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

September 20, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 7, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 31, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 18, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1970 Lynch-Bages, 2004 Mouton Rothschild, 2000 Léoville Las-Cases, 2016 “Y” d’Yquem, 1989 Coutet

August 13, 2022

Sanjay very graciously hosted a lovely dinner on 25 July 2022 at Shang Palace, Shangri-la Singapore, generously curating the entire wine line-up as well. It was reassuring to know that standards at this venerable institution have remained undimmed in spite of the untimely passing of Chef Mok last year. Many thanks, Sir !

2004 Champagne Dom Pérignon Rosé. Fairly deep in colour, proffering notes of mandarins and grapefruit with a faint whiff of cordite, showing excellent dry presence and elegant darkish depth as it fleshed out with refreshing glacial tones.

2016 “Y” d’Yquem. Pale but highly enticing in its bouquet of green fruits, distant fig and tropical fruit. Medium-bodied. Seamlessly rounded with cool vanillin, fleshing out with a velvety fullness laced with overtones of jackfruit.

20220808_123450.jpg2001 Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc. Deeply coloured. Dense bouquet of cinnamon, cedar, honeyed toast and brioche. The medium-bodied palate offers great clarity with its fruit of mature apricot set rather backward, slightly oxidative in character, improving in balance over time though the finish is short. Time to drink up.

2004 Château Mouton Rothschild. Bright crimson. Lovely glow of raspberries, dark currants and mulberries, exuding a silky earthy pungency. The medium-bodied palate is rounded with fleshy suppleness, rather elegantly placid and smoothly delineated though unexpectedly short.

1970 Château Lynch-Bages. Bright crimson. Distant glow of mature claret with a mild reductive pungency. Still quite lively with a fairly deep core of strawberries, cinnamon and star anise set slightly backward, displaying subtle Pauillac character. Still holding on but I’d drink up.

2000 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Deep purple. Effusive in mulberries, raspberries and dark fruit, effortlessly lifted. Medium-bodied. Seamlessly integrated and open with a fleshy suppleness, evolving into its unmistakable Saint-Julien character with further notes of camphor underscored by austere ferrous elements, tapering with subtle biting intensity to a finish that’s just a little short.

1989 Château Coutet. Deep tea-colored. Lovely effusive notes nectarine and honey. Richly imbued but not too luscious, displaying fine agility with understated acidity, exuding white incense with mild medicinal overtones. Impeccably proportioned and balanced. Very successful.

July 2022: 2017 Comte Lafon Meursault, 2002 Margaux, 2018 Jordan Chardonnay, 1996 Robert Ampeau Meursault-Perrières, 2005 Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle

August 8, 2022

2006 Mount Mary Quintet. Aired for 90 minutes in advance before dinner at Jade Palace, 02 July 2022. Deep currants and dark plums on the nose with a sense of warm pebbles. Rather full with structured intensity, ample in darkish characters intoned with a bright minerally glare that later gave way to emerging notes of mocha and licorice. More open after two hours as it settled with sweet rounded tannins though it still came across as rather dense and heavy, even for cabernet.

2018 Jordan Chardonnay, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 03 July 2022. Deeply coloured. Exudes fresh morning notes while green fruits dominate on the palate, underpinned by prominent ferrous and minerally elements that impart an austere tinge. Fleshed out eventually with an emerging citrus depth, displaying rounded intensity with good clarity and crisp articulation. Drinking well. Another glass, again at 67 Pall Mall on 16 July 2022, displayed fine clarity amid a tangy intensity with distant notes of chalk and crème de la crème. Worth seeking out.

2011 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert, a steal at SGD89 from the list of 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 03 July 2022. Crimson brown, exuding charred savoury characters, ember and smoked bacon with more of haw and red fruits later. Softened after some time with good inner detail and refined tannins, displaying an open presence with a tinge of menthol at its glowing finish.

2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Loche En Chantone, aired in advance for 90 minutes prior to dinner at home, 04 July 2022. Displaying a fairly deep greenish hue, this wine is generously endowed with high-toned characters of tropical fruits, melons and fig underpinned by pomelo and subtle ferrous elements that added a bit of austere depth, imparting an intense tingling mouthfeel with its exciting acidity. Still youthful but lovely to drink now.

2014 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Fuissé Vignes Blanches. Popped and poured at Wah Lok, 10 July 2022. Exuberant bouquet of fig and peaches with a glorious floral fragrance that exude a rich oily density on the palate, displaying great clarity and purity with an unassuming elegance, developing understated intensity amid recessed chalky white tones. Drinking well.

2005 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle, aired for two hours in bottle ahead of lunch at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 11 July 2022. Deep dark bouquet of black currants, wild berries, spice and licorice. Medium-full with a textured mouthfeel, exuding a cool minty glow. Dryish at first, then fleshing out with rounded presence as it gelled very well with seamless velvety tannins that oozed a trace of sweetness, evolving with fine clarity and understated structure. Very expertly crafted without any hint of its 14.5% abv.

2019 Domaine Jean Chartron Saint-Aubin Les Murgers Des Dents de Chien 1er, courtesy of Russ at Nomi, 13 July 2022. Explosive bouquet of morning dew, floral fragrance, pears and fig. Even more effusive after some time with further notes of honeysuckle and dense tropical fruits. Lovely tense fullness with exciting mouthfeel, imbued with excellent acidity and precision with a distinct ferrous edge, imparting bit of stern demeanour.

2019 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Meursault Les Chevalières at Nomi, 13 July 2022. Restrained rounded floral fragrance. Medium-full. Zesty with a teasing soft intensity, showing good clarity with elegant depth and precision, fanning out with quiet glow as it morphed into a seamless entity with further detail amid overtones of nutmeg.

2011 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Pruliers 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Nomi, 13 July 2022. Lovely deep ruby. Exudes a gentle restrained rosy fragrance matched by very fine juicy succulence on the medium-bodied palate, basking in a long detailed glowing finish with feminine intensity. Drinking well but still remarkably youthful.

20220713_215420.jpg1995 Les Forts de Latour, courtesy of Melvin at Nomi, 13 July 2022. Good colour. Lovely sense of velvety depth on the nose amid deep rosy hues, dark plums and some pungent earthiness. Shows excellent depth and freshness with open svelte intensity, displaying understated secondary characters underscored with savoury swagger. Even better than a previous tasting in 2018. At its best.

2009 Domaine Louis Carillon et Fils Puligny-Montrachet Les Perrières 1er, courtesy of WCY at Imperial Treasure Great World, 14 July 2022. Rich oily density, exuding a sense of opulence in its fabulous bouquet of fragrant floral bloom, yellow citrus, vanillin and white peaches. Medium-full, displaying a layered density and intensity that appeared even more reductive over time with powdery textures that seemed very Meursault-like before settling down with the classic chalky glow of a Puligny-Montrachet.

2015 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Nuits-Saint-Georges, courtesy of Sir Bob at Imperial Treasure Great World, 14 July 2022. Deep pinot tint with a faintly delicious nose of ripe dark cherries. Medium-full. Highly supple with very fine acidity, imparting lovely freshness and verve even before it gelled together with superb clarity and definition, subtly structured. Excellent.

2004 Domaine Jacques-Frèdéric Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob at Imperial Treasure Great World, 14 July 2022. Deep pinot tint with a tinge of brown, showing early secondary cedary characters. Medium-full with supple intensity and acidity though its darkish fruit is somewhat reluctant, laced with a hint of tangerines. Distinctly more minerally at first with a little shiny glare, settling down only after three hours with better integration and balance, finishing with soothing sweet tannins.

2011 Hospices de Beaune Corton Grand Cru vinified by Faiveley for Sir Bob. Aired in bottle for almost three hours prior at Imperial Treasure Great World, 14 July 2022. Good colour. Shy on the nose though the medium-bodied palate is imbued with ample red fruits, subtly shaded with a refined relaxed presence. Fleshed out with delicious tones. Surprising bright and cheerful for Corton.

2014 Weingut Markus Molitor Pinot Noir Brauneberger Klostergarten**, courtesy of Alvin at Imperial Treasure Great World, 14 July 2022. Classic pinot tint, showing restrained warmth with a distant shy fragrance of rose petals and cherries. Very correct in character, highly even and smoothly delineated on the placid medium-bodied palate. Foxed us all into believing it to be a true burgundy.

2000 Château Sociando-Mallet, aired for two hours prior to dinner at Otto Ristorante, 15 July 2022. Still showing a deep garnet red with an effusive glow of mature claret, boasting deep dark plums tinged with a dried herbal vegetal hint. Imbued with darkish characters on the medium-full, fleshing out with a lovely rounded presence and fresh acidity with lovely detail. Highly integral. At its best.

2018 Domaine Olivier Leflaive Chablis Le Deux Rives by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 16 July 2022. Pale greenish. Lovely nose of tangerines, lemon peel and peaches that exert a distinct flinty presence. Medium-full. Well integrated and balanced with understated refined acidity, displaying excellent delineation and length as it gained a slight intensity of pineapples and tropical fruits. A steal.

2014 Tyler Winery Zotovich Family Vineyard Chardonnay by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 16 July 2022. Greenish hue with a restrained floral warmth while lemon peels dominate with a subdued delicate presence, coating the light-medium palate with a high-toned fleeting acidity that teased with shiny minerally elements bringing up the rear. Resembles a Pouilly-Fuissé. Drinking well.

2019 Domaine Larue Saint-Aubin En Montceau 1er. Popped and poured at home, 17 July 2022. Pale greenish hue. Morning dew and distant icing on the nose. The palate is expectedly full and intense, imbued with fresh clear fruits and tangy pomelo that lent a tinge of austerity against the broad sweep of bright citrus.

Chandon Brut NV, at Tanah Merah Country Club, Singapore, 20 July 2022. Fig, distant green fruits, pomelo and icing, rather promising on the nose though the palate is disappointingly straightforward with a dryish intensity.

2018 Stag’s Leap Karia Chardonnay. Aired in bottle for three hours prior to dinner at Eastern House of Seafood, 23 July 2022. Pale golden hue. Imbued with a slick oily density that exudes delicious white fruits with a floral lift, topped with gentle notes of crème. Developed further layering and overtones of nutmeg, displaying refined acidity and understated intensity with unassuming demeanour.

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau et Fils Meursault-Perrières 1er. Aired for two hours in advance prior to dinner at Kiyose, 26 July 2022. Luminous, proffering abundant fig and clear citrus on the nose with an orangey tone. Full-bodied with excellent density. Still imbued with lovely freshness and sleek acidity amid mild ferrous elements, showing plenty of zest with a lithe high-toned acidity.

Champagne Liébart-Régnier Horti Extra Brut, courtesy of LF at Kiyose, 26 July 2022. A blend that includes less usual varieties of petit arbane, pinot blanc and petit meslier. Pale. Most alluring bouquet of perfumed floral fragrance amid recessed yeasty tones. Full high-toned palate of highly refined bubbles with a keen lift, sporting a most unusual darkish vein. Very well integrated with a dash of white flint.

2002 Château Margaux, courtesy of Sir Bob at Kiyose, 26 July 2022. Deep purple. Rather shy, just hinting at warm gravel. The fleshy open palate is somewhat reductive with a marked presence of capsicum and dark fruits that exert mild supple intensity, a little dryish but agile, developing faint hues of haw. Drinking well but it lacks charm and true complexity.

2002 Château L’Evangile, courtesy of Sir Bob at Kiyose, 26 July 2022. Deep purple. Dark fruits and capsicum dominate with soft red fruits in equal measure, exuding gentle warmth. Seamlessly integrated with lithe agility and subtle intensity.

2017 Château de Meursault Meursault-Perrières 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Kiyose, 26 July 2022. Luminous. Nose of restrained citrus and white fruits. Medium-bodied. Gently weighted with lovely balance and subtle intensity, finishing with fine linearity.

2017 Domaine Comte Lafon Meursault, courtesy of Kieron at Kiyose, 26 July 2022. Pale. Shy, laced with a slight saline presence. The medium-bodied palate is wonderfully layered with plenty of dimension, proffering excellent freshness and clarity with elegant intensity. Very correct in every way.

2018 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis Mont de Milieu 1er, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 28 July 2022. Fairly deep greenish hue, promising green apples, kiwi and fig followed by an emerging floral fragrance Medium-bodied. Rounded and quite ample, layered with a deeper vein of preserved tropical fruit. Good balance, becoming a little more minerally over time. Lingering finish.

2018 Domaine Rapet Père et Fils Pernand-Vergelesses Sous Frétille 1er, aired for an hour ahead of dinner at Daniu Teochew Restaurant, 29 July 2022. Luminous. Shy. Medium-full, displaying an even firm chalky presence amid the fragrance of white floral bloom. Evolved much later with dense white tones and fine inner detail. Excellent actually, but under-rated. Needs plenty of time for proper expression.

2005 Château Chasse-Spleen, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 30 July 2022. Deep crimson. Effusive glow of mature red plums, dark fruits and currants, coating the palate with soft chewy tannins that exert supple intensity, revealing fine inner detail with lovely acidity. Went on to develop early tertiary characters of roast, mahogany and cedar gently laced with licorice. Good finish. Highly satisfying.

2019 Domaine de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er, aired for an hour ahead of dinner at Eastern House of Seafood, 31 July 2022. Lightly coloured. Belies a dense effusive bouquet of glorious ripe yellow citrus, tropical melons and pineapples. Richly imbued with superb supple intensity though still fairly tight, finishing with good length. Fabulous potential.

Dinner with Pablo Alvarez: 2019 La Tâche, 2005 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet MdL, 2014 Joseph Drouhin Bâtard-Montrachet, 2001 Leflaive Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet 2003 Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay

July 30, 2022

It was very good to welcome our old friend Pablo Alvarez of Bodegas Vega-Sicilia back to Singapore on 21 July 2022 at Imperial Treasure Great World with a superb line-up (a magnum of Lamarche Échezeaux, unfortunately, wasn’t on form). Pablo has always been very generous to people around him, offering on this occasion a 2019 D.R.C. La Tâche. We were quite taken aback to drink this great wine so soon after bottling but then I recalled Pablo had also sent us a four-year-old 2012 D.R.C. Richebourg for our wonderful lunch at Extebarri in Spain back in 2016. 20220721_214333.jpgMuchísimas gracias, Pablo, for spending your precious time with us, and the same too to everyone for your generous contributions. We look forward to visiting you at Vega-Sicilia next year.

2005 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Poured from magnum. Dull golden. Distant fig, peaches and tangerines dominate with cool elegance on the nose. Medium-full, displaying superb concentration of glorious fruit interpolated with a mature chalkiness that teased with fleeting intensity, holding the palate in a lovely velvety grip as it evolved with an unending spectrum of delicate white tones that oozed with a trace of sweetness. Hasn’t quite peaked, but really lovely.

2003 Marcassin “Marcassin Vineyard” Chardonnay, courtesy of CW. Deep golden. Lightly varnished tangerines and orange peel dominate on the nose, giving an impression of a Rhône white. The medium-bodied palate is slightly reductive with a glowing intensity of white tones, deeper and more refined over time along with lovely emerging acidity, eventually revealing its true chardonnay character with a tinge of sweetness. Excellent. From a 8-ha site where only a third is planted with chardonnay.

2006 Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut, courtesy of MH. Poured from magnum. Pale. Slightly reductive, evoking fig and summer hay with a gentle pungency. Medium-full, yielding a high-toned palate of pale fruits and pears that shone with refined gentle intensity within a soft sheen of very tiny bubbles. Highly integral. Matches Salon every step of the way.

2007 Domaine Marc Sorrel Hermitage Blanc, courtesy of Don Roberto. Deeply coloured. Astounding nose of kerosene and must. Medium-bodied. Seemingly reticent with lean flavours initially, showing good integration and clarity before fleshing out with greater weight and seamless layers. Lovely.

2015 Domaine Hudelot-Nöellat Vosne-Romanée. Aired for three hours in advance. Classic pinot tint, proffering gentle hues of rose petals and raspberries that carried well onto the open palate with a warm ripe supple intensity. Almost feminine.

2015 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Nuits-Saint-Georges, courtesy of Don Roberto. Lovely clear ruby. Slightly forward balance of red fruits and currants. Highly attractive and alluring with a gentle open supple intensity, the usual minerally streak of NSG on the mid-palate surprisingly restrained. Delicious.

IMG-20220721-WA0039.jpg2019 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche Grand Cru, courtesy of Pablo Alvarez. This is the youngest bottle of D.R.C. I’ve had and it is surprisingly accessible even at this infantile stage. Deep purple at its core, this wine exudes deep sweet rosy hues that reflect the wonderful depth of glorious dark fruits and currants at its core. Instead of a tannic monster, the 2019 La Tâche is surprisingly open with supple intensity, just a little tight but it fleshed out convincingly with subtle layers of cool ripe fruit that fan out with lovely dimension, immaculately proportioned and balanced. This is a complete wine in the making.

2012 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of Vic. Classic pinot tint. Effusive bouquet of alluring soft rosy hues, leading to an open gentle intensity. Highly supple and integral with a condensed depth. Good length.

2014 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sanjay. Pale. White tones dominate with a restrained cool elegance. Medium-full. Open with a gentle suppleness, seamlessly layered with superb purity of fruit, evolving with a slightly prominent note of salinity over time but it has the poise, balance and correctness only possible through its impeccable pedigree.

2001 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Don Roberto. Luminous gold, proffering lifted white fruits against a recessed chalkiness while white tones dominate on the palate with a refined elegant intensity. Highly integral, displaying a classic Leflaive tone. Still wonderfully fresh with plenty of verve, now at the peak of maturity where its distilled essence evokes a cerebral dimension. Superb.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru, courtesy of Boon. Classic pinot tint, richly imbued with ripe red fruits. Open with feminine character. Gently layered with rosy hues and subdued acidity, exuding a lovely freshness. Superbly integrated. Finished well.

2003 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of Boon. Classic pinot tint. Alluring bouquet of red fruits, cherries and currants amid overtones of paraffin. Richly layered. Wonderfully ripe and delicious as it evolved with further notes of haw and secondary characters. Almost hedonistic, but it exerts fabulous control over its proportions. Superbly balanced.

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Saint-Émilion: 2011 Domaine Vieux Mouchet 2011 La Commanderie, 2012 Lapelletrie, 2015 Cap De Mourlin, 2005 Grand Corbin-Despagne

July 27, 2022

True to its mission, the Jürade de Saint-Émilion du Singapour conducted a second tasting masterclass (by popular demand!) at Tanah Merah Country Club, Singapore, on 20 July 2022 to promote awareness of Saint-Émilion to club members. Participants were lucky, on this occasion, to be able to taste fairly mature wines in the line-up as four of them were aged at least ten years or older. All bottles were aired for 4-5 hours prior to tasting. All were drinking very well. The lesson here is that even lesser-known wines are capable of ample pleasure given enough bottle age and preparation.

2011 Domaine Du Vieux Mouchet. Deep purple. Some classic mature glow of cinnamon and capsicum on the nose, highly alluring. Lovely fleshy presence with fine acidity. Faintly delicious and juicy, layered with tinge of ferrous elements. Good balance. Decent finish.

2011 Château La Commanderie. Deep crimson. Wild berries on the nose with a vegetal trace. Highly supple with an attractive tannic spine, imbued with ferrous elements in the mid-palate with a structured controlled intensity. Quiet balance. Glowing minty finish.

2012 Château Lapelletrie. Opaque purple. Hint of capsicum and vegetal flare on the nose. Medium-bodied. Fleshy, displaying exciting verve and excellent acidity. Very open and well integrated.

2015 Château Cap De Mourlin. Deep crimson. Soft delicious flavours of haw and red fruits. Open with fleshy supple intensity and exciting acidity. Good refinement and verve. Gelled together very well but it really needs plenty of time.

2005 Château Grand Corbin-Despagne. Deep crimson. Velvety red fruits with a relaxed supple presence, laced with superb acidity. Medium-full. More vivacious over time but still retaining its refined balance. Excellent.

Vega-Sicilia Unico 1986, 1990, 1994, 2006, 2008

July 7, 2022

The Jürade de Saint-Émilion du Singapour convened at Praelum on 25 May 2022 for a riotous evening of Spanish wines that produced an unexpected vertical of Vega-Sicilia Unico that I’m sure Pablo Alvarez would have been proud of. Many thanks to all for your immense generosity.

2015 Gramona Imperial Brut. Airy fizz with characters of morning dew, pomelo and clear citrus on the nose. Medium-bodied, displaying a dominance of lime topped with cool icing, oozing with refined intensity.

2010 Temperancia Toro, courtesy of Marc. Interesting bouquet of red fruits, wild berries, bramble and bush. Slightly reductive. Generously proportioned with juicy succulence and structured intensity, showing good control and balance with fine linearity and sleek acidity.

2015 Masdeu De Scala Dei, courtesy of Russ. Good lift of raspberries and dark currants with a hint of burnt. Rounded with excellent presence of fruit on a base of earthy minerals though its tannins are still quite sharply accentuated, finishing with an afternote of medicinal powder.

2014 Otazu Bond, aired for six hours prior. Poured from magnum. Deep plummy tones and dark currants dominate. Medium-full. Considerably more open than before, well-integrated with characters of toffee and licorice but its tannins gained further traction over time, becoming a little too intense and unsettled.

2016 Dominio del Áquila Ribera del Duero Riserva. Deep purple. Medium-bodied. Rather bright and open, imbued with warm ripe fruit, showing good detail and integration.

2016 Quiñón de Valmira, courtesy of Russ. Medium-bodied. Open with a soft velvety depth of red fruits and currants. Darkly delicious, showing good verve and detail. Drinking well. Made of 100% grenache.

2011 La Rioja Alta Gran Riserva, courtesy of Sean. Deep crimson, exuding secondary characters of haw and preserved red fruits. Medium-full but soft, open with good presence of fruit and refined acidity, culminating in a glowing finish.

2008 Vega-Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5º, courtesy of Kieron. Good colour. Softly contoured, imbued with very fine presence of ripe red fruits that impart a certain velvety warmth, underscored with sweet tannins and understated acidity.

1986 Vega-Sicilia Unico Riserva, courtesy of Ewen. Deep crimson. Surprisingly shut though softly contoured with velvety warmth, imbued with the distilled presence of mature red fruits and mulberries. Beautifully mellow, still fresh and alluring. Good balance.

1990 Vega-Sicilia Unico Riserva, courtesy of Russ. Deep crimson. Ripe raspberries, cherries and red fruits dominate, the superb ripeness shining through the mellow sophisticated tannins, showing excellent integration between the fruit and restrained acidity, laced with a dash of sweetness throughout its lovely length.

1994 Vega-Sicilia Unico Riserva, courtesy of Mr Co. Forward notes of varnish with good lift. Medium-bodied. Still quite generously layered with mature red fruits that have blended well with recessed tannins and secondary characters of cedar and powdered minerals, oozing with a trace of sweetness throughout its length, proffering fine detail. Feminine.

2006 Vega-Sicilia Unico Riserva, courtesy of Jess. Warm, rosy hues of delicious ripe fruit that carried well onto the full-bodied palate. Surprisingly soft and relaxed, very finely balanced with subtle detailed tannins. Superbly integrated.

2008 Vega-Sicilia Unico Riserva, courtesy of Marc. Deep purple. Highly inviting warmth of ripe fruits and currants on the nose and palate. Surprisingly open, distinctly feminine in its juicy succulence and sublime acidity that imparted exciting intensity. Highly refined and beautifully integrated. This is a great Unico in the making.

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June 2022: Morey-St-Denis Chaffots 2014, Pichon Baron 1996, Pichon Lalande 1996, 2009 Mugnier NSG Clos de la Marechale, 2018 Château Montaiguillon

June 30, 2022

Champagne Veuve A. Devaux Coeur des Bar Blanc de Noirs Brut, at a MEH Radiology function, 03 June 2022. Refreshing verve, displaying chiseled definition with fine presence of pointed lime, pomelo and citrus. Drinking well.

2017 Laurent Ponsot Chambolle-Musigny Chaumes 1er, at a MEH Radiology function, 03 June 2022. Darkish characters with a good lift of haw, twigs and undergrowth on the medium-full palate. Good integration and presence, structured with smooth tannins but unyielding.

2012 Château Léoville Poyferre, at a MEH Radiology function, 03 June 2022. Some haw on the nose, still largely dominated by new oak vanillin. Medium-bodied. Soft, fleshy and fresh, proffering some detail but short. Drinking well but not distinctive.

2004 Château Madeleine, courtesy of Sir Bob at a MEH Radiology function, 03 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Some bricking, considerably restrained. Soft, rounded, well-integrated proposition with secondary characters of mahogany though the fruit is rather backward. Appears more evolved than expected, considering this is poured from large format. Short as well.

2016 Heitz Cellars Chardonnay, at a MEH Radiology function, 03 June 2022. Served too cold, hinting at only some crème de la crème. Good density of cool tones on the palate, proffering fine clarity with glimpses of clear citrus. Rather reticent.

2018 Domaines Leflaive Mâcon-Verzé, at a MEH Radiology function, 03 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Light-medium. Gently layered with pebbly tones and cool citrus amid some creamy characters, displaying fine clarity and acidity with a hint of nutmeg. Good balance. Drinking well.

Bouchard Aine et Fils Chardonnay Terret, at the Krisflyer Gold Lounge, Changi Airport T3, 04 June 2022. Lifted tones of white fruits and spicy nutmeg. Quite integral, showing good balance and fullness. Does its job.

2020 Rare Cabernet Merlot, at the Krisflyer Gold Lounge, Changi Airport T3, 04 June 2022. Dark currants and bramble dominate with some bright spots. The palate is fairly full and supple with predominant red fruits, structured with smooth sweet subtle tannins.

Champagne Henriot Souverain Brut NV, from the list of The Glencoe Inn, Scotland, on our twenty-eighth anniversary, 11 June 2022. Pale. Forward balance of dense citrus and white fruits with a bright minerally presence that blazed with searing dry intensity.

2020 Diez Siglos Verdejo, courtesy of The Glencoe Inn, Scotland, on our twenty-eighth anniversary, 11 June 2022. Nutmeg and wild flowers on the nose, while fig, olives and green fruits feature on the medium-full palate, displaying good weight and integration. Straightforward but does its job.

20220613_192343.jpg2018 Château Montaiguillon, from the list of Rufflets at St Andrews, Scotland, 13 June 2022. Deep garnet, exuding redcurrants and dark rosy hues underpinned by savoury characters with a tinge of undergrowth. A little more fruit forward after some time, fleshing out with smooth rounded silky tannins and refined acidity as it morphed with greater warmth and ripeness, developing an open gentle velvety intensity.

2019 Domaine André Brunel Cotes du Rhone Est-Quest, from the list of Rules restaurant, London, on 15 June 2022. Restrained deep currants on the nose, leading to a full darkish palate structured with youthful tannins that exert dry intensity. A little more open with food as it settled down with some delicious savoury characters.

2019 Château Le Roc, at the Krisflyer Lounge, Heathrow Airport T2, 17 June 2022. Fairly deep nose of delicious dark currants, though the palate is distinctly more lean and minerally, somewhat austere.

2022 Domaine de Castelnau Les Ronces Chardonnay, at the Krisflyer Lounge, Heathrow Airport T2, on 17 June 2022. Morning dew and grassy elements on the nose, imbued with some nutmeg and Asian spice on the sharp medium-bodied palate.

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut NV, tasted on board SQ317 from LHR-SIN, 17 June 2022. Lovely pungent yeasty overtones on the nose, matched by a refreshing crisp presence of dense white fruits and citrus with a minerally wisp, imparting excellent dry intensity.

2010 Champagne Dom Pérignon, tasted on board SQ317 from LHR-SIN, 17 June 2022. Restrained whiff of yeasty tones, leading to a very refined mouthfeel of seamless chalky ferrous elements, yellow citrus and white fruits. Poised with delicate balance and fine detail with a warm ripe fullness. A tad austere at its distinct minerally finish, but highly successful.

2017 Domaine Albert Bichot Montagny 1er, tasted on board SQ317 from LHR-SIN, 17 June 2022. Luminous. Highly restrained, not giving away much. Medium density. Slightly chalky at first before developing a greater rounded presence with food, proffering cool clarity with mild overtones of nutmeg, showing some early complexity. An astute choice with the advantage of an outstanding vintage, but it needs time to express itself properly.

2016 Château Cap d’Or, tasted on board SQ317 from LHR-SIN, 17 June 2022. Deep garnet. Whiff of raspberries and wild roses. Medium-bodied, fairly smooth and seamless with a hint of briar and capsicum. Exudes gentle feminine elegance.

2013 Champagne Frédéric Savart Le Mont des Chretiens 1er Ecueil Extra Brut, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Bright and bold with dry intensity and a high-toned acidity.

2013 Château de Puligny-Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Poured from double magnum. Luminous. Medium-bodied. Imbued with white fruits amid a minerally presence and fine acidity but somewhat lean.

2016 Domaine Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. White tones and vanillin dominate on the nose. Medium-full. Structured with the classic chalkiness of Puligny, exerting a lovely gentle tensile presence but a little short.

2018 Domaine Belargus Anjou Les Roueres, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Restrained peppery notes. Medium-full. Very good presence with a powdery texture, imparting an unique mouthfeel. Not too creamy. Highly refined.

2014 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Les Chaffots vinified by Domaine Dujac for FICOFI, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Classic pinot tint. Opens with a gentle feminine rosy fragrance, showing early secondary characters on the medium-bodied palate with understated acidity. Great refinement, as expected, from Dujac. Drinking beautifully.

2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er cuvée Maurice Drouhin vinified by Joseph Drouhin, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Good presence of rosy fruit at just the right level of concentration. Open with fine seamless integration and understated acidity. Good refinement.

2015 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Good colour and presence with a certain structured dryness, exuding a gentle feminine rosy fragrance. Drinking well but somewhat uninvolving.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Poured from jeroboam. Classic pinot tint. Surprisingly open with a lovely deep rosy fragrance that carried well onto the palate.

2016 Château Quintus, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at his residence, 18 June 2022. Poured from double magnum. Deep purple. Well-extracted. Massively proportioned with structured intensity, displaying a warm ripeness with a sharp tannic spine but the quality is obvious.

2007 Champagne Delamotte, courtesy of Kieron at Tanglin Club, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Pale. Firm density of fig, citrus and pears, brightly lit with dry intensity. Drinking well.

2009 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Tanglin Club, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Gentle nose of crème de la crème with a recessed chalkiness. Medium-bodied. Displays excellent clarity and cool freshness of morning dew with very refined acidity and great balance, developing caramelised notes after two hours. Excellent.

2009 Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er Rouge, courtesy of Kieron at Tanglin Club, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Dark fruits and currants dominate with an alluring freshness amid a mild herbal glow. Medium-full. Cleanly structured with refined precision and smooth silky tannins, well integrated with understated ferrous elements, gaining further velvety depth.

1996 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, courtesy of Kieron at Tanglin Club, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Incredibly rich bouquet of distilled black fruits, currants and green capsicum that glowed with an irresistible pungent earthiness, well-replicated on the medium-bodied palate with fine clarity and detail.

1996 Château Pichon Baron Longueville, courtesy of Kieron at Tanglin Club, 18 June 2022. Poured from magnum. Deep crimson. Attractive velvety bouquet of cedar, cinnamon and capsicum. Highly supple and fleshy with a refreshing fullness, subtly structured with great balance and clarity. Surprisingly close in character to Pichon Lalande of the same vintage, perhaps just a tad cleaner.

2000 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge at Tanglin Club, 18 June 2022. Dark fruits on the nose amid gravelly tones with a gentle earthiness. Medium-bodied. Softly contoured, well balanced and integrated, developing more youthful intensity and exciting acidity much later.

2017 Domaine de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er. Popped and poured at Hillman 99 (Pasir Panjang), 24 June 2022. Dense glossy sheen of white fruits, clear citrus and white floral characters, exuding lovely aromatics. Great clarity on the palate, imbued with a deeper vein of distilled essence. Fleshed out with more rounded presence tinged with a trace of salinity, finishing in a mild blaze of nutmeg and exotic spices.

2020 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills M3 Chardonnay, drunk over dinner at home after two hours of aeration, 28 June 2022. Generous swathe of tangy nutmeg and menthol with a white floral lift, carrying well onto the palate with wild grassy elements and slick acidity that opened up further dimension in addition to its excellent depth.