cork taint that blew off quite quickly, thank goodness, to reveal notes of deep dark berries on the nose and open palate, infused with a deep core of tangy citrus that produced some understated intensity, still remarkably youthful and shy. Quite unlike usual extroverted character of Bonnes-Mares. Perhaps best to lay down a little further.

Larmandier-Bernier Rose 1er, courtesy of LF. Grapefruit and aged tangerines dominate on the bone-dry palate with scorching intensity. Needs to be washed down with food that is equally robust.

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1961 Ch Gilette, courtesy of LF. Vinified in concrete vats and usually released many years (even decades!) post-vintage, this unique Sauternes displayed a hypnotic deep golden orangey colour with notes of aged apricot, nutmeg and balm on the nose and palate, still retaining fresh acidity and body, quite luscious, though the fruit is just beginning to recede a little. Still showing very well.

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2005 Leflaive Folatieres, 1996 Haut-Brion, 1957 Pichon Longueville Baron

March 27, 2018

I was truly privileged to have been invited to a dinner on 22 March 2018 that was so exquisite in culinary taste and creation that it would easily have belonged to a multi-Michelin-starred establishment, except that it took place at home, prepared by the hostess herself. Paired with a short but excellent line-up of wines, not to mention yet another 1957 Ch Pichon Baron,  it was truly an evening to remember. The pictures do really say it all. Thank you very much for your kind generosity!

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1995 Dom Perignon Rosé. Dominant notes of grapefruit and peaches on the nose with a lovely lift, well replicated on the palate with additional notes of bitter lemon supported by stony saline minerals, rather dry, leading towards some degree of austerity at the finish.

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2005 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er. Reticent with faint whiffs of white flowers on the nose. Quite minerally on the palate, showing cool tones of icing with traces of vanillin, very relaxed in feel. I’d expected more from this producer but the reserved demeanour is probably a function of the vintage which requires extended ageing.

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1957 Pichon Longueville Baron, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Astonishingly, this is my third bottle of this particular wine in as many months, and the best of all three. Absolutely beautiful in its ruby brilliance and great purity of fruit, highly effusive in red plums and complex tangerines with a lovely lift while its entry on the palate is relaxed and gentle, its acidity still sublime amidst soft minerally textures, displaying good concentration, linearity and length. Perhaps neither quite as deep nor as complex as Pichon Baron from the best vintages but it’s freshness is amazing.

1996 Ch Haut-Brion. Beautiful in color, glowing with dried mushrooms and herbs amidst a peppery bouquet, most lovely. Rounded and soft, tinged with camphor and exotic spices on the palate, fleshy with good detail, focus and linearity. Superbly balanced and relaxed, finishing with velvety svelte tannins. Excellent. Based on my recent experiences, the 1996 clarets, once so backward, have rounded the corner and are drinking superbly now.

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Chateau d’Yquem: 2011, 2008, 2005, 2001, 1996, 1989, 1988 & 1957

March 23, 2018

Dr Ngoi threw a surprise dinner at Nicolas on 20 March 2018 that was paired entirely with an astounding vertical of Chateau d’Yquem. It transpired later that this dinner had been in the works for several months, inspired by a similar dinner back at Chateau d’Yquem itself last year attended by the man himself. With the help of Tsun-Yan, Peter, Winfred and Ted, a vertical had been carefully assembled while Grace worked with Nicolas to plan a menu that would match a whole evening of Sauternes. Tsun-Yan had also brought a pair of 2002 Dalle Valle Maya to pair with the delectable beef. All were poured from 750 mL bottles with the exception of the 2011 and 2001. Needless to say, it all panned out beautifully, and all the gleaming liquid gold on the table made us the envy of all the other guests at the restaurant. Thank you very much, Dr Ngoi, for your generosity and to everyone for your presence and wonderful contributions.

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2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. Fresh clear crystalline tones, displaying fine body and excellent clarity, detailing white flowers in bloom with full presence of green fruits, eventually exuding lovely earthy tones with an yeasty pungency whilst developing further dry gentle intensity. Excellent.

2011 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Winfred. From a pair of half bottles. Superb bouquet of dry intense nectarine and paraffin, very lovely detail in its intoxicating aroma. Smooth and luscious with excellent layering and depth, displaying great freshness, balance and superb refinement, yet almost delicate. Outstanding.

2001 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Peter Tan. From a pair of half bottles. Considerably evolved with a deep golden hue, heavier in tint and tone. Resinous with great lifted notes of honey and apricot whilst stony minerals and medicinal tones dominate on the palate at first, gradually growing in majestic breadth and regal nobility as the rich concentration of glorious fruit took on its grip, becoming stunningly complex on the bouquet which never ceased developing throughout the whole evening, proffering further notes of dried flowers and malt. I’d imagine this wine would be developing at a slower pace if tasted from 750 ml bottles. A complete Sauternes. My wine of the night.

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2008 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Winfred. Lovely rounded bouquet of honey and rock melons, the fruit and acidity producing a peculiar peek-a-boo teasing intensity on the palate before gradually gaining weight though it still came across as slightly veiled and a tad gruff with overtones of the wilderness.

2005 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Ted. Quite subtle on the nose, actually restrained. Rather understated in acidity and richness on the palate, allowing the full concentration of nectarine to take on some deftness. A tad pensive on the whole compared with numerous previous tastings at FICOFI functions. Is it receding into its shell?

1996 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Peter Tan. Well evolved, offering apricot and cinnamon on the nose. Medium-bodied, not heavy at all, displaying good delicacy with characters of spice and orange peel, turning a bit stern towards the short finish with overtones of graphite.

1989 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Tsun-Yan. Dull golden hue though the palate sees lush luscious nectarine with superb acidity and fluidity that produced a certain lightness, distinctly feminine as it flowed to a long glowing finish marked by overtones of ash. Excellent.

1988 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Tsun-Yan. Drunk side-by-side with the above, the 1988 is just a shade heavier in tone, carrying more weight with lovely tones of tangerines and mandarins, fairly rich in texture though the 1989 is distinctly fresher.

20180320_190619.jpg1992 Dalle Valle Maya, courtesy of Tsun-Yan. Deep impenetrable red, exuding a high-toned minerally bouquet with overtones of vanillin amidst a powerful earthy pungency, almost hedonistic. Open with surprising lightness on the palate, displaying a spectrum of flavours savoury tones, mint, spicy black pepper, dry mushrooms and herbs, its acidity and tannins leaving behind a mouth-puckering sensation long after its finish. The only gripe is the relative lack of fruit to match the supporting structure, for this wine could certainly do with greater fullness and depth.

1957 Ch d’Yquem, sourced directly from the chateau by Dr Ngoi. Only one of three bottles remaining, it seems. I have never seen a Sauternes looking so dark that it’s almost unrecognisable. Nevertheless, this wine is amazingly fresh on the nose, throwing up notes of fruitcake, old honey and caramel, displaying good lift with traces of gunsmoke, still imbued with fresh acidity that imparted fine presence on the palate although the fruit has receded quite a bit, characterised by toffee and burnt orange. Still holding on, ageing gracefully but clearly past its prime. Still, what a privilege to have tasted it!

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Pomerol: L’Evangile, Petrus, Lafleur, Clinet, Vieux Chateau Certan & La Conseillante

March 21, 2018

2017-11-08 21.00.52Following an extensive promenade of outstanding wines (2001 Comte de Vogue Musigny, 2012 Aubert, inter alia…see post in Nov 2017) at his clinic opening on 08 Nov 2017 attended even by Iggy himself, Kieron ushered us to Imperial Treasure Peking Super Duck at Paragon to continue the wining and dining, this time on a theme of Pomerol. We ought to have been properly hammered by the time we staggered over but, surprisingly, everyone was still on form. The line-up certainly did not disappoint and every drop was polished off. Pomerol is tight, dense and stern in its youth but offers a truly outstanding experience after more than twenty years in bottle, as one can see below. Thank you very much, Kieron.

2004 Ch L’Evangile, courtesy of Pipin. Deep crimson with some brightening at the rim, displaying good depth of dark cherries and redcurrants honed by a high-toned acidity that created lovely tension across the minerally palate, finishing on an austere note, yet to develop true secondary nuances. Excellent.

1999 Ch L’Evangile, still showing a deep crimson with some evolution. Highly reticent, not showing much on the nose and palate where the fruit is set rather backward, dominated more by firm acidity and earthy minerals that imparted a stern minty finish.

1998 Ch L’Evangile, courtesy of David Tan. Great color, exuding lovely Chinese herbal notes, tea leaves and dried mushrooms with complex earthy tones that leapt out of the glass. Open and fleshy with superb concentration of dark fruits and currants, finishing with ferrous minerals amidst fine acidity and intensity. Excellent, and yet to peak.

1995 Ch L’Evangile, courtesy of  Dr Ngoi. Deep red with a lovely bloom of fragrant red fruits and dark cherries. Soft, fleshy and seamless with subtle nuances, showing good delineation but short.

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1986 Ch Lafleur, courtesy of Vic. Obviously well evolved but still showing a beautiful deep red with an equally beguiling bouquet of lovely floral fragrance, still imbued with a superb presence of deep dark berries and dark cherries, displaying great acidity and fullness amidst complex minerals, very subtly structured, developing an attractive earthy pungency over time but a tad short at the finish. Quite outstanding.

2000 Vieux Chateau Certan, courtesy of Andre. Dark red, exuding a deep lovely fragrance of dark cherries and currants, soft and open with excellent concentration and acidity, seamlessly integrated with further emerging notes of soy. Developing well, just a tad short. Excellent.

1997 Vieux Chateau Certan, courtesy of Hiok. Glorious crimson with a lovely nose of red cherries, fleshy with good presence though the fruit is a little recessed with more acidity at the fore.

1989 Ch La Conseillante, courtesy of LF. Well evolved with a bouquet of lovely sweet fragrance, displaying excellent depth of ripe dark berries with gentle silky smooth tannins and fine acidity, utterly seamless, showing great focus, turning more minerally over time as the fruit receded. Still holding on well.

1989 Ch Clinet, courtesy of David Ong. Drunk rather quickly after a brief aeration, this wine exuded a deep fragrance of predominant red fruits, open with a deep core of understated tangerines and complexity, displaying gorgeous acidity that is seamlessly integrated with silky velvety tannins, tapering towards a cool quiet finish. Excellent.

1995 Ch Petrus, courtesy of Kieron. Displaying a beautiful deep ruby, this wine exuded a great lift of hot stones with a suggestion of great clayey minerality, rounded and open with a distilled presence of dark fruits and blueberries of superb depth and richness, thoroughly seamless between the intensity of fruit and sublime acidity, finishing with excellent linearity. Thoroughly outstanding.

1972 Ch Petrus, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Distinctly evolved, this wine exuded quite a lovely fragrance of camphor and gentle red fruits amidst delicate notes of nectarine, almost ethereal upon its gentle entry onto the palate where there is still good concentration of fruit, still remarkably fresh in acidity with tannins that have long melted. Excellent.

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