Skip to content

July 2020: 2016 Château Valandraud Blanc, 1999 Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin, 2004 Pichon Longueville Comtesse Lalande, 1996 Robert Ampeau Meursault-Charmes, 2012 Drouhin Folatières, 2018 Clos Tillet, 1982 Nenin, 1961 Chasse-Spleen…

August 1, 2020

2017 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes, popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 01 July 2020, and again at Yoshi on 16 July 2020. Pale luminosity. Medium-bodied at first, displaying moderate intensity of citrus, lime and jackfruit, highly harmonious with delicate transparency. Gained increasing intensity and acidity with emerging notes of raw nutmeg amid bold chalky tones, eventually fleshing out with great body and inner detail as it finished with excellent length and linearity. Very well-endowed for a bourgogne and could easily have passed off as premier cru given enough aeration and class-leading stemware.

2016 Château Valandraud Blanc, popped and poured after hours on 02 July 2020. Pale. Rather unyielding at first, tightly coiled with white fruits, pears and fig that eventually fleshed out with layers of fruit and white floral tones on a subdued chalky base, traversing the palate with lovely density and subtle acidity as it opened up further in a blaze of stunning detail amid overtones of raw nutmeg. Excellent but cannot be hurried.

2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Fuissé Les Cras, courtesy of Vic. Popped and poured over dimsum at Asia Grand, 04 July 2020. Pale. Good intensity of citrus and lime, quite richly layered with fine concentration of fruit on a backdrop of subdued chalkiness that soothed the palate with an easy smoothness, transparency and agility, developing more body and velvety depth over time. Quite excellent though I feel the 2014 still holds sway.

2012 Rockford Black Shiraz, popped and poured over dimsum at Asia Grand, 04 July 2020. Australia’s top sparkling shiraz shines again with beautifully ripe luxuriant Barossa fruit that recalls sweet dark berries and currants tinged with ferrous earthy elements and mild medicinal tones amid faint overtones of cordite, highly harmonious and elegant even as it grew in gentle intensity and complexity over time towards the character of Rockford’s Basket Press Shiraz upon which it is based. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladière 1er Blanc, tasted at home after two hours of aeration in bottle, 05 July 2020. My third bottle in as many months. Displaying a pale greenish hue, this grossly under-rated wine displays a powerful bouquet of pomelo, lime and raw nutmeg with a bit of early complexity. Medium-full, superbly integrated with understated intensity and sublime acidity as it finished with fine linearity. Great value.

20200710_202524.jpg

Gaig

2018 Domaine A-F Gros Bourgogne, popped and poured at Mak Hon Kee, 09 July 2020. Gentle sweet fragrance of dark cherries and ripe wild berries with a trace of earthiness. Quite full and creamy smooth on the palate, showing good density with very well-managed tannins, subtle acidity and ground minerals, developing greater open intensity as it finished with good linearity amid savoury characters and sweet incense. Lots going on here for a bourgogne. Good value at SGD58.

2018 Sierra Cantabria Tinto Seleccion, at SGD72++ from the restaurant list of Gaig, 10 July 2020. Popped and poured. Fairly deep in colour, exuding a slightly forward balance of red plums and tangerines. Rounded with lovely suppleness and fullness, displaying good definition and refined acidity, structured with very fine exciting tannins against a backdrop of sweet cedary characters. Finished well with a bit of spiciness.

Champagne Leon Launois Brut Reserve NV, popped and poured over dimsum at Jade Palace, 11 July 2020. Gentle notes of brioche, honeysuckle and yeast on the nose, leading to a full palate of dense citrus supported by bright graphite minerals that imparted excellent acidity and intensity without being too dry. Excellent value at SGD39. Gives the usual maisons a good run for the money.

2006 Fontanafredda Barolo La Rosa, aired in bottle for three hours prior at home, 12 July 2020. Notes of dark plums and black currants dominate, tinged with licorice. 20200719_171903.jpgRather full and rounded, supple enough with a medicinal trace though it is a tad too heavy, rather unyielding as it grew bolder in tone over time.

1999 Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Russ at Yoshi, 16 July 2020. Popped and poured. Lifted bouquet of red fruits and cherries. Clearly a big wine, still tight and slightly acidic at first. Turned more supple over time, exuding darkish tones with a rich body of austere minerals, becoming sweeter and more lifted as more of evolving red fruits imbued with a deep  core of tangerines came into focus, opening up with lovely depth, definition and acidity. Still yet to peak. Excellent.

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau Meursault-Charmes 1er, popped and poured at Yoshi, 16 July 2020. Controlled glow of apricot, mandarins and honeysuckle matched by delicate citrus that exude gentle intensity of fruit, displaying excellent focus, agility and freshness with a lovely velvety presence. Distinctly feminine. Quite superb, and may not even have peaked.

2004 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, decanted on-site at Gattopardo, 21 July 2020. Deep inky purple. Generous nose of cedar, cinnamon, bananas with some earthy pungency, displaying a lithe highly agile medium-bodied palate laced with supple sexy tannins that exerted superb mouthfeel with an open intensity, turning more sharply accentuated after some time with a discernible tinge of petit verdot green, finishing well. Distinctly feminine, yet to peak. Quite excellent. Do note that Gattopardo has shifted its BYO to Wednesday; otherwise it’s a hefty corkage of SGD80++.

2012 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Folatières 1er, popped and poured over lunch at Otto Ristorante, 23 July 2020. Generous lift of delicate yellow citrus and sorbet that exuded an exciting acute intensity, opening up rapidly with fine tension and superb concentration. More rounded over time as it settled with an emerging hint of wild flowers and nutmeg against a backdrop of chiseled chalky minerals, displaying great balance and purity with lovely length and linearity as it transformed into an elegant beauty. Far more expressive than a bottle from the same case tasted earlier this year. Excellent.

20200723_174026.jpg

2018 Château Clos Tillet, aired in bottle for 2-3 hours prior over dinner at home, 26 July 2020. This bright purple Saint-Émilion exudes a forward balance of ripe raspberries, cherries and currants, fresh and vibrant on the medium-full palate, carrying good weight with subtle detail within an understated tannin structure that’s almost silky smooth. Highly harmonious and balanced. Excellent quality for only SGD29. Ought to flesh out further with another 3-4 years of cellaring.

2000 Champagne Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Clear luminous gold. Pine, fig and walnuts on the nose. Medium-bodied, displaying a lovely expanse of fresh citrus supported by subtle chalkiness and ferrous minerals within a sheen of smooth bubbles though missing in real detail and complexity expected of a Winston Churchill. Rather placid.

1961 Château Chasse-Spleen, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Though the cork has degenerated completely, this wine is still showing quite well, exuding a mild earthy funkiness from its dark opaque recesses, still imbued with good presence of mature dark plums and raspberries that exert fine acidity and intensity with further overtones of warm gravel and marmite. Still reasonably fresh but clearly past its best.

2008 J L Chave Sélection Hermitage Blanche, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. This wine opens with a gentle bouquet of vanilla, white flowers and high-toned crème de la crème that led to a rich oily density, laced with great acidity and intensity of white tones that is almost icy, revealing lovely detail and developing complexity as it traversed the palate with controlled linearity to a persistent finish. Distinctly not chardonnay and would have been very hard to place if blinded. Truly lovely, proving that it’s the producer that matters most.

2000 La Petite Eglise, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Second label of Château L’Eglise-Clinet. There is a lovely earthiness on the nose amid gentle aromas of dark cherries and plums with a lingering trace of sweet currants. Medium-bodied. Open with understated intensity, finely balanced with a hint of ember at the finish. Drinking well.

1982 Château Nenin, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Still rather dark, proffering earthy tones with a dash of medicinal powder. Soft, slightly velvety, imbued with a core of tangerines amid dark currants and fine acidity, developing better definition and layering with further notes of cedar and white smoke. Very fine.

2014 Domaine Fourrier Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Deep subtle dark cherries, tangerines and plums on the nose. Still tightly wound with unresolved tannins, rather firm and acerbic, slightly austere as it developed a certain tarry quality on the floor that is a classic characteristic of that vintage. Excellent potential but needs many more years of cellaring.

1996 Château Léoville Poyferré, popped and poured at Putien Kitchener Rd, 31 July 2020. Deep garnet red. Supremely open with a superb lift of red currants, cedar, mahogany and plums amid a hint of dried mushrooms. Medium-bodied. Rounded and utterly seamless with very fine acidity and transparent tannins. Distinctly feminine. Drinking very well, just lacking in real depth and that extra dimension of complexity that’s easily present in a Las-Cases.

20200728_223414.jpg

 

Château Figeac: 2016, 2009, 2000, 1995, 1990, 1988, 1985 & 1982

July 20, 2020

The Jürade de Saint-Émilion du Singapour was able to meet again on 14 July 2020 (Bastille Day!) at Shang Palace, Shangri-la Singapore, under socially-distanced conditions to enjoy a vertical of Château Figeac, fronted by a mini promenade of burgundy whites and champagne. The wines of this Right Bank maverick are actually seldom encountered in retail shops and prices nowadays are distinctly higher than ever, even for en primeur. The line-up that evening turned out to be quite stunning, for almost all the milestone vintages of the past forty years are represented. Many thanks, everyone, for your contributions.

Champagne Forget-Brimont Brut Premier NV, courtesy of Sandy. Attractive bouquet of intense white fruits with a minty effervescence though the palate is surprisingly relaxed with an easy feel, layered with yellow citrus and smooth bubbles that yielded fine transparency.

Champagne Möet & Chandon Brut Imperial NV, courtesy of Marc. Surprisingly alluring in its bouquet of walnuts, toast, smoldering  ember and yeasty tones. Equally well-endowed  on the palate, showing fine presence and definition with subtly layered nuances.

20200714_193244.jpg2012 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Pucelles 1er. Dull light golden. Notes of brioche and honeysuckle on the nose amidst a dash of crème de la crème and recessed chalk, developing more of white floral fragrance over time while the medium-bodied palate has a certain relaxed feel, displaying delicate lime and citrus fruits of lovely depth and intensity, yielding subtle detail and obscure minerals. Very fine but definitely a step behind the 2014.

2015 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Meursault Les Narvaux, courtesy of Kieron. More pronounced bouquet of brioche with a perfumed fragrance, quite beguiling. Medium-bodied, beautifully transparent in texture with rounded white tones that display gentle intensity with an equally gentle depth of focused fruit, all very subtly shaded with superb harmony, painting the palate with Impressionist strokes as it finished with good persistence and linearity. This is not your usual densely chiseled PYCM. Excellent.

2015 Domaine Francois Mikulski Meursault Poruzots 1er, courtesy of Russ. Pale but very correct at once in its tonal balance of white floral characters and crème, marked by a superbly controlled focus and intensity on the entry, never ever threatening to overwhelm the lovely delicacy and transparency of the medium-bodied palate. Finished very well in a splash of olives and tangy citrus, nuanced with great subtlety. Excellent.

2016 Château Figeac, courtesy of Sandy. Bright purple. Some earthiness is evident, shrouding the abundance of red fruits and currants lurking beneath, resulting in some restraint on the nose. Medium-bodied. Surprisingly open, highly supple and fleshy, still laced with discernible vanillin though superbly harmonious and utterly seamless in its layering of fruit, acidity and tannins, exerting tremendous control and precision as it traversed the palate with great linearity to a quiet finish. Great potential.

2009 Château Figeac, courtesy of KC. Deep garnet red. Superb on the nose, evoking ripe dark plums, currants and red fruits with some early complexity. Deeply nuanced as well on the medium-full palate, characterised by chocolate, mocha and capsicum that exude great suppleness and harmony throughout its length, revealing fine detail. Still youthful. Excellent.

2000 Château Figeac. Open with superb transparency, ease and suppleness, displaying a lovely complex of dark currants, plums, red fruits, haw and cinnamon that exude fabulous shades and subtle nuances in its layers, supremely agile with a teasing quality. Doesn’t quite truly plumb the depths but its mesmerizing multi-dimensional profile is most compelling.

1995 Château Figeac, courtesy of Melvin. Crimson. Great feminine bouquet of mature red fruits amidst overtones of incense and ash. Fully developed, displaying gentle complexity as it traversed the palate with supreme grace and elegance, glowing with an alluring lift of tertiary characters all the way to its lasting finish. Outstanding. This fiftieth vintage of Manoncourt is marked by a special label.

1990 Château Figeac, courtesy of Kieron. Crimson. Superb perfumed fragrance of rose petals that exerted tremendous lift. Softly rounded, layered with superb complexity of fruit with a deep tangerine core that yielded great detail amid a distinct note of capsicum. Subtly structured with superb length, finishing with a trace of sweetness. Caught at its absolute peak.

1988 Château Figeac, courtesy of Marc. Lovely lift of evolved tertiary characters. Poised with great harmony and regal elegance, almost ethereal, displaying infinite dimension with a seemingly unfathomable depth. Outstanding.

1985 Château Figeac, courtesy of Stephen. Outstanding feminine fragrance of rose petals and mature fruit. Wonderfully supple, displaying a most unexpected exuberance of red fruits that still imparted exciting intensity and freshness, traversing the palate with great swagger and linearity as it finished with traces of capsicum. Outstanding.

1982 Château Figeac, courtesy of Russ. Evolved crimson. Great lift of tertiary characters, a heady complex of currants, cinnamon, dark plums, tangerines and violets tinged with crème that’s almost hedonistic. Open, highly supple with an elegant understated intensity and acidity, superbly balanced though a tad short. Great stuff, at its best.

2002 Alois Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 10, courtesy of Melvin. Rather full. Suitably mature with a great expanse of nectarines and apricot that exerted a controlled sweetness amid overtones of ember, imbued with lovely depth and velvety textures. Excellent.

2007 Schloss Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner Auslese, courtesy of Stephen. Pale. Dominant bouquet of diesel tones and black earth, almost peaty in character though this wine is astonishingly agile, highly engaging in spite of its delicate tread on the palate. Quite excellent.

20200714_223117.jpg

June 2020: 2009 Rockford Black Shiraz, 1996 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 1999 Palmer…

July 6, 2020

2008 Champagne Delamotte Blanc de Blancs. Popped and poured, 01 June 2020. Faint greenish hue. Reticent, proffering just distant notes of green fruits, lime and clear citrus though the palate is brightly lit with great concentration and intensity of fruit amid overtones of almonds and walnuts supported by firm minerally elements. Crisp but a shade austere. Not ready.

2005 Château Malartic-Lagravière Rouge, decanted for 120 minutes prior on 03 June 2020. Darkly coloured, delivering its promise of dark fruits and ripe wild berries laced with some vegetal trace. Still tight with great concentration and intensity, taking its time to slowly unravel, revealing gentle sweet dark currants underscored by firm but well integrated acidity. Very fine but it really needs 3-4 hours of coaxing at this stage.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc, aired in bottle for 90 minutes on 05 June 2020. Excellent concentration of clear and yellow citrus, exuding overtones of brioche and honeysuckle. Superbly integrated with sublime acidity and stony minerals, displaying lovely expanse and intensity with crisp definition, finishing with good length and verve. Very confidently poised. Hard to believe it is just village. Runs its bigger sibling, the Mercurey La Mission monopole, very close. Incredible value.

20200620_191506.jpg2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Saint-Véran Champ Rond, aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior on 08 June 2020. Superb concentration of pomelo and clear citrus with bit of lift, open with lovely intensity and well-integrated acidity on a base of distinct ferrous minerals that imparted darker tones, yielding good detail and subtle power in spite of the density of fruit, never at all heavy. Settled down with more transparency and focus, turning a little more austere with more dominant minerals even as it finished with juicy intensity. Still not quite ready. Keep.

1999 Château Palmer, decanted for 30 minutes prior on our Anniversary, 11 June 2020. Deep garnet red, exuding notes of gentle toast, taking its time to develop a deep plummy glow with a certain sur-maturité. Highly supple and open with very good concentration and fine intensity of darker fruits and currants, yielding fine detail aided by fully-resolved tannins as it finished with refined elegance amid traces of soy and earthy elements. Absolutely harmonious. A feminine Palmer, rather than one with outright power. Still remarkably fresh. At its peak.

2005 Mount Mary Quintet. Decanted for five hours prior on 13 June 2020 to go with a juicy home-cooked steak. Subdued tones of black fruits and currants on the nose though there is no doubting the excellent concentration of fruit on the palate that shone with brilliant intensity, revealing good definition with a firm graphite spine but still somewhat tight and reluctant, neither plump nor opulent. Still not ready?

2016 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladière 1er Rouge, 14 June 2020. In spite of advanced aeration of more than two hours in bottle, this wine was still rather tight, stuffed with abundant dark cherries, raspberries and mulberries that exuded whiffs of delicious fragrance with a plush rounded mouthfeel, though its depth appeared to be attenuated by a certain minerally brightness. The wine did finally open up after another ninety minutes with very fine velvety detail and juicy intensity, literally at the last pour, a case of too little too late. One for the long haul, I guess.

2017 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladière 1er Blanc, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 19 June 2020. Attractive bouquet of fresh white floral tones, vanillin, icing and crème. Medium-full. Very well layered with transparent textures that yielded good clarity just beneath the faintest sheen of paraffin. Shut down a little after some time before re-emerging with further intensity of clear citrus and bitter lemon. Deserves more time in bottle for secondary development.

1996 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 20 June 2020. Deep garnet core with a crimson rim. Exudes a lovely earthy glow of a mature claret with a soft delicious fragrance of ripe red fruits and currants. Still rather fullish, imbued with very fine concentration of fruit with early tertiary characters of sweet cedar, haw and camphor. Open with supple intensity and gorgeous acidity on a bed of subtle earthy minerals, developing a masculine spine over time as it commanded great presence with an exciting mouthfeel. Caught at its peak. Excellent.

2019 Giant Steps Chardonnay, aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior on 23 June 2020. Attractive bouquet of morning dew, olives, grassy elements and raw nutmeg that conjured some rusticity. Medium-full. Layered with good concentration of lemon and clear citrus that yielded good presence and fine inner definition, its sleek acidity imparting energetic freshness. Good value.

2009 Rockford Black Shiraz, popped and poured at Asia Grand, 27 June 2020. Unmistakable warm ripe velvety Barossa shiraz tinged with licorice on the nose and palate, rounded with lovely fullness, depth and measured intensity. Lively with very well-integrated acidity, developing a broader sweet velvety expanse coated with very fine bubbles as it finished on a subtle liqueured note with good complexity without any pretension, Excellent.

IMG-20200613-WA0014~2.jpg

Cooked to perfection by Ryan Chen

1961 Montrose, 1997 Mouton Rothschild, 1995 Latour, 1997 Drouhin Montrachet MdL, 1990 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut, 1995 Haut-Brion, 1994 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne

June 29, 2020

This dinner at Jade Palace, Singapore, on 25 June 2020 marks the end of more than two months of state-imposed dine-in restriction in the wake of Covid-19. Such a memorable occasion mandated no less than a First Growth line-up, plus the rarity of a 1961 claret. It was very good to see, once again, the familiar faces of the restaurant staff and to know that everyone has remained safe and healthy.

1990 Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut, courtesy of LF. Deeply coloured, proffering oxidative notes with a prominent minerally tone. A similar whiff of pungent earthiness is also evident of the palate, still imbued with excellent fullness of clear citrus underscored by a controlled dry intensity and steely depth amid overtones of gun smoke cordite. Excellent.

20200625_193703.jpg1994 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Still relatively pale with a bright minerally shine on the nose. Rather restrained and tight initially, gradually loosening up to reveal fresh clean lines that enhanced its purity of fruit, displaying excellent depth and agility with a light minty glow that kept up its apparent youthfulness whilst maintaining a subdued intensity throughout. Fairly consistent with a previous tasting at a FICOFI event in October 2019. Quite excellent.

1997 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Decanted for three hours prior. Deep golden lustre, exuding a deep bouquet of mature tangerines and white floral overtones that extended well onto the palate with excellent density of citrus fruits, glowing with mature crème de la crème on a backdrop of subdued chalkiness. Interestingly, it became more delicate and agile over time whilst gaining further exciting intensity, developing towards a more ethereal presence. Still has the legs for the long haul, despite the vintage. Excellent.

1961 Château Montrose, courtesy of Sir Robert. Displaying a deep brownish red with some bricking, this wine still seems incredibly youthful in appearance and on the palate, proffering a remarkably fresh glow of red fruits and tangerines that grew in intensity over time with overtones of ground pepper. Medium-bodied, still imbued with fine presence of mature wild dark berries, absolutely harmonious with a lovely suppleness as it finished with a terrific glow amid traces of soy and dusty tannins. Held up very well throughout the whole evening. What a privilege!

20200625_211304.jpg1995 Château Haut-Brion. Decanted on-site. Deep garnet core with a highly attractive bouquet of deep currants, ripe berries and incense. Medium-full. Fleshy with excellent concentration and fullness, quite richly layered with fruit that is approaching maturity amid traces of capsicum and tangerines within a very well-defined structure, displaying lovely length and intensity. Excellent.

1997 Château Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of Sir Robert. Still darkly coloured, this wine exudes a captivating glow of wild berries, raspberries and mulberries amid traces of capsicum and ground pepper, rounded with supple freshness and succulence of delicious red fruits tinged with dried mushrooms though without the outright opulence of the best years, developing lovely intensity as it finished with good length. Quite superb. Seems all the 1997 clarets are having the last laugh.

1995 Château Latour, courtesy of Kieron. Still darkly coloured, exuding a deep mesmerising bouquet of ripe dark berries and currants along with a savoury note, displaying very fine presence and acidity as it caressed the palate with a luxurious velvety smoothness before settling down with great transparency and linearity. Characteristically aristocratic. Excellent.

 

 

2019 Bordeaux En Primeur: Châteaux Olivier, La Gaffelière, Lamarque, Meyney, Grand-Puy Ducasse, Pichon Lalande, Guiraud, Bastor-Lamontagne.

June 5, 2020

The good guys at Vintage Club, Singapore, were kind enough to invite me to a tasting of selected 2019 Bordeaux across Zoom on the evening of 04 June 2020. A set of miniature glass bottles (the châteaux have requested no photographs of these on social media), each filled with 30 mL of wine, essentially barrel samples, had been couriered to my residence the day before. The wines were aired for 30 minutes prior to tasting at the ambient temperature of 20°C. The year 2019 was essentially a hot vintage, though not to the extent of 2003. I remembered being in the blistering 40°C heat of Saint-Émilion on the last week of June 2019, the start of the hot spell (following cold and wet weather from April to mid-June) that lasted until the rains of late September. Some have commented that the tendency towards excessive sugar ripeness caused by the heat has resulted in wines of uneven quality on both Banks. Indeed, throughout the tasting, one can sense each estate trying to tame the alcohol, some more successfully than others. One of the estates (which I cannot name) withdrew its wine from the evening’s line-up at the eleventh hour even though its sample had reached us. Little wonder: the alcohol in that wine could not be controlled, pervading the entire palate and obscuring the fruit. Perhaps the best kept secret of 2019 are actually the Bordeaux whites (including Sauternes), generously flavoured and very naturally balanced with real depth, layering and sleek acidity. These are the real gems of 2019. Merci Gilles!

Saint-Émilion, 25 June 2019

2019 Château Olivier Blanc. Generous nose of floral notes, distinct diesel tones and fresh morning dew, quite gorgeous. Very good in concentration with a clean feel, displaying great clarity and acidity. Fleshed out with some degree of oiliness, rather sleek and slick, remaining highly harmonious. Excellent.

2019 Château Olivier Rouge. Somewhat reductive, a tad austere, with quite a bit of funkiness on the nose. Rounded and fleshy on the medium-bodied palate, showing very good concentration of raspberries and ripe wild berries, structured with highly supple tannins. Finished with good linearity. Very fine and elegant.

2019 Château La Gaffelière. Attractive but restrained perfumed fragrance. Rather slim on the medium-bodied palate, displaying good concentration and harmony with focused definition and rounded suppleness, revealing just a hint of vegetal undertones along with a discernible bit of alcoholic trail.

2019 Château Lamarque. Rather fruit forward on the nose with a distinct sweetness. Medium-bodied, imbued with very good presence of ripe black berries and dark cherries that almost imparted a sense of opulence. Subtly structured with quite an open silkiness, laced with fine acidity. Surprisingly fine from the Haut-Médoc. Drinking very well already!

2019 Château Meyney. Not much on the nose though the medium-bodied palate is imbued with good concentration of dark fruits and currants, structured with good acidity. Somewhat short. Not distinctive.

2019 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse. Closed, proffering just a whiff of dark currants. Quite fleshy and open on the medium-bodied palate, displaying good concentration of dark fruits that brought about some warm biting intensity with fine acidity though lacking in ultimate distinction and length.

2019 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Discernible bit of warm vegetal hint on the nose that is classic of Lalande, though essentially closed. Fleshy, medium-full, imbued with very fine concentration of fruit cushioned with some velvety tones though not truly opulent. Good depth and layering, finishing with restrained elegance and subtle tannins. Very fine. Good potential.

2019 Château Bastor-Lamontagne. Gentle nose of nectarine. Medium-bodied. Good clean concentration of peaches and apricot, exuding controlled sweetness as it tapered to a quiet finish. Distinctly feminine. A successful Sauternes.

2019 Château Guiraud. Attractive bouquet of fresh green apples amidst apricot and tropical fruit, already hinting at some early complexity. Has weight, depth and layering, displaying some attractive intensity with lovely balance and controlled sweetness. Finished very well. Shows real class and pedigree. Excellent.

May 2020: 2008 Champagne Dom Pérignon, 2017 Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er, 2017 Lucien Muzard Santenay Maladière 1er, 2017 Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er, 2005 Roc de Cambes, 2005 Destieux…

June 1, 2020

More stay-home misery and boredom…

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay. Popped and poured, 01 May 2020. Medium-full. Excellent in concentration and fullness with a very clean feel, boasting refined precision and acidity with great balance. More minerally over time, blossoming with white floral tones that added to its lovely intensity, just a tad peppery at the finish. Another bottle tasted on 21 May 2020 (aired for an hour prior) was distinctly minerally right from the start, displaying coarse chalky textures with nutmeg and white floral tones whilst the fruit is set rather backwards, resulting in less than ideal balance.

2005 Fontanafredda La Rosa Barolo, 03 May 2020. Aired in bottle for 60 minutes prior to go with a pan-fried steak. Darkish purple. Raspberries, violets and dark cherries dominate on the nose with a waxy sheen whilst plummy tones occupy the medium-bodied palate, displaying fine concentration and intensity though there isn’t any true complexity even after 15 years, finishing on a dryish note.

2017 Domaine de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er. Aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior to tasting, 06 May 2020. Delicate clear citrus and lime on the nose, rather shy, though it explodes on the palate with a kaleidoscope of white floral tones, raw nutmeg and pomelo that expanded with superb presence, delicacy and sublime acidity, yielding lovely inner detail before finishing with the faintest dash of diesel and earth. Far better than a previous bottle last month from the same case. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladière 1er Blanc, 09 May 2020. Greenish hue, exuding grassy elements, faint icing and vanillin with a hint of creaminess and a touch of lemongrass. Very good fullness, displaying controlled power and intensity, yet maintaining great clarity and transparency with a certain lightness and agility. Quite excellent.

Yeah !!

2000 Château Magdelaine, decanted for 90 minutes to go with cuisine from restaurant Ibid, specially delivered by Master Chef Woo Wai-Leong, 14 May 2020. Evolved opaque crimson with a rusty rim, sporting red plums, ripe wild berries and dark cherries on the nose amid traces of bramble and licorice, a little dry at first. Fleshed out with good concentration and fullness, displaying characters of gun smoke and flint on a base of iron filings with a dash of creaminess, fairly rounded with unobtrusive tannins though its underlying ferrous tone imparted a lingering austerity all the way to its gentle finish. Rather underwhelming for a 2000. Drink up.

2008 Champagne Dom Pérignon, a gift from MH, tasted on 15 May 2020. Luminous gold. Deep arresting bouquet of golden toast and roasted almonds matched by an even more glorious depth of white fruits that pervaded the palate with excellent presence amidst exciting acidity and a lovely velvety expanse of soft bubbles on a base of subtle but distinct ferrous elements, poised with delicate balance and refined elegance. Already quite outstanding but will be even better.

2015 Hardy’s Eileen Hardy Chardonnay. Popped and poured, 19 May 2020. Unusually prominent greenish hue, exuding green fruits, brioche and honeysuckle. Rather placid and clean initially, taking its time to develop good concentration of floral notes with fine acidity that turned a little sharper over time along with greater intensity of clear citrus and paraffin, evolving rich oily textures as it finished with trailing sweetness. Attractive, but may not be everyone’s idea of chardonnay.

2016 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladière 1er Rouge, popped and poured on 16 May 2020. Raspberries, dark cherries and dark rose petals dominate with very good levels of ripeness, noticeably darker in tone but never heavy. Medium-bodied, displaying good integral harmony with good purity and refined acidity. Very fine.

2005 Château Destieux. Decanted for 90 minutes prior, 23 May 2020 to go with German and Italian delivery from the Kempinski Singapore. Dark fruits and currants dominate with good concentration of fruit and licorice though somewhat dry and woody on the palate. It took another 90 minutes of coaxing in the glass for the wine to gain some lift, fleshing out with more plummy tones, finally shaking off its lingering toughness and austerity to emerge with a classic cabernet complexity on the nose with supple velvety tannins in equal measure.

2006 Fontanafredda Barolo La Rosa, decanted for 90 minutes prior on 25 May 2020. Crimson at the rim. Medium-bodied. Bright red fruits dominate but there is a sense of brittle hardness with an attenuated depth on the palate that prevented the wine from opening up in spite of persistent coaxing, finishing on a minerally note.

2017 Domaine Philippe Livera Bourgogne Rouge, aired in bottle for two hours prior, 27 May 2020. Fairly deep in colour, this wine exudes a forward balance of fresh rose petals, raspberries and mulberries, displaying good levels of ripeness on a firm palate, laced with fine acidity and over-bright minerally characters that, somehow, resulted in attenuated depth and dimension.

Foie gras with wagyu beef rice from Burning Oak

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey 1er La Mission, aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior on 29 May 2020. Superb seamless integration of very finely detailed citrus and white floral characters with sublime acidity, very subtly balanced and well-proportioned, poised with regal elegance. Developed creamier tones on a backdrop of increasing chalkiness over time with mounting intensity, underscored by deep subtle ferrous minerality. Excellent.

2005 Roc de Cambes, aired in bottle for close to four hours prior to go with foie gras and wagyu rice, 31 May 2020. Deep purple. This wine exudes a generous bouquet of raspberries and dark currants amid savoury overtones and sweet incense. Medium-bodied. Fairly supple, displaying good levels of ripeness and concentration and again with that bit of marinated cooked meat, structured with subtle tannins and very fine seamless acidity, finishing with a dash of ferrous elements. Shares very similar characteristics with Tertre Roteboeuf. Consistent with a previous bottle from the same case tasted in July 2019. Quite excellent, still yet to peak.

2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault-Charmes 1er Cuvée de Bahèzre de Lanlay

May 18, 2020

One of the unforgettable highlights of our 2017 trip to Burgundy was the annual benefit auction for the Hospices de Beaune. Convened on the third Sunday of every November since 1859, the auction takes place inside the town hall right beside the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune where entry is limited mainly to registered participants while casual observers will need to queue. Forget about any romanticised notion about the bidding process. The auction itself, helmed by Christie’s, is conducted in a cold business-like manner that proceeds at quite a rapid clip, for there are literally tonnes of wine from that same year’s harvest (all in the form of 228-litre barrels, not bottles) that must be auctioned off before the afternoon is over. Over a sumptuous lunch earlier that day at his domaine, Luc Bouchard had advised us that a parcel of Meursault-Charmes 1er, specially bequeathed by a certain Louis de Bahèzre de Lanlay (who was an inspector of telegraph lines) to the Hospices in 1884, was worth bidding for at an indicative price of €15,000 per barrel. Eleven barrels were up for auction. As we knew that 2017 was outstanding for whites and that one cannot really go wrong with Meursault-Charmes, we took the bait. When that particular lot finally came up for bidding three hours into the auction, Luc, who bidded on our behalf, made sure that we secured a barrel albeit at a higher price than what we’d anticipated. Well, if you really want something, you’ve got to go for it. That is why the best way to realise the full commercial value of wine is through auction. We left the barrel with Luc to take care of the subsequent élevage and bottling, all in magnums, finally taking delivery of the massive lot in early 2020.

DSC_0921

DSC_0930

Wines of the Hospices de Beaune can often be a touch-and-go affair, relatively more costly to begin with without quite achieving the best results. Like any burgundy, the key to success lies with the producer. With Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils, one of the very best houses for burgundy whites, handling our barrel, we needn’t be worried. 20200515_121526.jpgEven after just a brief aeration in bottle, the 2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault-Charmes 1er Cuvée de Bahèzre de Lanlay was absolutely on song. Displaying a slight greenish hue, this wine proffers a generous bouquet of green fruits, mild grassy elements and lifted flinty minerals poised with delicate immediacy and distinct feminity, enhanced by a palate of well-defined chalky tones and delicate crème de la crème superbly integrated with an excellent expanse of fruit and focused acidity, developing some lovely early complexity as it took on a glowing creaminess tinged with peppery spice in the glass, becoming more Chassagne-like after an hour. Its minerally character is not surprising, as this parcel of truly old vines straddles both Charmes-dessous (ie. planted on lower ground in 1947) and Charmes-dessus (on higher ground, 1946). Its potential for future development is huge, given that it already has that near-perfect balance right off the starting block. There are probably another 3,000 bottles of this wine circulating around the world but can they measure up to this outstanding effort by Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils? Merci beaucoup, Luc!

April 2020: 1999 Château Lafite Rothschild, 2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc

May 8, 2020

A miserable month of stay-home restrictions and restaurant closures thanks to Covid-19. Popping a bottle at home over dinner isn’t quite the same without friends…

2011 Champagne Pierre Peters Cuvée Speciale Les Chetillons, popped and poured over dinner at Asia Grand, 02 Apr 2020. Pale luminosity. Generous bouquet of green fruits, lime and citrus. Good concentration and presence, fleshing out with broad expanse and supple detail, displaying fine intensity and acidity. More steely and lean after some time, developing even greater intensity with further notes of smoke and pomelo and, finally, the appearance of yeasty tones before it all became way too astringent.

2015 Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat Chambolle-Musigny, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 04 Apr 2020. More deeply tinted for pinot. Delicious fragrance of dark cherries, raspberries, rose petals, currants and red plums. Superbly ripe and concentrated, yet fleshy and supple, imbued with exciting tension and acidity on a burnished floor. Finished gently with fine linearity. Excellent potential.

20200406_205153.jpg

Lafite commemorates the total solar eclipse of 11 August 1999

1999 Ch Lafite Rothschild, a bottle purchased for SGD283 back in 2004. Decanted for two hours prior at Gunther’s on the occasion of M’s 21st, 06 Apr 2020. Deep ruby. Well developed bouquet of red plums and dark cherries with some bright spots, fairly effusive. Good concentration and fullness of fruit that imparted lovely tensile acidity and mouthfeel, fleshing out with surprisingly good power amid darker undertones of mahogany tinged with mushrooms, truffles and wild berries on a floor of iron filings and earth, its subtle recessed tannins never in the way. Rounded with elegant expanse, finishing with glowing intensity and refinement. Far better than a previous tasting in June 2019 at FICOFI’s Bordeaux promenade.

2017 Domaine de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er, popped and poured at home, 11 Apr 2020. Notes of green pepper and raw nutmeg dominate amid grassy elements, tangy citrus and pomelo. Very good in concentration and presence though a little stern with a certain rusticity. Good transparency but lacking in complexity. Not engaging enough. I’d expected more for 2017.

2010 Yering Station Old Beenak Road Shiraz over pizza at home, 22 Apr 2020. This is a single vineyard bottling that I’d purchased directly from its cellar door in the Yarra Valley back in 2013. Double-decanted for 45 minutes. Quite an abundance of dark cherries and raspberries on the nose marked by an unique accentuated lift of oranges. Medium-bodied. Open enough, fleshy with very good concentration of fruit, developing other notes of mocha and diffused tea leaves underscored by subtle earthy minerals, slightly firm but not a bad thing at all. Good refinement. Just a tad spicy at the gentle finish. Shows remarkable restraint though lacking in ultimate distinction.

20200425_194141.jpg2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc, popped and poured over takeaway Ka Soh (bloody expensive!) at home, 25 Apr 2020. Glorious exuberance of rich citrus and minerals that display great freshness, transparency and sublime acidity, imparting superb mouthfeel before settling down to more reserved tones of white flowers, paraffin and raw nutmeg amid overtones of apricot supported by outstanding flinty minerals. Rounded and full without any jarring edges. Superbly integrated and balanced, finishing with a lovely stinging sensation. Exceptional value.

2010 Ch Le Doyenné, double-decanted for almost two hours at home, 29 Apr 2020. Dark. Richly layered with abundant black fruits, dark currants and wild black berries underscored by a certain subtle earthiness and graphite brilliance that’s unmistakably Médoc in character. Shows excellent presence and fullness, the only drawback being that it doesn’t seem able to develop its full potential, appearing to hit some sort of attenuation on the palate that comes across as a sense of toughness though at SGD45 (current price) with ten years of bottle age, there are no grounds for complaint.

A mostly Williams Selyem affair

April 29, 2020

A couple of staunch advocates of New World pinot noir, along with several other like-minded individuals, put together a mostly Williams Selyem affair at Jade Palace, Singapore, on 25 July 2019. Founded by Burt Williams and Ed Selyem as what the French would describe as a garagiste operation in California in 1979, it wasn’t long before the self-taught duo established themselves as the benchmark for USA pinot noir in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley with the now-legendary debut bottling of 1988 Williams Selyem Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. The winery was subsequently bought over by John and Kathe Dyson in 1998. While the uncompromising quality still continues, it is the ever-diminishing stock of pre-1998 wines that are highly sought after by collectors. As such, we were really fortunate that five of the seven bottles tasted that evening were pre-1998. Focusing mainly on single vineyard bottlings, it has, on occasion, been truly difficult to differentiate a Williams Selyem from a burgundy 1er or even grand cru in a blinded line-up. That’s how good Williams Selyem really can be but it needs plenty of bottle age, evident from the 1996s tasted that evening, much akin to Robert Ampeau. My humble thanks to LF, Jonathan and friends for the distinct privilege.

2007 Champagne Henriot Millesime Brut. Magnum. Good lift of delicate green fruits, melons, lime and citrus that filled out with broad expanse on the palate, structured with excellent concentration and intensity of fruit. Developed a complex highly perfumed glow over time along with more pronounced chalky undertones and gentle toasty detail amid overtones of cordite, superb in texture and transparency. Excellent

1993 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Allen Vineyard. Rusty brown. Marked reductive note of menthol on the nose whilst plummy tones dominate with tangerines on the palate amid traces of spice. Fairly plump but lacking in detail. Clearly past its prime.

1996 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Allen Vineyard. Evolved crimson. Lovely delicate bouquet of fragrant rosy hues and red cherries, glowing with great concentration and seductive sweetness that shone with lovely purity on the palate. Remarkably fresh and lively, showing tremendous verve and intensity amid spicy traces, evolving further earthy tones and ash. Utterly delicious and complex. A wonderful example of Williams Selyem at its best.

1994 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Olivet Lane Vineyard. Distinctly evolved in colour, exuding a gentle perfumed fragrance of lightly tinted roses and red fruits, layered with very fine presence, finishing with good persistence. Delicious.

1996 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Olivet Lane Vineyard. Beautifully evolved, this wine proffers traces of exotic Asian spices on the nose with camphor, dark plums and peaches that exerted good presence, depth and intensity. Very well integrated, structured with acidity that is still crisp and vibrant. Appreciably tighter than Allen Vineyard of the same vintage. Still relatively youthful. Excellent.

20190725_203136.jpg

1996 Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Rather savoury on the nose while haw flakes, dark roses and raspberries dominate with fleshy suppleness on the palate. Open with very fine intensity and cohesion. Highly elegant and vibrant, displaying excellent length and lift. Hard to believe that this is a village equivalent, in Burgundy terms. Superb.

1996 Calera Jensen Mt Harlan Pinot Noir. Evolved vermillion, brightly lit with glorious red cherries and tangerines on the open palate. Highly supple, layered with tremendous detail amid gentle earthy undertones, finishing with fine intensity. Still plenty of life ahead. Superb.

2012 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Eastside Road Neighbors. Opague purple. Generous bouquet of ripe wild berries and violets, richly imbued with intense black fruits and delicious dark currants. Still tightly coiled, not revealing much. Yet to develop though its potential is huge.

2012 Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Coastlands Vineyard. Dark opaque purple. Ripe raspberries and blueberries dominate within a thin veil of paraffin, displaying very fine definition and focus as it traversed the palate with a lovely plummy streak, finishing on a sweet gentle note with good linearity. Excellent.

2005 Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir. Significantly evolved in colour, appearing more mature than it is. Beautiful arresting bouquet of tangerines, camphor, red fruits and cherries. Medium-full, exuding a lovely plumpness full of subtle detail on a sandy minerally floor, glowing with fleeting intensity towards the finish. Excellent.

20190725_223608.jpg

 

Jean-Luc Jamet, Robert Sirugue, Kenzo, Marchand-Tawse, Chevigny-Rousseau, Thibault Liger-Belair, Remoissenet, Heresztyn-Mazzini

April 20, 2020

These are short notes from Vinosity, a wine fair organised by several merchants in Singapore on 07 November 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia. There was, as usual at such events, too much of a good thing but the wines of Kenzo and Domaine Chevigny-Rousseau were revelatory.

2017 Kenzo Asatsuyu. Fresh zesty grassy elements amidst clear tropical fruits, topped with a dash of varnish. Imbued with sharp acidity and intensity, ending in a long spicy finish.

2014 Remoissenet Pere et Fils Saint-Aubin Les Castets 1er. Refreshing freshness, showing good purity and clarity of clear citrus. Gently perfumed on the nose though the palate veers towards saline minerals, layered with good detail.

2015 Remoissenet Pere et Fils Meursault Rouge. Lighter purplish tint. Exudes a lovely gentle rosy fragrance, showing good concentration and presence with streaks of haw, revealing good detail and purity. Most unusual from Meursault but highly refreshing.

2015 Remoissenet Pere et Fils Beaune-Teurons 1er. Darker shades of raspberries and ripe wild berries. Lively presence and acidity. Well-layered but a bit short.

2014 Remoissenet Pere et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Poissenot 1er. Darker shade of pinot. Structured with fine acidity and concentration of dark cherries and plums, exuding a certain minerally brightness. A little short.

2014 Remoissenet Pere et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru. More heavily tinted, proffering a bright attractive bouquet of ripe cherries and raspberries. Highly supple with a rounded fleshiness, harmoniously structured with very well-integrated acidity. Quite excellent.

2017 Domaine Robert Sirugue Vosne-Romanée. Good colour. Effusive rosy floral fragrance. Softly structured with predominant red fruits amid traces of capsicum and earth. Good presence and finish.

2017 Domaine Robert Sirugue Vosne-Romanée Vieilles-Vignes. Good colour. Deeper on the nose. More serious in demeanour, displaying very fine presence of ripe raspberries with sleek acidity, seamlessly lined with rounded tannins. Very good.

2017 Domaine Robert Sirugue Chambolle-Musigny Les Mombies. Good colour. Slightly reserved on the nose though the palate is imbued with vibrant acidity, rather fleshy with a certain delicate deftness and seamless transparency. Quiet finish.

2017 Jean-Luc Jamet Côtes-du-Rhône Couzou. Comprises 60% marsanne, 20% roussanne and 20% viognier. Pale. Dense minerally nose. Rather bright and full on the palate with characters of warm gravel, very well-layered. Great concentration of fruit with  understated acidity, displaying keen focus and intensity, finishing with good clarity. Excellent.

20191107_172808.jpg2017 Jean-Luc Jamet Côte-Rôtie L’Enclave. Deep impenetrable purple. Exudes a powerful earthy pungency, imbued with warm ripe fruit with dash of earth and vegetable characters on the medium-full palate. A little too straightforward.

2016 Domaine Marchand-Tawse Bourgogne Blanc. Just a hint of cool faint icing and vanillin on the nose, essentially closed, though white floral tones are distinctly discernible on the medium-full palate, imbued with fine acidity and understated minerals.

2017 Domaine Marchand-Tawse Vire-Cleese. From the Maconnais, this wine exudes white fruits, grassy elements and clear minerals topped with inviting cool icing and vanillin, displaying good concentration and balance. Certainly has the potential to develop further complexity.

2016 Domaine Marchand-Tawse Morey-Saint-Denis Les Faconnieres 1er. Good colour. Delicate perfumed ripeness on the nose though somewhat reticent. Medium-full, layered with ripe red fruits, cherries and plums with warm velvety tones. Very well integrated with understated minerals. Quiet finish.

2016 Domaine Marchand-Tawse Echezeaux Grand Cru. Good colour. A shade heavier in pinot tint, proffering quite an expressive bouquet of perfumed red fruits and cherries with a forward presence, well replicated with equal measure on the palate with excellent verve, concentration and depth. Very well balanced. Structured with sweet softly rounded tannins, finishing well.

2018 Maison Chapuis-Freres Burguignons. Good colour. Quite effusive in ripe raspberries and mulberries, displaying sharp definition with fine acidity. Spicy finish.

2017 Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini Bourgogne. Good colour. Predominant red fruits with a slightly darkish tone. Light-medium, showing good integration but rather straightforward.

2017 Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Village. Planted in 1960. Quite an effusive rosy floral fragrance. Medium-bodied and fleshy, but could do with more presence. The Clos Village of Domaine Philippe Livera is much more successful.

2017 Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini Gevrey-Chambertin Les Goulots 1er. Good colour. Reserved. Medium-bodied. Rather fleshy and delicate, poised with highly refined gentle acidity. Distinctly feminine but far too shy, almost to the point of being nondescript.

2017 Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini Gevrey-Chambertin Les Champonnets 1er. Good extraction, resulting in a slightly heavier tone of red fruits and dark cherries. Fleshy and rounded with good abundance of fruit. Open with good presence and inner detail, gently structured with fine acidity. Good potential.

2015 Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini Gevrey-Chambertin La Perrieres 1er. Purplish tint. Gentle lift of warm ripe fruits and raspberries. Opened up with good concentration and tension, revealing good structure and sophistication.

2015 Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini Morey-Saint-Denis. Darker tint. Full fleshy palate of ripe red fruits, exuding great warmth and energy with very good depth and acidity though the finish is surprisingly abrupt.

2014 Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Corton Les Renardes Grand Cru. Magnum. Good colour. Quite effusive in ripe red fruits and cherries. Medium-bodied. Very correct in its superb acidity amid characters of haw flakes and earthy traces that impart excellent presence and warmth. Good finish. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint-Georges 1er. Good colour. Rather effusive in red fruits, slightly plummy in tone. Very good concentration and intensity of fruit, structured with open vibrant acidity. Perhaps a tad more extracted than usual.

2014 Domaine Chevigny-Rousseau Echezeaux Grand Cru. Good colour. Effusive warmth of ripe red fruits and raspberries, displaying good balance between concentration and acidity on a bed of velvety tannins.

2015 Domaine Chevigny-Rousseau Nuits-Saint-Georges. Good colour. Good deal of earthiness on the nose. Beautifully rounded, displaying seamless presence with a dash of exotic spiciness as it shone with refined acidity and intensity.

2014 Domaine Chevigny-Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes. Classic pinot tint. Lovely fragrance, imbued with succulent warm ripe fruit. Structured with excellent balance and inner detail. Highly successful.

2017 Domaine Chevigny-Rousseau Morey-Saint-Denis Les Combottes 1er. Clear purple, exuding a lovely glow of warm red fruits and raspberries that traverse the palate with great refinement. Very seamlessly integrated and structured, superbly balanced with very fine presence.

2017 Domaine Chevigny-Rousseau Vosne-Romanée Champs des Perdrix. Clear purple. Lovely bloom of rose petals and ripe raspberries on the nose, very correct in feel with just a trace of oaky glow. Fleshy and open with an easy charm, perhaps even a little too placid and understated.

2016 Kenzo Rindo. Deep purple. Effusive glow of dark currants, dark cherries and raspberries. Excellent in concentration, drawing tight tension across the palate with a deep velvety presence, displaying refined elegance and understated tannins with a deeper streak of tea leaves and black fruits that confer a lovely open intensity, superbly balanced with sublime acidity. Outstanding.

2017 Bass Phillip Crown Prince. Good colour. Generous aromas of sweet dark plums and currants with a spicy splash. Very good concentration, depth and acidity. Distinctly masculine. Well integrated though a little short.