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Ed’s do

May 26, 2009

Ed & friends @ OttoWhat does one do when a dear friend and colleague – an Englishman, no less – has endeared himself so much to his Singaporean friends and embraced local culture and way of life so whole-heartedly that he has decided to settle down with a Singaporean girl? You buy him a nice dinner, of course, with a stellar line-up of wines to match the food and company, which was exactly what took place this evening, 25 May 2009, at Otto. It turned out the chef was formerly from Pontini’s, who still remembered Fatty, much to our annoyance. Paolo arranged a customised menu for us in a private room and we were set. DSC00020

We started off with a 2006 Kistler “McCrea” Chardonnay, as promised in one of my previous posts. I discovered that this bottle was originally purchased by a very well-known Mr HY Lee, but stored with Don. We duly toasted our thanks to HY. Clear straw colour, rich buttery nose of citrus, lime and minerals. Excellent depth and oak integration, rounded, layered with notes of vanilla and caramel. Very long. Went especially well with the asparagus with summer truffles.

We proceeded to a pair of Californian reds to go with the Tomino cheese (laid on a piece of toast with ham) and the anelletti pasta stuffed with braised veal cheeks (basically an Italian wanton). Toast with Tomino cheese and hamThe 1992 Dominus (Hiok) was outstanding: still deep purplish-red with some lightening at the rim, lively expansive nose leaping out from the glass, smoky, intense, brooding at times. Fully mature but still very much alive and kicking. Beautifully integrated. Tinge of sweetness around the edge. This is showing a lot better than the last time I had it over a year ago at Jade Palace. Could easily have been mistaken for an aged Bordeaux.

Ed brought a 2000 Caymus Special Selection: impenetrable red, intense, powerful nose of sweet berries. Full-bodied, structured, yet supple. Hard to believe this is cabernet sauvignon, given the velvety texture. Long, long finish, without any trace of alcoholic heat or greeness. Still primal, but obviously will age well. Excellent. 2002 Masseto


Next we paired two classic Italian reds with the main course of tenderloin beef (perfectly medium-rare) followed by a cheese platter. The 2002 Masseto (me & KP) exhibited a deep dark red, with notes of rich, luxurious 100% single vineyard merlot laced with a tinge of sweetness. Full, velvety, delicious, smooth, powerful yet supremely elegant, with remarkable focus and precision from start to its mouth-puckering finish. Absolutely outstanding. I really don’t understand why the 2002 vintage in Tuscany was considered “weak”, or why this is rated only 88 points by Wine Advocate. I still remember the day when I cleaned off 4 bottles of this from Bottles & Botttles at only SGD280 each. Otto is selling the 2003 and 2004 vintages at SGD2,600 and SGD2,400 respectively. Fantastic.

DSC00040The 1996 Gaja Sperss (Vic), still deep purple with only a hint of lightening, displayed an expressive nose full of sweetness and fragrance. Plenty of Old World feel, musky, medium-full, poised and elegant, very much like a mature St Julien. Superb.

To round off the evening, Chris obliged us with two half-bottles of 2005 Masi Recioto Amabile, tasting very much like an Amarone without the overbearing power, with just the right balance of sweetness and plenty of rich red fruit. Somehow, I still prefer Old World botrytis semillon for dessert.

This had been a most satisfying evening of fine wining and dining amidst great camaraderie and loads of unprintable good humour. Six wines for six. And with the excellent food and service amounting to only SGD138 per head (for 5 persons; free corkage), we’ll definitely be back at Otto for more of these.

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