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Catching up at Moomba, with 2001 Pichon Lalande

October 24, 2009

Excellent stuffEver since I became acquainted with the restaurant Moomba at Boat Quay, I have not had a disappointing experience there. Serving contemporary modern cuisine with an Australian slant, the food is consistently good (very good, in fact), the service casual but attentive, pricing is reasonable and, best of all, it’s the only non-Chinese restaurant I know of that offers BYO on Fridays and Saturdays (otherwise corkage of SGD25 applies on other days, closed Sundays).

I caught up with David on a Friday, and we began with a 2004 Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon Macon-Milly-Lamartine Clos du Four to go with the salad, Hokkaido scallops and foie gras. This white Burgundy is a great over-achiever. Very light golden, but it gave a very expressive nose of lime and chalk, with the right dose of minerality without being too overbearing. Excellent body, notes of vanilla and cream with lots of layering, especially rich in the middle with incredible density. Very lively. However, the balance is a bit skewed with the chalky note becoming just a tad too over-the-top after some time. The top Burgundies are supremely effortless, whereas here one senses that these qualities did not come quite as naturally. But, really, I’m quibbling too much. At SGD50-60, I’ll happily drink this anytime. Superb.

The 2001 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (I much prefer the full name) that followed, dark limpid red, gave off a very masculine profile on the nose – plenty of deep cabernet notes – thanks to the large proportion (14%) of petit verdot that year. The reason for this is best known to the winemaker, but the call paid off handsomely. There was a initial hint of undergrowth, even though the wine had been decanted for at least 30 minutes, but it soon disappeared. Medium-full with excellent grip, the typicity of Left Bank Medoc being quite unmistakable, where the rich dark fruit character is intermixed with savoury toasty oak and coffee, only that the usual velvety tannins of the Comtesse has been replaced by the firmer structure of the petit verdot. Last tasted at Kome on the occasion of the 2009 New Year’s Day lunch, where I remembered the wine was considerably soft and accessible, imbued with lots of the pencil shavings/cigar box Pauillac character. So, an atypical Comtesse de Lalande but, nevertheless, still marvellous. It proved to be a great match with the lamb and grilled sirloin, mellowing slightly as the meal progressed, becoming quite harmonious and seamless. Still very much on the ascent, no doubt. Excellent. Will be great in another 5 years.

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