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FICOFI: Nuits-Saint-Georges

March 12, 2018

Nuits-Saint-Georges is a bit of an ugly duckling within the Cote-de-Nuits. Bereft of grand cru climats and sandwiched between the kings of Vosne-Romanee to the north and the celebrated whites of the Cote-de-Beaune not far off in the south, this appellation is unfairly overlooked. This is all the better for wine lovers, for there are true gems to be found if one knows where to look, evident from a tasting organised by FICOFI on 08 March 2018 at the Four Seasons, Singapore. Far from being nondescript, I found these wines to be highly attractive, imbued with very fine pinot character and purity whilst rooted to its Nuits-Saint-Georges terroir which imparts its own unique imprint. Enjoy.


2015 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges La Perriere 1er. Made from 100% pinot blanc, this unusual white possesses a rich bouquet of ripe bananas, white flowers and intense tropical fruits with traces of morning dew amidst some nutty characters, coming together with explosive impact on the palate with its rich tension amidst superb intensity of fruit, icing and understated crème de la crème, rounded with great elegance and linearity. Outstanding and, naturally, very limited in quantity. I bought some.

2015 Domaine Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er. Lovely hue of ruby, exuding delicious bright rosy characters of ripe cherries, rounded and fleshy with good concentration and presence, displaying great acidity amidst some characteristic earthiness, quite seamless, finishing well.


2011 Joseph Drouhin Nuits-Saint-Georges Proces 1er. Quietly poised on the nose with the glow of deep dark cherries on the approach along with some camphor. Highly poised as well on the medium-full palate, displaying excellent presence and purity with a deep intensity of fruit framed by supple tannins. Excellent.

1995 Joseph Drouhin Nuits-Saint-Georges Ronciere 1er. Poured from magnum. Given its age, this wine is expectedly more evolved, supple and fleshy with advanced characters of cedar, earth, light licorice with a hint of sulphur, showing fine intensity with understated acidity, finishing well.


2012 Domaine Hudelot Noellat Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Bas de Combes. Don’t let this village fool you. From its very correct pinot tint to its great bouquet of red fruits that foreshadowed its great allure, expanse and purity, this wine defines burgundy by example, highly refined and elegant with everything held in proportion without being showy. Outstanding.

2015 Domaine Prieure-Roch Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Argillieres 1er. Slightly opague with notes of dry malt and recessed dark fruits and currants on the nose, though compensated by a lovely palatal lift that exuded excellent freshness with an attractive deftness coming from its sublime acidity. Difficult to source and expensive.

1999 Domaine Prieure-Roch Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Corvees 1er. This monopole is distinctly evolved, displaying good depth of ripe dark fruits and wild berries with gentle medicinal tones framed by sweet tannins, medium-full, slightly dense in its textures. Very fine.


Lunch with Pablo Alvarez at Garibaldi

March 8, 2018

It is always a big thing for us whenever Pablo Alvarez of Bodegas Vega Sicilia steps into Singapore. The big man hardly says much during meals, even with friends and close acquaintances, but it is clear that this is a man with a big heart. Who else would go to the extent of arranging lunch for you at Etxebarri (normally impossible to obtain), supply all the wines to go with your lunch (including a 2005 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru) and paying for lunch as well without himself being there?? Therefore, whenever Pablo arrives on our shores, Dr Ngoi makes it a point to push the boat out and spend time with a dear friend. Fresh off the plane from London on 25 Feb 2018, Pablo was ushered to Garibaldi for lunch, where Roberto had specially customised a menu loaded with caviar to go with all the wine brought by Dr Ngoi, including a pair of 1996 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru generously contributed by Simon Cheong. For once, we did not drink any Vega Sicilia in the presence of Pablo. Sometimes, the man himself needs a break. What a lovely way to spend a glorious long Sunday afternoon.


2004 Dom Perignon. Gentle creamy textures, lime and green melons dominate on the full palate, excellent in concentration, weight and intensity with superb detail and fine bubbles, delicious with understated acidity. One could go on sipping flute after flute.

2014 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Saint-Aubin Les Murgers des Dent de Chien 1er. Shut initially on the nose though the palate is suffused with mild salinity from the dominant minerally  tone amidst sophisticated creamy textures, quite excellent in concentration, eventually developing a cool glowing icy tone with good linearity all the way to its lengthy finish. Huge uncoiled potential.

2009 Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de L’enfant Jesus 1er. Compared with a previous tasting last year, this wine appears slightly heavier in tint with a darker tone of dark roses and currants though its aromas are still undeniably lovely with a feminine attractiveness, displaying good concentration and purity on the palate with an even tone.

2009 Domaine Francois Larmande La Grand Rue Grand Cru. One of nine monopole grand cru of all Burgundy, this wine displayed a darker pinot tint, imbued with a weighty tone of fresh red fruits and dark cherries that exudes a great floral fragrance, layered with gorgeous acidity and early nuances with a mild earthy tone, its excellent concentration of fruit framed by supple tannins. Almost sublime.


2001 Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize Leroy) Auxey-Duresses Les Boutonniers, courtesy of Ellen Wu. Rather deep in colour and tone, displaying some emerging complexity at this stage with exotic tonal flavours and notes of nutmeg, rich in layering supported by stony minerals but lacking in structure. Very fine, nonetheless.

2011 Domaine Prieure-Roch Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots PURE 1er, poured from magnum that had been aired in bottle overnight. Showing an opague dusty red, this wine displays good complexity of dark plums and dark rose petals amidst earthy tones and gentle saline minerals that is almost rustic in its unadulterated reflection of terroir, seamlessly integrated between its excellent tonal presence and understated acidity, just a tad short. A true connoisseur’s wine, Prieure-Roch may be off-putting to those who are new to Yannick Champ’s uncompromising approach. Excellent.

1996 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru, courtesy of Simon Cheong, poured from a pair. Well evolved in colour, this wine exudes a powerful glow of aged red fruits, plums and currants with a deep core of tangerines amidst a great swathe of classic saline minerality with excellent concentration of fruit on the palate, brimming with gentle exuberance while its seamless acidity imparted great suppleness and freshness to its understated structure, finishing with minty overtones. Wonderful, and will hold for many more years. Thanks, Simon!!

2010 Ch Rieussec. Quiet tones of nectarine and apricot on the nose, quite placid on the palate with lovely glow and excellent presence, highly subtle in its nuances, finishing with an attractive afterglow that lingered. Excellent.



Saint-Emilion: 1990s

March 5, 2018

Timothy Goh of Vinum Fines Wines, Singapore, was very kind to invite me for dinner at Imperial Treasure Great World on 22 Jan 2018, where we were joined by Vinum’s Vice-Chairman Lindsay Hamilton, formerly of Farr Vintners. The theme was Saint-Emilion nineties and we ended up with an outstanding line-up, notwithstanding an out-of-place L’Evangile and a youngish L’Arossee.

1999 Ch Cheval Blanc, courtesy of Kieron. Displaying a deep ruby, this wine exudes a lovely deep fragrance of red fruits, cherries, currants and red plums amidst earthy undertones. Somewhat awkward on its initial entry but it opened up to reveal bright tones on the fleshy palate, imbued with saline minerals amidst a rich presence of ripe fruits though it turned rather stern quite quickly as firm tannins exerted their presence. Good stuff, but requires more cellaring.

1998 Ch Figeac, courtesy of Tim. Gorgeous deep color with some evolution, showing a lifted deep fragrance of red and dark fruits, excellent in concentration and layering with fresh well-mannered acidity and good linearity, jus a tad short.

1998 Ch Clos Fourtet, courtesy of Tim. Deep crimson. Slightly reticent with just a hint of hot stones, displaying dark palatal tones with a firm note of licorice, gravel and early shades of cedar, well-structured with fine underlying intensity.

1998 Ch Tertre Roteboeuf, courtesy of Pipin. Deep crimson, proffering generous savoury tones with an expansive palate of mocha and ripe dark berries, layered with smooth sweet velvety tannins and understated acidity. Excellent, yet to peak.

1996 Ch Angelus. This wine leaps out of the glass with a deep complex bouquet of ripe dark berries, dense fruit, dark currants and cedar, its wonderful lift producing a superb thrill for the senses. In spite of that, the full-bodied palate is open and placid, poised with very fine detailed tannins suffused with sublime acidity amidst a rich minerally core that imparted great opulence and succulence, still amazingly youthful, fresh and vibrant. Absolutely stunning with arresting impact, very different from another bottle tasted back in 2012 which had seemed lean and reticent. Purists may prefer a more traditional approach with better definition of terroir but this bottle is undoubtedly delicious and highly attractive.

1995 Ch L’Evangile, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. This wine exudes a beautiful deep fruity nose dotted with a delicate perfumed fragrance, full but placid, layered with superb detail and depth of fruit amidst high-toned minerals. Excellent.

2005 Ch L’Arossee, courtesy of Robert Kwok. Brilliant purple. Not showing much on the nose but the palate is imbued with a full tone of ripe berries and medicinal notes framed by sweet dark tannins, exuding a lovely rich presence. Excellent, but perhaps best to lay down further.



Jan 2018: 1989 Cos D’Estournel, 2002 Salon, 1998 Angelus, 2014 Blanc de Lynch Bages, 2013 Araujo Eisele, 2009 Sauzet Perrieres

February 28, 2018

20180101_134410.jpg2002 Veuve Fourny et Fils Cuvee du Clos Notre Dame 1er, over dimsum lunch on New Year’s Day, Jade Palace. Forward balance of zesty lime and citrus, showing good expanse with a dry deep tangy presence, rather stern initially as stony minerals dominate, exuding greater elegance with understated tones over time, glowing with lovely depth and toasty characters. Excellent.

2010 Bodegas Lan Reserve, plucked from the list of La Taperia over dinner, 05 Jan 2018. Shut on the nose though the palate is infused with dark cherries, raspberries, charcoal, earth and plums. Soft, rounded, fleshy and open, carrying good weight and balance. Very attractive.

Delamotte Blancs de Blanc Brut NV, poured from jeroboam, courtesy of Kieron at his clinic opening party, 06 Jan 2018. Open with good concentration of green apples, lime and clear citrus supported by crystalline minerals, displaying fine presence with some degree of delicacy. Drinking well.

1989 Ch Cos D’Estournel, poured from double magnum, courtesy of Kieron at his clinic opening party, 06 Jan 2018. Displaying a deep crimson with some evolution, this wine exudes dark plums, cherries and dark currants amidst dry earthy textures on the nose and palate, beautifully open and fleshy, still laced with fine acidity, structure and freshness that indicates plenty of life still ahead for this under-rated vintage of Cos. Not the most profound in terms of complexity but highly compelling as a whole, inviting sip after sip. Excellent.

1995 Ch Leoville Poyferre, poured from double magnum at Kieron’s clinic opening party, 06 Jan 2018. Still dark. The bouquet here is ruined by a mild but distinct whiff of cork taint that imparted a plasticky note though it seemed fine on the palate, robust with good concentration of black fruits, blueberries and dark currants, well structured with fine acidity and pliant tannins but lacking in that extra compelling dimension shown by the Cos D’Estournel above.

2005 Domaine Faiveley Chablis Le Clos Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron at his office after hours, 09 Jan 2018. Quite evolved in colour, showing good concentration of clear citrus with flinty minerals held together in fine balance and delicacy, almost crisp, somewhat narrow in spectrum but its tone and character is unmistakable for Chablis. Very fine.

2012 La Clarte de Haut-Brion, courtesy of CW at Jade Palace, 11 Jan 2018. Closed, showing just a hint of sweetness while ferrous minerals, grassy elements and icing dominate on the palate, creamy rich with crisp acidity and cool quiet intensity, finishing over overtones of spicy nutmeg. Quite excellent.


2010 Didier Dagaeuneau Blanc Fume de Pouilly, courtesy of Tristan plucked off the list  at Jade Palace, 11 Jan 2018. Glorious bouquet of fresh lychees, glowing with raw nutmeg and rich minerally tones on the palate, tightly coiled with cool quiet intensity, opening up gradually to reveal great suppleness with a persistent minerally streak. Excellent.

2012 Domaine Georges Noellat Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Aux Boudots, courtesy of CW at Jade Palace, 11 Jan 2018. Deep colour with an abundance of intense dark fruits on the nose and palate. Tight, brooding, tense and angular. Not ready.

2013 Araujo Eisele Vineyard, courtesy of CW at Jade Palace, 11 Jan 2018. Deep impenetrable red. Expectedly, this is a big tannic wine with fine detail and biting intensity of dark fruits and blackberries on a backdrop of graphite minerals, quietly hedonistic, displaying wonderful depth and weight, oozing with dark sweet tannins, finishing on a stern dark medicinal tone.

2005 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, tasted at the re-opening party of GI Associates, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, 13 Jan 2018. Dark and brooding, reserved on the nose though the palate is imbued with a rich tone of dark plums, carrying excellent weight and concentration, structured with firm tannins and pliant acidity. Best to lay down.

2014 Domaine du Chateau de Meursault Meursault Les Charmes-Dessus 1er, tasted at the re-opening party of GI Associates, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, 13 Jan 2018. Shy with a hint of creme and chalk. Far more expressive on the palate, though, where rich clear citrus and earthy minerals vie for attention, displaying good delicacy and purity. A perenial over-achiever. Excellent.

2009 Ch Pontet Canet, tasted at the re-opening party of GI Associates, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, 13 Jan 2018. Very dark. Rather reticent and brooding in character though there is a good lift of dark plums on a palate dotted with excellent detail, structured with pliant supple tannins that culmibate in a long velvety finish. Yet to evolve any Pauillac signature. Enormous potential here but truly one for the long haul.


2012 Christophe Vaudoisey Volnay 1er Les Caillerets, tasted at the re-opening party of GI Associates, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, 13 Jan 2018. Dark in tone and rather reserved. Equally denser in tone on the palate with a forward balance of ripe dark fruit and wild berries, exuding powerful plummy tones with fine intensity amidst supple seamless tannins, showing good linearity through to its lengthy finish. Excellent.

2010 Domaine Chanson de Brialles Corton Les Bressandes Grand Cru, tasted at the re-opening party of GI Associates, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, 13 Jan 2018. Correct pinot color and tone, open with excellent presence of succulent red fruits amidst earthy tones, seamlessly integrated with fine acidity and subtle intensity. Excellent.

2007 Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneur-du-Pape,  tasted at the re-opening party of GI Associates, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, 13 Jan 2018. Opague rusty red, exuding powerful characteristic earthy tones amidst plummy red fruit, fleshy and rounded with some medicinal hint and licorice amidst sweet supple tanins, culminating in a gentle long spicy finish. Highly enjoyable.

2007 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, tasted at the re-opening party of GI Associates, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, 13 Jan 2018. Showing some evolution of colour and secondary nuances of cedar, red currants and dark fruits, quite sublime in acidity, finishing with a long fabulous intensity of flavours. A Brunello in technicolor.

2012 E Guigal Chateauneur-du-Pape, tasted at the re-opening party of GI Associates, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, 13 Jan 2018. Mild earthy cedary tones with sandalwood, deliciously open with good intensity, displaying a lovely feminine elegance.

2012 Ch La Mission, a wine from Lalande-de-Pomerol, popped and poured over dinner at Asia Grand which, IMHO, serves the best Peking duck in Singapore, 20 Jan 2018. Displaying a deep crimson, this wine exudes aromas of dark plums, black fruits and dark currants, well-structured with fine concentration and gentle graphite minerals in spite of its fullness, oozing with delicious sweet tannins. Very fine.


2009 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Les Perrieres 1er, from the list of Ma Cuisine, Singapore, 24 Jan 2018, just newly-opened by Mathieu Escoffier, son of Fabien of the same famous Ma Cuisine in Beaune. Fabulous bouquet of fresh morning dew and grassy elements that led to great concentration and depth of citrus and lime, caressing the palate with a lovely fluid intensity, displaying superb layering and length with an absolutely gorgeous lingering mouthfeel, turning more delicate over time with emerging chalky tones. Has that added intangible dimension that places this wine right up there at the very top. Outstanding.

2007 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er Blanc, from the list of Ma Cuisine, Singapore, 24 Jan 2018, just newly-opened by Mathieu Escoffier, son of Fabien of the same famous Ma Cuisine in Beaune. Grassy elements dominate on the nose with a sharper minerally tone, displaying good acidity and zest from the excellent concentration of fruit though it is slightly narrow in spectrum.

2014 Domaine Anne et Hervé Sigaut Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentier 1er, from the list of Ma Cuisine, Singapore, 24 Jan 2018, just newly-opened by Mathieu Escoffier, son of Fabien of the same famous Ma Cuisine in Beaune. Deep ruby. Rather shy though the palate is lit by generous swathes of bright red fruits and cherries, rounded with good concentration and a hint of tangerines amidst traces of raw intensity that eventually turned a little too astringent as the ambient temperature warmed up. Huge potential but I don’t think we did it justice.


Mathieu Escoffier of Ma Cuisine, Singapore.

2011 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, from the list of Ma Cuisine, Singapore, 24 Jan 2018, just newly-opened by Mathieu Escoffier, son of Fabien of the same famous Ma Cuisine in Beaune. As usual with Armand Rousseau, this wine proffers a glorious plummy tone of ripe red fruits and dark cherries, beautifully rounded and fleshy, saturating the palate with a lovely deep searing intensity. Excellent.

2015 G D Vajra Barbera D’Alba, tasted at the 15th anniversary party of Asian American Liver Centre, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, on 25 Jan 2018. Good concentration of red fruits with dark plummy tones, a little too dry and earthy and vegetal though imbued with fine acidity, finishing with a spicy glow. Unremarkable.

2016 Monte Del Fra Soave Classico, tasted at the 15th anniversary party of Asian American Liver Centre, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, on 25 Jan 2018. Good concentration of clear citrus with light grassy elements and subtle chalky notes. Highly serviceable.

2011 Les Tours de Charmail (courtesy of Dr Lee KH), tasted at the 15th anniversary party of Asian American Liver Centre, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore, on 25 Jan 2018. Deep inky color, rather muted on the nose, showing good concentration of black fruits and ripe wild berries on the palate with dryish textures along with early cedary characters and graphite minerals.

2008 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, decanted on-site at Otto Ristorante, 27 Jan 2018. Bright purple, rather muted initially but imbued with very good concentration of raspberries, dark wild berries and black currants on the palate with overtones of ash and stern earthy minerals, showing good focus and definition, growing brighter over time with fine intensity though lacking in outright opulence.


2002 Champagne Salon (courtesy of Peter Tan), over lunch hosted by Dr Ngoi at Garibaldi to honour the visit of Jean-Charles Cuvelier of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, 30 Jan 2018. This wine exudes a clear crystalline tone with gentle toasty characters, open with lifted notes of lime and citrus amidst smoky tones and subdued minerality, displaying fine definition, finishing with traces of bitter lemon. Excellent.

2014 Chateau Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er monopole (courtesy of Dr Ngoi), over lunch hosted by Dr Ngoi at Garibaldi to honour the visit of Jean-Charles Cuvelier of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, 30 Jan 2018. Good colour. Quite reserved on the nose although one discerns delicate tones, layered with superb concentration of fruit on the palate that recalls cinnamon and peaches with subdued chalk and crème de la creme. Huge potential here. A perennial favourite of mine.

2014 Blanc de Lynch Bages (courtesy of Dr Ngoi), over lunch hosted by Dr Ngoi at Garibaldi to honour the visit of Jean-Charles Cuvelier of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, 30 Jan 2018. Complex lifted bouquet of smouldering ember, longans and exotic tropical fruits amidst gentle earthy tones and grassy elements, showing great concentration of fruit and detail with superb transparency. Quite unique and outstanding.


2009 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (courtesy of Dr Ngoi), over lunch hosted by Dr Ngoi at Garibaldi to honour the visit of Jean-Charles Cuvelier of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, 30 Jan 2018. Deep purple, exuding lifted tones of earth and ripe wild berries, superb in concentration, highly supple with a slight vegetal trace towards the back palate that imparted some degree of sternness. Elegant but aloof. Most regal. Not ready at all.

1998 Ch Angelus (courtesy of Dr Ngoi), over lunch hosted by Dr Ngoi at Garibaldi to honour the visit of Jean-Charles Cuvelier of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, 30 Jan 2018. Deep crimson, proffering lovely tones of earth and aged leather with lifted notes of delicious dark currants and dark cherries, excellent in concentration, layered with early complexity and gritty details. Excellent.

2010 Ch Rieussec (courtesy of Dr Ngoi), over lunch hosted by Dr Ngoi at Garibaldi to honour the visit of Jean-Charles Cuvelier of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, 30 Jan 2018. Copious notes of nectarine and apricot are evident but, on the whole, rather reserved with quiet acidity.


Jean-Charles Cuvelier




February 27, 2018

Wine tasting with high art always works well, and the boys from The Vintage Club duly obliged with a tasting of Egly-Ouriet at the Art Porters Gallery, Singapore, on 13 Feb 2018.  A movement once scorned by those who were used to the grand marqués but now rightly championed by the cognoscenti looking for the Next Big Thing, Egly Ouriet is now one of the leading lights of Grower Champagne, made by Francis Egly who is continuing the tradition begun by his great-grandfather in Ambonnay. Certainly, the lineup tasted here is right on par with the best champagne: wines with power, delicacy and depth of fruit.


Chateau Minuty Rose D’Or. Notes of dried apricots, dates and perfumed grapefruit on the nose, decidedly light and delicate in tone partly contributed by its recessed tonal palate, showing more of gentle minerals than fruit, distinctly feminine and shy as it tapered to a glowing finish.

Egly-Ouriet Brut Rose Grand Cru. This wine spent 58 months on lees, displaying densely perfumed aromas with good lift, considerably lighter in tonal spectrum on the palate with dryish textures. A rosé that will go well with Asian cuisine.


Egly-Ouriet Les Vignes de Vrigny 1er, comprising 100% pinot meunier, aged 36 months on lees prior to bottling. Deep icy bouquet with a superb lift of delicate green fruits and citrus lime, forward in balance with excellent concentration and suppleness, finishing with traces of bitter lemon, understated minerals and toasty overtones. Very fine. Talking to a few people there, I realised pure pinot meunier may not be everyone’s idea of traditional champagne but I liked it.

8177e2a3678465722a3f43d2b45a628e.pngEgly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru. A blend of 70% pinot noir and 30% chardonnay, this wine exuded a wonderfully deep bouquet of dense citrus and gentle toast with some lovely gentle complexity, opening up with a good expanse of crisp citrus and fresh acidity matched by excellent depth of fruit, finishing well. Excellent.

2007 Egly-Ouriet Brut Millesime Grand Cru. Again blended with majority pinot noir and the rest chardonnay after spending 96 months on lees, the benefit is evident by the generous bouquet of yeasty overtones and toasty characters, rounded with supple mouthfeel enhanced by fine bubbles, poised and elegant with good focus and balance, showing good linearity all the way to its  lengthy glowing finish. Excellent.

Egly-Ouriet Vieillissement Prolonge (V.P.) Grand Cru. The V.P. designates prolonged ageing on lees, 84 months in this instance, translating into delicious deep minerally tones on the nose, exuding a mild yeasty pungency with recessed white fruits though I found the wine to be rather backward on a palate largely dominated by dry graphite minerals, well-balanced though a tad underwhelming on the whole.




La Paulée de Singapour 2018

February 17, 2018

Barely two days after the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Gala came the annual La Paulée de Singapour organised by The Vintage Club on 02 February 2018 at the brand-new Andaz Hotel, Singapore, masterminded by M. Christophe Cazaux-Maleville with his partners Gilles Herr and Antonin Pon. The La Paulée may trace its roots back almost a century ago to Meursault where workers in the vineyards would gather to celebrate after the end of a back-breaking harvest with plenty of food and wine. IMG-20180202-WA0020.jpgIn particular, it seemed the vignerons would each bring a bottle to best the efforts of rivals. The tradition still continues but, of course, the event in Singapore was simply a good excuse to indulge in a mad evening of wining. This time, the French Ambassador could not join us but the local French community still showed up in force. The free-for-all promenade that preceded dinner began on time at 1730h but, in spite of the 150 minutes till dinner, I still could not sample all the wines available. All the domaines represented by The Vintage Club were present to show off the 2015 vintage which, I must say, is excellent for both whites and reds in equal measure (though the 2014 whites are still peerless) and it was good for me to be able to catch up again with M. Etienne de Montille soon after my visit to his Domaine last November. The Andaz did a great job in its organisation and service although the hall for the promenade was too small, I feel, and the ambient temperature way too warm though the ballroom was quite perfect. Things became rather loud and riotous quite quickly, which is how it is supposed to be, punctuated by several rounds of the mandatory ban bourguignon. At the end, forty-nine wines in one evening was a little too much for my palate but it was great fun and I’m already looking forward to the 2019 edition where the outstanding reds of 2016 will be featured.

2015 Domaine du Chateau de Meursault Puligny-Montrachet Champs-Canet 1er, poured from jeroboam. Lifted tones of clear citrus with good transparency, presence and focus on the palate, showing fine acidity and intensity with good linearity.

2015 Domaine du Chateau de Meursault Pommard Clos des Epenots 1er. Clear purple but closed on the nose. Equally reserved on the palate where notes of earth and wild berries dominate with good acidity, somewhat short at the finish.

2015 Domaine du Chateau de Meursault Volnay Clos des Chenes 1er. Darker in tint and tone, displaying good attack and intensity of raspberries, dark currants and earthy tones with a spicy glow, somewhat short.

2015 Domaine du Chateau Meursault Beaune-Greves Les Trois Journaux 1er. Good color. Deep aromas of dark roses and raspberries, full-bodied and rounded, showing excellent intensity and layering of fruit with seamless acidity, finishing with excellent linearity and definition. Very lovely.


2015 Domaine du Chateau de Marsannay Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, poured from magnum. Clear purple with an abundance of raspberries, dark cherries and earth, fleshy with good concentration and fine acidity, seamlessly integrated.

2015 Domaine du Chateau de Marsannay Marsannay Les Favieres. Deep purple, this village exudes sharp intense aromas of sweet ripe berries with a herbaceous trace, forward in balance with excellent acidity and concentration, finishing with splashes of spice though somewhat short.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Tamisot. Good colour. Highly effusive with clean forward notes of rose petals, ripe cherries and red fruits. Fleshy and open, showing fine detail, excellent presence and acidity, just a tad short. An over-achieving village. Worth every penny, and more.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru. Deep colour, exuding notes of rose petals and red currants. Rounded with subdued intensity. Distinctly feminine. Highly beguiling and elegant. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin Grand Cru. Good colour, displaying an intense bouquet layered with dark currants and dark roses, highly effusive. Excellent in concentration and poise, hugely understated, subtly structured with superb acidity. Excellent.


2014 Domaine Georges Noellat Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru, poured from magnum. Brilliant bright colour, displaying superb intensity of glorious ripe fruit on the bouquet with great succulence and purity on the palate, glowing throughout its length with supreme elegance in spite of its fullness. Wonderful stuff. A must-have wine.

2014 Domaine Georges Noellat Vosne-Romanee. Correct pinot tint. Superb bouquet with a forward balance of gorgeous ripe fruit amidst gentle saline minerals, highly poised and rounded, displaying great presence and purity. Utterly charming. Beautifully crafted.

2012 Domaine Georges Noellat Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Boudots 1er. Darker in hue with earthy tones and textures, very correct for Nuits-Saint-Georges, supported by glorious ripe fruit with darkish tones, superbly integrated, tapering to a long glowing finish. Excellent.


2015 Domaine de Montille Volnay En Champans 1er. Highly delicate bouquet, beautifully lifted, showing great colour, purity and ripeness, structured with supple sweet tannins amidst sublime acidity. Superb.

2015 Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Brouillards 1er. Deep color and tone, displaying good lift of raspberries and dark cherries. Rounded with fine detail and concentration, just a tad short.

2015 Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds 1er. Deep in colour and tone. Fleshy with excellent earthiness, laced with fresh acidity and fine detail brought about by ripe dark berries with a gentle biting intensity. Plenty of velvety power though lacking in structure.

2015 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Les Cailleret 1er. Sharp lifted bouquet, stuffed with clear yellow citrus amidst a superb minerally base with mild saline tones, displaying good depth, layering and potential complexity. Excellent.

2015 Domaine de Montille Saint-Romain en Jarrons. Attractive lifted aromas of earthy minerals, showing excellent fruit quality with superb layering and freshness, very well balanced, teasing the palate with great verve and fleeting intensity. Excellent.

2015 Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Superb bouquet of complex white fruits, strongly perfumed, layered with excellent fullness, concentration and detail on the palate, producing superb mouthfeel. Excellent.


2015 Chateau du Moulin a Vent Moulin-a-Vent. Deep colour. Big, dark and tannic with a rich abundance of dark plums and currants that is quite unexpected of gamay, brimming with biting intensity.

2015 Ch du Moulin-a-Vent Champ de Cour. Coming from a single vineyard gamay, this wine is dark in colour, displaying high extraction of fruit that translates into licorice, wild berries and ripe dark fruits with substantial earthiness, coating the palate with raw biting intensity.

2015 Ch du Moulin-a-Vent La Rochelle. Very dark and full, well extracted with a great concentration of spicy earthy tones.


2015 Chateau de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er monopole. Well-developed bouquet of complex citrus and morning dew with a fabulous palate, superbly layered with lovely richness and purity of fruit underscored by understated minerality. I’m reminded of the outstanding 2014 and, in fact, would be fascinating to compare both side-by-side in a blinded tasting. Superb.

2015 Domaine Comte Senard Corton Grand Cru Blanc. Superb bouquet of complex white flowers and delicate chalk, layered with great transparent textures in spite of the rich tone of fruit and minerals, displaying great elegance and sophistication. Outstanding.

2015 Domaine Faiveley Puligny-Montrachet Champs Gain 1er. Clear grassy elements with a hint of rye, showing good intensity of flavours amidst stern minerals with excellent potential for further complexity.

2015 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Corton Faiveley Grand Cru monopole. Dark in colour with abundant fruit, very ripe, marked by an earthy edge with graphite minerals. Very full, rich and tight, almost opulent.

2015 Domaine Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er. Dark in colour. Rich in ripe dark berries and currants, well-extracted with overtones of licorice, slightly dry.

2015 Domaine Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Porets Saint Georges 1er. Saturated with dark chocolate, black currants and ripe dark berries, well-extracted, tight and full with searing intensity, ending in a spicy finish. Still primal.

2015 Domaine des Perdrix Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Aux Perdrix Cuvee Les 8 Ouvrees. Beautiful colour, exuding a lifted bouquet of dark rose petals with a perfumed fragrance, highly focused on the palate, displaying great concentration and searing intensity of fruit, well-structured at its spicy finish. Excellent.


Etienne de Montille loves a good party

Delamotte Blancs de Blanc Brut NV, poured from jeroboam. Rich in toasty yeasty characters, displaying excellent tone of fresh green melons and deep clear citrus to match its dry finish. Quite excellent.

2015 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault Les Charmes 1er. Poised with great restraint, concealing rich white fruits but absolutely lovely on the palate, displaying gorgeous acidity and concentration with very fine detail, striking a great balance between delicacy and delivery of power. Excellent.

2015 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault Goutte d’Or 1er. Powerful aromas, rich in melons and lifted ripe citrus and lime on the nose and palate, well balanced against a minerally floor, highly supple with lovely acidity and mouth feel. Excellent.

2015 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault Les Poruzots 1er. Delicious tones of cider and subtle yellow citrus, laden with cool minerals upon its gentle entry onto the palate, showing good transparency.


2015 Domaine du Chateau de Meursault Meursault Charmes-Dessus 1er, poured from jeroboam (courtesy of Christophe). This wine shows great restraint on the nose though the palate is imbued with great concentration and intensity with lifted clear tones, layered with sharp acidity, finishing with notes of bitter lemon. Excellent, though I feel its 2014 counterpart is more expressive.

2014 Domaine de Comtes Lafon Meursault-Charmes 1er (courtesy of David Tan). Pale in colour, showing great restraint as well though it is quite superb on the palate, very full and tight with a great concentration of clear citrus and white fruits laced with sublime acidity.

2011 Domaine de Comtes Lafon Meursault-Charmes 1er (courtesy of Pipin). Displaying a superb clear golden hue, this wine was just as reticent on the nose, rich in white fruits and citrus on the palate marked by minty overtones with very fine acidity, more expansive towards the finish.


2008 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru (courtesy of Vic). Great delicacy here with wonderful depth of primarily clear citrus with other subtle nuances of jackfruit, cedar and a hint of durians, quite understated in intensity with overtones of incense, structured with crisp acidity that imparted great freshness and mouthfeel, finishing well. Excellent.

2007 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Grand Cru Marquis de Laguiche (courtesy of David Tan). Showing great restraint with clear cool fruit on the nose with recessed chalky tones, offering a glowing palate rich in ripe fruit that displayed great sophistication and balance with transparent textures throughout its lovely lengthy. Superb.

2003 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet, poured from magnum (courtesy of LF). Surprisingly reticent and backward on the nose, compensated though by very good concentration of fruit with a rich tonal palate amidst dryish textures and some early complexity, highly supple.


1990 Domaine Marquis D’Angerville Volnay Champans, poured from magnum (courtesy of LF). Opague rusty red, exuding a lovely earthy pungency with a bit of discreet sweetness, displaying excellent fullness of dark plums and currants with a rich fabulous intensity, laced with superb acidity that is still remarkably fresh, ensuring that this wine still has the legs to last the distance. Excellent.

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Echezeaux Grand Cru (courtesy of Hsiang Sui). This wine is imbued with a glorious tone of red fruits, dark berries and dark currants, superbly ripe with exemplary purity, underscored by stern graphite minerals on the full palate laced with crisp acidity and lovely tannins that are remarkably rich and supple. Simply outstanding.

2006 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er (courtesy of CJ). Utterly stunning in its glorious tone of red cherries and fresh rose petals, marked by a beguiling feminine fragrance with wonderful richness, depth and purity. Supremely elegant and seamless in its integration and delivery of power. Should you ever need to understand what the fuss is about concerning Les Amoureuses, go for this wine.

1966 Antonin Rodet Bourgogne (courtesy of Thomas). Murky, but still alive with a remarkably full tone of aged red fruits, still showing excellent ripeness and intensity of flavours. Ageing most gracefully.

1964 Domaine Chanson Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er. Ripe red plums, distinctly aged in character though still retaining excellent concentration and intensity of flavours with fine acidity.

2007 Domaine Georges Comte de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny 1er (courtesy of Kieron). Made from young vines (below 25 years) of Musigny grand cru, this wine exudes great colour with a lovely complex of fresh ripe cherries, smoke and sweet incense, a little forward in balance, displaying excellent presence and structure with fine intensity and integration. Excellent.

2011 Domaine Georges Lignier Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru. This wine proffers a predominance of abundant raspberries along with fresh ripe cherries and strawberries amidst earthy tones and sweet incense, showing good typicity of the Morey-Saint-Denis terroir in its rasping intensity and darker tone of fruit. Excellent potential but still raw.


2011 Domaine Francois Bertheau Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er. Quite sublime in its delicate tones of ripe red fruits with overtones of hot stones and open on the palate with delicious succulence and richness of fruit, yet remarkably gentle and subtle in intensity. A superb expression of this famous terroir.

2009 Domaine Mugneret Mugneard Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru. Excellent depth of ripe red fruits, full-bodied with a darkish tone but vibrant with subtle intensity, showing good representation of terroir.

2014 Domaine de Montille Nuits-Saints-Georges Aux Thorey 1er. Well-extracted with abundant ripe dark berries with dry earthy textures, showing good concentration and intensity.

2006 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Hauts-Doix. Quite glorious on the nose with generous dollops of ripe wild berries and raspberries that exuded a beautiful hallowed glow, delivering on its promise with superb concentration and intensity of fruits supported by earthy minerals, finishing with a stern ferrous trace.


Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 2018 Gala

February 9, 2018

One of the most eagerly anticipated wine events each year in Singapore, limited only to those who are entitled to attend, is the L’Abbaye de Saint-Vivant Gala Dinner that features the wines of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. This year, the gala was held on 31 January 2018 at its usual venue, The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore, where it was very good, once again, to be able to catch up with the co-owner of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti M. Aubert de Villaine himself as well as Jean-Charles Cuvelier, who has just retired as general manager after spending 24 years at the domaine. The main hall of the hotel, once known as Clifford Pier where passengers of a bygone era travelling by boat would embark or disembark, was transformed into a scene of great elegance as guests in black tie, accompanied by their ladies in daring high fashion, arrived punctually in spite of the preceding torrential downpour.


While this event was hosted by FICOFI, one of the main objectives of this Gala was to raise funds for the conservation of the L’Abbaye de Saint-Vivant, once a monastery where the monks acquired and tended to vines that are actually now the various plots of grand cru in Vosne-Romanee owned by Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. Hence, the domaine confers upon itself the moral obligation to preserve an important part of its history.


The funds were to be raised through the auction of several parcels of D.R.C. wines, the prime lot being a trio of 2006 / 2010 / 2011 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru which eventually went under the hammer for EUR 90,000. The line-up of wines for the evening was pretty impressive as well, with the 1990 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru being the absolute highlight, perhaps even stealing the shine (literally!) from the rare super blue moon eclipse phenomenon that took place that same night. If I’d heard Aubert correctly, it seemed the domaine no longer has any stock of the 1990 Romanee-Conti, the bottles supplied this evening coming exclusively from FICOFI’s library. Wow…that’s truly generous, at current market prices. We began with a promenade of wines from Domaine Leflaive and Domaine Marquis D’Angerville before settling down for dinner (prepared by 3-Michelin star chef Christian Le Squer of Le Cinq, Four Seasons, Paris, who had specially flown in) where the reds were exclusively D.R.C., peppered by several rounds of ban bourguignon led by Jean-Charles Cuvelier.


2013 Vin de l’Abbaye de Saint-Vivant Hautes-Cotes de Nuits Bourgogne. Nutty characters on the nose. Tight with good concentration on the palate with a clean feel amidst dry light textures, showing some early complexity but its depth and layering is most impressive, exuding notes of exotic tropical fruit and early cinnamon with a touch of bitter lemon, turning more intense and focused with a distilled essence over time. Better than the 2010 and 2011, in my opinion. Excellent. This is one of only three whites produced by Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, bottled specially and only for FICOFI, certainly not available commercially.


2001 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er. Good gentle complexity with a hint of malt on the nose that led to notes of aged creme and recessed chalk underscored by a lively citrus trail, dry but well structured, naturally balanced and seamless, finishing with some unresolved potential, suggesting that this wine still has some way to go before peaking. Very fine.

2001 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Pulcelles 1er. Displaying a darker hue with an enticing glow of recessed creme de la creme and chalky tones, this wine is layered with great minerality and superb concentration with fabulous intensity of fruit, yet remarkably deft and delicate, well-structured, very correct in its expression of this most characteristic terroir of all premier cru climats of Puligny-Montrachet, finishing with wonderful length amidst minty overtones. Truly superb.


2001 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Displaying a darker hue as well, this wine exudes an expansive chalky sheen with great subtlety across the palate where layers of complex fruit and crystalline minerals tease the senses with sharp fleeting intensity, like a beautiful woman who knows what she’s got but offering only a peak-a-boo. Yet to peak. Excellent.

2009 Domaine Marquis D’Angerville Volnay Taillepieds 1er, poured from magnum. Good colour, exuding a delicious bouquet of dark cherries, red fruits and perfumed rose petals. Medium-full, displaying lovely depth, concentration and intensity of ripe berries with understated earthiness. Fleshy and supple, highly elegant in its delivery of power. Excellent.


Yours truly with M. Guillaume d’Angerville


2010 Domaine Marquis D’Angerville Volnay Taillepieds 1er, poured from magnum. Lifted complex aromas of red fruits, raspberries and dark cherries, very lovely with great subtlety, leading to a delicious palate that displayed great definition, focus and balance, laced with sublime acidity with an understated presence that added to its natural balance. Supremely elegant and refined. Outstanding.

2004 Domaine Marquis D’Angerville Volnay Taillepieds 1er, poured from magnum. More complex and developed on the nose with aromas of feminine fragrance, dark roses and camphor with a mild herbal tone, weighty but gently layered, quite excellent in acidity and intensity of fruit though its heavier darker tone may not suit everyone’s idea of Volnay.

2009 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru. There is some early evolution of colour here with enticing aromas of ripe raspberries, cherries and dark roses amidst tobacco snuff and a hint of ember. Openly expansive, showing superb concentration and intensity of fruit with seamless integration of rich earthy minerals and sublime acidity, culminating in a superb lengthy glow. Highly successful.


2009 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru. Showing some evolution of colour, this wine exudes a mild earthy pungency amidst overtones of ripe dark fruit. Open, fleshy and seamlessly layered, rather subtle in nuances. Somewhat reserved and controlled at this stage. Best to lay down.

1992 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru monopole, poured from methuselah. Clearly evolved but still showing good colour with a core of sexy tangerines amidst ripe raspberries, dark cherries, wild berries and dark currants that led to a highly detailed palate etched with very fine tannins, swathed in superb concentration and intensity of fruit, highly sensuous and exuberant with plenty of verve, becoming utterly seamless by the end of dinner. Far better than a recent tasting, also from methuselah poured at the 2017 Le Palais des Grands Crus in Paris, and still has the legs to carry on for many more years. Outstanding.


1990 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru monopole. Tasted with palpable anticipation, this wine surprised many with its Zen-like absolute refinement and sophistication. Opening with a deep gentle glow of complex fruits and tertiary nuances recalling aged raspberries and dark cherries with a distinct orangey core of citrus, it is still displaying excellent concentration and layering of fruit with fine detail and depth, utterly elegant and seamless with plenty of finesse, reserving its best for the finish as plush velvety textures offered a bed of exciting sexy tannins amidst understated acidity. I must say this 1990 Romanee-Conti has been caught right at its absolute peak and will hold for many more years. Thoroughly outstanding!

We concluded with a 2005 Ch d’Yquem. Ubiquitous at FICOFI functions of late, this Sauternes displays superb depth of rich luscious creme de la crème, icing and nectarine with overtones of burnt honey and toast, seemingly developing at a glacial pace, still yet to evolve, drawing the evening to a reluctant close. This has truly been quite an evening of excesses. Thank you, FICOFI, for the immaculate organisation.



Aubert enjoys the occasional selfie