Skip to content

2016 La Forge de Tart, 2001 Flor de Pingus, 2003 Carruades, 2009 Chapelle d’Ausone, 2018 Egon Müller Le Gallais Kabinett

December 2, 2021

One look and you know this line-up at Imperial Treasure Great World on 30 November 2021 is all about the so-called second wines of prime estates, though there is certainly nothing second-rate about such wines as they often hail from the same vineyard or special parcels, receiving the same viticultural attention and expertise. In fact, they represent great value except, perhaps, for Carruades which costs much more than a Super Second grand vin

20211130_205604.jpg2016 La Forge de Tart 1er. Translucent purple. Forward nose of fresh ripe berries. Medium weight. Good fullness and purity of fruit, delicious with a youthful vibrancy on a base of subtle ferrous elements. Became considerably lighter after some time, distinctly feminine, before fleshing out with a richer body, exuding a rosy perfumed presence. Doesn’t quite possess the depth and finish of the Grand Cru but its proportion and balance is quite impeccable. Made from the re-planting of three subplots of Clos de Tart monopole in 2011, 2005 and 1999 (https://winebyric.com/2017/11/24/understanding-domaine-du-clos-de-tart/) where the vines have not yet reached optimal maturity and, hence, the grapes are declassified.

2009 Chapelle d’Ausone, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Deep purple. Enticing bouquet of haw, dark roses and early cedary characters with sweet overtones. Lovely warm velvety fullness in the mouth, imparting a structured supple intensity. Very well proportioned, just a tad short. On par with classified growths. Excellent.

2001 Flor de Pingus, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Deep crimson. Utterly funky with a deep earthy pungency on the nose in stark contrast the juicy succulence of ripe aged plums and tertiary characters on the fleshy medium weight palate, laid on sweet velvety tannins. Excellent.

2003 Carruades de Lafite, courtesy of Vic. Mature crimson. Superb lift of haw, dark plums, complex red fruits and peaches amid an attractive earthiness. Medium weight. Still fresh and fleshy, imbued with delightful lithe agility and warmth on an earthy base, slightly peaty. Impeccably balanced and proportioned. Carries the breed and class of Lafite Rothschild. Excellent.

2018 Egon Müller Le Gallais Wiltinger Braune Kupp Riesling Kabinett, courtesy of LF. Pale. Intoxicating profusion of pungent diesel fumes on the nose, matched by a deep palate of tangy tropical fruits that exude very fine detail with sublime acidity and lush intensity that sweep to a slightly austere finish of stony minerals, its sweetness never in the way. Superb.

 

Nov 2021: 1998 Parker Estate First Growth, 2017 Domaine Coche-Dury Bourgogne Blanc, 2012 Fourrier Chambolle Les Gruenchers, 1994 Château Haut-Brion, 1997 Lokoya

November 29, 2021

20211103_191744.jpg1998 Parker Estate Coonawarra Terra Rossa First Growth. Decanted on-site at Origin Grill, Shangri-la Singapore, on 03 Nov 2021. Deep purple with a bare hint of crimson at the rim. Opens with a distinct note of capsicum and green chilli skins amid traces of salinity, leading to a medium-full palate rich in cedary characters and leather. Fleshed out with juicy succulence, displaying a glorious depth of tertiary fruit and currants that shone with amazing freshness, exuding a highly refined plummy tone as it stretched out with excellent linearity to a spicy lengthy finish, barely hinting at its twenty-three years. Superb.

2018 Château du Couvent, courtesy of Mr S Kannan at his residence on Deepavali, 04 Nov 2021. Good colour. This Pomerol exudes a very fine presence of ripe dark plums, cherries and black berries with a gentle trace of salinity. Somewhat attenuated at the top, resulting in a leaner profile but it is very well balanced and proportioned, structured with detailed supple tannins and sleek acidity. Drinking well.

2017 Meerlust Rubicon, tasted over two days 7-8 Nov 2021. Deep purple. Attractive bouquet of delicious black berries and dark currants, placed slightly forward on a medium-full palate imbued with ample depth and concentration. Remarkably balanced with understated tannin structure, revealing some gritty inner detail with a hint of brilliant graphite. Highly consistent with a previous tasting note couple of months back. Excellent.

1994 Château Haut-Brion, courtesy of SC at Shoukouwa, 09 Nov 2021. Decanted for an hour prior. This particular vintage of Haut-Brion seems ageless, appearing deep crimson with a sharp lift of distilled plummy red fruit in its deep alluring bouquet. Highly supple with a high-toned sublime acidity, seamlessly integrated and structured with understated earthy tannins tinged with charcoal dust that impart excellent linearity and mouthfeel as it lingered to a glowing finish. At its peak, and far from drying out. Superb.

2017 Domaine Coche-Dury Bourgogne Blanc, courtesy of Sir K at Park 90, Singapore, on 11 Nov 2021. I had the opportunity to taste this very wine from barrel at the domaine in October 2018 (https://winebyric.com/2018/10/25/ric-arrives-at-domaine-coche-dury/) and I’m pleased to report that it has delivered on its promise in bottle. Popped and poured, its pallor belies an amazingly complex bouquet of jackfruit, nutmeg, mango peel and floral characters that is deep and alluring, fanning out with breathtaking detail and supple intensity with a distinct salinity on a full palate layered with sublime acidity that stretched to a finish of attractive austerity from its minerally elements. Truly, what is bourgogne for Coche-Dury is grand cru for many others.

2012 Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers 1er, courtesy of Sir K at Park 90, Singapore, on 11 Nov 2021. Lovely pinot tint, exuding quite a glorious bouquet of red cherries and haw with a deep tarry quality while the medium-full palate excelled in its definition, clean precision and delicious presence, structured with an enticing sweet glowing intensity. Became more Gevrey-like in character over time rather than Chambolle, a trait noted by astute observers of domaines that make wine primarily from a different appellation. Superb.

2019 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills M3 Chardonnay. Tasted 16-17 Nov 2021. Generous in notes of green apples, pears, fig and peaches. The palate is more plump and rounded than a previous bottle tasted last month though that clear definition and lithe agility still remains, yielding fine minerally detail. Very fine.

Champagne Roger Coulon L’Hommée 1er. Popped and poured at Asia Grand on 21 Nov 2021. Fairly deep bouquet of smouldering ember and chalky glow, leading to a deeper vein of honeyed toast, walnuts and almonds on the palate with surprising complexity that grew with crisp intensity over time. Another bottle tasted on 27 Nov 2021 at Ka Soh opened with a dry acerbic intensity before evolving with more rounded tones of fresh lime, pomelo and grapefruit. Excellent.

2010 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er Marquis de Laguiche, courtesy of Barrie at his residence, 22 Nov 2021. Dull golden. This wine opens with a stony laid-back chalkiness amid traces of saline minerals, medium weight with a masculine though elegant profile of white tones. Developed a structured intensity with striking acidity in the glass, displaying tremendous verve before settling down with more austere tones as the Chassagne signature took hold.

2007 Claude Dugat La Gibryotte Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Barrie at his residence, 22 Nov 2021. Decanted and poured. Dull opaque pinot tint. Powerful bouquet of dark fruits and raspberries that exude a minty flourish. Well extracted but balanced, showing very fine fleshy definition and subtle acidity, gelling together with velvety intensity after some time.

1997 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Barrie at his residence, 22 Nov 2021. Decanted and poured. Deep garnet. Medium weight with a mature tone of ripe wild berries and dark currants, structured with sweet rounded tannins that oozed with overtones of eucalyptus, developing supple intensity over time.

2019 Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages. Popped and poured at Liang Kee restaurant, 24 Nov 2021. Chalky white tones of white fruits and cool icing, somewhat reluctant at first. Equally backward with a rather minerally mid-palate though there is subtle presence and verve, indicative of plenty of stuffing beneath. Opens up slowly with lighter notes of tangerines, though the finish is more pronounced in capsicum and whiffs of spicy white pepper. Not ready.

2018 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthières, tasted at home on 25-26 Nov 2021. High-toned fresh citrus and white fruits dominate with excellent presence, infused with subtle ferrous minerally elements and sleek acidity, showing good clarity with further notes of green fruits and mint. A tad fuller on the mid-palate compared with the 2019 which is more delicate with subtle refinement.

1998 Château Barde-Haut, courtesy of Sir Bob at Imperial Treasure Great World, 30 Nov 2021. Deep garnet. Minty powerful cedary nose. Open with fleshy vigour and understated intensity. Somewhat short, lacking true depth but drinking well.

Champagne Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Great World, 30 Nov 2021. Dull golden. Fairly effusive in gun smoke and flinty notes, lit by a bright chalky glow that revealed an excellent rounded presence of white fruits and richly-detailed citrus that blazed with dry intensity before tapering to a complex lingering finish of austere elements laced with a dash of sweetness. Excellent.

20211109_213040.jpg

1970 Champagne Drappier Carte d’Or, Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault 1995

November 16, 2021

Champagne Ruinart Brut NV, a bottle that had been stored for twenty years but it appears not to have aged a single day, exuding attractive overtones of burnt toast and yeast from its pale golden hue that lead to a broad expanse of lively citrus with a deep burnished tone on the palate, exerting an exciting youthful intensity of dense white fruits. Excellent.

1970 Champagne Drappier Carte d’Or Brut. Deep dull golden hue, proffering a deep earthy pungent funkiness that is almost musky in character. Rather placid and heavy at first before bursting into life with a lighter touch. Still imbued with plenty of brio as it took on an attractive gentle austerity with emerging notes of bitter lemon and pomelo.

1995 Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault. Luminous golden lustre. This wine opens with a lovely restrained elegance, exuding rounded tones of icing and white floral bloom that blend seamlessly with an understated chalkiness beneath. Deceptively coiled and backward at first, traipsing across the palate with very subtle verve before unfurling its full potential with rich chromatic tones, striking a complex balance with that indescribable gleam that comes with age and impeccable breed. May not even have peaked. Outstanding.

2003 Les Forts de Latour, courtesy of Sir Vic at the Tanglin Club, Singapore, on 15 Nov 2021. Tasted blind. Deep purple with a bare trace of crimson. Very lovely effusive nose of lifted red plums and perfumed fragrance, distinctly feminine. Fairly full with a delicious succulence, displaying excellent presence of dark fruit and currants that exude velvety warmth and fine intensity. Very well-balanced and seamlessly integrated with further notes of cedar amid sweet pliant tannins, thinning just a little towards its short finish. Probably at its best.

2002 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Deep purple. Shut initially on the nose even after ninety minutes of aeration, the fruit equally reluctant on the medium-weight palate, seemingly nondescript. Rather minerally at first, taking a very long time to slowly firm up with a more solid core of dark plums and berries, structured with understated silky tannins but its restraint is still evident. Reflects the weak vintage quality. My previous experience with this wine nine years ago was a lot better. Time to drink up.

1998 Tertre Roteboeuf. Deep garnet. Was there just that faintest trace of cork taint on the nose that hindered its full expression? Past that, the palate is weighty and open with that characteristic savoury quality of Tertre Roteboeuf, structured with sleek acidity and intensity that convey youthful vigour with gritty ferrous detail.

1996 Léoville Las-Cases, 1998 L’Eglise-Clinet

November 10, 2021

The vintage of 1996 for Left Bank Bordeaux is what 1998 was for the Right Bank. Moderate temperatures during the 1996 growing season bode well for the region until heavy rains struck in August, drenching most of the Right Bank and Margaux but leaving much of the Left Bank unscathed, which benefitted much from a subsequent warm dry September that helped to ripen the grapes optimally. On the other hand, a severe hail storm in August 1998 in the Right Bank forced vignerons to green harvest extensively, which reaped handsome rewards from the following September sun that helped to concentrate the grapes. More importantly, estates in Pomerol and Saint-Émilion had completed harvesting before torrential rains in the last week of September washed out much of the Médoc. A nice theme, therefore, would be to drink a 1996 Left alongside a 1998 Right, which was what we did at the Tanglin Club, Singapore, on 01 November 2021. Both bottles were popped and poured.

20211101_211657.jpg1998 Château L’Eglise-Clinet, courtesy of Vic. Deep purple. Full, stunning bouquet of black currants, ripe dark berries and bright cherries amid overtones of leather and cedar. Medium-full. Clearly more forward in fruit balance but such is its glorious abundance. Silky smooth, rounded and vibrant, imbued with lively acidity within a lovely svelte tannin structure, evolving towards even greater refinement with further notes of plums and complex red fruits. Still seemingly youthful, probably just entering its peak drinking period. Great stuff.

1996 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Deep purple, opening with a high tone of mature plums with a bit of pointed earthiness on the nose in stark contrast to its relaxed backward demeanour on the palate, proffering good clarity. It fleshed out quite rapidly with greater weight and silky intensity, developing lovely tone with overtones of seasoned oak and tobacco. At its drinking peak and will hold. Excellent.

Oct 2021: 2010 Malescot Saint-Exupery, 2014 Ch de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission, 2019 Domaine Roc Boutires Aux Bouthières, 2003 Pontet-Canet…

November 4, 2021

Rockford Black Shiraz (2008 disgorgement). Popped and poured at Eastern House of Seafood, 02 Oct 2021. Deep crimson. Classic glow of warm Barossa shiraz at just the right level of ripeness, appropriately plummy with a dash of licorice that developed darker shades over time as the wine took on greater weight. Open with subtle tannins and acidity within a sheen of soft gentle bubbles, superbly balanced, imbued with a certain deft agility underscored by that fabulous liqueured depth. Still very fresh. May not have peaked but drinking beautifully. Excellent.

2017 Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages. Popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 07 Oct 2021. Still consistently good, opening with a superb expanse of white fruits and high-toned citrus, displaying refined acidity with excellent minerally depth and clarity. Very well-integrated and balanced.

2014 Château de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er. Popped and popped over dimsum at Wah Lok, 10 Oct 2021. This monopole opens with dense chromatic white tones that glowed with lovely warmth, exuding great refinement in its minerally depth with sleek tensile acidity. Became more relaxed after an hour, revealing subtle detailing and texture with characters of cool icing, fleshing out with controlled power amid an understated salinity. Almost Chassagne-like, on the brink of secondary development. Superb.

2011 Domaine Roblot-Monnet Volnay Santenots 1er, courtesy of Kieron at his residence, 14 Oct 2021. Good colour. Very fine lifted clarity of ripe raspberries. Open with easy charm, imbued with subtle verve and acidity that exert a lithe tensile agility. Very well-balanced. Drinking well.

2018 Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir, courtesy of Kieron at his residence, 14 Oct 2021. Classic pinot tint. Distinctive nose of tobacco, gunmetal and volcanic ash matched by an ample palate of cool supple raspberries. Medium-bodied, displaying great integration with sleek acidity. Finished well. Highly burgundian.

2010 Château Malescot Saint-Exupery. Popped and poured at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 18 Oct 2021. Deep dark garnet. Delicious depth of dark currants and black cherries. Medium weight. Rounded with very good sophistication and tightly-knitted detailed tannins, dotted with brilliant graphite and white incense. Great balance and integration, displaying early secondary characters with lovely exuberance. Excellent value.

2016 S de Suduiraut. Popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 21 Oct 2021. Light pale greenish hue. Fresh white tones with icing amid a gentle hint of nectarine. Well layered with exotic floral notes, increasingly creamier over time as it developed a lovely complex of green fruits and understated minerals on a chalky base, displaying excellent clarity in spite of its biting intensity. Glowing finish. Highly compelling.

20211030_190117.jpg2003 Château Pontet-Canet. Decanted on-site at Imperial Treasure Great World, 23 Oct 2021. Deep garnet. Highly attractive bouquet of complex red fruits, dark plums, cherries and raspberries. Exerts lovely velvety fullness and intensity, its silky sleek acidity and lithe sexy tannins imparting superb tensile mouthfeel with an understated ferric earthiness. Developed further notes of coffee and mocha after some time, finishing with a glowing distilled Left Bank character though without the Pauillac dryness. At its peak and will hold.

2005 Winemakers’ Collection Cuvée No.1 (Michel Rolland). Popped and poured at home, 24-25 Oct 2021. The cork again broke but the wine was very fine, probably the best example of the many I’ve had, displaying very good concentration of currants and ripe raspberries laced with understated graphite minerals. Medium weight. Very well-balanced, fleshy and fresh. Another bottle (my final one) was tasted on 26 Oct 2021 with consistent notes.

2019 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthières. Popped and poured at Ka Soh, 30 Oct 2021. Pale straw-colored. Effusive bouquet of pears and apricots. The palate is marked by superb ripeness with striking intensity and acidity underscored by an understated earthy salinity. Developed subtle detail with an attractive floral core that is distinctly feminine, glowing with cool white tones at the finish. Very beautifully proportioned with excellent refinement. Superb. Aux Bouthières has been assigned premier cru status with effect from the 2020 vintage. Now already more expensive than it usually is, expect prices to go up further.

Quintessa 2010, 2016, 2018 & Illumination 2018

October 27, 2021

The good guys at Wine Clique, Singapore, held an online tasting of Quintessa wines with its winemaker Rebekah Wineburg on 13 October 2021. Situated on a most beautiful plot in Rutherford, Napa Valley, that was first acquired in 1989 by Agustin and Valeria Huneeus, themselves experienced winemakers from Chile, this 280-acre (112 hectares) estate is planted with cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and carménère over 160 acres (64 ha) spread over twenty-six blocks. The first vintage of Quintessa was produced in 1994 and the estate was certified biodynamic soon after. The wine is typically aged for about twenty months in French oak, of which 70%-85% is new, depending on vintage. I found the wines to be superbly balanced and naturally nuanced at just the right level of extraction without any sort of glossiness, almost Old World in feel and character. This is an excellent address.

2018 Illumination. 100% sauvignon blanc, though this is not a domaine wine as there are only two acres (0.8 ha) of this grape varietal grown on the estate. Good clarity. Quite effusive in its classic bouquet of diesel fumes, nutmeg and olives. Medium-full. Quite beautifully rounded and plush, almost velvety. Seamlessly integrated with sublime acidity and lithe agility, imbued with a dash of sweetness amid its subdued minerality. Finishes in a fabulous warm glow of superb length. Excellent. Only 2000 cases annually.

2010 Quintessa. Opaque dull purple. Minerally nose of soil, ferrous elements and preserved plums. Medium weight. Rounded and fleshy with a distinct chalky minerally mid-body, displaying early secondary characters of cedar with some savoury quality amid dark plums tinged with mandarins. Very well integrated within a sheen of highly supple tannins, tapering with fine linearity to a decent finish. Not overtly profound but drinking well.

2016 Quintessa. The second vintage of Rebekah Wineburg. Opaque dull purple. Pointed nose of red fruits, slightly earthy. Medium-bodied. Rounded with good weight and understated verve, underscored by a deeper vein of dark currants and early secondary characters, displaying very fine acidity with fleeting attack and intensity. Finished well on a note of lead oxide.

2018 Quintessa. Vinified with considerably less new oak, only 62%, to give greater expression to pioneering vines which are now about 30 years of age. Deep purple. Lifted delicate bouquet of fresh dark berries that seems remarkably lithe and agile, almost cautious in its entry. Seamlessly layered with understated presence, though undeniably impressive in purity and clarity. Yet to flesh out. Quiet finish. Drinking well. Very well-behaved though, perhaps, it could do with more character?

1998 Château Lafite Rothschild

October 18, 2021

I had the good fortune to drink another First Growth, courtesy of John, of the same vintage the same week that I had the 1998 Château Ausone and 1998 Château Haut-Brion at Otto Ristorante on 14 October 2021 in the midst of dine-in restrictions. But first, to pair with white truffle (from Toscana) pasta, was the 2008 Champagne Pol Roger Brut. Light golden, this wine exuded a highly inviting depth of toast and yeasty characters enhanced by a gleaming chalky glow, fleshing out quite rapidly with a glorious tone of intense citrus amid overtones of honeysuckle and brioche. Superbly balanced with a rich opulence, tapering gently with excellent length and linearity. 20211014_202147.jpgI find this a lot more attractive and ready than the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2008 which is too dry and acerbic at this stage.

The 1998 Château Lafite Rothschild deserved nothing less than a 600g wagyu ribeye that restaurant manager Paolo Zanni had specially arranged. Decanted on-site, this wine proffered a nose of ripe blueberries, dark cherries, black fruits and dark currants though distinctly feminine in its alluring restraint. Equally gentle upon its entry, soft, beautifully rounded and supple with highly understated gentle verve. Utterly seamless with lithesome charm, exuding a mild floral fragrance with a dash of capsicum and spice. Caught at its peak. Many thanks, John!

1998 Ausone & 1998 Haut-Brion

October 13, 2021

Due to current dine-in restrictions, I could only meet up with Sir K at Origin Grill, Shangri-la Singapore, on 12 October 2021 where a superb grass-fed T-bone was washed down over the course of four hours with a pair of top-flight clarets that were decanted on-site. But, to start things off, Sir K had brought a mini-carafe of white that was blinded. Distinctly pale with an effusive bouquet of dry summer hay laced with pears and fig, this wine laid on a full velvety warmth of delicate clear citrus with a touch of bitter lemon that moved with quiet verve and deft agility, subtly layered with very fine precision and sleek intensity, finally developing notes of green capsicum amid splashes of white tones with a dash of spice. This wine was so much like a Meursault that I’d thought it to be a Roulot. I was blown away when it was revealed to be a 2019 Shaw & Smith M3 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay!! Really…why pay top dollar for burgundy when this is available at only a tenth?

20211012_220157.jpgNext came the clarets, drunk simultaneously. The 1998 Château Haut-Brion courtesy of Sir K, displaying a deep garnet red, exuded a superb earthy pungency amid delicious hue of dark roses, wonderfully plush in its velvety fullness underpinned by sleek acidity. It gradually opened up to reveal a flinty minerally dimension with a deep core of dark currants tinged with mocha and chocolate before fleshing out with a rich opulence one seldom associates with Haut-Brion. Beautifully seamless and youthful, caught at its peak and is likely to hold station for another couple of decades.

Cracked from an OWC6 imported from London, the 1998 Château Ausone showed a deep opaque purple that proffered a hesitant nose at first of ripe wild berries tinged with Chinese medicinal powder. This cleared after a few minutes to reveal a succulent depth of dark cherries and black currants, deliciously ripe, eventually fleshing out with exciting intensity as it exuded a powerful glow of cedary characters amid splashes of capsicum. Vinified by Alain Vauthier, one senses more of merlot than cabernet franc. Like the Haut-Brion, this is likely to evolve at a glacial pace over the next two decades.

Sep 2021: 2004 Georges Jayer Nuits-St-G, 2016 Aubert Sugar Shack, 2000 La Gomerie, 2006 Montille Aux Malconsorts Christiane, 1993 Jean Grivot Richebourg…

September 30, 2021

2017 Maison de Montille Saint-Romain. Popped and poured at Eastern House Of Seafood, 01 Sep 2021. Lifted nose of delicate citrus with a hint of cool morning dew and vanillin. Very good understated supple presence, fleshing out with tangy nutmeg amid some earthiness and subtle salinity, displaying excellent clarity and persistence.

2016 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay La Maladière 1er Rouge. Popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 02 Sep 2021. Good colour. Rose petals, cherries and red fruits dominate, growing more effusive and delicious with greater intensity, seamless acidity and subtle detail before settling into a gentle even medium-bodied proposition amid a distinct saline note. The perfect accompaniment for lunch.

Champagne Jacques Selosse Initial Brut, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 03 Sep 2021. Quite deeply colored, proffering a rich burnished tone of toasted oak infused with a chalky expanse. Medium-bodied. Fleshed out with lovely brilliance, displaying fine detail and length.

2009 Domaine Francois Mikulski Meursault-Perrières 1er, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 03 Sep 2021. Lovely luminosity, exuding cool icing with a controlled racy depth of complex white fruits and white floral tones with a hint of nutmeg, showing good verve and sophistication as it fleshed out with rounded intensity. Beautifully seamless.

2016 Aubert Sugar Shack Chardonnay, courtesy of Kieron at San Shu Gong, 03 Sep 2021. Gentle wafts of paraffin and crème tinged with vanillin, leading quite seamlessly to a controlled sweetness of exotic tropical fruits laced with tangy white pepper on the medium-full palate. Developed a lovely chromatic tone that glowed with intense linearity. Wonderfully balanced. Outstanding.

2006 Mount Mary Quintet, aired for two hours in advance at San Shu Gong, 03 Sep 2021. Translucent purple. This final effort of the late Dr John Middleton opens with a soft subtle fragrance of distant fruit, very finely balanced and rounded with a bright pebbly tone against the expanse of dark fruits and capsicum beneath. Utterly seamless. Has that same tonal balance as a claret. Highly successful.

2000 Château La Gomerie, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 03 Sep 2021. Deep garnet, proffering aromas of ash and burnt ends that contrasted beautifully against the dryish rounded medium-bodied palate, open with a supple depth of ripe fruit that exuded superb lift and balance. Truly the distilled essence of Bordeaux. Very lovely.

2012 Joseph Faiveley Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron at San Shu Gong, 03 Sep 2021. Lovely pinot tint, displaying fresh intensity of rose petals. and red fruits on a medium-full palate laced with fine acidity, taking on a more minerally tone with time. Very well balanced. Surprisingly feminine.

2003 Jos Joh Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Auslese, courtesy of Tim at San Shu Gong, 03 Sep 2021. Full bouquet of intoxicating diesel earthiness, exuding cool tones with lovely clarity and definition on the medium-bodied palate.

2015 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay. Popped and poured at Eastern House Of Seafood, 04 Sep 2021. Lifted floral bloom amid traces of sweet vanillin against a clean slate of chalk and white citrus, displaying good density and crisp acidity, seamlessly integrated with superb rounded intensity. Very correct.

2006 Château Malarctic-Lagravière. Decanted at home for ninety minutes prior on 06 Sep 2021. Deep garnet, proffering a delicious bouquet of deep dark currants and black berries that is slightly reserved. Medium-bodied, displaying soft fleshy contours with a gritty inner presence of earthy tannins and crushed fruit, maintaining its understated poise with fine linearity and balance throughout. Very correct for a Pessac-Léognan. This is what we ought to be drinking while the so-called “wines of the century” remain in deep slumber.

20210908_202132.jpg

2009 Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Extra Brut, courtesy of CHS at Mei-i Sushi, 08 Sep 2021. Ripe peaches, pineapples, apricot and tropical fruits abound on the nose, matched by an open dry intensity that shone with excellent tone and clarity, imbued with understated toasty characters. Drinking very well.

2014 Lucien Le Moine Corton Blanc Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Mei-i Sushi, 08 Sep 2021. Light dull golden. Slightly bright tonal balance of white fruits against a recessed chalkiness, rather placid with a prominent salinity. A tad rustic, not showing much inner detail nor complexity.

2011 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Champ-Canet 1er, courtesy of Vic at Mei-i Sushi, 08 Sep 2021. Dull golden. Grassy elements, white tones and floral scents dominate while the lithe medium-bodied palate is open with early secondary characters of tangy nutmeg that grew in quiet intensity and power with a glowing chalkiness, underscored by crisp acidity and understated saline minerals. Good length. Very lovely.

2017 Meerlust Rubicon, aired in bottle for two hours prior to dinner at Rubicon Steak House, 09 Sep 2021. Deep purple. Delicious bouquet of dark cherries and blackberries tinged with brilliant graphite. Medium-full with a dark rounded velvety presence, showing good layering and sophistication. Those who still give South African wines a wide berth don’t know what they’re missing.

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay, popped and poured on 11 Sep 2021 to go with satay at home. High-toned density of clear citrus, pears and chalky minerals that cut through the palate with lively intensity. Goes well with the heavy spices.

2008 J L Chave Selection Hermitage Blanc, courtesy of Sir Bob at Jade Palace, 14 Sep 2021. Clear golden lustre. Dense white floral bloom dominate against a tense chalky expanse, turning a tad more austere over time as darker shades took hold with a more backward presence, retaining crisp definition. Entirely consistent with a Rhône white.

2005 Domaine Morey-Coffinet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Farendes 1er. Aired in bottle for two hours prior at Jade Palace, 14 Sep 2021. Deep golden hues. Restrained at first, gradually evolving with a mature chromatic chalkiness, appreciably deeper on the nose with further notes of frangipani, displaying good weight and clarity. Fleshed out with an even tone, seemingly more reductive over time. I wouldn’t cellar any further.

2008 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic at .Jade Palace, 14 Sep 2021. Pale. Very delicate tones of lime and citrus with a lifted acidity, showing great agility and definition. Firmed up with great subtlety and understated length, finishing with a dash of bitter lemon. Very lovely, though yet to really develop tertiary complexity. 

20210914_195607.jpg2004 Domaine Georges Jayer Nuits-Saint-Georges, courtesy of Sir Bob at Jade Palace, 14 Sep 2021. Vinified by Emmanuel Rouget. Displaying a well-evolved pinot tint, this wine opens with a gentle restrained fragrance of tangerines and mandarins, medium weight with good tension and acidity. Fully mature. Seamlessly integrated with lovely elegance and agility. Perfectly balanced. Good finish. It may just be village, but this is a wonderful example of how good any burgundy can be in the hands of a good producer.

2006 Domaine de Montille Vosne-Romanée Aux Malconsorts Christiane 1er, courtesy of Alvin at Jade Palace, 14 Sep 2021. Classic pinot tint. Assertive bouquet of paraffin, red fruits and cherries. Weighty, bright and rounded. Very well-layered with abundant dark fruits that seemed to recede into a shell of high-toned acidity after some time, finishing a tad short.

1993 Domaine Jean Grivot Richebourg Grand Cru, courtesy of Anthony Oei at Jade Palace, 14 Sep 2021. Still displaying a very impressive deep crimson, this wine opens with a deep captivating bouquet of complex red fruits with a distinct plummy tone. Medium weight. Still very lively, layered with a rich vein of dark fruit that traversed the palate with great length and linearity. Very lovely.

2008 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 15 Sep 2021. Pale. Superb density of clear citrus and lime with a lifted smoky presence, displaying a crystalline quality that glowed with excellent clarity and dry intensity, subtly structured with an understated sweet intensity throughout its length.

2004 Château Le Gay, courtesy of Dolly at San Shu Gong, 15 Sep 2021. Early evolution. Detailed bouquet of dark plums and rose petals amid an attractive funky earthiness that is quite lovely, matched by fine concentration of dark fruits on the soft rounded palate though somewhat lean, laced with lithe acidity. Drinking well. 

2018 Château de Rontets Pouilly-Fuissé Les Birbettes, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 15 Sep 2021. Pale. Highly restrained, evoking distant characters of preserved plums. Rounded with very good presence and subtle acidity, fleshing out eventually with sleek youthful intensity though it still came across as somewhat eccentric, more withdrawn with poised restraint towards the end of dinner.

2011 Weinlaubenhof Alois Kracher No.8 Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese “Zwischen den Seen” at San Shu Gong, 15 Sep 2021. Deep orangey hues. Sublime bouquet of ripe apricot, mandarins and nectarine that display soft density with a controlled sweet intensity, rounded with a smoky savoury afternote. Very naturally balanced without ever threatening to overpower the palate. Excellent.

2017 Maison Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages. Aired in bottle for ninety minutes prior on 19 Sep 2021. Lively notes of pears and other white fruits though considerably less exuberant than before. Slightly darker and a tad more minerally. Drinking well with good balance and presence.

2015 Jordan Cobblers Hill. Aired in bottle for two hours prior to dinner at Asia Grand, 20 Sep 2021. Deep purple. This Bordeaux blend from Stellenbosch opens with an enticing nose of spice box and tobacco that led to great swathes of warm ripe fruit, coating the medium-full palate with a glossy luxurious sheen. Subtly structured with smooth sophisticated tannins that oozed with a trace of sweetness, evolving further with emerging notes of tea leaves and sandalwood as it gelled together with seamless juicy succulence. Distinctly New World but excellent.

2005 Château Barde-Haut. Aired in bottle for an hour prior to dinner, 21 Sep 2021. This wine has turned the corner, considerably softer and a little more velvety, imbued with a fairly deep plummy tone of ripe red fruits and cool dark berries that reveal subtle inner detail on the medium-bodied palate. Well-balanced and delicious.  

Champagne Henri Giraud Ay Grand Cru MV15, courtesy of Russ at Yoshi, 23 Sep 2021. A 70:30 blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, respectively, with two-thirds coming from the 2015 harvest and the remaining third from perpetual harvest. Opens initially with a chalky reticence before fleshing out with an impressive depth of brilliant white fruits and citrus, boasting characters of toast, honeyed glaze, brioche and honeysuckle that blazed at just the right degree of dry intensity. Highly inviting, even as it took on a more minerally depth after some time, exuding an attractive austerity. Finished well on a note of bitter pomelo. Excellent.

2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Loche En Chantone. Aired in bottle for two hours prior at Yoshi, 23 Sep 2021. Pale, opening with cool white tones. Rather minerally at first, imparting a fairly austere density before blossoming with a lovely rounded intensity of pineapples and tropical fruits. Good length.

2017 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet La Boudriotte 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Yoshi, 23 Sep 2021. Pale. Somewhat reticent on the nose at this stage though the classic Ramonet signature of Chassagne white tones and minerals is evident throughout. Well-balanced but still coiled with lithe intensity, teasing the palate with deft agility. Far from ready.

2008 Lucien Le Moine Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Cailles 1er, courtesy of Melvin at Yoshi, 23 Sep 2021. Medium-bodied. Good density of ripe dark fruits on a cedary floor amid characters of sweet incense. Slightly dryish, open with some early maturity. Turned slightly brighter after some time, exerting greater fullness and attack with good definition.

2013 Domaine Dujac Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Combottes 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Yoshi, 23 Sep 2021. Classic pinot tint. Wonderful lift of delicate rose petals with a hint of paraffin. Medium-bodied. Slightly crisp and dryish. Very refined in acidity, showing good attack with a controlled intensity. Settled down eventually with cool balance that is almost aloof whilst its bouquet continued to evolve with superb complexity. Excellent.

2011 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Vosne-Romanée Les Petits Mont 1er, courtesy of Russ at Yoshi, 23 Sep 2021. Good colour. Full bouquet of dark roses and sweet incense. Medium-bodied. Distinctly leaner in profile with good clarity and definition.

2013 Clos Dubreuil, grown dynamically on a seven-hectare site in Saint-Émilion. Decanted on-site at Yoshi, 23 Sep 2021. Deep garnet. Full bouquet of dark currants and ripe black berries amid characters of warm gravel and licorice. Rounded with well-structured subtle tannins, exerting sharp intensity on the mid-palate though it dropped off quite abruptly towards the finish.

2005 Winemakers’ Collection No.1 (Michel Rolland). Popped and poured at Ka Soh, 25 Sep 2021, where the cork again was fragmented. Good lift of dark plums, leading to a palate of moderate weight and supple intensity imbued with wild dark berries that carry good level of ripeness, developing fine attack with rustic intensity. Another bottle (where the cork also broke) properly decanted for ninety minutes on 27-28 Sep 2021 was appreciably fresher, rounded and fleshy with better depth of dark currants and black fruits that shone with a graphite sparkle, finishing very well with gritty chewy detail amid earthy elements.

1982 Pichon Longueville Comtesse Lalande, 2003 Joseph Drouhin Musigny Grand Cru, 1990 Léoville Las-Cases, 1990 Margaux, 2010 Jean-Marc Millot Échezeaux Grand Cru 2015 Faiveley Échezeaux Grand Cru

September 14, 2021

Dr Ngoi hosted a small party to celebrate SKY’s birthday on 12 September 2021. No theme was planned but the resulting line-up confirms my view that forward planning isn’t quite necessary amongst like-minded wine lovers. Many happy returns, SKY!

2000 Champagne Pommery cuvée Louise Rosé. Fairly deep aromas of burnt toast and walnuts, showing good lift of tangy citrus and cool icing with fine clarity and acidity. Fleshed out with superb length and attractive dry intensity.

2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault-Charmes 1er Cuvée de Bahèzre de Lanlay. Poured from magnum. Pale. Cool icing and vanillin dominate on the nose amid overtones of steamed rice. Opens with gentle delicate tones and a bit of sharp acidity before fleshing out with a lovely rounded intensity of white tones imbued with an oily density, showing early complexity. Vinified by Bouchard, this wine is set for a glorious future.

2015 Domaine Faiveley Échezeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Superb pinot tint. Delicious glow of red fruits and cherries with a bare tinge of earth, giving way to a slight prominence of understated minerals after some time. Rounded with subtle intensity and sublime acidity. Beautifully integrated.

2010 Earl Jean-Marc Millot Échezeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Slightly evolved pinot tint. Quite a profusion of haw and red fruits tinged with a touch of salinity. Rather full. Well-structured with fine intensity on an earthy base, gradually developing a lovely purity of tone as it sat in the glass. Excellent.

2003 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Musigny Grand Cru, courtesy of Dato’. This wine opens with a lovely deep bouquet of ripe raspberries and darker fruits amid characters of paraffin. Rounded with very fine sophistication and detail, showing great integration and balance without any hint of that vintage’s heatwave, its tannins having melted long ago. Excellent.

1990 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Aired in bottle for three hours prior. Dark crimson. Dominant note of capsicum and dark fruits on the nose. Medium weight. Layered with fine depth and subtle intensity, showing great balance and integration. Still youthful. My third bottle in six months from the same case, with consistent notes.

And just when we thought that was it, the star of Eric Khoo’s Be With Me brought out another two bottles and insisted that they were popped. Can’t say no to the birthday boy…

1990 Château Margaux. Popped and poured. Still quite deeply coloured, proffering dominant characters of earth and capsicum amid elusive notes of tobacco, sandalwood and mocha. Superbly lifted, wonderfully fresh with lovely supple verve, exuding exciting velvety detail with a youthful luxurious sheen on the medium-bodied palate. Finished with superb length amid traces of menthol and paraffin. Perfectly balanced. This can still outlast another generation.

1982 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Popped and poured. Still deep garnet, boasting delicious swathes of ripe dark fruits with a suggestion of warm gravel. Medium-full. Still richly layered, underscored by a deep vein of glorious black currants that exude velvety succulence with excellent integration of subtle acidity and melted tannins, displaying superb control and balance. As memorable as a bottle tasted just two months earlier. Outstanding!

20210912_203910.jpg