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Rose & Arrow Estate 2018

May 11, 2022

Rose & Arrow Estate is a collaborative effort between Mark Tarlov (who started Evening Lands) and Louis-Michel Comte Liger-Belair of the eponymous domaine in Vosne-Romanée that began only in 2012, looking to produce the best expression of Oregon pinot noir through a fastidious in-depth (literally!) study of the Basalt soils of the Willamette Valley by uncovering the best plots within plots. While they own or farm over 60 hectares of land there, less than 4 percent of the harvest goes into the prestigious Rose & Arrow cuvées. Each of these is site-specific and they tend to be derived from east-facing volcanic soils from the mid-slopes. The estate’s oenological practices take their cue from Burgundy; they even use the same coopers and barrels as those in Vosne-Romanée, which are flown over each year.

The notes below are based on a tasting conducted by Simon Littler, a partner of the estate, at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 28 April 2022. The wines impress with their purity and refinement, while there are sufficient differences in the restrained minerality between them for one to appreciate the singularity of each specific terroir. If that can be achieved in winemaking, then the very essence has been grasped (photo by Rose & Arrow Estate).

2018 Rose & Arrow Worden Hill Pinot Noir. Beautiful intense pinot tint. Rosy fragrance of red fruits. Medium-bodied, glowing with a clean structured presence, imbued with a trace of sweetness in its tannins. Rather feminine. Good balance. Very elegant. Doesn’t shout. From the sub-region of Dundee Hills, Oregon.

2018 Rose & Arrow Black Walnut Pinot Noir. Intense pinot tint. Restrained warm gravel hues. Medium-bodied. More minerally and layered, underpinned by red fruits and raspberries with fine acidity. Lovely ripeness. Good focus and detail. From the sub-region of Dundee Hills, Oregon.

2018 Rose & Arrow Red Dust Pinot Noir. Intense pinot tint. Tinge of persimmon on the nose. Medium-bodied. Softly contoured with a distinct feminine grace and elegance. Seamlessly integrated with good purity and understated acidity, finishing with lingering persistence. From the sub-region of Dundee Hills, Oregon.

2018 Rose & Arrow Yamhill Close Pinot Noir. Intense pinot tint. Shy. Medium-bodied. Highly supple with a fleshy warmth of predominant red fruits. Quite ample. Seamlessly integrated with a poised feminine charm. Elegant. From the sub-region of Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon.

2018 Rose & Arrow Highland Close Pinot Noir. Darker shade of pinot. Reticent on the nose though the palate is distinctly darker, imbued with ripe raspberries and dark cherries that yield supple definition with excellent tensile presence and refined intensity. Finished well. Very Vosne-like. From the sub-region of Chehalem Mountain, Oregon.

2018 Rose & Arrow Hopewell Hills Pinot Noir. Darker shade of pinot. Highly subtle perfumed lift of balsam. Medium-bodied, underpinned by a deeper vein of red fruit that teased with a focused fleeting intensity. Lovely purity. Good length. From the sub-region of Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon.

2018 Rose & Arrow Gathered Stones 1st Expression Pinot Noir. Shy rosy fragrance. Open with soft feminine characteristics that impart excellent fleeting verve with a tight focused intensity. Settled down with fine balance, more poised and backward, showing fine linearity with great purity. From the sub-region of Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon.

2018 Rose & Arrow Stonecreek 1st Expression. Intense deep purple. Restrained nose of currants, dark roses and black cherries. Medium-full. Exudes a delicious velvety warmth on a bed of lithe sexy tannins, seamlessly integrated with refined minerals and sleek acidity with a tinge of salinity throughout its length. Successfully combines lovely precision and subtle power with elegant ease. Superb. From the sub-region of Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon.

Saint-Émilion: 2016 Canon-la-Gaffelière, 2012 La Confession, 1997 Tertre Roteboeuf, 2000 La Gomerie, 2000 Pavie, 2004 Angelus

May 7, 2022

Some members of the Jürade de Saint-Émilion du Singapour officially re-convened at Shang Palace on 21 April 2022 after a long hiatus thanks to Covid-19. It was only right that we re-booted with a Saint-Émilion line-up, preceded by a promenade of whites.

2012 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er. Luminous golden hue. Early secondary characters of nutmeg, olives and citrus on the nose. Medium-bodied. Softly structured with excellent clarity though highly understated, just a lingering glowing intensity at the side before developing greater density with a sleek high-toned minerally presence.

Champagne Henri Giraud MV15 Ay Grand Cru Brut, courtesy of Russ. Sharp lift of olives, nutmeg and cool fruit. Lovely soft tactile presence with a very fine dry intensity, throwing up more cool ripe fruit whilst remaining rather understated, layered with flint and gunmetal notes.

2017 Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay, courtesy of Kieron. Aged in 80% new French oak, this Sonoma Coast chardonnay produces an accentuated lift of refined créme de la créme and chalky tones. Medium-full. Rounded with cool sophistication with a distinct New World trace of sweetness that recalls longans. Highly poised and elegant.

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2016 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière, courtesy of Melvin. Bright purple. Well-extracted with a forward presence of raspberries and mulberries on the nose whilst the palate is suitably anointed with a deep velvety presence of ripe black cherries. Richly layered and full, structured with superbly integrated tannins that offer dry inner detail. Superbly balanced and proportioned. Huge potential.

2012 Château La Confession, courtesy of Melvin. Dark in colour. Exudes an elegant lift of cool dark currants and ripe black fruits with an early plummy glow. Medium-bodied, the dominant merlot producing silky smooth tannins with understated intensity amid earthy tones and early cedary characters. Wonderfully balanced with well-defined inner detail. Drinking beautifully. Unexpectedly superb!

1997 Tertre Roteboeuf, courtesy of Marc. Opaque crimson hues, proffering seductive red fruits and sweet currants that exude a distilled delicious essence. Softly contoured with distinct maturity, yet lively and unbelievably fresh and vibrant, its wonderful balance made even more appreciable by tannins that have long melted. Superb.

2004 Château Angelus. Deep purple. Medium-full. Somewhat reductive? Well-extracted and generously proportioned but still relatively tight, imbued with an impressive depth of ripe red fruits, dark plums, blackberries and currants with a sprinkling of graphite minerals. Well balanced. May need another decade or two to ease up with secondary characteristics.

2000 Château Pavie, courtesy of Russ. Still very dark. Eminently darkish in its glow of warm black fruits and black currants. Medium-full. Rounded with a vast palate of  ripe raspberries and mulberries still laced with a dash of vanillin. Remarkably youthful in spite of its twenty-two years, still relatively tight with intense svelte tannins. Unashamedly modern in style but it works for Pavie.

2000 Château La Gomerie, courtesy of Kieron. Deep purple. Medium-bodied. Surprisingly restrained in spite of its ample top-drawer fruit set within rounded contours of sexy lithe tannins that impart open textures. Highly understated yet integral. On par with the legendary 1998.

April 2022: 2005 Louis Remy Latricières, 2019 Domaine Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, 2010 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot, 2001 Gazin, 2000 Sociando-Mallet, 2005 Calon Segur, 1990 Gruaud Larose…

April 30, 2022

2019 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, from the list of 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 02 Apr 2022. Deep inky purple. Forward in raspberries, black currants and dark cherries with a tinge of mocha. Wonderfully ripe. Impeccably balanced and proportioned, developing more of cranberries and tangerine extract as it fanned out with gentle biting intensity, displaying fine sophistication. Kept evolving throughout the evening, finally revealing tonal characters of heated wet stones, rye and spice box with a dash of savouriness. A real steal.

2005 Domaine Louis Remy Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Vic at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 02 Apr 2022. Evolved light pinot tint. Delicate lift of haw and cherries with a mesmerizing perfumed fragrance, seducing the senses with sensual complexity. Imbued with mature tones on the medium-bodied palate, evoking mostly tangerines, plums and peaches set slightly backward, its relative reticence made up for by highly-refined acidity and beautifully rounded tannins. Demure finish. Distinctly feminine. At its best.

2019 Maison Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages. Popped and poured at home, 06 Apr 2022. Greenish hue. Effusive nose of fig, green fruits and clear citrus. Shows a certain controlled liveliness that renders the palate highly elegant, enhanced by its restrained acidity and smooth gentle creaminess. A real steal, as always.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Pommard Les Rugiens 1er. Popped and poured at Graft8, 08 Apr 2022. Darker shade of pinot. Lovely nose of dark roses, cherries and raspberries. Well extracted with ample presence, showing good refinement with some dryish youthful intensity. More rounded and fleshy over time, almost velvety, exuding a deep rosy fragrance amidst ferrous shades with understated tannins. Very fine.

2014 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Fuissé Vignes Blanches. Popped and poured over dimsum lunch at Wah Lok, 09 Apr 2022. Pale. Hint of durians and custard amid the cool glow of clear citrus. Creamy smooth, teasing the palate with a delicate fleeting presence enhanced by unobtrusive acidity that proffered superb clarity, eventually settling with a subtle depth of earthy elements. Quite excellent.

2012 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir West Ridge Sonoma Coast, courtesy of Russ at the Tanglin Club, 11 Apr 2022. Good colour. Resolutely shut on the nose, though the palate is imbued with a quiet intensity of ripe raspberries and cherries that exude lovely glow. Very cleanly structured.

2005 Château Calon Segur. Popped and poured at the Tanglin Club, 11 Apr 2022. Deep purple. Open classic glow of dark currants and raspberries. Medium-bodied. Very smoothly integrated with early secondary characters of soy, herbal elements and dried mushrooms. Fleshy, vibrant and unpretentious. Superbly balanced and proportioned.

2015 Peter Michael Les Pavots, courtesy of Kieron at the Tanglin Club, 11 Apr 2022. Decanted on-site. This wine is impressively dark in colour and tone with a restrained warmth. The palate is surprisingly rounded and fleshy in spite of its youth, loaded with delicious dark cherries and ripe wild berries that leave a faint trail of rosy fragrance (likely from the 18% cabernet franc within the Bordeaux blend), tinged with a dash of capsicum and enamel that fail to detract from its deep lush velvety intensity.

2006 Ramey Wine Cellars Larkmead Vineyard, courtesy of Melvin at the Tanglin Club, 11 Apr 2022. Decanted on-site. Displaying an evolved red, this wine is well-extracted with a fine presence of ripe wild berries and dark currants that impart a tingling spicy intensity on the fullish palate.

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2017 Laurent Ponsot Meursault-Blagny Cuvée de Myosotis 1er, from the list of 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 14 Apr 2022. Greenish golden. Effusive in citrus and wild white flowers on the nose (some would say reductive). Medium-bodied. Fans out with a silky smooth oily density, yielding fine delicate detail with understated depth and acidity tinged with a distant chalky presence, eventually fleshing out with cool clean tones. Laurent Ponsot’s new line (since 2015) appears to draw polarising opinions but I do like the style.

2010 Domaine Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, from the list of 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 14 Apr 2022. Darkish pinot tint. Excellent ripe tones of dark plums and red currants amid an early hint of secondary  tangerines. The palate is imbued with a wonderful purity of fruit, displaying lovely fullness with dark rosy hues marked by sleek acidity that teased with a fleeting intensity, eventually settling with lifted open supple textures. Louis Jadot is always very correct with their reds. Far better than the usual Clos Vougeot. Superb.

2001 Château Gazin. From the list of 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 14 Apr 2022. Decanted on-site. Dark plummy red with a crimson rim, displaying evolved tertiary characters with a lovely complex of pungent earthiness, plums and tangerines. Medium-full. Beautifully nuanced with soft fleshy contours amid a distinct note of soy, structured with smooth silky tannins that yield fine detail with sweet subtle intensity. Excellent.

2019 Schloss Lieser-Thomas Haag Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese, tasted by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 14 Apr 2022 while having a conversation with Grant Ashton, founder and C.E.O, at our table. Luminous gold, exuding mild characters of petroleum vapor. Lovely warm presence on the cleanly detailed medium-bodied palate that hinted at durians and tropical fruits with a controlled intensity, laced with just the right level of sweetness.

2000 Château Sociando-Mallet. Popped and poured at Jade Palace, 15 Apr 2022. Still deep garnet, proffering lifted notes of capsicum, wild mushrooms and dry herbaceous elements amid distant dark rosy hues that carried well onto the medium-full palate. Softly contoured with cultured tannins that yield lovely supple density with understated sweet dark currants. Excellent. This is the best example of Sociando-Mallet that I’ve had regardless of vintage and the reason why it clearly belongs within the league of classified growths.

2020 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz. Drunk over two days, 18-19 Apr 2022. Generous in ripe raspberries, blueberries and currants. Slightly forward but one doesn’t mind when the fruit is so wonderfully fresh and delicious and vibrant with cool rounded tannins, laced with just a dash of spice and licorice. A supermarket wine, but well made.

2018 Inglenook Blancaneaux, from the list of 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 23 Apr 2022. Decanted on-site. Light greenish hue. Some reticence is evident, rather coiled with an understated oily core of restrained chalkiness and white fruits in spite of its outer gleaming tone. More relaxed and backward after some time, turning a little brightish before smoothening out with even tone. A blend of marsanne and roussanne varietals most unusually from Napa, made by Philippe Bascaules of Château Margaux.

20220423_140730.jpg2018 Nicolas Jay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, from the list of 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 23 Apr 2022. Purplish. Somewhat muted on the nose though the palate is ample in dark fruits, open with supple intensity amid traces of vanillin and crème as it gained tighter intensity with a rich rounded rosy fragrance tinged with a bit of briar.

1990 Château Gruaud Larose, courtesy of Mr S Kannan at his residence on 25 Apr 2022. Decanted on-site. Deep crimson. Fairly effusive in mature ripe plummy tones with a strong note of capsicum, leading to a wonderful lift of complex dark tones on the fleshy palate, framed by supple sexy tannins that eventually morphed into a lovely seamless entity with excellent depth of fruit. At its best and will hold for many more years.

1996 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, decanted on-site at Mr S Kannan’s residence, 25 Apr 2022. Deep purplish core. Delicious bouquet of blueberries, dark plums and currants. Medium-full. Still imbued with very fine acidity with a slick oily density, gently cushioned with warm ripe fruit at optimal maturity with soft cedary characters. Distinctly feminine. At its prime.

2001 Domaine J Coudray-Bizot Échezeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Mr S Kannan at his residence on 25 Apr 2022. Mature. Generous bouquet of cherries and dark roses, though slightly reductive. Rounded with impressively silky smooth satiny textures on a ripe raspberry floor, stroking the palate with fine gentle intensity as it turned more structured and masculine over time without being overwhelming.

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, poured ad lib courtesy of 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 28 Apr 2022. Lovely golden hue. Eminently reductive with a profusion of pungent earthiness amid brilliant chalky golden tones. Refreshingly open with a dry citrusy intensity, painting the palate in bold strokes of pomelo and bitter lemon with lovely precision. Drinking beautifully.

2018 Domaine Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Buisson Renard, tasted by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 28 Apr 2022. Subtle sweet tropical fruits of soursop, custard and pineapples on the nose and palate, tightly focused with a laidback lean clarity and cutting acidity, settling down with rounded recessed tones.

2013 Château Haut-Batailley, tasted by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 28 Apr 2022. Raspberries and mulberries dominate with dusty overtones. Medium-bodied. Fleshy but rather backwards with dryish rustic tones. A little more earthy after some coaxing, along with some mild cedary notes.

1997 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet, 1993 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots, 1994 Armand Rousseau Charm-Chambertin, 1979 Domaine Louis Trapet Chambertin, 1994 Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Pinot Noir 2008 Hudelot Nöellat Romanée-St-Vivant

April 22, 2022

When you’re joined by Grant Ashton, founder and C.E.O. of 67 Pall Mall (of which its Singapore branch is now the hottest dining establishment) for dinner, you’re more than happy to push the boat out. The theme at Imperial Treasure Great World on 20 April 2022 was burgundy Grand Cru. In spite of that, an imposter was cast in the line-up, but who would ever turn down a pre-1998 Williams Selyem? The food was excellent and the wines were singing. Many thanks, gentlemen.

20220420_223504.jpg2008 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Sir K. Delicate tones of fig and clear citrus with a floral lift. Still rather tightly coiled at first with a dry intensity beneath a sheen very finely graded bubbles, gradually opening up with a bit of yeasty pungency as it fleshed out with cool fragrance and lovely length, evoking a sense of white smoke in its wake. Not quite as exuberant as it was when this vintage was first released a few years ago, but still highly pleasurable.

2013 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeots 1er Marquis de Laguiche, courtesy of Vic. Pale. There is a hint of durian in its cool minty lift as it teased the senses, underscored by fine precision and understated tension on the clear palate. Burst into life with exciting intensity and lively acidity after forty minutes, developing more body and oily presence amid overtones of jackfruit and other exotic fruit. Drinking well.

1997 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Light luminosity. There is a predominance of pomelo and bitter lemon on the nose that contrasted beautifully against the chamfered layers of restrained chalky white tones on the palate that offered lovely clarity and transparency. Still remarkably fresh, laced with sophisticated acidity throughout its superb length. Wonderfully poised with regal confidence.

1979 Domaine Louis Trapet Pére et Fils Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Pale brownish red. Utterly pungent (really!) though the open palate is remarkably clean and fleshy with plummy tones, still imbued with fine acidity and surprising detail in spite of its distinct maturity. Evolved quite rapidly in the glass as it smoothened out with excellent refinement before its imminent retirement.

2002 Vincent Girardin Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Grant. Deeper note of crimson. Open with a fleshy presence of red plums and currants. Highly supple but understated, morphing into a superb seamless entity with engaging charm as it snapped into sharper focus with a trace of salinity. The vines of this vintage really speaks to you.

2010 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru. Deep ruby. Quiet nose. Open and fleshy with a placid suppleness, very evenly proportioned with a lovely expanse of cool red fruits that yield fine definition, just a little titillating but it really doesn’t call attention to itself. Surprisingly feminine, given Pierre Damoy’s tendency for higher extraction.

2009 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Mazy-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Classic pinot tint, proffering a classic bouquet of plummy tones and tangerines that led to a juicy succulence of cool red fruits, wonderfully balanced with real depth and sophistication. Very correct in every way. Very classy.

1994 Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Evolved crimson. Restrained presence of mature red fruits and haw that impart quite a gentle velvety depth with a characteristic dash of menthol and eucalyptus that betrayed its origin. Slightly bold in layering, still fresh and lively.

1994 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Classic pinot tint. Quiet on the nose though there is a fine intense rasping presence of darker shades of red fruits and currants on the supple medium-full palate. Fresh and slightly minty, beautifully balanced with a faint understated minerally mid-body. Caught at its best.

1993 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots, courtesy of Sir Bob. Deep crimson. Unusually earthy and pungent with a hint of tangerines. Generously layered with fruit that is still remarkably fresh and youthful. Cleanly structured with superb precision, evolving with supple velvety intensity and delicious succulence.

2008 Domaine Hudelot Nöellat Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Very fine pinot tint. Ample in haw and red fruits on the nose and palate. Openly supple, subtly layered with lovely detail amid early secondary characteristics. Very beautifully nuanced and integral. A complete wine.

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Mar 2022: 2019 PYCM St-Aubin Les Banc, 2012 Philippe Livera Gev-Cham Clos Village, 2006 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet MdL, 2019 Vincent Bouzereau Meursault…

April 14, 2022

2019 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthière. Tasted 2-3 Mar 2022. Pale golden. Delicate intensity of clear citrus, green fruits and melons supported by sleek acidity and well-integrated ferrous elements. Rounded with superb tensile presence. Great potential. Deserves proper ageing.

2014 Francoise Chauvenet Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge. Popped and poured from the list of The Tavern, 04 Mar 2022. Light rosy hues against a darker medium-full palate of blueberries, dark cherries and cedar, displaying rounded contours and well-managed tannins with a rustic presence. Developed further density of floral characters and smoked meat with a sweet velvety intensity before shedding its fat, attaining a classic pinot poise with fine definition.

2019 Domaine Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin Les Banc. From the list of 67 Pall Mall Singapore, 05 Mar 2022. Pale greenish. Effusive in morning dew and green citrus, displaying an intense reductive character with gleaming clarity and structured intensity. Superbly refined as it settled down with a delicate dry chiseled quality.

2012 Domaine Philippe Livera Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Village. From the list of 67 Pall Mall Singapore, 05 Mar 2022. Deep crimson. Beautifully integrated and balanced, deeply inviting. Imbued with an abundance of dark plummy fruit laced with sleek understated acidity, revealing darkish inner detail as it traversed the palate with superb length and linearity to a finish marked by early secondary characters of cedar and plums. Excellent, really.

2019 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles-Vignes. Popped and poured at Liang Kee, 06 Mar 2022. Pale. Effusive sheen of vanillin with full chromatic white tones. Silky smooth. Developed more of intense yellow citrus and tropical fruits with a certain stoniness before opening up with fine inner detail amid an understated sweet intensity.

2000 Château Sociando-Mallet. Decanted at home, 08 Mar 2022. Dark purple. Raspberries, distant red fruits and dark currants dominate amid strong overtones of capsicum, bramble and woody elements. Medium-full. Fairly rounded, laced with well-defined acidity on a base of ferrous minerals that lent a distinct austerity to the palate, fleshing out only to a certain extent with a glimpse of sweet wild rose petals without going any further. Frustrating, given the vintage’s quality.

2018 Jim Barry Lodge Hill Shiraz, a carafé from the list of restaurant Claudine, 10 Mar 2022. Impenetrable deep garnet, proffering a dense bouquet of cool black fruits and dark currants that’s quite typical of Clare Valley shiraz. Opened up a little with a lovely biting intensity amid glowing tones of mocha, toffee and savoury roast, rounding off with a minty lift.

2018 Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay, at the Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Lounge, Changi T3, on 11 Mar 2022. Effusive in peaches and fig with a smooth chalkiness. Medium-bodied. Distinctly minerally, imbued with some nutmeg. Fine clarity. Easy finish.

Champagne Jacquart Mosaïque Brut NV at the Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Lounge, Changi T3, on 11 Mar 2022. Clear and yellow citrus dominate with good presence, its very fine bubbles caressing the palate with a smooth dryness that tapered with fine linearity to a gentle flinty finish.

2016 Lyeth Sonoma County Red Wine at the Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Lounge, Changi T3, on 11 Mar 2022. Muted dark currants tinged with earth amid a dash of spice, structured with soft understated tannins imbued with discernible vanillin. A true merlot-dominant Bordeaux blend, but undistinguished.

2020 Schreckbichl Colterenzio Pinot Nero, from the list of Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill, London, on 13 Mar 2022. Fairly effusive in rosy hues. Softly contoured with very good presence of red fruits, cherries and rose petals. Has a certain concentrated depth and youthful intensity. Does its job.

Crémant de Bourgogne Veuve Ambal Grande Cuvée Brut NV, from the list of Rules restaurant, London, 15 Mar 2022. Dull golden. Excellent dry presence. Rather full, layered with complex citrus and fig amid mild yeasty undertones. Distinctly more pungent on the nose over time, developing further notes of grapefruit on the palate. Drinking well.

2014 Rugra Scajeta Monferrato Rossi, from the list of restaurant Majenta, London, on 16 Mar 2022. Predominant red fruits and mandarins with a bright forward presence. Fleshed out with soft supple textures amid a growing understated sweet intensity, imbued with gentle delicious plummy tones with charred elements.

2016 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Vieilles Vignes, from the list of 67 Pall Mall, London, on 17 Mar 2022. Darkish. Weighty in dark fruits and currants. Well-extracted with controlled intensity. Considerably more dryish over time, displaying good structure and precision. Delicious, but requires further cellaring.

2019 Caroline Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Chambrees, tasted by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 23 Mar 2022. Greenish hue with muted green tones and fig on the nose though there is an excellent expanse of green fruits and citrus on the palate, structured with tight intensity at first before settling down with more open detail, supported by a subdued chalkiness. Deserves more time to sort itself out.

2015 Saffron Fields Vineyard Pinot Noir, tasted by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 23 Mar 2022. Deep crimson. Resolutely shut on the nose. The busy medium-full palate is well extracted with rounded intensity, slightly stern with dominant darkish tones that refused to open up. Doesn’t quite hit the mark for pinot noir.

2020 Shaw & Smith M3 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. Aired in bottle for three hours prior to dinner at Ka Soh, 27 Mar 2022. Light greenish hue. Morning dew and wet grassy tones dominate on the nose. The palate is imbued with a broad expanse of fruit with overtones of nutmeg, dense minerally elements and white pepper that opened with good clarity before tightening up again with a controlled intensity, revealing some inner detail with lovely precision as it turned slightly chalkier and creamier. Deserves further cellaring.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Shinzo, 30 Mar 2022. Poured from magnum. Greenish hue. Effusive in gentle floral tones, light green fruits and citrus. Medium-full. Softly contoured, imbued with characters of preserved plums and nutmeg that convey a warm velvety sweetness with fine detail and understated structure.

2005 Château Gazin, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Shinzo, 30 Mar 2022. Deep garnet. Effusive glow of mature dark plums and currants. Open, supple textures of cool dark fruits on an understated earthy base that exert exciting acidity, imparting lovely mouthfeel and length. Highly refined and elegant.

2019 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault at Shinzo, 30 Mar 2022. Pale greenish. This wine opens with delicate white tones and cool icing, teasing with further notes of tropical fruits as it evolved a rounded fullness with gentle depth. Developed an excellent dry presence over time, the palate basking in a long unhurried glowing finish that stretches forever. A real steal.

2006 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Grand Cru Marquis de Laguiche, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Shinzo, 30 Mar 2022. Deep golden, exuding a dry laid-back chalkiness with mature autumnal characters, structured with placid white tones and understated acidity that shone with cool regal elegance.

2014 Haut-Brion Blanc & 1999 Haut-Brion, 2014 Louis Jadot Musigny Grand Cru

April 6, 2022

These wines are courtesy of my wonderful hosts in Sentosa island on the evening of 28 March 2022, who also laid on an array of homecooked tempura that easily rivals those Michelin-starred establishments in town. Every dinner there is always a memorable event – a perfect fusion of 色 (colour), 香 (aroma), 味 (flavour) – and this is no exception. Many thanks!!

2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé. Deeply colored. Dense aromas of apricot, citrus and mandarins tinged with orange peel, flooding the palate with excellent concentration of fruit that exert sweet supple intensity, supported by charred elements that added further dimension.

20220328_194651.jpg2014 Château Haut-Brion Blanc. Light golden. Effusive in sleek white floral tones still laced with appreciable vanillin and distant overtones of paraffin. The palate displays a lovely tension from the sublime acidity exerted by the concentration of dense citrus, wonderfully fresh and delicate in its teasing intensity, eventually opening up to reveal fine clarity and early depth. Utterly seamless and understated in structure. Undoubtedly youthful but it does everything right, beautifully poised and elegant with a wonderful perfumed lift. Huge potential ahead. Extremely rare, this is the most sought-after Bordeaux dry white. Only 450-650 cases annually.

1999 Château Haut-Brion. Deep garnet with a bare rim of crimson. Most impressive right from the outset, proffering a superb bouquet of red currants, dark plums and mandarins, the latter an unique hallmark of this estate. The medium-full palate is plush and velvety, beautifully integrated with characters of soy and deep plummy tones caught at optimal ripeness and maturity, underscored by superb acidity that left a lasting impression. Superb by any standard. Probably the best 1999 Haut-Brion that I’ve had.

2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Musigny Grand Cru. Classic pinot tint, exuding a soft feminine glow of rose petals on the nose, amply delivered by a sizzling abundance of ripe red fruits currants on the medium-full palate imbued with sublime acidity and superb purity of fruit. Remarkably cool and elegant, somewhat understated in intensity probably from the contribution of subdued ferrous minerals within that developed further with characters of charred saline elements, glowing with open supple textures. Outstanding.

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Domaine du Clos de Tart 2012, 2014 & 2016

March 29, 2022

I had the distinct honour and pleasure of hosting Monsieur Jacques Devauges, the current winemaker of Domaine des Lambrays since 2019, at a private dinner at Imperial Treasure Great World, Singapore, on 26 March 2022. Jacques still recalls our visit to his cellar at Domaine du Clos de Tart four years ago (he had been winemaker there from 2015-18) where he had demonstrated his parcellaire approach to winemaking that involved splitting the entire monopole into eight subplots based on each unique micro-terroir, vinifying each separately before combining the cuvées together again to form the Grand Cru. IMG-20220329-WA0019.jpgBased on the mini-vertical that we’d assembled that evening, it is clear that Jacques’ method works, for the 2016 (made by Jacques and which we had tasted from barrel during our visit in 2017 [https://winebyric.com/2017/11/24/understanding-domaine-du-clos-de-tart/] clearly has a certain freshness and articulation that isn’t quite present in the 2012 and 2014. Jacques is so knowledgeable and passionate about his work that one cannot help but feel that Clos de Tart’s loss is Domaine des Lambrays’ immeasurable gain – he even managed to explain how and why biodynamic viticulture works in just five minutes. Thank you once again for honouring us with your presence, Jacques. This dinner will not be forgotten.

2010 Champagne Dom Pérignon. Great open presence of fig and green fruits. Softly contoured, layered with abundant clear citrus that yielded good lift with supple intensity. Superbly proportioned, culminating in a long sweet delicate glow. Highly successful.

2012 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Darker tinge of red. Fairly generous in red fruits and dark cherries on the nose. Medium-full. Still rather tightly-knit on the palate with more than a hint of austere ferrous minerals, though it softened considerably after two hours, becoming more streamlined and feminine with an emerging dash of violets within a frame of sweet structured tannins.

2014 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart Grand Cru. Dull red. Quite resolutely shut and austere on the medium-full palate. Distinctly sullen. Took a long time to open up with more inner detail tinged with a hint of spice, developing more soil and earthy tones as it became more subtly vibrant. Fleshed out eventually with bright pebbly tones, well-integrated and rounded with restrained purity.

2016 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Restrained at first with a stern minerally presence before developing a rounded supple freshness that wasn’t so apparent in the 2012 and 2014. Quite seamlessly proportioned and integrated with a gentle teasing intensity from its abundant layers of red fruits that evoke rose petals, subtly structured with lovely purity. A shy elegant beauty set to blossom with age.

2001 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Dull golden. Gentle tones of mature grapefruit, apricot and citrus on the medium-bodied palate that shone with excellent clarity, imbued with superb subtle intensity and laidback secondary characters.

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2005 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet MdL, 1990 Château Mouton Rothschild

March 23, 2022

The great SC threw a lovely birthday lunch at Hamamoto on 22 March 2022, along with a couple of specially curated bottles that went along very well with the delicate Kyoto-inspired cuisine of chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto. Both whites exude a certain lightness and restraint that paired very well with the food while who would have imagined that a First Growth would be so utterly feminine and mellow? Many thanks, Sir, for a perfect afternoon.

20220322_135440.jpg2002 Champagne Dom Pérignon P2. Light golden, proffering delicate tones of clear citrus and fig on the nose while the medium-full palate exudes a refreshing lightness and clarity, laced with sleek acidity within subtle layers of white fruits and flinty minerals.

2005 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Grand Cru Marquis de Laguiche, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Poured from magnum. This wine opens with a delicate bouquet of white floral fragrance, almost shy, that belies the surprising explosion of fruit on the medium-full palate, imparting exquisite mouthfeel and a lovely biting intensity that teased with subtle detail. Unexpectedly extroverted, eventually settling down with regal elegance and restraint amid a dash of salinity though that wonderful tension and length remain undiminished. Excellent.

1990 Château Mouton Rothschild. Poured from magnum. Unfairly cast over the years as being unworthy of this stellar vintage, this claret has finally come into its own, absolutely resplendent in color and tone with subtle shades of soft red fruits on the nose whilst the medium-bodied palate is utterly smooth, its melted tannins allowing the elegant fruit to glow with lovely purity and poise. Distinctly feminine, gradually developing a rosy intensity with a trace of earthiness. Superbly integral. Doesn’t pack a punch but it doesn’t need to. Excellent.

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Feb 2022: 2008 Taittinger Brut Millésimé, 2017 Bernard Moreau Chass-Mont Cardeuse, 2014 PYCM Chassagne-Montrachet Cailleret, 2014 Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée, 2015 Georges Lignier Chambolle-Musigny, 2006 Krug, Champagne L’ascendant

February 28, 2022

2012 Champagne Roger Coulon Blanc de Noirs Brut Millésimé. Popped and poured, 01 Feb 2022. Great density of pomelo, bitter lemon and clear citrus imbued with an abundance of ferrous elements that cut through the palate with crisp dry intensity, leading to a stern austere finish. Hugely primal.

2017 Meerlust Rubicon. Popped and poured over brunch at Dorothy’s place, 02 Feb 2022. Deep purple. Initial notes of briar, bramble and dark forest characters. Fleshed out with greater suppleness and warmth and with more of deep dark plummy fruit, raspberries and currants to the fore, structured with refined acidity and precision.

2017 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé. Aired in bottle for more than two hours prior, 3-4 Feb 2022. Light greenish hue, exuding aromas of fig, pears and green fruits that lead to a generous expanse of high-toned citrus, offering good inner detail with tingling acidity that impart great verve and liveliness.

2017 Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet La Cardeuse 1er. Popped and poured at Jade Palace, 07 Feb 2022. This monopole red opens with a beguiling bouquet of rose petals and raspberries in soft focus, distinctly feminine, matching the wonderful freshness of fruit on the medium-weight palate laced with traces of ember, gaining further intensity with a more dominant salinity as it fleshed out with a ripe rounded warmth, unfurling its true pinot character. Beautifully balanced. Excellent.

2008 Champagne Taittinger Brut Millésimé, courtesy of Dr WKW. Popped and poured from the list of One Ninety Bar, Four Seasons Singapore, 09 Feb 2022. Effusive in fig, faint green fruits and honeysuckle, wafting across amid overtones of fresh cool icing. Medium-full, tinged with a distinct salinity at first before blossoming with open clarity, displaying inner detail of peaches and tropical fruits with lovely focus and intensity. Excellent.

2009 Château Malartic-Lagravière. Aired in bottle for more than three hours prior, 13 Feb 2022. Impenetrable deep purple, exuding a nose of black cherries, dark currants and brilliant graphite that is well-replicated on the medium-full palate, structured with supple tannins that impart velvety intensity with enough of the classic earthiness of Pessac-Leognan. Very refined. Still youthful. Excellent effort.

2006 Champagne Krug Brut, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 16 Feb 2022. Light golden. Very lovely deep burnished tone on the nose amid yeasty undertones with a good lift of cool notes, leading to a palate of complex citrus and pomelo set against a glazed chalkiness, showing signs of early maturity with a lovely dry intensity that seemed destined for a austere finish, to be replaced by delicious sweet tropical fruit. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Les Cailleret 1er, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 16 Feb 2022. Pale, exuding buttery characters and brioche amid white tones. Medium-full, imbued with a rich oily density that imparted excellent definition and precision with a rounded lovely presence, finishing with great length and supple intensity. Superb.

2014 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 16 Feb 2022. Classic pinot tint with a lovely bouquet of fresh raspberries and cherries tinged with ember and a hint of earth. Very correct in character, exerting an understated intensity amid subtle supple tannins with a distinct feminine elegance. Drinking beautifully.

2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Fuissé En Chantone, aired for an hour in advance at San Shu Gong, 16 Feb 2022. Pale. Nose of fresh morning dew, matched with a rounded palate of clear citrus laced with a slight salinity. Layered with cool tones, showing some early complexity as it fleshed out with excellent rounded depth.

2005 Château Troplong Mondot, courtesy of Russ at San Shu Gong, 16 Feb 2022. Deep ruby. Intoxicating nose of dark tones, black fruits and bramble with a lovely warm ripeness, displaying excellent detail of charred wood and ash with superb supple intensity within a frame of sweet velvety tannins where a dash of vanillin is still discernible. Excellent.

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV, at 67 Pall Mall Singapore, 17 Feb 2022. Poured from magnum. Generous in lime and pomelo, displaying superb lift and freshness with cool presence as it traversed the palate with smooth intensity. Not too dry.

2020 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills M3 Chardonnay, at 67 Pall Mall Singapore, 17 Feb 2022. Faint diesel, olives and earthy minerals dominate with pliant suppleness, displaying lovely glowing intensity with superb detail and precision. A busy wine with plenty of buzz but it is beautifully proportioned and correct in every way. Perhaps even better than the 2019. Excellent.

2020 Two Paddocks Pinot Noir, at 67 Pall Mall Singapore, 17 Feb 2022. Deep ruby. Delicious lift of ripe cherries and red fruits. Structured with pliant supple tannins amid dryish textures, glowing with excellent purity, length and intensity. More rounded and introspective over time.

2019 Stargazer Derwent Valley Chardonnay, at Burnt Ends, 18 Feb 2022. Very pale, but deeply floral on the nose with faint traces of lychee. Exerts lovely smooth intensity with a distinct saline acidity on the palate, underscored by a deep vein fruit with characters of nutmeg and summer hay. Good finish. From Tasmania.

Champagne L’ascendant, at Burnt Ends, 18 Feb 2022. Darkish shades. Open exotic nose of fresh berries with a reductive dryness. Very controlled, displaying an understated intensity of pineapples amidst an oily density laced with lovely smooth acidity, proffering excellent clarity and persistent length. Really good. From Grand Cru grapes of Verzy.

2007 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano at Burnt Ends, 18 Feb 2022. Deep garnet. Full-bodied. Well-extracted with a warm ripeness, exerting tensile presence with good integration and length. Still youthful.

2008 Black Puma Shiraz at Burnt Ends, 18 Feb 2022. Impenetrable red. Prunes, black currants and ripe dark berries dominate. Well-extracted with a rounded fullness, displaying a velvety warmth amid overtones of mocha and chocolate within a frame of dryish supple tannins, finishing with distinct alcoholic heat. This is controlled hedonism pushed to the limit.

2008 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz at Burnt Ends, 18 Feb 2022. Very dark, exuding cool ripe berries with remarkable restraint in spite of its obvious fullness. Rich and smoothly contoured, structured with svelte sophisticated tannins that impart sweet juicy succulence, displaying lovely balance and proportion. Excellent.

2006 Penfolds RWT at Burnt Ends, 18 Feb 2022. Very dark. Medium-bodied. Open with a dark restrained warmth, showing some early development amid a certain earthiness with undertones of diesel. Still far from ready.

2015 Domaine Georges Lignier et Fils Chambolle-Musigny. Popped and poured at Corner Grill, 22 Feb 2022. Generous bouquet of raspberries and dark cherries with a dash of earthy salinity, displaying a soft ample presence with lovely ripeness and rounded contours. Appropriately darkish for Chambolle, delivering good depth as it finished with sweet understated intensity. Quite excellent.

2009 Château La Tour de Mons. Popped and poured at Ka Soh, 27 Feb 2022. Rather thin at first with a pronounced acidity, fleshing out eventually with deeper tones of dark currants and raspberries that produce a certain graphite sparkle with a little more of the Margaux fragrance.

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Jan 2022: 2000 Château Sociando-Mallet, 2008 Thibert Pouilly-Fuissé Ménétrières, 2017 Philippe Livera Gev-Cham En Champs, 2018 Le Petit Cheval Blanc, 1990 d’Yquem, 2010 La Gibryotte Charmes-Chambertin, 2019 de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly, SAS Rouget Crémant de Bourgogne

February 8, 2022

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV. Popped and poured at Asia Grand, 01 Jan 2022. Sharp lift of intense yellow citrus amid gleaming chalky tones. Settled down with cool clear crystalline quality, yielding a light yeasty pungency before picking up in dry intensity, tightly structured with fine acidity.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Tamisot. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Great World, 02 Jan 2022. Opaque dull purple. This village monopole exudes dark rosy hues and red fruits on the nose with a tinge of tobacco. Medium weight. Fleshy with supple intensity, laced with a trace of salinity. Well extracted. Developed further notes of dark cherries and bramble as it grew tighter with structured dusty tannins. Still not quite ready.

2005 Château Barde-Haut. Aired for almost an hour in bottle prior on 04 Jan 2022. Attractive red fruits and dark currants on the nose, seemingly delicious, though the medium-full palate has a certain powdery medicinal quality laced with tight high-toned acidity that rendered a somewhat disjointed angular mouthfeel, not helped at all by fruit that is a tad distant. Disappointing.

2004 Joseph Drouhin Grands Échézeaux Grand Cru. Popped and poured at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Classic pinot tint. Restrained rosy fragrance. Softly contoured, imbued with dark fruits and earthy tones. Structured with fine precision and acidity but somewhat nondescript.

2014 The Otazu Bond at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Comprises 60% cabernet sauvignon, 25% tempranillo and 15% merlot, blended by yours truly at Bodega Otazu and bottled in 150 magnums. Deep garnet, exuding delicious dark currants and early cedar with some bright spots. Medium-full, layered with abundant fruit still tinged with vanillin. Structured with supple intensity, developing softer contours after a couple of hours but still tightly coiled, turning a little austere towards the finish. Still not ready.

Champagne Krug Rosé NV, courtesy of MH at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Popped and poured. Lifted earthy tones and grapefruit dominate with a rosy fragrance, exuding a fresh bright supple presence supported by subtle ferrous elements with emergent notes of sweet pomelo. (M).

2007 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny, at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Classic pinot tint. Effusive nose of cherries and rose petals. Medium weight. Good presence and structure though somewhat firm and squarish, finishing with good linearity.

1998 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Ornellaia, courtesy of John at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Deep garnet. Cedar and dark fruits dominate with a tinge of vanillin and capsicum. Medium weight. Full and sleek, open with structured intensity, displaying excellent linearity with a cool minty persistence.

2018 Le Petit Cheval Blanc. Popped and poured at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Very pale. Sweaty aromas amidst clear fruits. Rather light and delicate at first, fleshing out with some early tropical fruit whilst maintaining its highly subtle feminine intensity. Not truly distinctive at this stage though another bottle tasted on 28 Jan 2022 is more characterful, deliciously understated in petroleum vapour and orchard fruit with a highly refined controlled intensity of delicate white tones, not too dry, developing a distinct salinity while the fruit remains largely recessed. Still in its shell but this has the makings of a great Bordeaux white.

2006 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, courtesy of Dato’. Decanted on-site at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Deep purple. Classic Bordeaux glow of dark fruits, gravel, capsicum and complex herbal elements. Medium-full. Open with rounded soft contours. Layered fleshiness, quite seamlessly integrated with fine acidity and cool characters. But probably best to wait another five years.

2008 Domaine Thibert Pouilly-Fuissé Les Ménétrières, courtesy of Vic at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Popped and poured. Clear golden. White tones and vanillin dominate with cool open presence. Subtly structured with recessed minerality, displaying fine clarity with a chiseled complexity that gave way to a lovely warmth of lifted mandarins. (M).

2019 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills M3 Chardonnay. Popped and poured at Liang Kee, 09 Jan 2022. Pale. Quiet bouquet of cool ripe tropical fruits. Rather restrained at first on the palate before fleshing out with a subtle supple intensity of peaches, green fruits and tropical fruits, structured with cool precision and sublime acidity. Reminded me very much of a Roulot. Excellent, but it really deserves plenty of time and serious pairing.

2000 Château Sociando-Mallet. Aired in bottle for an hour prior at Ka Soh, 15 Jan 2022. Dark. Rather restrained on the nose, not revealing much. Full-bodied. Cleanly structured but rather terse, imbued with overtones of cedar and dry wood shavings on a backdrop of austere dusty tannins. Took another hour to develop more supple textures, eventually fleshing out with suave intensity and refined acidity. Still remarkably youthful, far from peaking. Clearly belongs at the same table as classified growths.

2014 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Bourgogne Blanc. Popped and poured at home to go with Beluga caviar, 16 Jan 2022. Pale greenish hue. Ample in tangy citrus and white fruits amid chalky undertones, developing further notes of brioche and glazed honeysuckle. Very correctly proportioned and seamlessly integrated with refined acidity without really calling attention to itself. One is really drinking the vintage.

2017 Domaine Philippe Livera Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs. Popped and poured at Burlamacco (East Coast), 25 Jan 2022. Quite darkly coloured. Good extraction of cool ripe fruit, revealing excellent supple presence of dark roses, black cherries, raspberries and currants with refined acidity and underrated intensity. Very subtly structured, evolving with a certain feminine grace and restraint towards its true pinot character with a trace of salinity, displaying lovely purity. A village, no doubt, but it commands respect.

2018 Domaine Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin La Princée, courtesy of Dato’ at Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. Light golden hue. Fresh clean notes of crème de la crème and white tones. Subtly layered with delicate intensity, tapering with fine linearity to a glowing finish of white pepper.

20220127_192552(0).jpgSAS Rouget Père et Fils Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, courtesy of Dato’ at Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. This sparkling wine exudes a lovely nose of melons and green fruits with mild yeasty tones. Somewhat lean but cleanly structured, caressing the palate with soft smooth bubbles, displaying good refinement and clarity with a tinge of austere minerals and a discernible hint of darker fruit, more rounded with time. From the négociant arm of Emmanuel Rouget; probably the only thing from Rouget that’s affordable.

2010 La Gibryotte Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, aired in bottle at Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. Darkish bouquet, promising a well-extracted palate of warm ripe berries, dark plums, currants and bramble that exert supple intensity, structured with succulent tannins. Developed drier textures of medicinal herbal elements tinged with spice box over time. Still rather infantile. From the négociant arm of Claude Dugat.

2002 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Vic at Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. Deep dull golden tint. Appropriately mellow with a relaxed feel of apricot, apples and grapefruit on a bed of mature chalkiness. Still wonderfully fresh and full, its sheen of very fine bubbles ensuring a soft layered intensity over a subtle deeper vein of fruit, displaying excellent definition with bright clear chromatic tones.

1990 Château d’Yquem, a half bottle courtesy of Dato’ off the list of Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. Amazing deep orangey hue, crystal clear, proffering deep luscious nectar, chromatic tones, aged honey, ember and mandarins of tremendous purity that radiate bold brilliance with a lifted burnished quality, evolving further oriental medicinal elements with a tinge of ash as it tapered with fine linearity to a quiet finish. Superb.

2000 Champagne Krug Brut, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. Restrained chalkiness, proffering green fruits with good intensity of lime and citrus amid gentle yeasty tones. Surprisingly delicate. Doesn’t have the depth and extension of the best vintages. Austere minerally finish. Drink up.

2013 “Y” d’Yquem, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. Gentle crème de la crème and vanillin dominate with a soft exuberance. Medium-bodied, imbued with expansive white tones and floral characters with controlled intensity and refinement, revealing excellent inner definition with cool teasing depth. Excellent.

2016 Cos d’Estournel Blanc, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. White tones with traces of vanillin, showing good textural clarity largely because its fruit is far too backward at this stage. Considerably restrained and shut. Not ready.

2018 Blanc de Lynch-Bages, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. White tones and floral elements dominate with fairly dense minerals in equal measure, resulting in considerable austerity.

2013 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. Predominant white tones, largely those of sweet vanillin oak. Medium weight. Subtly layered with rounded intensity, displaying fine attack but it seems unsettled.

2014 Domaine Charly Nicolle Chablis Mont-de-Milieu 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. Soft floral expanse, underpinned by a distinct salinity. Brightly lit though attenuated in depth and intensity, short as well.

2019 Domaine de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 31 Jan 2022. Beautiful rounded bouquet of crème de la crème amid a broad expanse of white fruits and floral notes. Very sleek. Richly layered with subtle intensity, revealing superb inner detail of brioche, honeysuckle and pineapples with a glorious deep vein of distilled essence. Very beautifully contoured and controlled, settling down with a bit more minerally chalky presence. Excellent. Truly, the whites of 2019 are every bit on par with 2014 and 2017.