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Notes in brief (January 2010)

January 6, 2010

2002 Ch Montrose, over a quick but efficient lunch at Moomba. Plummy red. Seemed alarmingly thin and disjointed at first, but it gained weight after 30 minutes with more fruit to the fore, becoming more rounded. However, it’s still quite backward, as expected of Montrose, with most of the mulberry and blackberry flavours lurking very much in the background, and it doesn’t appear to be developing further depth or complexity anytime soon. Nevertheless, a very decent effort for a weak vintage.

2005 Domaine Louis Latour Beaune Vignes Franches 1er Cru (courtesy PS), at W48 dinner at Ming Kee. A heavy color for pinot. Hint of cherries but it is just too bland and heavy on the palate. Monotonous, in fact. Not at all like pinot. Disappointing.

2005 Domaine Bruno DeSauney-Bissey Gevrey-Chambertin, at W48 dinner at Ming Kee. Only Le Benaton carries this small producer. Quite a rich color for pinot. Lovely fragrance of sweet red fruits and cherries. Medium-bodied, rounded with well-managed tannins, but not showing any depth or complexity. A pleasant, decent effort.

2007 Heritiers du Comte Lafon Macon-Milly-Lamartine, at W48 dinner at Ming Kee. Very pale yellow. Promising nose full of lime, citrus, and melons, but a letdown on the palate – dry, tight, rather austere (most unlike previous examples from this source), short on substance and finish. Slightly more open after an hour, with more minerality coming through, but still unattractive. Diasappointing.

2005 Ch Reignac, over an excellent dim sum lunch at Golden Peony with K and D. My first tasting of this wine, which has been lying in my office ever since it was delivered to me after en primeur in 2008. Popped and poured. Deep garnet red, immediately exuding a lovely bouquet of rich dark berries with sweet plums, nicely ripe. Rather full-bodied, as expected, but it’s surprisingly gentle on the palate and soft at the edges, displaying great concentration with a nice layer of fat in the middle and just the right amount of extraction (unlike D’Aguilhe which is over-the-top), revealing excellent definition and structure, finishing with superbly-managed tannins. No gimmickry here. This is definitely on par with a grand cru classe. Has great legs that will last the distance. Excellent.

2007 Roche Wines Tallawanta Hunter Valley shiraz, bought direct from the cellar door for AUD25; drunk over dinner at Crystal Jade T2. Double decanted for about 90 minutes. Very deep red with a purplish rim. Muted nose. On the palate, primarily fruit-driven – loads of dark berries, raisins and raspberries carried by an alcoholic bed that tried to stay out of the way. There’s a charred quality to the wine, no doubt due to the extreme Aussie heat these days, but the fruit quality is undeniably very good, suitably dense but not unctuous, finishing with svelte tannins. A nice, easy table wine. Just don’t ask for depth or complexity.

2004 Ch Gruaud Larose, at Imperial Treasure T3, a wine that has benefitted immensely from Parker’s lowly rating of 87 (with an insulting question mark to boot), keeping current prices well below SGD100. Purplish red, with a bright red rim and an attractive nose of red and dark fruits, with a lovely lift of sweet cherries, leading to a soft entry, a wine that’s medium-full with a good grip but mellowing on the mid-palate, the excellent fruit quality readily apparent, producing a hint of sweet meat. It’s still unresolved on the finish, rather cluttered and tannic, although this softened considerably after an hour. It seemed to be evolving faster than other 2004 clarets. Overall, a good wine, actually. I enjoyed it.

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