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1994: Chateaux Clinet, Cos D’Estournel

June 2, 2009

This month of June, being our anniversary month, will see a series of wines from 1994 being drunk at various dinners. As this Tuesday of 2 June 2009 was just too good to waste away, I returned to Otto with the missus in tow. Paolo, who still remembered the previous week’s Masseto, settled us in. We opted for the degustation menu, comprising Hokkaido scallop carpaccio, asparagus with truffles and egg, prawn pasta, tenderloin beef and warm chocolate cake, to go along with a 1994 Chateau Clinet. Otto 004This wine was noticeably darker compared with a previous bottle I had last year at Kome, almost dark brown with a bit of lightening at the rim. There was quite a bit of bottle stink initially, which took a good 45 minutes to blow off. The nose was unmistakably characteristic of an aged Bordeaux, with mellow red fruit characters that followed through on the palate with a trace of sweetness. The wine was still cloaked within some tough tannins, but this melted away in the glass, eventually becoming quite harmonious with the predominant merlot fruit coming to the fore.  Medium-bodied, moderate finish. This bottle is much tighter than my previous one. Can be kept for another few more years but the fruit is beginning to dry out, and based on the 2 differing samples I’ve had, I suspect there may be quite a bit of bottle variation. I suppose it’s not Clinet on top form, but at current prices (I noticed the prices of Clinet in recent vintages have dropped), it’s worth exploring.

1994 Cos D'Estournel 003On June 11th, we celebrated our 15th anniversary at Au Petit Salut. I must say the food quality is excellent at reasonable prices for this level of dining, but service quality, although improved, lacks the kind of personalised touch that epitomises Les Amis and Iggy’s; even the folks at Otto do a better job. I brought along the 1994 Cos D’Estournel, which is the second time I’m having this wine. It exhibited an evolved reddish-purple, tapering away at the rim. The nose revealed notes of cherries with an underlying layer of darker fruits that carried onto the palate. Medium-bodied, soft, good depth, finishes with a touch of cigar and tobacco note. Unlike most 1994 Left Bank cabernet that is drying out, the fruit quality of the Cos is still excellent, just lacking the final coat of power and finesse one would find in an outstanding vintage. My records showed I paid SGD143 for this, which I feel is worth every cent.

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